Friday, 8 April 2016

Jelly Roll Race 3.0 - a finished top

Hi everybody, how was your week?  I've been madly trying to catch up with paperwork but I just HAD to get something sewn.

I should be layering and quilting - I have a stack of tops waiting to be properly finished,

but I didn't have enough time and the table was piled with papers, and, let's face it, who really likes layering and basting, even spray basting....

I have had a jelly roll set to one side for an age with some plain grey and about a metre of a grey/aqua spot which I bought on a whim but which seemed meant for the jelly roll. I tried to tell myself that making this top would be using up the fabric, getting it out of the stash - that's got to be a good thing, hasn't it?

Anyway here is the finished top.  It measures 65" x 74" finished, a really good size. The inner section is approx. 52"  x 64", and I added an inner border of 1 1/2" (cut 2") and an outer border of 4 1/2" (cut 5") as that was the maximum I could cut from the fabric I had available.

The pattern is from this tutorial by Missouri Star Quilt Company and it is the third of their Jelly Roll Race patterns.

I particularly like the use of triangles to break up the straight lines, and the fact that the triangles occur randomly throughout the top and face in different directions. It did take a bit of time to join the jelly roll strips with the triangle pieces, it would have been quicker to simply join the strips end to end, but I really like the finished result.

How long did the top take to make? I am afraid I didn't get around to timing myself, but I joined the strips with the triangles one evening, stitched the strips together into the middle portion of the top the next evening - this stage was really quick as there are only about eight long seams - and added the borders the next evening.  Perhaps six hours or so?  Not a marathon anyway.

If you are looking for a quick charity or gift quilt with no fabric wasted and minimal cutting, this ticks all the boxes.  You could cut your own 2 1/2" strips rather than using a pre-cut jelly roll, and if you use a scrap saver system such as the one Bonnie Hunter describes here, you probably already have a stash of your own pre-cut strips to dive into!

You have to be prepared to accept the quirky random nature if the layout though: you can't choose which fabric goes next to which except at the beginning - it is the randomness which is liberating, just go with the flow.  I made sure that I varied the order in which I pieced the strips together but that still gave me no control over which fabric ended up next to which in the finished top.  Relax, if you liked the fabric to start with it will be a great quilt.  Control is over-rated!

I had hoped to get on and quilt this one without delay but it turns out the fabric I had tucked away for backing is a little too bright for the slightly 'off' colours and I will have to go shopping - what a shame! 

The jelly roll was pb&j by Basic Grey for Moda.  I love the big florals but don't expect I'll be able to track any of them down now.  I really should buy larger quantities when I have the chance, but since I often buy fabric on impulse and with no idea what I am going to make, it is tricky.  Are you an organised shopper, I wonder?

Have a great weekend.  Gardening is on the agenda if the showers stay away - lots to do here
as Spring starts to get into gear.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday. I think I should make a few smaller quilts that I actually finish...


  1. This is a very cool Jelly Roll Race variation!

  2. This looks great! I especially like the polka dots on the border fabric. :)