Jelly Roll Quilt Ideas

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While at Sew South last weekend we had a jelly roll race for charity. Each table received a jelly roll and was told to just go for it. Since the concept was left open and loose we all dove in to see which table would be the first to complete the mission! After we divided up the roll we all went to town stitching as fast as we could.

Jelly Roll Quilts from Sew South 2015

In the end, we made 15 quilts in 15 minutes. It was totally cool! Here is a picture of my tables quilt. The idea was so fun that I decided to put together a post for the rest of you to get in on the jelly roll quilt action!

What is a jelly roll?

A jelly roll is a pre-cut bundle of fabric, available at any fabric or craft store. Jelly rolls vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but for the most part they’re composed of 42 strips of fabric, cut 2.5 inches by the width of fabric (usually 44-45 inches). These strips are so convenient for quilts because much of the cutting and fabric-matching work has already been done for you!

Using jelly rolls

You can use jelly rolls for a variety of projects. A single jelly roll will easily make a smaller project like a table runner, Christmas stockings, or a baby-sized quilt. You can also combine jelly rolls with fabric yardage for bigger projects like bed quilts. One of the easiest things to do is just to sew the jelly rolls together along the longer edges, then turn that into the center panel of a quilt with sashing on the sides, top, and bottom.

When you work with jelly rolls, as with any strip-piecing, be sure to alternate the side you start sewing from. So if you piece together two strips and work right to left, then piece the next set from left to right. This helps to avoid leaning seams in the finished project.

Another idea is to combine jelly rolls together in fours, sewing them together along the long sides. Then you can cut them into 2.5-inch strips and reassemble those strips into patchwork blocks.

If you want to make a quilt top quickly, jelly rolls can be a huge time-saver. Here are some great free patterns for you to try!

Jelly roll quilt patterns are easy to make and stitch together in a flash. Here are a few of my favorite free patterns to help you stitch up a storm.

Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns:

  • Basket Weave– Transform each strip into a dimensional design with this simple technique.
  • Batik Braid – Turn your jelly rolls into a herringbone style design with this clever piecing method.
  • Boxes of Colour – This quilt has a fun, modern look to it. You almost wouldn’t know it was made from strips!
  • Four Corners Quilt– This windmill pattern is perfect for those wanting more design than the standard straight seams.
  • Gobble Chain Quilt– Turn a traditional 9-patch block on an angle to create this chain of diamonds on your quilt top.
  • Jelly Roll Baby Quilt– Turn your strips into checkered blocks using this easy method for cutting & assembly.
  • Jelly Roll Race– The legend of this quilt says it can be made in an hour (the quilt top, that is). The clever idea behind it makes for an interesting & easy construction and a great opportunity to practice 1/4-inch seams!
  • Jimmy John– This quilt has a fun pattern to it that’s traditional yet modern at the same time. Pair a jelly roll with a few yards of neutrals and you’ve got an easy quilt for a last-minute gift!
  • Magic Baby Quilt– This quilt utilizes a combination of strips & squares, plus an adorable ric rac accent.
  • Mister DJ– This design would be perfect for a music lover, and honestly it looks a lot like books, too, so it’s great for an avid reader as well!
  • Off the Rails– This simple design is perfect for even the novice quilter.
  • Royal Squares Quilt– No one will ever guess that this was made from jelly rolls.
  • Sugar Almonds – I love how the jelly roll strips seem to be bursting out of this quilt design! Pair a colorful jelly roll with a neutral one and you’re good to go.
  • Summer at the Beach– Get lost in the lazy days of summer with this simple design.
  • Windmills at Night – Step outside the lines with this fun design.

And if you still want more jelly roll quilt ideas be sure to check out Kimberly Einmo’s class on Craftsy.

Easy to make jelly roll quilt ideas, tips and techniques. Includes free patterns. The Sewing LoftDuring class she shares piecing, appliqué and machine-quilting techniques that will help you piece together beautiful quilts using pre cuts like jelly rolls. Class includes 5 jelly roll quilt patterns and will show you how to create your own designs. You will leave class with the confidence to combine fabrics, experiment with color and use leftovers from your stash!

What are your favorite ways to use jelly rolls? Do you have any tips to share? Leave them in the comments!

 

 

*All quilts made at Sew South were donated to Quilt Lemonade.  You can find more pictures of our race and adventures at Sew South here.

 

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Comments

  1. stephanie says:

    That was a super fun thing to do. We loved it at our table also. I guess with that Juki we had the unfair advantage!

    • You bet Stephanie! I’d love to do it on a local level. Maybe get a few friends together to sew and send off finished quilts to someone in need.
      ~Heather

  2. Hi i have done a jelly roll quilt twin size. I washed it and it totally came apart. It was a mess. What causes that to happen.
    Thank u

    • Hello Cheryl,
      What a shame. I am not sure what size stitches or the width of your seam allowance but both of these could be contributing factors. When joining seams together it is best to use about a 2.5mm stitch length and you should have a minimum of 1/4″ seam allowance.

      Do you recall what you used?
      ~Heather

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