Jelly roll quilts are easy to sew and make a nice lap quilt or baby quilt. This post includes everything you need to know to start making a jelly roll quilt, plus a bunch of free jelly roll quilt patterns to get you sewing.
Do you want to make a strip quilt? I love making jelly roll quilts…they are fast and fun! To a quilter, there’s nothing more convenient then pre-cut fabric.
A jelly roll is a bundle of 2.5″ wide strips of precut cotton quilt fabric that make help you sew a strip quilt in almost no time at all. Most fabric manufacturers are now releasing fabric collections in jelly roll strip sets, including Moda Fabrics, Riley Blake, Free Spirit, Robert Kaufman, and QT Fabrics.
How to Cut Your Own Strips
If you already have piles of fabric yardage and want to cut your own jelly roll strips, you can easily do that with just a cutting mat, long acrylic ruler, and rotary cutter.
To cut strips even faster, I love using my Accuquilt Go fabric cutter with the 2 1/2” strip die. You can fold the fabric several times and cut up to 6 layers at once. In fact, you can find Accuquilt dies for all of the common precut strip dimensions plus charm squares, layer cakes, and hexagons.
Just so you don’t have to do the math, 1 yard of fabric will yield 14 WOF (width of fabric) strips. That means a Jelly Roll contains nearly 3 yards of fabric so maybe buying the precut strips isn’t such a bad deal after all!
Check out this collection of free jelly roll quilt patterns, and come back again soon, I’m going to be adding more projects regularly!
Jelly Roll Tips to Know
- Sewing with an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance is really important when you are making strip quilts. You can purchase a seam guide for your sewing machine if you need to.
- Precut jelly roll strips are not the same thing as bias strips. Bias cut strips must be cut on a 45 degree angle, while jelly roll strips are cut across the width of the fabric.
- Precut strip sets are sometimes called by a different name such as rolie polies or bali pops (usually for batik fabrics). Don’t confuse them with Honey Buns – those are 1 1/2” strips!
- 2 1/2” precut strips are the same size as the strips that I cut to make my quilt binding. Save time by using a jelly roll to make a cute scrappy binding.
- Solid fabric Jelly Rolls are also becoming popular and sold in lots of colors. They are great for matching the background of your quilt. Then you can easily add 2” sashing to your quilt or a quick 2” border.
So let’s get on with sewing… here are my favorite Jelly Roll Quilts to sew:
Patchwork Style Jelly Roll Quilt Patterns
Use strip piecing and a jelly roll bundle to sew this gorgeous lattice style quilt! You won’t believe how fast and easy it is to get scrappy looking blocks using strips. This quilt piecing technique is so much faster than cutting 2 1/2” squares and sewing them together (which is fun too – I did that for this super scrappy patchwork quilt).
Get the free Grandma’s Lattice Quilt Pattern. I used some of the new True Kisses fabric from Heather Bailey.
One of my most popular free quilt patterns is one that I sewed with some of my favorite jelly roll fabrics from Kaffe Fasset. For this quilt, you will use 2 1/2” strips of fabric for the background and the motifs. This is the free Kisses Quilt Pattern.
Tips for this quilt include:
- Group all pieces by size and background or print
- If making a two-toned quilt, also group by color family.
- You can also choose your print fabric pieces at random.
Sew up this Beautiful Blueberry Pie Quilt quicker than you think! I used modern quilt design and traditional log cabin piecing. You’ll sew each new piece on all the way to the end of the strip. If you’re not familiar with this technique, make sure you take a look.
Notice how I used a whole bunch of low volume cream fabrics and then tone on tone blue fabrics for the ‘pie’ shapes? Read all my tips for using low volume fabrics in this blog post.
Do you want more creative freedom? Make your next jelly roll quilt have Patchwork Quilt Blocks with my lightning fast Strip Piecing Technique.
I’ll show you how to sew the strips together with even 1/4” seams before you cut off the selvage. Then use a rotary cutter and ruler to sub-cut your strip sets into patchwork pieces. It’s the fastest free tutorial for sewing a patchwork quilt ever!
Strip Quilt Style Patterns
Sew a jelly roll into a beautiful double sided lap quilt with my Quilt As You Go Strip Quilt Video Tutorial! This free project is all included in a video. You’ll love using pre-cut strips of batting too. When you are done sewing the strips together, the quilting is done too. All that will be left to do is add some binding.
I love how fast and easy this quilt is to make – it’s perfect for beginners or experienced quilters who want a super quick quilt project.
Make not one, but TWO absolutely charming baby quilts with this Jelly Roll Jam 2 Quilt Pattern from Fat Quarter Shop…come see!
Here’s another fast pattern called Jelly Roll Slice. It’s beautiful!!!
If you love to sew strip quilts, don’t miss the Jolly Roll Twist Quilt, a fun shortcut strip quilt tutorial for all skill levels!
If you are looking for a Jelly Roll Race quilt pattern, I think Jenny Doan’s YouTube video is the clearest and easist one to watch.
Other Sewing Projects Using Jelly Roll Strips
Sew up this lovely Jelly Glazed Hearts Tablerunner can be made with strips from your favorite Jelly Roll and some yardage from your scrap bin!
It’s not a jelly roll quilt pattern, but you can still treat yourself to a new Mile-a-Minute Jelly Roll Apron…with pockets!!!! I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to cook (or do dishes) without a full coverage apron like this.
Grab a jelly roll or gather up your extra strips and let’s sew something cute to wear in the kitchen.
Do you have small jelly roll scraps? Let’s sew some DIY Bookmarks! Last weekend I wanted to make a super-quick gift to make for some young women in our church and this is what I came up with. This easy sewing project is jelly roll friendly because it uses 2 1/2’’ strips. You can also personalize the pieces with machine embroidery before sewing them together.
Similar Products You will Also Love
Don’t stop with just precut fabric strips… there are more precuts in different sizes to make your quilts fast and easy! Visit your local quilt shop to find:
- Fat Quarters (18” x 20” rectangles)
- Charm Square Packs (5” squares)
- Mini Charm Packs (2 1/2” squares)
- Honey Buns (1 1/2” strips)
I’m currently working on another jelly roll quilt that is so gorgeous and fun it will blow your mind! Make sure you are subscribed to my free newsletter. I don’t want you to miss it!
I love to see what you are sewing up with my free patterns and tutorials. Make sure you upload a photo to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