Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tutorial: Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt

Read the Introduction: Use All the Jelly Rolls!

Fabric Requirements

29 patterned jelly roll strips (I used pieces from Basic Grey’s 25th and Pine line and Evergreen line)
1⅔ yards of solid fabric or 24 solid jelly roll strips for the background
½ yard of fabric for the binding
3½ yards of fabric for the backing
64” x 76” piece of batting (this provides approximately 3” of overhang on each side)
Thread to match

Finished size: approximately 58” x 70”

All seams are ¼”.

Updated 11/17/2015: Cutting instructions presume 42” of usable fabric after selvages are removed.


Cut each patterned jelly roll strip into 4 rectangles that are 10½” x 2½”, for a total of 116 rectangles.

If you’re using yardage for the background, cut (24) 2½” width-of-fabric (WOF) strips. Then subcut those 24 strips or your 24 solid jelly roll strips into rectangles. To maximize your fabric:

Cut 19 WOF strips into 8” x 2½” rectangles. Each strip yields 5 rectangles, for a total of 95.

Cut 2 WOF strips each into (6) 6” x 2½” rectangles and (1) 4” x 2½” rectangle. Cut 1 WOF strip into (2) 6” x 2½” rectangles and (7) 4” x 2½” rectangles. You will have a total of (14) 6” x 2½” rectangles and (9) 4” x 2½” rectangles.

Cut 1 WOF strip into (5) 4” x 2½” rectangles. Combined with the rectangles from the previous step, you will now have (14) 4” x 2½” rectangles.

Cut 1 WOF strip into (14) 2” x 2½” rectangles.

Sewing the Base Strips

Sew 87 of the 95 solid 8” x 2½” rectangles with the 116 patterned 10½” x 2½” rectangles to create 29 strips that look like the picture below. Press seams open.

Laying out and Completing the Strips

Determine the order in which you want to lay out these strips in your quilt, and sew the remaining rectangles as illustrated below. Press seams open.

A: 8” x 2½” solid rectangle on the top; none on the bottom

B: 6” x 2½” solid rectangle on the top; 2” x 2½” solid rectangle on the bottom

C: 4” x 2½” solid rectangle on the top; 4” x 2½” solid rectangle on the bottom

D: 2” x 2½” solid rectangle on the top; 6” x 2½” solid rectangle on the bottom

E: none on the top; 8” x 2½” solid rectangle on the bottom

Before you sew the completed columns together, cut ½” off the bottom of each A and ½” off the top of each E. (Trust me on this; it accounts for the fact that those columns have one fewer seam than the others.) Update 2/1/2016: You could wait to trim until after the columns are sewn together, but keep in mind this length discrepancy; it will affect how the columns line up.

Sew the columns together, pressing the seams as you prefer. (Since I planned on stitching in the ditch, I pressed all my seams to one side.)

Finishing the Quilt

To make the backing, cut your 3½ yards of backing fabric into two rectangles: 63” x WOF. Sew them along the long side. Quilt, bind, and enjoy your quilt!

Please note: This design was inspired by a free pattern by Joel Dewberry. I made an earlier version here using fat quarters and wrote the instructions above to accommodate the jelly roll strips I had on hand. Enjoy!

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  1. Thanks for the tut Michelle! Can't wait to cut up those jelly rolls/bali pops in the cabinet!!

    1. You're welcome, Lisa! I think we should use up our jelly rolls and celebrate ... by buying more jelly rolls! : )

      (p.s. Did you know you're a no-reply blogger? I couldn't respond to your comment via email.)

  2. Thank you for the great tutorial. Needed some more ideas for all the 2 1/2 strips I have stacked up!

  3. My jelly rolls linger in my fabric cabinet too. This is a cute quilt and I have the perfect fabric to use in it. Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. What a fun quilt pattern, thanks for the tutorial!

  5. I love this design! This is my first visit to your blog. I found you through Quilty Habit. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  6. I just finished making this quilt top. I am not sure why it says to cut 1/2 in off the bottom of row's A and the tops of row's D. If I hadn't, my rows would have been more even. Now I have to trim the bottom and then trim the top to match.

    1. The A's and E's have one fewer seam than the other columns (7 instead of 8), which means they're longer than all the other columns. I had better luck with my quilt when I trimmed before sewing the columns together, but trimming after the fact is fine if you keep the length discrepancy in mind.

  7. Is this pattern available in PDF form? I would love to print it out so I can check off each step as I finish it. I don't really want to sit write everything out. Thanks in advance.

    1. I would love to have pdf as well. Thanks in advance if possible!

    2. Currently, all of my tutorials appear as body copy here on my blog, on Sew Mama Sew, or on the Moda Bake Shop. Perhaps in the future I'll offer them as PDFs.

      If you want to print this tutorial out and printing directly from the browser isn't producing anything pretty, try copying and pasting the body copy of the tutorial into a Word document and print.

      Hope that helps!

    3. You can just hold your mouse down pull it from the top to bottom of the article, paste in word and there you have it. You can reduce/enlarge pictures as well. Do it all the time and it works!

  8. U mention u used fat quarters instead of jelly roll strips as well. R there cutting instructions, pattern for that version? Thanks so much for providing all u do!

    1. There are not instructions for the fat quarter version. I did post a variant of this pattern on Sew Mama Sew, though, which uses jelly roll strips and 2.5-inch squares. You can check it out at http://www.sewmamasew.com/2016/03/good-day-sunshine-a-scrappy-quilt-tutorial/

  9. Oh how fun Michelle! I love a ridiculously easy, yet terrific looking quilt like this one!


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