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 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

More Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt Blocks

I’ve been having “sew” much fun with our quilt-along and have been impressed with the comments and pictures I’ve been receiving from those that are participating. Unfortunately I don’t have a way to link up with everyone’s blogs who are following along. So I’ve decided to post pictures of everyone’s progress at  least once a week.

If you are sewing along with us, please email me your pictures, no matter how far along you are and I’ll post them here on my blog.  Here’s a link to last week’s tutorial for those of you that are just joining us. It’s never too late!

I just received a wonderful picture from Linda & Martha showing three different jelly roll collections that they and their quilting buddies are doing. They chose Trick or Treat, Christmas Spirit, and Meadow Friends for 3 of their Jolly Jelly Roll quilts.

Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt BlocksLinda and her “strip club”  meet every other month at their local quilt store. Like me, they think it’s so much fun to see what fabric everyone uses and what they look like when done!

Here’s a fantastic picture from Kathie that I just had to add. She’s using Leaf Haven from Benartex for her strips. If I can stop drooling over all these great quilt pictures and actually get to sewing my own, I can finish my top and show you the next step, LOL!

Kathie's Jelly Roll Quilt Blocks


Christa’s Soapbox – Teach Your Kids (and Friends) to Quilt!

This week my boys were out of town at scout camp, so it was just us girls! My daughter and I put the time to good use by starting on her summer quilt project. Last year she made her first quilt, and now she’s ready to make another.

Jenna's Jelly Roll StripsJenna selected Cosmo Cricket’s Chemistry Jelly Roll since pink is her favorite color.

We laid the strips out on her bed to come up with a simple yet striking quilt design. She cut each of the strips in half first and then began sewing them end to end to create long strips of fabric, sort of like a Jelly Roll 1600 quilt but with straight edges instead of mitered ones.

Jenna plans to applique her name and add hearts to the top. It’s going to be “sew” cute!

While we were sewing, my friend Marci decided to pop on by to join the fun. Her boys are also at camp and she needed help to make some modern quilt blocks for a swap she’s doing later this summer. Marci’s a more of a sewist than a quilter, but I’m converting her!Girl's Retreat!Marci is making fun wonky blocks in shades of grey using Kona Cotton Solids.  She cut randomly sized strips and sewed them together, using improvisational piecing wherever she needed to make the blocks big enough. They turned out great!

Kona Solids Neutral GreysModern Grey Blocks

Whew, all this blogging about what other people are doing makes me want to go work on my own projects now!

Sew and Tell – Do it Yourself Quilts Update

Today’s Sew and Tell is a little different. Instead of featuring a finished project made by one of my customers, I’m excited to share with you some finished jelly roll blocks from one of my quilt- along followers. Scroll down to  the end of this post if you want to join the fun!

These pictures come from Diane in Canada and she finished up this week’s homework in a jiffy!  She had an older strip bundle lying around that she put to good use.

Jelly Roll StripsDiane’s fabric is Greenfield Hill by Denise Schmidt for Westminster. Instead of randomly sewing the strips together, she matched up the pretty jewel tones into coordinating pairs.

Jelly Roll Blocks“Sew” far, “sew” good, Diane! I think your use of color will be striking if you sew each row in a different color, “strippy” style, or if you have the colors cascade across the quilt in an orderly fashion (like green, red, blue, black, etc.)

For those of you eager beavers out there like Diane that are ready to move on, I’ll give a sneak peek of what we’ll be working on for next week’s lesson. If you select 100 of your blocks and sew them together into 50 pairs like this you’ll be one step ahead.

Jelly Roll Block Pairs

Next week’s post will include complete directions on how to finish the quilt top, so make sure you grab your one yard of tone on tone or solid coordinate to go with your jelly roll.  I’m going to use Ruby Red Kona Solid to go along with my Vintage Modern jelly roll shown above.

In case you are just joining us, you can click the links below to catch up and follow along with this tutorial in it’s entirety. My main reason for starting this tutorial is to teach you that  yes, you can, make a complete quilt from start to finish, all by yourself!

DIY Quilts #1.1 – The Jolly Jellyroll Quilt Supply List

DIY Quilts #1.2 – Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt Blocks

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

Sew and Tell – Scraps Galore!

Jill F. from Iowa shares her fun and scrappy geometric quilt with us this week:

Jill's Scrappy QuiltJill made this beauty by collecting assorted fat quarters and 1/2 yard cuts she got from me,  plus scraps from her stash. The strips are all 2 1/2 inches wide so it could be assembled from a jelly roll, too!

Here are some quilt vital statistics you may be interested in: the pattern is called Hugs and Kisses by Julie Herman for Jaybird Quilts, and the wonderful brown that pulls all of the scraps together is Moda Bella Solid in Hershey brown.

Jill used her Lazy Angle Ruler from Lazy Girl Designs to cut the wedges of assembled strips. Hey, I have that ruler but haven’t made anything from it yet; I guess I’ll give it a try!

Quilting CloseupJill  made this  quilt to go in her four-year old son’s room and is using extra blocks for a coordinating quilt for his little brother. It’s always amazing how many blocks you can get when you start pulling scraps from your stash – they seem to multiply!

She did a great job of making the quilt seam super scrappy, yet pulled-together.

Way to go Jill! How did you know my favorite colors are brown and green? That’s probably what attracted me to your quilt!

Of course I had to include a closeup picture of the gorgeous quilting, done by a friend of Jill’s that’s just getting started with her long-arm business. If this quilt is any indication, Jill’s friend is on the right track!

Share Your Project

If you would like to share a project you’ve made with at least one piece of fabric purchased from me, please email with your high quality photos and what makes your project interesting or special to you. If you are selected as my show and tell star of the week, you’ll get a $5 gift certificate as my way of saying thanks!