Layer cake quilt pattern

Layer cake quilt pattern

If you haven’t come across layer cakes before (another foodie quilting term!), they are packs of 10″ squares of fabric.  They contain a good variety of fabrics which all co ordinate.  I don’t know if they all have the same number of squares, but there were forty two in the Moda layer cake that I used for this quilt pattern.  I used twenty of the layer cake squares and 1.3/4 yard of white fabric to make a quilt measuring 49″ by 61″ and I used the stack and whack method of quilting.

Cutting requirements:

Twenty layer cake squares

White fabric:  fourteen 2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric, fifteen 1.1/2″ by 11.1/2″ strips, six 47.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strips, two 61.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strips


Making the layer cake quilt blocks using stack and whack

Use four layer cake squares at a time

Use four layer cake squares at a time

Divide your layer cake squares into piles of four contrasting squares.  This is because four is the ideal number of layers for rotary cutting.  Line up the edges and make a random cut in the squares.  Make the cut at an angle so that you end up with the square cut into two unequal parts.  For the more advanced quilter it is possible to cut a curve rather than a straight line, but I’m sticking to basic here.  The idea is that you sew the squares back together but with different fabrics.  As all four squares had the same cut, you can sew one left hand section to any of the four right hand sections.  For added interest, I have sewn a white strip between the sections for a more summery feel.  You can see where the stack and whack name comes from – stack the squares in fours and then whack them back together again!


Sew the sections to a white strip

Sew the sections to a white strip

Square up the edges

Square up the edges

Sew the four left hand sections to a 2.1/2″ white strip.  Make sure that the white extends above the layer cake fabric at the top – this is so that you can cut a straight line across the top.  Cut across the white strip to separate the four sections.



Change the order of the right hand fabrics

Change the order of the right hand fabrics

Sew the right hand sections to the white strip

Sew the right hand sections to the white strip

The next step is to sew the right hand sections of the layer cake squares to the white strip.  Move the top right hand fabric to the bottom of the pile of fabric so that you have a different fabric on the left and on the right of the white strip.  Sew the right hand fabric sections to the white strip.



Make another cut in the layer cake squares

Make another cut in the layer cake squares

Press the resulting rectangles and pile them up again, making sure that the white strip goes in the same direction in all four of them.  We have added 2″ to the width of the layer cake squares with the first white strip so now we will add 2″ to the length so that they become squares again.  Make a random cut at an angle to make two unequal parts again.




Sew a white strip to the left hand sections

Sew a white strip to the left hand sections

Sew the four left hand sections to a 2.1/2″ white strip.  You should be able to sew three squares to each white strip.  Shuffle the right hand sections so that each right hand section has different fabrics from the left hand section.  As you can see in the photo, I have the pink fabric in two places in this block, but not next to each other.  In some of the blocks I have all four fabrics different from each other.  Sew the two sections together to create four 11.1/2″ squares.

Repeat with the remaining piles of four layer cake squares so that you end up with twenty squares.


Assembling the layer cake quilt

Lay the squares out in five rows of four

Lay the squares out in five rows of four

Sew white strips between the squares

Sew white strips between the squares

Lay the patchwork squares out in five rows of four squares.  It’s a good idea to lay them all out before you sew them together so that you can make sure that the colours are spread across the quilt.  Sew a 1.1/2″ by 11.1/2″ strip between the squares across each row, so you will have four layer cake squares and three white strips across each row.



Sew a white strip down each side of the layer cake quilt

Sew a white strip down each side of the layer cake quilt

Sew a 47.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ white strip across the top and bottom of the first row.  Sew the second row to the bottom of the white strip and continue down to sew all the rows together.  You will need six white strips so that you have a white strip between each row and at the top and bottom of the layer cake quilt top.

Sew a 1.1/2″ by 61.1/2″ white strip down each side to complete the layer cake quilt pattern.  Full details of how to finish the quilt can be found towards the bottom of the beginner quilting section here.


