This post is part of a quilt tutorial series by Teri ‘s Jelly Roll Jam Quilt-Along. You can join in anytime, the links will be up permanently! Please see below for links to all posts.
- February 5: Announcement and fabric/supply requirements
- February 13: Completing the quilt-top
- February 22: Quilt sandwich assembly, pin basting, quilting and binding (revised date)
- February 27: My completed quilt and final wrap-up
DONE! Yes, I finished my Jelly Roll Jam quilt-top on time (even with one eye on the Olympics), and loved this fun and scrappy pattern created by the Fat Quarter Shop and the vibrant colors of my Wishes fabric! That is not always the case when I get to this stage, but couldn’t be happier with my little quilt. Many thanks to Kimberly and the Fat Quarter Shop for creating this FREE pattern and video, great job!!
This quilt went together super fast and still think it’s a great first quilt for people that are friendly with their sewing machine. You will find quite a bit of seam matching, but if you spend a little time up front to make sure you’re sewing with an accurate quarter inch seam and make accurate cuts, you shouldn’t have a problem!
New quilters: At the bottom of this post I have included links to some of my favorite tutorials that cover piecing basics such as using a rotary cutter, perfect ¼ inch seams, etc. that should help you with this quilt-top.
SO, on to lots of photos and tips, along with corresponding video time segments. This will enable you to jump to a specific spot in the video to review a step and not have to watch the video fifty zillion times.
All piecing seams are a quarter inch and stitch length is 2.0. Here are a few links from the first post so you can refer to them quickly:
1. Pick out eighteen strips (2:50). Divide strips into 3 sets of six prints. I used 6 different color combinations and kept the BLUE strips on top for all 3 sets. Label your top strip with T or Top. Even though I had them marked with TOP, I did find it helpful having the same color hue (different pattern) as my TOP piece, but not a required step if you plan to use alot of different colors. May be helpful later on to take a photo with your phone here.
2. Sew your strips together (3:00). With right sides together (RST), sew your first 2 strips and keep the strip marked with a T on the Bottom. This strip will always remain on the left side as you add more strips to the right.
First set – done 15 minutes! (no kidding!). Below are the completed 3 sets.
3. Iron your strips (4:50). Set your seams, and then press your seams away from your Top piece . Iron all seams on half of the strip block, then the other half. Lots of steam, iron on hottest setting.
4. Starch your pieces (6:00). Spray each strip piece well and let sit 2 minutes before final press. I have not used starch before, but have to say, I LIKE IT. Really improved the rotary cutting, nice, crisp cuts.
5. Cut your first 3 blocks (6:50). Remove the selvage and get a straight edge on both ends, lining up your ruler on the middle strip seam before you cut. From the left side of the fabric (right-handed people), cut your first 3 blocks the width of your ruler (6 ½”), again lining up your ruler on the middle seam. NOTE: Make sure you always close your rotary cutter between each cut. Very dangerous if you have children and pets around, especially cats that like to walk on sewing tables.
As you are cutting your blocks, if your ruler does not line up with the middle seam, move your ruler over slightly to the right, lineup on middle seam and make your cut, then flip your block and do your ruler width cut, again lining up with middle seam. This is called squaring up your block and will ensure all your blocks are accurate. You will find this important later when you are matching seams. Refer to video for a visual of this process (7:20) (IMPORTANT).
6. Flip fabric and cut next 3 blocks (8:00). After you cut your first three blocks, flip and cut the next three blocks from the other end to eliminate the fold line. Proceed cutting your other 2 strip sets, making sure you keep each set in their own stack.
7. Label each pile as Stack 1, 2 and 3 (10:00). I also kept the left over strip from each set and marked my top piece with the set number. These strips come in handy later for a quick visual of your original strip set.
8. Assemble your A B C blocks (10:10). Assemble your next block units, referring to the diagrams on page 2 of your printed pattern. Note: Pay special attention to where the word TOP is when making your A B C piles. This is VERY important if you ironed with a side-seam for proper seam nesting. Personal Experience Advice: Turn the Olympics off during this step.
- Block A – Take first 3 blocks from stack 1 and first 3 blocks from stack 2. Use pattern diagram for TOP placement.
- Block B – Take last 3 blocks from stack 1 and first 3 blocks from stack 3. Use pattern diagram for TOP placement. (I almost got this one wrong!)
- Block C – Take last 3 blocks from stack 2 and last 3 blocks from stack 3. Use pattern diagram for TOP placement
Label each pile as A B C. You may want to take another photo here in case your blocks get out of order while sewing them together, or mark them with an erasable pen.
9. Sew A B C blocks together (11:15). Pin blocks RST, matching and pinning all seams. Kimberly gives you a good close up in her video on matching and pinning seams. Matching seams can be a little tricky for new quilters, but you will get the hang of it after a few blocks. Finish chain piecing all your blocks as Kimberly shows you in the video (12:00).
TIP: If you only have one seam that doesn’t match, rip out the seam an inch or so on each side of mismatched seam, repin and sew just that area.
Clip threads, keeping your blocks in the correct order, and iron all seams in the same direction away from you (13:30). Each block should measure 12 ½” x 12 ½”. If your blocks are not 12 ½” square, you will need to square up your blocks so they are all the same size. Usually it just takes a little edge trimming, but if you need more info on squaring up your blocks, check out the video link at the bottom of this post.
10. Reassemble you’re A B C Block piles (13:50). Check your piles against your photo to make sure all blocks are still in order and then remove the TOP labels.
11. Assemble quilt top (14:00).
Using your pattern as a guide, lay out your A B C blocks, rotating the middle seam as per pattern diagram so that your blocks will alternate horizontally and vertically.
12. Sew Row 1 to Row 2 (15:20). Pin on a row number label at the top of each row.
Make 3 stacks by row, keeping your row number label on top. Pin first block in row 1 to first block in row 2 (RST), nesting middle seam and sew. Continue chain piecing these 2 rows, leaving row 3 on the side. Do not cut your thread between rows.
13. Sew Row 3 to Row 2 (17:30). Lay out your rows and pin and sew Row 3 to Row 2. Iron your row seams in opposite directions (18:30).
14. Complete quilt top (18:40). Sew your last 2 rows together, pinning seams, to complete your quilt-top. If you find you are having a little trouble matching seams its because your final blocks were not square (12-1/2″). If they are off quite a bit, sew 2 of your left over jelly roll strips between your rows, which will eliminate the need to match seams. This is still a really great look! If you choose this option, keep in mind that your batting and backing fabric will increase in length by 4 inches.
THAT’S IT… YOUR QUILT TOP IS DONE!!! Hope you love your Jelly Roll Jam quilt as much as I love mine! Not sure if I will be able to give this one away — luckily I can get two quilts out of this one jelly roll!
As promised, here are the links to some of my favorite piecing video tutorials:
- How to Use a Rotary Cutter by HowCast. (This is bare basics, there are longer videos YouTube.)
- Mastering the Quarter Inch Seam by Fat Quarter Shop
- Pressing and Nesting Seams by About.com (only first half of this video is relevant to this quilt)
- Squaring up Your Blocks by Quilt with Aimee
- Pressing Your Seams Open by SewMamaSew
I will post again February 22nd, same time, same place, where I will cover pin basting, quilting and binding. Need to finish up this post so I can get started. Can’t wait to see it quilted and with a really cute binding!
Please comment or email me with questions on the above and let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them.
Teri of The Hummingbird Thread
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