Jelly Roll Challenge, Part 1

jelly rolls

September 15th was National Jelly Roll day, and here at The Quilting Company’s offices in Golden, Colorado, several staff members participated. We added a little bit to make it a challenge. First, we wanted to use patterns from the November/December 2018 issue of Fons and Porter’s Quilting Quickly. It’s available in print or digitally. It wasn’t published yet in September, but we were far enough along in our process to be able to use the patterns.

The second part of our challenge was to create something fun with our leftovers. There are plenty of ideas for extras in the issue, including a two-page feature “50 Ways to Love Your Leftovers” written by Eileen Fowler.

The exciting day finally arrived, when our jelly rolls arrived from Moda Fabrics, rolling through the door in those pretty swirls of print and color…

In the Door They Come

Then it was time for the sewing part! It was fun for me to see how different team members approached the challenge. Here are projects from the first four of the team members who participated.

Annette Falvo, Technical Editor

I decided to use the Christmas Knots pattern designed by Jane Vaughan for my Jelly Roll Challenge. I looked for a solid color that would provide enough contrast with the various fabrics in the Garden Variety collection from Moda, and settled on a tan color. I also decided to make an alternate border that has a scrappier patchwork look. I was able to zip through the construction using chain piecing so the quilt truly was a “Quick Quilt”!

Annette’s Quilt Top

I had enough leftovers to make a couple of zipper pouches. The pouches are versatile enough for a lot of things. I incorporated a tab and trigger snap hook so that I could attach it to my dog’s leash and use it to carry the doggy “doo doo” bags.

Annette’s Leftover Project

Eileen Fowler, Associate Editor

The Brew collection by Deb Strain for Moda has a coffee theme, so I thought this jelly roll would work well with Abigail Dolinger’s Chroma Keys table runner and placemat pattern. While the pattern efficiently uses 5″ charm squares, I knew 2-1/2″ strips would also work–and that would leave me a few strips I could use for leftover projects. Seems like the toughest part of my sewing day was deciding on the arrangement of the strips. I used the darkest strips in the center of the table runner and lightened the values toward each end.

Eileen’s Table Runner and Placemats

There was enough left from these strips to easily increase the number of placemats from 2 to 4. From the leftover scraps, I made 4 mug rugs. They are about 8-1/4″ across, and with an InsulBrite batting from The Warm Company, they might also make good trivets. After using six more strips to test a pattern (for a future Pre-Cut Patchwork project), 15 strips and some scraps remain untouched. I see a few more leftover projects in my future.

Eileen’s Mug Rugs.

Carrie Sisk, Social Media Manager, Quilting

I love participating in the annual Jelly Roll challenge! The real challenge, for me, is finding the time to work on my quilt while managing kid one and kid two. There will always be naps (for a couple of years, anyway)!

Carrie’s Jelly Roll Strips

I decided to take to my fabric stash for the 5” squares required for this quilt pattern and have successfully cut all of my pieces—squares, rectangles, and triangles—for this quilt pattern. Next is piecing—the best part! I’m a tad bit obsessed with Nancy Mahoney’s designs, so I know I’ll love this quilt.

Carrie -Ready to Sew

I think I’ll keep this one, even with the holidays quickly approaching. I will, however, be traveling with my family to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents. So, with the leftover strips from my Jelly Rolls, I’ll be making placemats to adorn the Thanksgiving table, using this really cool string-pieced half-square triangle quilt block pattern (it’s free!).

Carrie’s Strip-Pieced Triangle Squares

If you’re not exactly sure how to put a placemat together, here’s a pattern you can reference (also free!). You’ll also get patterns for napkins, napkin rings, and table runners since they’re all included in the free download. I might just make the napkin rings, too…. and, the napkins. Oh, geez.

Tracy Mooney, Editor

I joined in the staff challenge and it took me a bit to decide on a pattern. I wanted to make a throw-sized quilt and my first choice for a pattern had partial seams. Now, I don’t mind doing partial seams, however I had several projects hit all at the same time and I needed something that was quick and easy. Many of my coworkers were making Chroma Keys, so I was reluctant to make it even though I liked the pattern. Suddenly an idea struck me. What if I make the Chroma Keys pattern in a larger scale? I started laying out the strips (from Jen Kingwell’s Looking Forward collection by Moda) as my husband walked by.

It took him a few more times walking by before he asked what I was doing. Now, he was a theatrical lighting major in college and worked professionally for many years, so he is very familiar with the color wheel. Sometimes this comes in handy, as in this case. (Sometimes it is a pain in the patootie, like when he helps pick out fabric and then pesters me to finish that UFO well after I have given up on a project … but I digress.) I showed him the pattern, then pointed to the strips and before I knew it he was on all fours, rearranging and rearranging until he liked the order.

Hubby Help for Tracy

I liked it too. After sewing all the strips together, I cut the strips into thin rows just like the table runner pattern, but I plan to make the solid strips slightly larger than the pattern suggests. I can’t wait to snuggle under this quilt on the couch this winter!

Tracy’s Strips Sewn Together

I imagine we’ll see more about the leftover projects from Tracy and Carrie when they get closer to finished with their quilts. It’s a good thing this isn’t a race. Some of our team members have a lot on their plates right now.

Be watching for part 2 of the Jelly Roll Challenge where you’ll get to see more quilts and leftover projects by our team. If you want to start on a Jelly Roll project now, you might finish before some of us. Check out the November/December issue of Quilting Quickly for ideas. Here is the print edition and here is the digital version.

Happy Quilting,




See part two of our Jelly Roll Challenge!

Get working and get creative with those pre-cut fabric packs!

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