When shopping for fabric for a quilt, it can sometimes feel overwhelming trying to match fabrics and find different designs that go together.
An ingenious fix for this problem is the layer cake precut packs.
In this post, I will go over what a layer cake is, why they are so useful, and show you several beautiful (and delicious) examples of layer cake quilts that can utilize a layer cake.
What Is a Layer Cake Quilt?
Some may think that a layer cake quilt is a particular pattern, but in reality, it’s a quilt made with a specific size precut called a “layer cake.” Layer Cake precuts come in packs of 42-10″ squares.
If the pack is made up of patterned fabrics, the designer will usually try to use 42 different fabrics. If the fabric collection they are working with doesn’t have 42 different fabrics, they will use a few duplicates to bring the total to 42 squares.
Many quilt pattern designers will create stunning layer cake patterns since you use so many different patterned fabrics in one quilt top.
What Does a Layer Cake Quilt Look Like?
Layer cake quilts don’t have a specific look since the layer cake describes a precut fabric type, not a unique quilt pattern. That said, most layer cake quilts will have a lot of different coordinating fabrics that will give the quilt a “scrappy” look.
How Many Layer Cakes Do I Need for a Log Cabin Quilt?
The log cabin quilt pattern is a traditional pattern that has been around since the mid-1800s. Back then, quilters would use whatever fabric they could to create beautiful log cabin blocks.
Nowadays, precut fabrics are a popular choice for scrappy log cabin quilts. The number of layer cakes you will need for your quilt will depend on the size of quilt you are planning to make and the log cabin block you choose.
For example, if you choose to use an 8 ½” unfinished log cabin block, you will need 72 log cabin blocks to make a 64”x72” throw-size quilt. This will require two-layer cakes.
What Size Quilt Does a Layer Cake Make?
The quilt size you can make with your layer cakes will depend on the quilt pattern you choose to recreate.
For example, if you were to sew all the blocks together to create a patchwork quilt top with the 42-10″ squares from one layer cake, you would make seven rows of 6 squares each.
The size of that quilt top would be 57″ x66 ½” which makes a great throw size quilt.
If you were to use that same layer cake and patchwork design but add in 2″ sashing between all your blocks and rows, the quilt top’s final size would be 71″ x82 ½”, which is a twin size quilt.
So if you want to use a layer cake for your next quilt project, I would suggest looking specifically for quilt patterns using layer cakes.
I’ve done some digging around the interwebs and found 24 beautiful quilt patterns that you can use for gorgeous layer cake/cakes that you would like to use.
24 Beautiful Layer Cake Quilt Patterns
This pattern, created by Camille Roskelley, is a perfect example of using all the different fabrics in a layer cake to the fullest. The bright colors of the layer cake she chose make her design pop.
This pattern makes a twin-size quilt, but it can easily be adjusted to whatever size quilt you would like just by adding or subtracting more blocks.
This design is a perfect beginner-friendly pattern that will make a queen-size quilt top. You only need one layer cake and then the fabric for the background and border to create this beautiful star quilt top.
Amy Smart has taken a fairly simple quilt design and turned it on its side to create this beautiful lattice design with whole-layer cake squares. This design is a fabulous way to showcase your favorite fabrics. This pattern is also a great investment, as she gives you several different size options within the pattern.
Isn’t this quilt pattern mesmerizing? I love the use of negative space in the border area of the quilt top. You can change the look of this quilt with a simple selection of different fabrics and colors to make this quilt your own. This pattern makes a throw size quilt.
5. Candy Swirls
When I was on my hunt for patterns for this article, I searched for free layer cake quilt patterns. Imagine my surprise when this GORGEOUS pattern showed up in my search! This pattern is just so sweet (pun intended). The finished size for this quilt pattern is 60”x72”.
Here is another great free layer cake pattern that would be a fabulous option for a beginner quilter. This pattern is for a lap/throw size quilt. The entire quilt top could be made with two layer cakes — one with patterns and one with a solid color. This is a simple, quick, and easy design.
The Layer Cake Lucy Quilt is a lovely example of how to use a layer cake to create a one-of-a-kind quilt. With this pattern, you can create a 67”x77 ½” quilt top, which can be a large throw size quilt perfect for the back of your couch or a twin size quilt. This design is another one of those patterns that could easily be tweaked to make a smaller or larger quilt if you wanted to do so.
