Jelly Roll Magic! 20 Free Sewing Patterns to Sew With 2 1/2” Strips of Fabric


Experience the joy of jelly roll quilting! This popular trend is making a comeback, or perhaps it never really went away. With just a roll of fabric, even beginners can easily create beautiful quilts.

Here are tips and tricks for working with 2 1/2” strips of fabric, plus 20 of my favorite patterns for making quilts, an apron, a bag, and a cute gift—all with jelly roll strips!

What is a Jelly Roll Bundle?

Photo credit:

A jelly roll is a bundle of 2.5″ wide strips of precut cotton quilt fabric that helps you sew a strip quilt in almost no time. Most fabric companies, including Moda Fabrics, Riley Blake, Free Spirit, Robert Kaufman, and QT Fabrics, release fabric collections in jelly roll strip sets.

Solid fabric jelly rolls, sold in many colors, are also becoming popular. They are great for matching the background of your quilt. Then, you can easily add 2” sashing or a quick 2” border to your quilt.

Jelly Roll Tips to Know

Photo credit:
  • Sewing with an accurate 1/4-inch seam allowance is essential when making strip quilts. If necessary, you can purchase a seam guide for your sewing machine.
  • Precut jelly roll strips are not the same thing as bias strips. Bias-cut strips must be cut at a 45-degree angle, while jelly roll strips are cut across the width of the fabric.
  • Precut strip sets are sometimes called different names, 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 ones I cut to make my quilt binding. Save time by using a jelly roll to make a cute scrappy binding.

How to Cut Your Own Strips

Photo credit:

If you already have piles of fabric yardage and want to cut your jelly roll strips, you can easily do that with just a cutting mat, a long acrylic ruler, and a rotary cutter.

I love using my Accuquilt Go fabric cutter with the 2 1/2” strip die to cut strips even faster. You can fold the fabric several times and cut up to 6 layers at once. Accuquilt dies are available for all of the common precut strip dimensions, plus charm squares, layer cakes, and hexagons.

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 a bad deal after all!

So, let’s get on with sewing… here are my favorite Jelly Roll Quilts to sew.

Quilt as You Go (QAYG) Strip Quilt Tutorial

Photo credit:

Learn to make a jelly roll quilt in the popular quilt-as-you-go style! This free strip quilt pattern includes a video tutorial to show you how to make this fun reversible quilt!

Grandma’s Lattice Quilt Pattern

Photo credit:

The free Grandma’s Lattice Quilt Pattern uses strip piecing and a jelly roll bundle to sew this gorgeous lattice-style quilt! 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). I used True Kisses fabric from Heather Bailey.

Easy Jelly Roll Baby Quilt Pattern

Photo credit: Amy Smart / Diary of a Quilter

If you are just starting to sew or need a quick project, try the Jelly Roll Jam baby quilt. It’s so sweet and easy to sew with Amy’s tips.

Blueberry Pie Strip Quilt Pattern

Photo credit:

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.

The Pippi Quilt Pattern

Photo credit:

Our friends at Duckadilly designed this gorgeous rainbow quilt using a jelly roll of Liberty fabrics. Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics are wider than regular quilting fabrics (and super soft and luxurious). The wider strips provide more options for a jelly roll quilt, such as a wide quilt like this. Check the Duckadilly downloads page for the pattern.

Jelly Roll Strip Quilt

Photo credit: See Kate Sew

This jelly roll strip quilt can be made in an afternoon! The pattern comes together quickly and makes a lap-sized quilt. I am always amazed at how quickly quilts come together and using a jelly roll makes it even faster.

Jelly Roll Relish

Photo credit:

You will ‘relish’ making this fun quilt designed by Fat Quarter Shop. The Jelly Roll Relish is a free pattern, too.

Rails and Ribbons Free Quilt Pattern

Photo credit: The Sewing Loft

Sew a gorgeous patriotic jelly roll quilt with the free Rails and Ribbons quilt pattern from The Sewing Loft. This throw size quilt pattern meets all the requirements of the Quilts of Valor program.

Jelly Roll Railway

Photo credit:

The Railroad Crossing quilt block is a classic that most quilters will recognize. Sew it with jelly roll strips and make this darling railway quilt!

Ma Maison Quilt

Photo credit: Cheryl Brickey for Moda Bake Shop Blog

I love this fun quilt that Cheryl Brickey designed for Moda. It finishes at 48” x 56” and only requires one jelly roll plus 3/4 yard of background fabric. See the Ma Maison Quilt Pattern.

Scrappy Triangles Free Quilt Pattern

Photo credit: Melissa Mortenson / Polka Dot Chair

Create a snuggly lap quilt out of 3 yards of fabric and a Jelly Roll of fabric with Melissa’s free Scrappy Triangles Quilt Pattern!

Jelly Roll Twirl

Photo credit:

This fun quilt is called Jelly Roll Twirl. I love the creative use of strips.

Kisses Quilt Pattern

Photo credit:

Sew this fast and easy Kisses Quilt Pattern with half of a jelly roll bundle of print fabric plus a jelly roll (or 2 1/2 yards) of solid fabric for the background. I used a beautiful Kaffe Fasset jelly roll to sew a scrappy version of this modern geometric quilt.

Patchwork Quilt with Strip Piecing

Do you want more creative freedom? Make your next jelly roll quilt with Patchwork Quilt Blocks using 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! See my how-to video.

Jelly Roll Slice

Photo credit:

Here’s another fast pattern called Jelly Roll Slice. It’s beautiful!!!

Sunny Trips

Photo credit: Karin Vail for Moda Bake Shop Blog

Are you ready to really get rollin’? This gorgeous 90” x 90” designed by Karin Vail uses 3 print jelly rolls and one solid jelly roll. The result is stunning! Check out the Sunny Trips pattern.

Other Sewing Patterns Using Jelly Roll Strips

Photo credit:

Sew up this lovely Jelly Glazed Hearts Tablerunner. It can be made with strips from your favorite Jelly Roll and some yardage from your scrap bin!

Jelly Roll Apron Pattern

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.

Cross Body Zipper Tote

Sew a cute zipper tote using 2 1/2″ strips! This free sewing pattern is perfect for beginners or anyone who has jelly roll strips in their fabric scrap bin.

Journaling Bookmarks

journaling bookmark
Image credit:

Do you have small jelly roll scraps? Let’s sew some DIY Bookmarks! Last weekend, I wanted to make a super-quick gift 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.

Other Pre-Cut Fabrics You Will Love

Don’t stop with just precut fabric strips… there are more precuts in different sizes to make your quilts fast and easy!

  • Fat Quarters (18” x 20” rectangles)
  • Charm Square Packs (5” squares)
  • Mini Charm Packs (2 1/2” squares)
  • Honey Buns (1 1/2” strips)

More from SewCanShe

Photo credit:

50 Free Things to Sew Using Fabric Scraps: Turn Tiny Pieces into Things People Love

Photo credit:

15 Easy Tips for Sewing a Straight Line: Because It’s Not As Easy As They Say!

Photo credit:

40 Free Sewing Projects to Make You More Organized!

Photo credit:

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. 🙂