Christa’s Quilt Along 1.2 – Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt Blocks

Welcome to week 2 of my Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt Tutorial. You can link back to week 1 here for the supply list. This week we will sew up all of our jelly roll strips into blocks.

Step 1 – First, find yourself a nice relaxing sewing spot.  Next, lay out all of your pretty strips (40 total) and cut each of them in half along the fold so that you have a total of 80 half strips, each measuring 2 1/2 inches wide by approximately 21 inches long. This will give you a better variety to work with. Smaller strips are also easier to handle and sew together.

Relaxing Sewing SpotLay out Your StripsI sewed my strips together with my  Singer Feather-weight last week while  on vacation at the beach. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Step 2 – Group your half-strips into pairs. You’ll be using the same fabric twice each time, so try to mix them up so they are all different. Or you can sew them together totally randomly. Lay your whole stack next to your sewing machine, with pairs rights sides together and sew them together along the length. Try to keep a consistent quarter-inch seam allowance while sewing.

Stack of StripsSewn Strip Pairs

Seams Pressed OpenStep 3 – Press your seams open. I find that the strips lie much flatter, and are much easier to stack and cut when the seams are pressed open. As we will find in a couple of weeks, they are also much easier to machine quilt though.

Make sure there is at least 20″ of useable fabric per strip set, not including selvedges.

You can click on any of the pictures shown to see a larger, detailed view.

Step 4 – Square up the end and cut each strip segment into 4 – 4 1/2″ blocks. There is little waste and with careful cutting, you can get a bonus 2 1/2″ piece at the end of each segment. Save those for now and I’ll figure out something fun to do with them later.Cut into 4 1/2" SegmentsStep 5 – Cut all of your strip sets into blocks exactly the same way. You should be able to cut a total of 160 blocks. You only need 145 blocks for the quilt (if I counted correctly!) Save the leftovers in case of mistakes. I will use some of them on the backside of my quilt.

Stacks of Finished BlocksNext week we will finish the quilt top. We will continue on with basting, easy machine quilting, and binding in subsequent weeks. I like to go at an easy pace so everyone can keep up! Feel free to work ahead if you like and email me pictures of your progress. I’ll feature as many of them as I can during my sew and tell on Fridays!

Also, please post any questions you have about this project and I’ll answer them in the comments section of my blog. Thanks for sewing-along!

Here is the complete Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt-Along Schedule:

Week 1 – Supply ListJolly Jelly Roll Quilt

Week 2 – Sewing the Blocks

Week 3 – Completing the Top

Week 4 – Backing and Basting

Week 5 – Machine Quilting

Week 6 – Machine Binding to Finish

14 thoughts on “Christa’s Quilt Along 1.2 – Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt Blocks

  1. Beth says:

    I’m really new to sewing AND quilting and have a question that is probably obvious to everyone else….in step 4 you say to square up the ends, I get that. But my jelly roll (not moda) are not very precisely cut. They are vastly different sizes. Should I trim them all to the same size? By different sizes I mean some are fatter or skinnier than the strip next to it…


  2. Almira says:

    Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I have been looking for one for awhile and one that was detailed and easy to follow. I like the pictures to; they are helpful doing something the first time and I have not been able to find a book in the store or library. Well my top is done and I cannot wait to get my backing and begin the quilting process. Thanks so much!

  3. Michele De La Mer says:

    I have made a mistake I made my first seam too thick and realised I had rectangles.. so have now cut my blocks 4 1/4 rather than 4 1/2 I guess the whole thing will be a bit smaller and will need to make up space with the border and spare fabric.. its my first attempt at a jellyroll quilt.. learning the hard way!

  4. Pauline Fragle says:

    Hi Christa, you just might have saved my bacon , as we say in the UK . Making quilt with jelly roll ! I pressed it first ! Big mistake ! It’s distorted it ! Been really careful 1/4 inch seam even drew lines down them . Bought new jelly roll yesterday, to start again . Was going to make rail fence with now discarded jelly roll ! Not now ! going to make yours ! First though must get on with this wedding Quilt for my friends Daughter . So bookmarking yours every week , so then it’s there when need be. Phew!! Lol

  5. Laura says:

    Awesome! I finally finished cutting my strips today and hope to get sewing once I cool down from all that ironing. I am beginning to understand why pre-cuts are so popular.

  6. Amy S. says:

    Thank you for posting this! I bought a Jelly Roll earlier this month on a whim as it was 1/2 off and the colors/pattern were fun, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I didn’t want to do the Jelly Roll 1600 as I am just starting that with a another Jelly Roll and wanted something different. This pattern is perfect for it!

  7. bellina60 says:

    I have a matched up all my pairs and started sewing – here’s a question for you, Christa – I’m a fairly experienced sewer – my jelly roll has zigzagged edges – how do you know that you are doing a 1/4 seam? I have aligned the points to the 1/4 mark on my machine as best as I can and I think I will press to the dark ( too hard to separate all those little points LOL) – any tips for the ziggety zag edges?

    • Christa says:

      Great question about the seam allowances! From edge to edge (or zig zag point to point) the Moda jelly rolls measure exactly 2 1/2 inches. So you can sew them together using the ziz zag as your edge. And pressing seams to one side is fine, too.

      If your jelly roll strips are narrower or wider than 2 1/2″ then adjust your seam allowance if needed or trim the blocks when finished. If your blocks end up being slightly larger or smaller than 4 1/2″ it’s ok. The pattern will still work as long as you have consistently sized square blocks.

  8. bellina60 says:

    Oh for a minute, you had me running out of my sewing room LOL – when you said we would sew up all the blocks this week LOL – then when I read further, I could see it was not sew bad – OK count me in, Christa

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