How gorgeous are these fabrics? That’s exactly my thoughts when I saw this beautiful quilt top. Similar to the Lattice quilt pattern we looked at earlier, this has blocks divided by white sashing to make the fabrics pop. The final quilt size for this pattern is 60”x74”.
Here is another free pattern that features a layer cake. You create two different blocks to make this fun quilt top. Beginner-friendly and quick to make, this quilt is sure to be a success for any quilter.
Doesn’t this quilt just look like a calm ocean? This free pattern is for a baby size quilt at 45”x51” and would make a beautiful gift for a new baby. This quilt is a great option for your first quilt.
The Abundantly Blessed 2 quilt pattern is another excellent example of a quilt top that lets you feature your gorgeous fabrics. The pattern looks a bit complex but is an easy-to-follow pattern and can be made in two different sizes: 40”x40” (small) and 61”x70” (large).
12. Spot On Quilt
How cute is this pattern? I love how the blocks almost look like flowers — so this could easily be made for a boy or girl. This pattern gives you four size options: crib, throw, twin, and queen.
Do you have a Disney fan in your life? This beautiful pattern would be the perfect birthday gift for your Disney nerd. The pattern comes with instructions to create the silhouette of either Mickey or Minnie Mouse. The final quilt size for this pattern is 76”x76”.
These adorable pinwheels can be created by simply cutting your layer cake squares in half and then following this free pattern. I also love the triangle border. The final size of the quilt for this pattern is 57”x63” the perfect throw size.
The blossoms on the Cake Blossoms Quilt pop off the quilt top, don’t they? This is a great option if you have some flowery or springy fabric you’re not quite sure how to use. The final quilt size for this pattern is 64”x79”.
16. Framed Quilt
This free pattern tutorial is literally “framing” your beautiful fabrics for you! This quilt can be made as small or as large as you would like to make it. Just add or subtract blocks to make it the size that you want. It’s a super simple design with a big impact.
The modern feel of this quilt is what draws me to its design. The pattern comes with two size options: 52”x62” (throw) and 63”x83” (twin). The Market Street quilt is a fun option for a beginner quilter.
18. Hubba Hubba
This pattern is a hybrid, meaning you will need yardage and a layer cake. You will use the yardage for the background and borders and the layer cake for the featured fabric blocks. The finished quilt will measure 76 ½” x 76 ½”.
Here is a pattern that uses rectangles and half-square triangles (HST) to create a modern quilt top. Robin Pickens, the designer, is known for her modern quilt patterns and gorgeous fabric collections. This pattern offers three sizes lap, twin, and queen.
20. Spring Picnic
Spring Picnic is a beginner-friendly pattern that uses one layer cake and one charm pack (5” squares.) Here is a free tutorial for creating this free pattern from It’s Only Fabric and Thread. The tutorial is easy-to-follow and has lots of detailed photos for each step.
21. Picket Fence
The designer created this pattern so you can use it with layer cake precuts. It includes seven sizes and two different layout options. The pattern provides cutting instructions and step-by-step diagrams to piece this quilt together. Fat quarters are another precut fabric option you’ll find in this pattern.
22. The Rachel
With this design, the layer cake squares jump off the quilt top. This pattern is ideal if you have a layer cake of gorgeous fabrics. With this pattern, you will receive three size options and coloring pages for each size to try out different color palettes.
The Nova quilt pattern is a modern design that uses traditional elements. This design is pleasing to the eye and gives the quilter a chance to simultaneously display beautiful fabrics and skills. This pattern has five sizes: crib, lap, twin/full, queen, and king.
A fantastic attribute of layer cake quilt patterns is they have a playful, scrappy look from all the different fabric patterns. This pattern makes the most of that attribute with these fun “bauble” shaped blocks. You will have five quilt sizes to choose from and fat quarter options.
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Which was your favorite layer cake quilt pattern?
I don’t know about you, but after seeing all these layer cake quilt patterns, I definitely want to go search through my stash and make something beautiful.
I hope this post has helped you see all the different variations you can have using a layer cake.
Any of these would make a fun weekend project or the perfect introduction to quilting for a beginner.
The great part about a lot of these patterns is that they’re fairly simple and quick to make.