Various jelly rolls
Everything Fabrics

Participating in a Virtual Jelly Roll Race

On the occasion of National Jelly Roll Day, the Qatar Quilt Guild organized a so-called Jelly Roll Race on the 19th of September 2020. Usually, all participants sit in the same room. The idea is that all stripes need to be connected to a quilt top and whoever finishes first, wins the race.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions in-person meetings are still limited to a small number of persons back in Qatar which is why this race took place virtually. All guild members that wanted to participate met in the morning via Zoom to start the race together. We were updating each other during the race on our progress via our WhatsApp group. In the afternoon we met again to share our progress and our finished quilt tops.

Preparing for jelly roll quilt no 1

But what is a Jelly Roll?

A jelly roll is something that non-quilters are most probably not familiar with. So, let me explain what I am talking about.

The term ‘jelly roll’ has been actually coined by Moda Fabrics. Usually, jelly roles are rolls made of 42 stripes of 2.5-inch width coordinating fabrics. I have quoted before in my block post on patchwork saving my life. The article I link here explains the various precut fabric bundles that your quilting friends will most probably get excited about. 🙂

I had bought several jelly rolls over the last few years without having particular projects in mind. My first two complete quilts were actually based on jelly rolls and I also have a book with various patterns using jelly rolls. And not only striped quilt designs like in this case. 

And then the Race begins

First, you need to attach all of the stripes together along the short end. Then you take both ends of your very, very long strip and sew them together along the long ends. When you reach the end, you have reached the middle and you cut the strip. You go on this way until you have your complete striped quilt top.

It sounds like fun and it is actually a very simple and quick quilt top to assemble. No measuring or precutting is required. It is just sewing straight lines. And actually, this was a little bit of an issue for me. These first two or three long straight seams were pretty boring. 😉

Jelly Roll Quilt Top Inspection

Having a bunch of jelly rolls, I just picked one randomly in the morning and started sewing. I chose a roll that I must have bought in Dubai years ago. It was a roll consisting mainly of a purple floral print with some more or less coordinating prints in various colors.

If you can read between the lines, you can already see that I was neither super happy with the fabric choice nor with the final result. There was not enough variety in the prints of my jelly roll. Too much of the purple floral print. And the way I had connected the purple chevron print stripes with each other bothered me. 

The catlings however seem to like the final striped quilt top that I had finished just after a short lunch break.

Resident quilt inspectors checking out jelly roll quilt

Jelly Roll Quilt Trial No 2

Loki choosing his jelly rollAs I had suspected that one of my issues with this first trial was the jelly roll itself, I decided to give it another try. And as I trust my cat boy’s taste, I let Loki choose his favorite fabric roll for doing this.

When I opened up the roll, I found that the fabric selection of this roll was much more promising. I bought it actually in the same Dubai quilt shop, but there was just much more variety in this roll than in the first one. Instead of six different prints, I had ten different coordinating prints all in purple, mint, and green tones.

Not only a much nicer selection of prints but also of colors! My husband would most probably say something like ‘How typical’… He knows very well that I like everything mint green, turquoise or petrol colored. Hence the color of me + my craft room logo. 🙂

Preparing for jelly roll quilt no 2

Sewing the quilt top was quickly done on another Saturday morning. Again I was annoyed by the super long first two to three seams, but I like the final quilt top much more. 

My November and December Quilt Projects?

Sewing jelly roll quilt no 2So within just two days on two separate weekends, I added two more quilt tops to my 2020 quilt project list. I had already announced on my social media that my September quilt project would be a different quilt. Thus, I cannot declare any of these quilt tops my September projects.

But I think it would be only fair to count them for two of the remaining months in 2020. They are not finished anyway, but I hope to finish them before the end of 2020.

But a lot of things are changing in my life right now. I am not quite sure if I will manage to do so, however. But I will keep you posted on what will happen with these quilts. 

Different from other quilts that I made this year, I also had no one specific in mind when working on these quilt tops. I participated in the race rather spontaneously. So, I still have to make up my mind as to whom I can actually gift these two quilts when they are done.

Final(?) Quilt Tops

When the best of all quilter’s husband took these photos of the two striped quilt tops for me in the late afternoon sun, I was still not happy with quilt top no 1. Too many things bothered me and I was not sure at first how to fix it.  

Then I decided to simply cut up the whole top vertically and add ‘solid’ vertical stripes to it. As it did not have enough light purple solid fabric, I ended up using a purple polka dot print and a white floral print. So instead of one striped quilt top, I ended up having two which will most probably make up the front and back of the same quilt.

Both of these quilts are not quilted yet, but I wanted to share them with you nevertheless as quilt tops only. I am not sure yet, how I will quilt them. Stripes seem to be an obvious choice, but I also feel that this would be a bit too much given the fact that the whole pattern is stripes already.

Should you have any nice suggestions on what quilt design would fit them, please let me know in the comment box below.

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