"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

January 22, 2013

Quilt Top in a Day {Jelly Roll Race}

With yesterday being an official Holiday {Martin Luther King Jr. Day} I thought it would be a good idea to give myself an official day off and spend the day doing something just for the fun of it.

My Jelly Roll Race Quilt Top
I've been wanting to test out the quilt pattern known as, "The Jelly Roll Race" and I had the perfect jelly roll in my stash for my play time. 

The Jelly Roll I started with

Okay....so for those of you who have never heard of the Jelly Roll Race,  it's a race to create a quilt top from a Jelly Roll that a lot of quilt guilds have been doing at their guild meetings. 
Here's how it works:

1. Unroll the jelly roll.
2. Pull out 2 strips and lay the ends at 90 degrees to each other {with right sides together) and sew corner to corner to create a 45 degree seam. {Yes it matters which corner to corner you sew...test one to make sure you have it right before doing your whole stack}.
3. Continue adding strips {either exactly as they come off the stack or randomly pull one out of the stack} until you have all the strips sewn together in one long strip.
4. Trim off all the extra fabric flaps on the seams.
5. Cut approximately 18" off of one end of the strip. This will make it so that the seams are staggered throughout the quilt. The piece you cut off is no longer needed it can go in the  scrap bin. (Thanks Beatrice for pointing out the absence of this all important step!).
6. Find the end of your strip, holding the end of the strip pull through the fabric until you come to the other end of the strip. {This is where the race begins} Lay the two end right sides together and begin sewing the two strips side by side with one very long seam. When you get near the end of this long strip you'll find a fold on the very end...stop sewing. Your going to cut this fold {right on the fold} to create two completely separate strips that you've been sewing together. Finish stitching the two strips together. The single long strip you started with is now 2 strips stitched side by side and half the length.
7. Open up the two pieces, holding one end find the other end and again lay the strips right sides together and sew to the other end stopping short of the end to cut the fold apart, then finish stitching the strips together. Now you have 4 strips sewn side by side and once again it's half the size.
8. Continue laying the strips right side together, sewing a seam and cutting the fold until your piece is just over a yard wide {with the strips running horizontally}.   My finished top ended up being 50" x 60", your finished size will depend on how many strips are in the jelly roll you are using.

All of the tutorials I've seen say that this quilt top can be done in about an hour.  It took me a bit longer than that, but only because I couldn't get past my perfectionist tendencies and I was only racing against myself, so I still won the race. hehehe

A few tips:
Keep an eye on your bobbin thread, I used 2 full bobbins.
Don't worry about perfection and it'll go much quicker. 
After sewing all the strips end to end I pressed all the seams in the same direction {before sewing the strips side by side}. 
While sewing the top I didn't press any of the seams. Once the top was finished I pressed all the seams in the same direction.
When Cutting the fold, use the scissors to pull the fabric straight and cut right on the fold. 

Here's a fun video from Jenny Doan demonstrating the Jelly Roll Race:

This afternoon, I'm going to see if my little Janome feels like doing some free-motion quilting and if she does I'm going to use this jelly roll top to practice the free-motion daisies that I want to use to quilt the Craisy Daisy Quilt.

Happy Stitching & 
Many Blessings,

P.S. Hop over to the shop at www.littlepinkrose.com and checkout all the new additions and discounts in the Bargain Bin. All of the Salt Water Collection by Tula Pink is 20% off this week as well. While you're over there be sure to sign up for our Newsletter and never miss out on sales or coupons.


  1. I love the look of your quilt top. I'm sure the race was fun!

  2. Your jelly roll quilt looks great!! I'm happy you were able to use your holiday for something fun.

  3. Your Jelly Roll Race quilt ended up with the colors so nicely spread throughout the quilt! I like it.

  4. That sounds like fun and your quilt looks great!

  5. I like how yours came out. Not so sure about the one she did on the video. I do like some planning.

  6. One of the ladies at church taught us the jelly roll method. Now...we got into the sewing club scraps and just cut 2 inch of all lengths rather than using the expensive jelly roll fabric, but they were so much fun!
    Once home I cut fabric from my stash at home, sewed them together is a flash. My oldest daughter was in awe that I could put together a top that fast.

  7. I might try that someday. Looks fun and I think it would be awesome in a red, white and blue theme.

  8. Your quilt looks great. I've wanted to try one of those

  9. Hello,
    thanks for the recap on the technique. I think you've forgotten one step (between #4 and #5): cut 18 inches off one end of the very long strip. It creates the random / staggered effect.


I Love hearing from you!! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...