2nd Quarter Challenge Call for Quilts

22 06 2017

Hello Quilting Friends,

The end of the second quarter of 2017 is fast approaching, and I am calling on you for photos of your projects made with pre-cuts. Blog readers gain inspiration when you show and tell! If you remember, our year long challenge is using pre-cuts, actually making something out of our hoarded packages of pretty fabric. January -. March we focused on Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy (2 1/2″ squares). April – June we are working on Jelly Rolls. July – September it will be Layer Cakes (coordinated 10″ squares), and October – December we’ll crack open packages of 5″ Charm Squares.

Stephanie and Maridee have sent pictures of Jelly Roll quilts which I will soon post. But I’d like to add a photo of your project to the blog post. If you have sewn the top of your Jelly Roll quilt, but haven’t quilted it yet, no problem, send a photo. If you have finished your (1st Quarter) Fat Quarter or Quilter’s Candy project, likewise send a photo. aby.quilts@gmail.com

Thanks so much!

Aby Dolinger

“JR Mosaic Tiles” Top Complete

15 05 2017

Hooray! My “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles” quilt is finished . . . except for the quilting. And “the quilting makes the quilt.” Any suggestions on a compatible quilt design?

If you remember from my previous post, I was one blue strip short of a happy quilt (for an inner border). A search through two tubs of blue fabric yielded one and only one blue print that would blend with the blue hue of my jelly roll strips. How can one blue be so different from another? After completing the inner border, I added the navy print for a 5″ outer border. The 1 1/2 yds. I purchased for the border is thankfully also enough for binding.

I have two favorite blocks in this quilt:  upper right corner and third row center block. I think the shading provided by the medium prints appeals to me especially in these two blocks.

Just a little reminder to work on your Jelly Roll project and send me pictures of your progress to share with blog readers. (aby.quilts@gmail.com)

Jelly Roll QAL

12 05 2017

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted about progress on my Jelly Roll Mosaic quilt. (Remember that our Second Quarter Challenge is for Jelly Rolls. Are you working on your Jelly Roll quilt?)

All twelve blocks are made and on the design wall. I used half a strip of leftover yellow to make the 6 cornerstones. Since my jelly roll contained 10 medium blue strips, I determined from the beginning that these would become sashing strips. I used 6 strips, cutting three 14 1/2″ lengths out of each. If only I had one more blue strip, there would be enough for an inner border. Arrgh! Time to raid the stash of blue fabric.

More later, as the project unfolds!

Jelly Roll Quilt Along, Step 3

24 04 2017

Have you started on your Jelly Roll Second Quarter Challenge? If you need an idea, why not quilt along with me? I’m making a “Jelly Roll Tile Mosaic” with easy-peasy units: strip-pieced rectangle units, strip-pieced Four Patches, and strip-pieced Nine Patches. Granted, the fabrics and colors in my jelly roll (“Figures” – an older line from Moda) lend themselves to this design. If your jelly roll has lots of colors and busy prints, you may wish to search for a design that is better suited.

We are up to Step 3 in the Quilt Along. I was able to strip-piece some of the Nine Patches using remainders of the dark print strips with light background strips. However, I had to piece some of the Nine Patches from leftovers the old-fashioned way, sewing nine  2 1/2″ squares together. I made a chart to help me evenly distribute the colors of each block. I wanted the center 2 1/2″ square to be the same color as the dark print in the Four Patches in each block. And I wanted the four dark squares in the Nine Patch to be a different color than the dark print in the rectangle units. With this plan, I can use all three of the major colors of my jelly roll in each 12″ block.


                     Rectangles     Four Patch    Nine Patch(4 sq.)    Center(1 sq.)

Make 4           Coral               Yellow             Navy                           Yellow

Make 4           Navy                Coral               Yellow                         Coral

Make 4           Yellow             Navy                Coral                           Navy

Strip-piecing directions are as follows:

For the 1st and 3rd rows of the Nine Patches, you need 20 1/2″ long strips. Sew a light background strip between 2 dark print strips. Press seams toward the dark fabric. Cross-cut at 2 1/2″ intervals. This yields 8 units, enough for 2 blocks.

For the 2nd (center) row of the Nine Patches, work with 10 1/2″ long strips. Follow the chart and sew a dark print strip between 2 light background strips. Press seams toward the dark fabric. Then cross-cut at 2 1/2″ intervals. This yields 4 units, enough for 4 blocks.

Sew the 3 rows together to make a Nine Patch. You need 12 Nine Patches, 4 of each of 3 color combinations (in my case).

Follow the chart above and group the pieces needed for each of the 12 blocks: a set of 4 rectangles units, a set of 4 Four Patches, and 1 Nine Patch. Lay out the components of one block and assemble in 3 rows of 3 units each. Press the seams of the 1st and 3rd rows toward the center. Press the seams of the 2nd row away from the center Nine Patch. Pin and sew the 3 rows together.

Hooray! Twelve “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles” blocks completed!

Step 4 will be sashing and border(s). Stay tuned!



