11 Free Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns
We love jelly rolls !!
They make quilting fast, easy, and fun. The jelly roll has become the standard for pre-cut fabric. It has helped new quilters learn to quilt and challenged seasoned quilters to redesign their blocks.
Hundreds of jelly roll quilt patterns and books have been written since they came on the quilt scene in 2006.
What makes the jelly roll so versatile?
- The 2 ½” strips are ready to use in strip piecing blocks.
- 2 ½” squares can be sub-cut from a strip.
- Jelly Rolls are color coordinated and ready to use.
- A Jelly roll has 2 ¾ yards of fabric – making it a significant influence on the fabric needed to build a quilt.
What are Jelly Rolls? And Where Did They Get That Name?
A Jelly roll is often a bundle 40 of 2 ½” strips. The name originated from the Moda fabric company.
According to Carrie Nelson at Moda, “The name Jelly Roll came about for a couple of reasons: Most quilters like sweets; the roll does look a bit like a jelly-roll pastry; and our marketing director, Lissa Alexander, has a gift for seeing possibilities, i.e., the ‘big picture.’ She created a theme, or concept, from the start, and she is the one who came up with the name.”
Well, we certainly have benefited from this pre-cut creation. Jelly roll quilts remain quite popular.
They are constantly in demand and other fabric companies have started creating them for their customers. Hundreds of patterns exist, and many quilt blocks have been redesigned to accommodate the 2 ½” wide strips. Here are some favorite quilt blocks you can use as a base for your jelly roll quilt ideas.
- Churn Dash
- Garden Path
- Jewel Box
- Rail Fence
- Union Square
- Walking Star
- Water Wheel
11 Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns
Here we have eleven jelly roll tutorials for your jelly roll. If the pattern calls for more than one jelly roll, do not feel like you have to use two of the same. It is perfectly fine to mix and match jelly rolls, especially if you want to achieve a scrappy look.
This quilt may cause a stir of anxiety at first glance, but do not fear, it only looks intimidating.
If you scroll past the ingredients (Moda’s term for supplies), you will see the construction of the blocks. Notice that each strip has a square sewn to it and then cut away. This is similar to constructing a snowball block. Sew each strip into a unit, and you will have this quilt together quite quickly.
This beautiful baby quilt has 5 focal posey blocks bordered by checkerboard blocks. The centers of the posy blocks feature a dark square. Pay attention to the sewing directions for this part as each block is attached to it with a half seam.
This very modern quilt has a bargello theme so be careful to pay attention to color when choosing your strips.
If you are a beginner, this quilt may prove difficult because of the sheer number of seams.
Note: When you encounter a block with lots of seams, consider pressing them open instead to one side. The block tends to finish closer to the size it should be when you press the seam open.
Irish chain quilts are quite popular because they only require you to make 2 different blocks.
It is how you sew them together that gives the chain appearance to the quilt. The pattern includes instructions to make several different sizes. This is a good quilt pattern to try for a beginner quilter.
How much easier can it be then to sew strips to other strips and make a quilt?
This jelly roll quilt tutorial takes you step by step through piecing and cutting. The directions are detailed so a beginner can make this quilt. Pay attention to her directions regarding trimming off the ends. Otherwise, your jelly roll quilt will not look like hers.
Lori Holt joins forces with The Fat Quarter Shop to create this charming farm themed jelly roll quilt. The pattern link is below the picture of her iPad and jelly roll strips. Kimberly’s instructions are clear and easy to follow.
First, this amazing quilt needs a great name. The color scheme and design are amazing. Although the pattern appears difficult, her step by step instructions makes the patterned quilt easy to follow. It is fun to make an easy block that appears complex.
Just be sure to pay attention to the direction of the blocks when sewing them together and your quilt will turn out just as inspiring.
This jelly roll quilt is quite jolly. It uses bright colors with a simple design. The instructions are broken up into separate posts but are well written and easy to follow. How will you decide on which jelly roll to use? She suggests picking any jelly roll with a coordinating fabric for the sashing and binding.
This pattern is a traditional log cabin block made using a jelly roll. You will have to click on the pattern link below the picture for the instructions.
Can you really get two quilts from one jelly roll? Pair the jelly roll with some yardage and you certainly can.
How big are the quilts? 51” square. That makes a nice size for a baby quilt or small lap quilt. This pattern is quite versatile as she shows that the blocks can be set 6 different ways.
Consider this design if you have several jelly rolls and want to make a variety of quilts for friends and family.
This jelly roll quilt was created a few years back after someone figured out that sewing all the jelly roll strips together makes for a nice sized lap quilt. Along the way, quilters got together and decided to race against each other to finish a quilt top. Quilt shops got on board and quilters everywhere were making jelly roll quilts. Its fun, it is easy, and you will have a beautiful quilt when you are finished.
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Jelly Roll Quilting Tips
Jelly Roll quilt pattern designer Susan Ache has some great tips for making an easy jelly roll quilt.
She suggests measuring each strip after unrolling the fabrics to make sure each one is 2 ½” wide. If you have never worked with a jelly roll before you may notice that the edges are pinked. This is to prevent fraying.
However, the pinking process still leaves quite a bit of fuzz along the edges. Susan suggests carefully cutting that edge away with a sharp rotary blade and ruler. Be sure to remove just the pinked edge. This step will prevent fuzzies from getting down inside your sewing machine.
Quick Quilting Tip:
Remove the throat plate on your sewing machine. With a small brush clean out the lint that accrues in the bobbin area between quilt projects. Even a little bit of fluff can prevent the sewing machine from operating correctly.
Another great idea Susan shares involves a collapsible drying rack. Long ago people used them to dry socks, underwear, and hosiery instead of putting these delicate articles in the dryer. Open the drying rack and hang your strips across it. This step will make it easy to find coordinating strips quickly when working on a jelly roll quilt.
How do you sew the quilting strips without them puckering?
One thing to check before the start of any quilt project is that the needle is sharp.
A dull needle will cause puckering and experts suggest changing the needle at the beginning of a new project.
What size needle is right you may ask? An 80/12 will work nicely for sewing jelly roll strips.
Be sure to keep the strips straight and guide them at the front and behind the needle with both hands. Keep firm pressure on the fabric, but do not stretch or pull them through the machine.
What is the best way to press the quilting strips?
It is quite a matter of opinion on the subject of pressing. Some prefer to press the seam toward the darker strip, while others prefer to open the seam. If you do prefer to press to one side, you may want to sew a scant ¼” instead of a full quarter inch seam.
This will reduce bulk in the seam and allow for better accuracy.
Do you have Jelly Rolls that have been sitting around for a while?
These patterns should provide you with inspiration to get them out and start sewing. Even if you are a beginner, there are jelly roll quilt patterns here that you can sew.
Enjoy the process and have fun. That is what quilting is all about.