Here’s the quilting video:


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  1. Rosemarie says:

    Hello Rose,
    Thanks for your generous quilt patterns.
    Here is a quilt I just finished based on this improvisational Layer Cake design of yours …
    It was fun to make and I will certainly do more of these.
    Regards, Rosemarie

  2. Hi,
    I’m wondering how you finished the top of this quilt. I’m looking to try this quilt pattern for a Christmas gift. I’ve done many rag quilts but never a real quilt before. Any tips? I’m using Acacia by Tula Pink in Blueberry. I’m still hunting for the 1 3/4 yard I’ll be using and the back/filler – so any advice for those would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Clara. I didn’t actually have the time to finish the layer cake quilt, but I think that I would probably quilt it with stitch in the ditch along all the white lines and around each block. I don’t know that particular Tula Pink layer cake, but they are gorgeous fabrics. For the other fabric you need something that will contrast with all the layer cake fabrics – white or something close to white is always a good choice. For the backing you just need a fabric that you love – sorry, that probably doesn’t narrow it down much! Good luck.

  3. Sandy Brown says:

    I love the look of this one and although a very new quilting lady Im going to give it a go . Just had a stoke so need to get myself going again and this has given me the will to go onwards just been taken into Canterbury and choose a black and white layer cake so watch this space ! Im going in….. Im coming to Shropshire for my holiday in september so will see if Ludlow is all you say it is .

    • Hi Sandy. sorry to hear you haven’t been well, but sounds like you’re recovering superbly. Good luck with the quilt. Yes, Ludlow is everything I say – beautiful and friendly.

  4. I love this quilt. Very pretty.

  5. Carol G. says:

    Love all your patterns and instructions. Thank you.
    I was over in England April 19-27. I tried to contact you as
    I would have loved to meet you! Sorry we weren’t able to

    • Hi Carol. Sorry we weren’t able to meet up. How did you try to contact me? I live a long way from any of the big cities.

  6. Nancy Gross says:

    Hi Rose, I love your new quilt, the colors and the design both. I will be starting this one as soon as I get the 3 other tops I have started completed. Or maybe I won’t wait and make a trip to the quilt shop for fabric. This quilt just makes me happy looking at it. As always your video made it look easy enough to do. Thanks for sharing this one with us.

  7. Marilyn says:

    Thanks Rose, you have made such a very clear and easy video to follow, you make it look so easy think i will try this one.

    • Glad you like it, Marilyn. It’s a simple pattern. Now I must think up something for the other half of the layer cake!

  8. I’m a newbie quilter, working on my first (log cabin) quilt. My problem is that each design you issue makes my fingers itch to crack on with a different one! Thank you.

    • It’s not me – it’s the quilting addiction! I am still itching to start a new project every time I get towards the end of a project.

  9. Quiltingle Sue says:

    Thanks! This was the clearest explanation I’ve ever found for Stack ‘n’ Whack. The process has always seemed confusing but your demo made me realise it’s not the actual making, but the design which appears to be more complicated than it really is. Just thinking of cutting my large scraps into layer cake sizes for a much needed stash busting session. Thanks for that idea too!

    • There are some complicated and some simple stack and whack patterns. On this website I’m aiming to help the beginner quilter so I try to go for the simple option. As you say, it’s a great way to use up scraps.

  10. Love the quilt, I don’t have any cake layer, but it’s a good way to use up scraps. thank you very much, I like your site, can’t wait too see what you going to do next.

  11. Sandra Peter says:

    I can’t wait to get started making this quilt. Thank you for giving us this neat pattern. It is also a great way to use up scraps if you don’t have a layer cake to use.

  12. Faith Taylor says:

    This is my kind of quilt making! Love it!

  13. HI Rose,i love getting ur emails of ur new quilt patterns,u make it seem so easy ,as your instructions are i have only been quilting a short while.I save everyone i recieve.LOVE this one i have just recently started useing white in my quilts.well 1 to be exact,it was a mystery quilt class with a pack of 42 2 n a half strips and white for my back ground.I was very unsure of chooseing white at first but really liked it when i got a block done.i will post a picture of it when iam done ,it actually made 2 quilts like a quilt inside a quilt was a awsome class,by Gerri Richards from New Brunswick Canada,thats where iam to in N.B. Cananda.keep up the wonderfull work u do.I so look forward to learning from u THANKS SO MUCH Arlene.

