it dawned on me this morning while i was cutting strips out of some aqua and red prints i’ve been collecting, that a DIY jelly roll of your favorite fabrics would be a great gift for a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker who also has the quilting ‘bug’ aka addiction..
i thought i’d share my technique for cutting quick 2 1/2″ strips aka jelly roll strips.. this likely is not new for the seasoned quilter, and i’m sure there are other ways, but it’s been the technique that gets the job done for me.
note: a standard jelly roll consists of 40 strips of various “dark & light” prints cut along the width-of-fabric [WOF=selvage to selvage].
the gift of a DIY jelly roll.
- create your own unique jelly rolls with scraps, new or vintage fabric.
- your jelly roll does not need to consist of 40 strips, the choice is up to you. a lap quilt can easily be made with half a standard jelly roll [20 strips].
- once you’ve cut your strips, carefully roll your jelly roll, smoothing as you go, and use a rubber band to secure.
- wrap twine or ribbon around your jelly roll, tie, removing the rubber band is optional, attach a note and your gift is ready for the giving.
as you can see my 2 1/2″ x 18″ ruler is not long enough for me to complete just one cut before having to shift the ruler, align with the first cut, the edge of fabric and then make my second cut, so i adopted this technique to streamline the process..
- i lay my 6″ x 24″ ruler across the WOF, and trim the outside edge so i have a nice straight cut to begin with. next i slide my ruler to the left while placing my 2 1/2″ x 18″ ruler flush against my 6″ x 24″, aligning the rulers and fabric..
- while holding the 6″ x 24″ in place i push the small ruler to the right, and use my rotary cutter to cut along the complete width-of-fabric..
- slide rulers to the left and repeat..
- exchange prints, and repeat, before you know it you’ll have all the jelly roll strips you’ll need for your next project or gift.
with this technique i can literally cut 20-30 strips of fabric in 5 minutes. i use this same technique for my binding and sashing too [for wider sashing i use a wider omnigrid ruler].
if you’re new to quilting or would like to get started with quilting, these are four quilting tools i can NOT live without, i use them each and every time i quilt.
- 6″ x 24″ omnigrid ruler
- 2 1/2″ x 18″ omnigrid ruler [ used for strips, sashing, and binding]
- olfa 45mm rotary cutter
- 36″ x 24″ fiskars cutting mat