Quilting newbie? Take it easy on yourself and start with precut fabric. These convenient packs are pretty standard everywhere you look, and come in 5-inch squares (called charm packs), 10-inch squares (called layer cakes) and 2.5-inch strips (usually called jelly rolls).
Going the precut route guarantees all your colors will match, that your pieces will be perfectly sized, and that you get to skip cutting and get right to the sewing. These are all good things, especially when you're just learning!
Check out these five designs that are absolutely lovely and 100% precut-friendly .
Meet the original classic: the simple patchwork quilt. Made up of squares of the same size, this easy project comes together quickly and is an awesome way to master basic quilting skills. (Example: you'll become a wiz at sewing an accurate, straight 1/4" seam, which is literally the foundation of any quilt!) Using charm packs of 5-inch squares will help to speed up the process, or use 10-inch layer cake squares to supersize the quilt! (Check out Piece, Patch, Quilt: Basic Quiltmaking Skills for a full how-to.)
Instead of using squares, you can use rectangles to make a patchwork quilt. By offsetting the rows, like subway tiles, you'll end up with a cool modern vibe. (The end pieces for each row are just half the length of your basic rectangles.) You can sprinkle in some squares and change up the length of your rectangles for even more variety.
Rail Fence Quilt
For this option, the rectangles get super skinny — more like strips. You'll simply line up three or four to create each block. Sew them all together straight, or set them at angles for a different look. This type of quilt is perfect for using jelly roll precuts. (And if you want to make the exact quilt shown above, check this Midnight Quilt Show episode for all the details!)
Flying Geese Quilt
When you're ready to go beyond squares and rectangles, triangles are the next step. The flying geese unit simply uses a rectangle and two squares to create the triangles. This pattern is also precut-friendly because you can use half a layer cake square for your rectangle and either a quarter layer cake square or a coordinating charm pack for the other details. Too easy!