  14. Wow, what a beautiful quilt, this is going n my to do list, probably if I was not working today, I may have started on one – big hugs and thank-yous from Australia, for sharing.

  15. Oh Rose you’ve done it again!! I always look forward to your tutorials and I’ve been wanting to see how the stack and whack thing works! Thanks so much. I hope to make a baby girl quilt with this method for my niece. 🙂

  16. Pauline says:

    Lovely quilt Thank you for showing it

  17. Thank you so much. I truly enjoy your website. I am still just a beginner quilter and you make it look so easy. Your videos are so much help. I particularly love this fabric and the pattern. Hope to try it soon.

  18. Lill Helen says:

    Hi Rose.
    This was a fun quilt. I have to try this. Love the fabric and colors of summer. I like the white strips in between. It really freshes it up.

  19. This could be done with some colors and black sashing also, dramatic vs. airy and light. I love it!

  20. Hi Rose, What a lovely quilt—it looks so easy to do—-I am going to have a go at doing it. Many thanks Rose for showing us how to do it.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this quilt pattern. I was kind of in a rut not wanting to get to involved in a design. This seems so easy I will give it a try.

  22. Sheila Davis says:

    Thank you thank you again, Rose. Now I have another one of your designs that I’d like to make. I keep loving them faster than I can make them.

  23. Marilyn Larkin says:

    Wow, thank-you, I have seen other stack and whack explanations but with the inclusion of the white ‘dividers’ it makes it a much cleaner and crisper quilt top. I really like this idea. As usual you have made it so easy to understand. Have fun with the other half of your layer cake. Hey you had your cake and stitched it too! Cheers Marilyn.

    • Oh I love it! Your comment gave me a good chuckle. Glad you like the quilt. Lots of white always helps to make a quilt look fresh and sunny, doesn’t it?

  24. Hello again Rose

    I do not have a convenient fabric store and I wondered if it a good idea to buy online in this country. All the suppliers seem to be in America or
    thank you for your great website and tutorials.

  25. pat volk says:

    Dear Rose,

    Being a newbie at quilting I saw the picture and assumed it wasn’t for me. However, when you get done explaining, a “can do” attitude takes over. Which is great since I love the colors and the pattern. thanks, pat v

    • Ooh that warms my heart! That’s what I always hope to do – give beginner quilters the confidence to have a go. Good luck with the quilt.

    • Hi Pat, I’m also new to quilting and I really love it! By the way…Are you the same Pat Volk I went to school with in NY (IN THE LATE 1960’s) ? Wouldn’t that be a coincidence!
      regards, Carol

  26. Thank you for this video, I really like the look of this pattern.

  27. Jeanne Zukowski says:

    Love your quilts you explain how to make them so great they all seem like they are easy and doable. Thanks for being so generous with your sharing.

  28. Julie Woods says:

    I have not been crazy about “stack and whack” till I see how you have sashed the blocks. Very very pretty. I never thought if that. Way to go, Rose. Enjoy your tutorials and patterns. Thanks. Julie woods. Florida USA

    • Thanks, Julie. I agree – sometimes the fabrics can sort of meld together, can’t they? I love using white in my quilts both because it makes them look fresh and because it separates the patterned fabrics from each other. Glad you like the pattern.


    • Thanks, Eileen. It’s a really quick and simple pattern. The beauty of stack and whack is that you’re not matching seams up, so it goes together really quickly.

    • Hi Rose, i love your designs and this one is so ‘different’! Do you ever have time to actually quilt & bind the quilts you make – or do they just get added to your UFO pile, like mine??? 🙁

      • Hi Carol. I am actually managing to finish a few quilts this year. It’s very satisfying to be able to see the completed quilt.

  30. Margot K says:

    Daling quilt, Rose. thanks for this inspiration. Can you tell me which Moda layer cake you used, please. It has a nice variety of color and pattern with no “dead” designs that don’t seem to keep up with the rest of the colors.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Margot. I have just rooted round in my waste paper basket but can’t find the label for the layer cake. I think it might have had ‘coquette’ in the title. I agree that it’s a lovely fabric collection, but don’t forget that I only used half of it, so some of the fabrics that I didn’t use are more plain.

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