Thursday, 20 October 2011

Jelly Roll Love

Jelly rolls have been literally flying off the shelves in both Frome and Wells, so we thought we would share some jelly roll quilt ideas with you.

First up, what is a Jelly Roll?
It's a set of strips of coordinating fabric, that are cut and ready to use in a range of projects. Strips are 2.5in/approx. 6cm wide, and are the length of the width of the fabric (so usually approx. 44in/112cm). The number of different fabrics in a roll depends on how many fabrics are in that range, or simply on the size of the roll.

Which fabrics come in rolls?
We're really pleased to announce that we are now Moda stockists, and will be getting our first proper shipment in the new year. Whoop, whoop! In the meantime, we have a couple of Moda Sophie Jelly Rolls (top right in the picture above), and some Rooftop Garden Charm Packs to keep us out of mischief. Do call the shop if you would like either of these (01373 464650).
We have a good supply of Westminster Fabrics rolls as well (see the selection in the picture above). There are plenty to choose from!

What can I do with a roll?
The possibilities are endless. Rolls can be used in so many ways, so here are a few simple ideas to get you started...

Striped crib quilt
Sew the strips together, and add a simple border, to make a striped quilt top. I joined 14 strips, and then cut the piece in half to make two crib quilt tops. Simple!

Weekend quilting idea
This quilt was completed over the weekend, but probably only took a total of 7 hours (including hand-sewing the final edge of the binding).
It is a simple design, so here are the instructions:
Put together 3 sets of 5 strips.
Join each group of 5 to make long striped rectangles, and then measure the width, and cut the rectangle into 4 squares. My rectangle was 10.25in wide (26cm), and I cut four 10.25in squares from each piece.
I then laid out the pieces so that the squares alternated between horizontal and vertical, and joined to make 3 strips of 4 squares. Those strips were then joined to make the rectangle pictured above.
I added a 4in (10cm) border around the outside, and then basted the quilt top together with wadding and a plain orange backing.
I tend to use simple geometric shapes for quilting, and here I just followed the edges of the squares, around 0.5in (1cm) from the edge. This is a really forgiving quilting method. If you quilt "in the ditch", then it's really obvious if you stray even a little. When you move out by a little distance, then no-one will notice if your quilting lines are slightly less than perfect. I finished the quilting by sewing around the outside border - again at the same distance from the actual seam.
There were plenty of strips left over from the roll, so I trimmed them down to use for binding. You can see that the colours change around the quilt border - you could keep to one side more coordinating colours, but I like the contrast effect!
So from my one jelly roll, 0.5m of border fabric and 2.5m of backing, I have 3 quilts! Two small crib quilts (27in x 33in/69cm x 84cm) and a larger child's quilt (38in x 47in/97cm x 120cm). Not bad for a weekend of sewing, is it?

Do you have any Jelly Roll hints and tips?

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