Christa’s Quilt Along 1.3 – Jelly Roll Quilt Top

This week’s do-it-yourself-quilt tutorial will be pretty long. We are finishing our Jelly Roll quilt tops and I’m including lots of steps with photos. You can click on last week’s post here.

Step 1 – Piecing the RowsBlock Pairs

Grab 100 of your sewn blocks and pair them up into sets of 2 like this. Notice the orientation. Sew them all together so that you have 50 block pairs.

Next, sort your pairs into five stacks of ten block pairs each. This will be for 10 rows you will sew.

5 Stacks of 10 Blocks

Sew the top two pairs together and then the bottom 3 pairs together. Of course, you can shuffle them around as desired and assembly line sew all the stacks to make it quicker.

Piecing the RowsJoin these two pieces together to complete a row from each stack. Repeat to make 10 rows of 10 blocks each. They will all look the same and you will flip every other row to create the pattern. Please take this into account if you are using any directional fabrics.

Step 2 – Sewing your “IQ” (Inner Quilt)

Lay out all 10 of your rows horizontally into a pleasing arrangement. Flip every other row to create a horizontal-vertical-horizontal pattern with the blocks.

Pieced Jelly Roll Strip Rows10 Rows of BlocksImplement the 3 P’s for pretty patchwork: Press, Pin, and be Precise!

Pin Your RowsSew the rows of blocks together into groups of two. I put each row up on my design wall to make sure I don’t have the same two fabrics touching. Join rows to complete the IQ.

Join the Rows

Step 3 – Adding The Inner Solid Border & Outer Pieced Border

Sew together 4 more rows of 10 blocks each. Keep the same horizontal-vertical-horizontal pattern going. These strips will be for each of your borders. From your solid fabric, cut 5 – 1.5″ strips. Measure each of your rows and trim 4 of these solid strips to that measurement. Add a strip to each pieced border row on the same side so that they all look the same.

Cut 5 - 1 1/2 Inch StripsAttaching Accent StripsThe rows should measure 40.5″ unfinished. However, my rows grew to 41.5″.

That’s ok as long as they are all consistent!

Sold Strip with Pieced BordersNext, set aside 4 extra pieced blocks for each of the corners. Add a strip of 1.5″ solid to two sides of each block so that it looks like an L. Be sure to sew as shown below to make sure they are positioned carefully. If your blocks measure 4.5″ unfinished, you can trim 4 solid side strips to 4.5″. Trim the other solid side strips to 5.5″.

Adding Corner StripsBorder CornersTwo of each block will be the same.

Now it is time to sew two of your pieced borders to the top and bottom of your quilt. Flip the border strip so that your vertical-horizontal-vertical block pattern continues in the borders.Sew Top and Bottom BordersTo make the rows line up properly, flip the border strip down so you can match up the seams. Use lots of pins to keep everything lined up straight.

Match the SeamsUse lots of Pins

Corner Detail

Add corner blocks to either side of the remaining two pieced borders trips. Again, watch the rotation of your blocks.

You will notice I changed the design slightly from my original drawing.

I like the look of the solid border extending out into the edges of the blocks. I also liked continuing the alternating block pattern into the pieced borders.

Join the side rows to complete the top!

Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt TopCongratulations! You’ve now finished your Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt Top! Please email  pictures of your completed top to christa@christaquilts.com and tell me which Jelly Roll or set of fabrics you used. I’ll share your pictures before next week’s tutorial.

Next week we will prepare the backing and baste so it’s ready to quilt! You’ll need backing fabric (3.5 yards), batting (at least 60″ square), and basting pins. Here is the supply list.

I used one Vintage Modern jelly roll by Bonnie and Camille with 1 yard of Kona Cotton Solids in flesh pink for my quilt top. I will pick out my backing fabric later this week and will use the remaining blocks to add a little interest to the back of my quilt.


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

12 thoughts on “Christa’s Quilt Along 1.3 – Jelly Roll Quilt Top

  1. Saundra says:

    Hi, I love this quilt, I am going to do mine in black and white prints and solids do you think that will work? Also I am going to use two jelly rolls, for a bigger quilt. Thank you, Saundra

  2. Jane says:

    I’m just sewing my 2 blocks together, I’m assuming that we are pressing as we go along, so once I have the 2 blocks together I press? And then continue?
    Also, when I sew my 2 blocks together, some are lining up but other sets have one block about 1/8 of an inch longer, does that make sense or do you know what I’m doing wrong or won’t it matter?
    Sorry for all the questions but it’s been at least 12 yrs since I did any quilting and while some of it is coming right back, other steps are obviously stumping me. I love your blog, it’s given me a chance to get back into quilting without having to find time to fit in classes etc. I just don’t want to do it wrong or mess it up. Thanks in advance! Jane

  3. allison1998 says:

    I have this same fabric and would love to try my hand at making this quilt. It will be my first quilt! I was going to make a simple patchwork quilt and have already cut my fat quarters (24 of them) into 5″x 5″ squares. Can I just cut each square in half and make this quilt, or is it too late? Am I setting myself up for disaster? Thanks for you help.

    • Christa says:

      Sure you can Allison! At 5″ your blocks will be a little longer but that is ok – it will just make your quilt a little bigger. Or you can trim them all down to 4 1/2″. It’s up to you!

      • allison1998 says:

        Thanks! I have cut all of my 5″ blocks in half (making strips that are 2.5″ x 5″) and started sewing the pairs together. I wanted to get an idea of what the quilt would look like, so I started turning the pairs in different directions. I see that one pair will be 1/2″ longer (with the vertical seam) than the other pair (with the horizontal seam). Do I cut this half inch off? If, so do I have to lay out the entire quilt to see which ones to cut? I dont want to cut too many and then find out that I shouldnt have. Sorry for so many questions. Thanks in advance.

  4. Lindy says:

    I’m confused…when I connect the solid strip to the other panels, you said flip the border down to match the seams. Am I sewing UNDER it, then flipping the border back up…or, I actually sewing ON the border?? ( I guess I’m saying…when FINISHED, if I were to lift up the solid border…would I see the blocks??). Am I making ANY sense?!?!!? Lol

    • Christa says:

      Thanks for your question Lindy – I will try to un-confuse you 🙂 You are sewing the two sections together like normal, right sides together. However, you want to check or take a peak underneath your border to be sure that your seams will line up so that your eye sees a continuous line. I hope that helps! If not, email me directly and I can walk you through it. Christa@christaquilts.com.

  5. Kathie says:

    I was wondering if you thought it would be okay to use the pattern you had originally (first post with computerized layout) for the outer border. I think it’s called piano key (or coin?). I thought since my fabric is so vibrant it might look nice to break up the pattern a bit to tone down the scrappiness.

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