Posted on Leave a comment

Jelly Roll Quilts

Precut fabrics like Jelly Rolls have really taken off in popularity lately. Not only do they get you sewing faster, but they also eliminate the need for a lot of cutting making quilting more accessible for anyone with limited space, tools, or dexterity.

What is a Jelly Roll?

In the quilting world, a jelly roll is a set of pre-cut 2 1/2 inch strips of fabric cut from selvage to selvage. You can find ‘junior’ jelly rolls with ~20 strips but most jelly rolls are 40-42 strips.

Most jelly rolls include all of the fabrics from a single line, making them great for scrappy quilts. You can also find jelly rolls in single colors, usually in basic solids like white or black.

Not all 2 1/2 inch strip bundles are called jelly rolls Riley Blake calls their strip sets “Rolie Polies“, Robert Kaufman uses the term “Roll Up” and Andover strips are called “Double Scoops“.

Jelly Roll Benefits

  • Easy to Store – they come all rolled up or st least packeded together so you never have to worry about misplacing half a set
  • Color Coordinated – take the guess work out of matching fabric! Most rolls are made up of fabrics from a single line meaning the colors and themes automatically work together
  • Scrappy Look – No need to spend hours at the sutting table (or a fortune online) buying 10+ fabrics by the yard, with a Jelly Roll you’ll have 15-20+ fabrics ready to go
  • Pre-Cut Binding – I’d never buy a Jelly Roll just for binding, but left over strips make very convenient binding strips for small projects
  • Veratile – Jelly Rolls are good for a lot more than basic Rail Fence and Jelly Roll Race quilts. They lend themselves well to quick, strip pieced units that can be chopped down into smaller blocks or cut them into 2.5″ squares for easy piecing.

Downside to Jelly Rolls

  • Expensive – the bitter truth is you’ll pay more for a Jelly Roll than you would for straight yardage. I try to find sales or buy clearance to save a bit of money.

    It’s also worth noting how expensive it can be to make your own Jelly Roll with the 1 yard minumums most online fabric shops have these days. If you’re looking for variety in a quilt a Jelly Roll is worth the extra cost.
  • Large Prints Get Lost – If you’re in love with a fabric line with a lot of large scale prints or scenes you’ll want to skip the Jelly Rolls. The images will likely get cut off in odd places and you’ll be dissapointed

If you’re looking for more detail check out this Introduction to Jelly Rolls on my main site

Chicken Scratch NY Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns

Cutting is my least favorite part of quilting and I’ll do just about anything to avoid it. I love working with all precuts, including Jelly Rolls.

The following patterns were designed for 2.5″ fabric strips

jelly waves quilt pattern sewn in batik prints
rainbow jelly star quilt sewn with batik fabric thrown over a rocking chair with a cat sitting on it
rail fence quilt with stars hanging on a clothes line

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *