Heather Thomas

Creating a Quilt Block with Jelly Rolls

Heather Thomas
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Duration:   12  mins

Using precut fabrics can be a great way to save time when cutting out fabric for piecing. Heather Thomas shows you how to incorporate one precut, a jelly roll, into a fun and easy quilt block design that doesn’t require any pattern and can be arranged in multiple layouts.

Jelly Roll

Heather first begins by explaining what a jelly roll is. Jelly rolls are bundles of precut strips of fabric that are generally 2 ½” in width. The number of strips you get in a bundle can depend on the manufacturer, however there are usually 20, 30, or 40 strips to a jelly roll. The strips of fabric in a jelly roll are also either coordinating fabrics or fabrics from a certain collection.

Block Design

Heather then explains how to begin piecing together this jelly roll quilt idea, which doesn’t require any pattern—only strips of fabric from a jelly roll and a background fabric. She demonstrates how to sew together several strips of fabric to begin creating the block. Heather also gives tips on how to use a technique called string piecing to help streamline the process of piecing several blocks at the same time. Once the strips have been sewn together, Heather demonstrates how to properly press the fabric so that the strips do not get distorted.

She then explains that in order to know what size to cut your background square of fabric, you simply measure the width of the pieced strips, cut it into a square, and then cut a background fabric square the same size. Once that half of the block is done, she explains how to create the remaining part of the block by again piecing together strips, measuring the width of the first block section, and then cutting the strips to the right length.

After the block has been completed, Heather shows several different ways to lay out the block. For more fun ways to use jelly rolls, try out our jelly roll class.

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