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; 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.


Workshop with Devine Quilters

14 09 2015

Devine - Pieces and PatchesOn Saturday, Sept. 12, I taught a workshop for the Devine Quilters of Columbia, SC. The venue was Pieces and Patches quilt shop in Lexington. What a welcoming store with a comfortable, brightly lit classroom and varied collection of fabrics! The shelves boasted SC team prints, Christmas, blenders, patriotic, batiks, juvenile, prints in modern colorways, and some reproductions.

Donna, the workshop coordinator, selected “Get the Point?” designed by Carrie Nelson for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 3.  Since I teach my own construction method using an Easy Angle triangle ruler, quilters may use pre-cut 2 1/2″ wide strips (Jelly Rolls). Participants made great progress as you can see from the photos below.

Devine - Alexis and Joyce     Devine - Maria and Donna

Two grandmother-granddaughter teams participated: Alexis and Joyce, Maria and Donna

Devine - Mike and Maria

The classroom’s design wall, situated behind Mike, served to show several layout options.

I hope the quilters each bring sample blocks to show at tonight’s meeting (7 p.m. Shandon Presbyterian, Columbia, SC), and I can’t wait to see pictures of the finished quilt tops.

To read Stephanie’s creative interpretation of the workshop and to see more pictures, click here to travel to the Devine Quilters’ blogspot.

Krystine’s Jelly Roll Quilt

14 02 2015



Granddaughter Krystine received a jelly roll of brightly printed fabrics as a gift over a year ago. There was much deliberation over a quilt design. We wanted more sewing challenge than “Chinese Coins,” her first bed size quilt. You can read about Krystine’s “Chinese Coins” quilt here. We searched the internet for images of jelly roll quilts and leafed through quilting magazines and books, finally arriving at “the perfect design.”



Krystine sews Eden pins


We rotary cut the jelly roll strips into 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles and cut the slightly dotted light background fabric into 2 1/2″ squares. This past summer, Krystine sewed while her cousin pinned.


We placed several rows on the design wall . . . and Krystine kept sewing. We tried to make a few more rows each time she visited through the fall.

Krystine chain piecing

We made a big push to finish the quilt top during my visit to her house these past two weeks. Keith even got into the action – supporting the weight of the quilt as Krystine joins two large sections.

Keith helps Krystine with her quilt

Krystine is all smiles; her quilt top is finally finished.


The next step? Quilting it on my longarm . . . all by herself! I guess she’ll have to come visit me soon!

Jelly Roll Challenge Finished

28 01 2015


In my previous post, I detailed the preliminary construction of my latest quilting project. In the past few days, I sewed columns 1-5 together and then sewed 6-10 together. Then I joined the two halves of the quilt to make the whole top.

Here’s a picture of the quilt on the longarm machine without the quilting texture.


Now you can see the texture added.


I thought about using a dark variegated thread, but I didn’t have enough on the spool. Usually my go-to thread color is olive green because it blends nicely with most colors. But this time I selected an old gold variegated thread. I really like the outcome; the gold gives some sparkle to all the rich, dark colors.


To echo the linear design of the quilt, I free-handed continuous rectangles of various sizes.


The quilt, in all its modern, linear glory, will be perfect for Darin, my teenage second cousin.