Jelly Roll Quilt Along, Step 2

9 04 2017

I am really excited about my Second Quarter challenge project, “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles!” I hope you will quilt along with me as I make a 12 block quilt. The previous blog post detailed strip-pieced rectangle units. Are you ready for Step 2? It’s easy – strip-pieced Four Patches.

You need to make 12 sets of Four Patches, 4 identical Four Patches per set. You can use jelly roll strips or half-strips left over from Step 1. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll write instructions for using the entire 41″ length of the 2 1/2″ wide strips. You need 6 light background strips, 3 medium print strips, and 3 dark print strips (peach, yellow, navy). Sew a light background strip to each of the 3 medium print strips, and also sew a light background strip to each of the 3 dark print strips. Press seams toward the darker fabric.

Trim off the selvages and cross-cut the strip-pieced units at 2 1/2″ intervals. You need 16 two-sie units from each strip set. Make Four Patches by sewing dark two-sie units to medium two-sie units. You need 4 identical Four Patches per block. They measure 4 1/2″ square.

Pin each set of 4 identical Four Patches together. And you’re all set for Step 3!

Jelly Roll Quilt Along, Step 1

5 04 2017

In my previous post, I showed my “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles” plan for using a “Figures” Zen Chic Jelly Roll. Are you excited about the project? Are you quilting along with me?

Normally, I construct the inside units of a quilt block prior to constructing the outer units. However, in this case I am working from the outside toward the inside because I want to make sure there is enough fabric to strip-piece the rectangle units. It doesn’t matter to me if the interior Nine Patches are pieced from odds and ends of the leftovers. In addition to the jelly roll and (dark blue) yardage for an outer border, you will need about 1 1/2 yds. light background fabric.

I discovered my original count of 9 pairs of dark/light would only yield 9 blocks. I believe I can make a 12 block quilt with the number of strips in my jelly roll, so I need 12 pairs of dark/light strips. For the colors I have, that works out to 4 Navy, 4 Peach, and 4 Yellow. If your jelly roll does not have enough light strips, substitute from stash or use several strips of your light background fabric.

Measure and cut an 18 1/2″ strip from each of the 12 dark strips. Reserve the remainder to make Four Patches or Nine Patches. Cut two 18 1/2″ strips from each of the 12 light strips. Reserve the remainder to make Four Patches or Nine Patches. (The “remainder” from the strips is shown at the top of the picture.)

Sew a dark 18 1/2″ strip between two 18 1/2″ strips of the same light fabric. Press seams toward the dark fabric. You will make 12 strip-pieced units. (Sorry, only 9 units are shown in the picture below.)

Sliver-trim one end of each strip-pieced unit, and sub-cut at 4 1/2″ intervals. You will need 4 rectangle units from each fabric combination. These units measure 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2.”

Pin each set of four rectangle units together; you will have 12 sets of 4 identical rectangles units each. The next step is making Four Patches, so pair up (at least) 3 darks with 3 mediums and cut six  2 1/2″ wide strips from your light background fabric.

Second Quarter Challenge – Introduction

3 04 2017

This year I’m challenging myself and blog readers to use pre-cuts, one type per quarter. January through March we tackled Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy. The pre-cut challenge for April through June is Jelly Rolls. I hope you will join in the fun by creatively transforming your neatly rolled set of forty 2 1/2″ wide strips into a quilt. If you need design ideas, check out the many jelly roll pattern books as well as online images (Pinterest). Please send pictures of your projects to aby.quilts@gmail.com; this will inspire other blog readers to accept the challenge as well.

About a year and half ago, I visited a friend who lives near Indianapolis. Along with seeing the downtown sights, we stopped by Quilts Plus, a wonderful quilt shop. As a “souvenir,” I purchased about a yard of fabric and a jelly roll in the “Figures” Moda line. I had a great design in mind for using the jelly roll, but all I can remember now is a blue outer border. I should have drawn a sketch and stored it with the fabric. Ah, well, there is more than one way to use a jelly roll! (Click here to read about my visit to Quilts Plus.)

I have been experimenting with a new 14″ block idea that will utilize the scrappy Nine Patches I assembled this past summer as leaders and enders. I found most of the pieces needed for these blocks in my 2 1/2″ square bin and in my 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle bin. I decided to simplify the design (pictured below) a bit for my jelly roll challenge project.

First, I separated the strips by color and value. There are ten medium blue strips, more than any other color, so I will reserve them for sashing. Counting the remaining strips, I estimate that I will be able to make 9-12 blocks.

The next step was pairing 9 darks with 9 lights. These pairs are on the left in the photo below. They will be strip-pieced and cut to form the rectangle units. I also paired 4 darks with 4 mediums. These pairs are on the right in the photo below. I will strip-piece them with white solid fabric for Four Patches. I have a few strips left over to use in the Nine Patches or as cornerstones in the sashing.

Here’s my plan, subject to serendipitous changes, of course. (The light gray represents medium fabrics.)


I’ll detail my progress in the next couple of blog posts . . . perhaps you’d like to Quilt Along and make this super fun design, too! For now, unroll your jelly roll and analyze the colors and values you’ll be working with.