This article has been donated by Rose Smith of the former Ludlow Quilt and Sew.
First of all for those of you who don’t know what a jelly roll is, it is a roll containing strips of different fabrics. They are ideal for making a bright and colourful quilt containing a great mix of fabrics. They are rolled strips 2 1/2 ” wide by 42″ long and they all come from the same range of whichever fabric manufacturer so you know that all the colours and patterns will go together. They usually provide about 3 1/2yds of quilt fabric. A jelly roll quilt in its simplest form is really easy to make – an ideal beginner quilting project and a glorious blaze of colour.
The quilt size is 60″ by 74″.
You will need…
3/4 yd of fabric for the corners and infills
3/4yd for the border
3 3/4 yds backing fabric
Wadding – 58″ by 70″
The first thing to do is check the width of your strips – they are not always exactly 2 1/2″ wide. With right sides together and using a 1/4″ seam, sew two strips together along the length. Then attach a third strip.
Continue until you have 14 panels, each made up of three strips. Press the seam allowances on these panels. It makes life easier if you press all the seams in the same direction on each panel.
Cut across the width of the panels at 6 1/2″ intervals to make squares. You should get six squares from each panel (with a bit left over) and you will need 83 squares altogether. That’s the main bulk of the quilt top taken care of.
For the infill at the end of each row you will need 12 squares of 6 7/8″, cut in half.
For the corners you will need one square of 7 1/4″, cut in four across the diagonals.
Take one of the corner triangles and place top left. This is row 1. Take two of the infill triangles and one patchwork square and place as shown to make row 2. Check the photo carefully: the long edge of the infill triangles face outwards to make a straight edge going in each direction. These will form the outer edge of the patchwork quilt top.
With right sides together and using a 1/4″ seam, sew the two triangles and one square together to make row 2. Sew the corner triangle of row 1 to the top of the square of row 2.
Row 3 consists of three squares with an infill triangle at each end. Make sure that the stripes in the middle square face in the opposite direction from the square in row 2 above it, and that the stripes alternate direction in each square in the row.
Before sewing the rows together, pin at each seam. That way you are sure that your seam allowances go the right way and that the seams from each row match the seams in the row above.
To sew row 3 to row 2, match the right hand square of row 3 with the infill triangle of row 2 above it. The middle of the three squares will then be matched to the square of row 2 above it and the lefthand square of row 3 will be matched with the lefthand infill triangle of row 2 above it. That sounds more complicated than it actually is!
Row 4 uses five squares with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 5 uses seven squares with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 6 uses nine squares with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 7 uses 11 squares with an infill triangle at the left hand end but a corner triangle at the right hand end.
You have completed the top edge of the patchwork quilt top and will now start to add to the right hand edge of the quilt top.
Row 8 uses 11 squares with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 9 uses 11 squares with an infill triangle at the right hand end of the row but a corner triangle at the left hand end. That means that the left hand side of the patchwork quilt top is now complete.
Row 10 uses nine squares with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 11 uses seven squares with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 12 uses five squares with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 13 uses three squares with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 14 uses one square with an infill triangle at each end.
Row 15 is the final corner triangle.
At this stage the patchwork quilt top measures about 50″ by 66″. You could stop there, add backing and wadding, quilt it and bind it as it is without a border. I did that on a batik jelly roll quilt that I made some time ago, shown above.
This time I wanted to make a border so I added a 2 1/2″ strip of light coloured fabric to the top and bottom of the quilt and then the same to the sides of the quilt. Measure your quilt, but the strips should be about 50″ long across the top and bottom and about 70″ down the sides.
Again at this stage you could finish off the quilt, but I decided I wanted to stick with the length but make the quilt wider.
From four of the unused strips of the jelly roll, cut two 6″ strips from each one and then cut them down the middle to make 1 1/4″ wide strips by 6″ long, four in each colour. Then cut 3″ strips by 1 1/4″ from the light coloured border fabric.
Make two long strips alternating the border fabric with the coloured fabric. Sew one strip to each side of the quilt and then add another 2 1/2″ strip of border fabric to each side, so that the coloured strip is enclosed by light fabric. By now the jelly roll quilt top measures about 74″ by 60″.
Press carefully. It is worth taking the time now as it will give you a flatter quilt top.
For the backing fabric, cut two 62″ panels across the width of the fabric. When sewn together down the 62″ edge, they would give you a panel measuring 62″ by 84″, so you need to cut 10″ from one side. It is easier to cut this before you sew the two panels together, but I have explained it this way because it is very easy to cut the wrong edge – I know, because I have done it more than once!