Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I finished the race... the Jelly Roll one, that is!

Over the weekend many of you stopped by here and visited the Facebook page and saw I was working on my first Jelly Roll Race quilt.  I am going to say it was a blast!  I made  quilt, start to finish in just over a day.  If I'd had a pre-made jelly roll to start with (vs the time I spent ironing and trimming 2 1/2" strips) it would have been even faster!

I am going to say that it was probably the fastest "go together quilt" I've ever done.  As you saw the other day, you literally just keep sewing strips, over and over.  I did find that my 1/4" seam creeped a bit and I am going to see about investing in a 1/4" seam foot for my machine. I found one over at Amazon Distinctive 1-4 (Quarter Inch) Quilting Sewing Machine Presser Foot with Edge Guide - Fits All Low Shank Snap-On Singer*, Brother, Babylock, Euro-Pro, Janome, Kenmore, White, Juki, New Home, Simplicity, Elna and More! (kind of a long title, but that's how they do it!) that I will probably send for.

You saw the quilt top over the weekend, but not the finished project. The reason being, it was a gift for my niece and she's on Facebook, soooo I didn't want HER to see it till Sunday night!  Needless to say, she loved it.  Yay!

People asked me to show the rest of the process, so here we go!

Let's start with an "oops" just to get it out of the way, shall we?  My first fabric heartbreak challenge was connecting the border strips diagonally, vs just flat together.  It looked EASY on Jenny's videos for Missouri Quilt Co.  This picture with a pile of batiks?  That's my "oops" pile - I THOUGHT I was sewing them together so they all went right side out... not so much.  Made the strip, held it up and saw that several were backwards.  Tried again. Backwards again.  ARGH!!

I did ultimately get it right and when I got to the binding, you can see my method below the gorgeous batik... phew!  All set!  Make a "T" - pin where I need to sew - sew and viola!

First one below shows the successful seam.  Second one how you cut it.  Third one = YAY!  I did it right! Best part is I NOW know how to do this and can show others!

 Back to the border.  I selected my absolute favorite batik (you can find it in both my eBay and Etsy shops) by Hoffman.  It REALLY pops!  I thought it would accent the Tonga Treats and the black/whites and it did.

I cut multiple 3" strips, but ended up trimming off about 3/4" of an inch, so I would go 2 1/2" next time.  I sewed the two sides on first, then the top and bottom.  Next: lots of pressing.

Let me say that I was at this juncture on Sunday morning: in need of batting and backing.  OF COURSE, I didn't have enough batting... what to do.. what to do... oh, wait, I have some extra flannel!  

Sometimes, when I go down to buy my fabric, I end up with some that's imperfect - can't sell it, but it's still good quality.  I took a big piece, sewed it together and made a lovely batting of flannel!

The backing was another challenge - what would go with this?  How about navy Handspray flannel?  PERFECT!

I cut it, sewed two pieces together and snuggled them right up with the batting and pinned those two layers to the quilt.  Lots of pins.... oodles of pins...

Time to hand tie since this was for TONIGHT!  No time to machine quilt!  Ah... a longarm someday?

Once I got to this point, I knew I could bring my niece the quilt, sans pins, whether or not I got the binding done.  But I had a bit of time left so...
To make the binding, I once again, went back to what I'd seen Jenny from Missouri Quilt Co do and pressed the 2 1/2" strip in half, wrong sides together.  I rolled it up to keep it neat and tidy and grabbed the quilt to have a go at this.

All you do is sew along, 1/4" (you can see why I'd like a foot with a guide) with the seams together: right side of the quilt and right side of the binding.  And sew... and sew... and sew...

Once that was done I breathed a little easier.  I could now bring it along and it wouldn't fall apart as the edges were sewed.  BUT... I did have 50 minutes till party time.  So, I grabbed my needle and got started!

I was able to do about 1/3 of the binding before having to head out.  I tucked it in the bag and zipped off.  After we finished, I grabbed it BACK and went home to finish! 

And finish I did!  YAY!

Here's the completed quilt - I love the pink batiks from the Tonga Treats and LOVE LOVE the batik border!  

What fun that was and she enjoyed it, as well.

Have a wonderful, creative day!


  1. Wow, that was fast! I bought a 1/4"pressure foot a couple of years ago. I really love it. When I got it, I was using a Brother, which I hated, with a capital H. Most pressure feet are universal, so now I use it on the Janome, and I use it all the time.

  2. Lol - hey, the Jelly Roll Race IS fast! You may have pushed me to the edge, Jan: I think I need to get myself one! :)