Ok, so you may be asking… what is a Jelly Roll Race Quilt and how do you make a Jelly Roll Race Quilt in an hour, or so ;)?
This is part 2 of our 3 part Jelly Roll Race Quilt series. Be sure to read part 1 Jelly Roll Race Quilt :: Quilt in an Hour?! and part 3 Changing the Size and Determining the Number of Strips.
A standard Jelly Roll Race Quilt produces a quilt top that is approximately 50″ x 64″. It uses one 40 strip Jelly Roll Fabric collection, sewn into a single, super long strip, that is then folded in half and sew together along one edge, you cut the folded edge open and then repeat for a total of 5 seams. This doubles the width of the Jelly Roll quilt top each time, and cuts the length in half. You end up with a quilt top that is a series of offset strips that come together in a surprisingly fast and fun fashion. You can’t really tell what it will look like until it is all done and you spread it out for the first time. It feels like quilt magic.
If you haven’t tried to make a Jelly Roll Race Quilt… give it a go. I had a great time making mine and plan to make many more.
First, unroll your Jelly Roll. You can just use one strip after another as it comes in the roll, although my Jelly Roll, Moda Wrens & Friends had a couple of the exact same strips one after another and I didn’t want to sew two of the same strip together so I sorted my jelly roll out by colors. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the order of the strips! You have to give up pattern control with a Jelly Roll Race Quilt. Just trust that the fabric collection will come together in a fun way.
Many of the Jelly Roll Race Quilt images I found online showed sewing the strips together at a 45 degree angle. If you like that look, by all means do it. I prefer the way it looks with a straight seam and just sewed mine that way.
Note: all measurements assume a 1/4″ seam allowance.
So sew all of your strips together into one super long, mega strip (approximately 1600 inches long – actually longer, but I’m rounding), right sides together. Don’t cut the thread between seams, just grab and go.
Once all of your jelly roll strips are sewn into your mega strip, trim the thread between each section, cut off 18″ of one side of the strip. This is very important to offset the seams! Just be sure to do it on only one side. Then accordion fold the mega strip to make it easier to manage. You can then separate the folded strip into two piles, one for each end of the strip.
Place the folded mega strip on your lap and pick up both ends. Lay the two ends on top of each other, right sides together, and sew them together along one edge. This first row will take seemingly 😉 forever. When you get to the end, you will have to cut open the folded edge so your new double strip will lay open flat. Don’t worry if this first row is twisted. Just cut the end open and untwist it. It will get easier to not twist the rows as you go along. You now have a two row strip that is approximately 800 inches long.
Repeat. Grab the two ends, right sides together, sew along one edge until you hit the end, and cut open the folded edge.
You should now have a strip that is 4 rows tall and approximately 400 inches long.
Repeat. Grab the two ends, right sides together, sew along one edge until you hit the end, and cut open the folded edge. You should now have a strip (that is not really a strip any more) that is 8 rows tall and approximately 200 inches long.
Repeat. Grab the two ends, right sides together, sew along one edge until you hit the end, and cut open the folded edge. You should now have a strip (that is definitely not a strip any more) that is 16 rows tall and approximately 100 inches long.
Repeat. Grab the two ends, right sides together, sew along one edge until you hit the end, and cut open the folded edge. You should now have a quilt top that is 32 rows tall and approximately 50 inches long.
You are now done! Open up your Jelly Roll Race Quilt top and enjoy the surprise.
So now you are thinking that was fun, but what if I want my Jelly Roll Race Quilt to be a different size? I had those exact same thoughts. The standard Jelly Roll Race Quilt, really only works for a throw quilt, or a full sized bed if you add a border. I did some more research, played with some numbers, and came up with a formula to change the quilt size. Click here if you want to change your Jelly Roll Quilt size.
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