Creating a home by hand.

Jelly Roll 1600 Quilt Top

Monday, I needed to drive up to Goderich to Mark’s Work Wearhouse to pick up a safety jacket for Dave for him to wear on the job and I took the opportunity afterwards to stop into Quilters By the Square to pick up sewing machine needles that I needed and to spend some time browsing through and fondling the fabric.

I hadn’t intended to buy any fabric.   And I hardly ever pay full price for fabric.  In fact, I still get sticker shock each time I look at the price of fabric in Canada.

And then, I spotted this happy little jelly roll.

Ever since I first watched a youtube video of a group of ladies doing a Jelly Roll 1600 race, I’ve been wanting to make one of those quilts for myself but I hadn’t found a jelly roll that I liked enough.

This one, I definitely liked enough and it came home with me.

The fabric is Twirl by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda.

Once I got it unrolled, I found that there were three black print strips in amongst all those bright, colourful strips.

Not that they weren’t pretty too, especially the black with the butterflies… but I knew those three strips would stand out like a sore thumb if I made the original Jelly Roll 1600 quilt.

Instead, I decided to do a simple variation by cutting 2 ½ inch squares from the black prints and joining those in between the other strips.

I don’t have my cutting mat, rotary cutter and rulers here, so I had to cut the squares the old fashioned way by making a template.

I arranged the squares in three piles beside the sewing machine and draped the other strips over my knitting bag and I was ready to sew.

37 strips of fabric plus 37 – 2 ½ inch squares sewn in the first really, really long strip.

Now I should mention that if they ever hold Relay Jelly Roll 1600 races… you do not want me on your team.  In one of the youtube videos I watched, one of the ladies finished her quilt top in 38 minutes.

It took me almost 50 minutes just to sew the first two strips together.  30 minutes to sew the second set.  15 minutes to sew the next set and so on.

But after 4 hours with time between sewing strips together to press… the Jelly Roll 1600 quilt top was complete.

I love it.  I smiled almost the whole time that I was sewing the quilt together.  The fabrics are just so happy and bright.

Now I just need to decide if I want to add borders or leave it like it is.



  • Betty Lou
    June 6, 2012 8:47 am

    I like your addition of the 2 1/2″ spacer square in you quilt, it does add a new dimension to your quilt. I made the 1600 quilt a month or so ago, didn’t like it at first, but it is growing on me. Think I will make another since I have enough 2 1’2″ strips cut. Love Me and My Sister fabric, such wonderful colors.

  • Sewfrench
    June 6, 2012 8:58 am

    Great idea, to cut up the blacks! I’m not sure I would have thought of that. They would have languished like orphans, around here, LOL! This looks great, I can see why it makes you happy!

  • Sandra :)
    June 6, 2012 9:59 am

    I love that design – I saw it for the first time last year (winter, I think) on a fellow Canadian’s blog – she did it, IIRC, in black and white prints – it was gorgeous! I bought a jellyroll of Christmas fabrics from Connecting Threads to make one but it’s still in the “One Day” pile 😉 How big is yours?

  • Katherine
    June 6, 2012 10:10 am

    Love it! So clever to place those pops of black in small random spots. Adds a lovely contrast to the other colours.

  • wendy
    June 6, 2012 11:55 am

    You moved! I didn’t know, i did wonder why you weren’t posting!

    I love the quilt, what you did with the black squares was genius!

  • Elizabeth E.
    June 6, 2012 11:38 am

    Congratulations! I’ve always wanted to try this quilt, too, but I hardly ever buy jelly rolls (I could cut up some of the bazillion yards of fabric I already have, I guess). I think your solution to the black–cutting it up into squares–was brilliant. I love contrast in quilts and those really made it pop.

    Very cute quilt–way to go!

  • Becky
    June 6, 2012 1:22 pm

    It’s beautiful! You’re right – it’s so bright and cheerful. What a fun way to make a quilt.

  • Bethany
    June 6, 2012 12:25 pm

    I love 1600 quilts – they look like a lot of fun! I haven’t tried one yet, but I’m thinking I’ll have to try someday. 🙂 Yours looks awesome!

  • Robin (RsIslandCrafts)
    June 6, 2012 2:47 pm

    I love these quilts. I haven’t made one yet but I’m pretty sure it would take me more than 38 minutes lol. I like the 2.5″ black squares scattered throughout.

  • corina
    June 6, 2012 8:31 pm

    I love it! The black squares were the perfect addition. I had a chance to buy a jelly roll of that fabric line but passed it up – I could kick myself now! 😉

  • Tamara
    June 6, 2012 8:42 pm

    lol… since we both hate borders… i say leave it as it is! It is really pretty.

  • Connie @ A Piecework Life
    June 7, 2012 2:07 am

    What a great idea! The darker squares add such a nice contrast. To border or to not border… tough choice. I’ll check back to see how it turns out. And I know what you mean about paying full price for fabric. 🙂

  • Leslie
    June 7, 2012 9:54 am

    i have heard of these quilt races. what a fun idea. i love that you chose to put the black in like that. it makes such a statement,

  • Rebecca
    June 10, 2012 11:31 am

    Nice way to change it up. 🙂

  • Kristin
    June 10, 2012 2:05 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. 🙂

    I scanned your blog earlier and was thrilled you linked this post for the week so I remembered to comment on it (new baby brain and all, you know). 😉 This quilt is so fun and bright! And I love you you managed to incorporate the black/dark fabrics to give it something special.

    Looking forward to exploring your blog more – especially for project ideas!


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  • Betsy
    May 10, 2013 12:14 am

    Just found this through Pinterest and I must say, I absolutely love the way you used the black prints in this! It adds so much interest to the quilt top.

  • kathryn p.
    July 30, 2013 4:36 pm

    I am enjoying looking around your blog. I found it because I had googled to find a photo of a Singer 201-2 in a blonde wood art deco cabinet that my daughter just bought for $30. The info on your site has been very helpful. I even texted my daughter to tell her to look here since that is her first machine and she wants to learn to sew. The info on the drawer with the pencil tray was interesting. My daughter was just telling me about that part of it and the “cup-holder looking thing” but hers apparently has a bottle or something that sits in the holder. Thanks for the info! On another note, I came across a surprise while browsing here. As a preface, let me say my son wanted to borrow a pen from me just last night to go to a BSA meeting but he refused the one we found in the car because it was from. . . MAMAW’S THIMBLE!! We live in Knoxville, so it was a hoot to find your post about the store!! It is a small world!! Keep posting and the world will keep reading!

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