Make your own jelly roll! 2 sample quilt tops

men's shirt jelly roll quilt top

Ever since I heard about jelly roll quilts and jelly roll races, I wanted to try one. But for one reason or another, I never found a roll that I liked or had other projects going….it just never seemed to happen for me. Until these Christmas holidays when I realized that I had one whole day (December 26) for myself. So I grabbed 13 shirts my significant other had previously dedicated to go to Goodwill (yeah…they were still sitting in my sewing room) and started to take them apart. I apologize for not having a picture of these steps. Just imagine a pile of shirts, hangers, buttons, and lots of lose threads.

Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks or sounds taking shirts apart. I started with my rotary cutter but soon became tired of being so exact and just used scissors instead. I cut 2.5″ strips as much as I could, but also cut 2″ and 1″ and everything in between for other quilt projects. In the end, I had a HUGE amount of strips – and yes, it did feel overwhelming. Thanks to my Facebook sewing friends, I felt encouraged to follow through.

So I made 2.5″ squares to connect the different strips with.

men's shirts turned into jelly roll
men’s shirts turned into jelly roll
men's shirts turned into jelly roll
men’s shirts turned into jelly roll

When I sewed the strips to the squares, I tried to be as random as possible. I had seen other jelly roll quilts where like fabrics overlap/touch and I did not want that to happen. Well, little did I know that despite all the randomness, you will end up with like strips touching. A regular jelly roll yields a 1600″ strip that you sew together. I measured my long strip and ended up at 3358″. SAY WHA???? Crazy! Enough for two quilt tops. So I cut the strip in half and began sewing quilt top number 1.

I am sewing on a Singer Simple and though I wanted to make this a race quilt, this machine doesn’t do anything quick or fast. If you’re in a hurry, this dame of machine makes sure you run into every problem under the sun to slow you down. Bobbin issues, tension issues, tread breaking etc. When I had the first row sewn, I felt defeated and thought I would never get this done. But I kept going and about one hour later, I had a quilt top!

men's shirt jelly roll quilt top
men’s shirt jelly roll quilt top

As you can see, there are like fabrics touching but overall it is still pretty random. It also has a very modern look, which I like a lot.

The next day I went to make quilt top 2 and here’s the result:

men's shirt jelly roll quilt top
men’s shirt jelly roll quilt top

Isn’t it amazing how much these two quilts look like siblings? I love it! Here’s a side by side of the two.

men's shirt jelly roll quilt top
men’s shirt jelly roll quilt top

I plan on adding two borders (wide dark blue, light blue, wide dark blue), and use a shirting fabric as backing. For the binding I plan on going with the blue I’ll use in the border. So excited! I have to wait for a fabric sale to be able to afford all this fabric and batting but I’m looking forward to having this complete!

Happy Sewing,

Franzi

2 thoughts on “Make your own jelly roll! 2 sample quilt tops

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s