Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to make a Queen Size Jelly Roll 1600 quilt, Version One & Two's a queen size quilt made in the ~style~ of a Jelly Roll 1600 quilt but it requires many more strips than the original lap-size 1600 quilt.  Second disclaimer:  For me, this year is all about finishing things up and using up stash so I will be using every opportunity possible to maximize using stash instead of purchasing new. 

To recap, the twin size version required 78 strips, did not have borders and finished at 65 x 96 before quilting and washing.  After being quilted, bound and washed it measured 59 x 89 which is a decent size for a twin bed.  (A twin mattress measures 39 x 75 so it will have about a 10" drop and a little bit of a pillow tuck).   A queen size mattress measures 60" x 80" so, to make this a queen size quilt the simplest thing to do would be to add borders to the 65 x 96 that we had before.  So,

Version 1:  12-16" inches of borders (6"-8" each side) would give you a quilt about 80" x 110" which fits a queen size with about an 8" drop.  Adding a single outer border requires 2 3/4 yards of fabric for lengthwise strips at 8 1/2" and would give you a finished quilt size of 81" x 112".  If you prefer to piece your outer border cut (9) 8 1/2" wide strips from 2 1/4 yards of fabric.  Join the strips and cut to measured length.  Attach, measure side to side and cut 2 more borders.  Backing: 7 1/2 yards, pieced with 2 horizontal seams. Binding: 1 1/4 yards for bias binding; 2/3 yd for (10) strips cut at 2 1/2" (or use leftover JR strips!).

However, you saw how much length and width you "lose" in washing so here is what I ended up with:

Version 2:  This quilt began as a Jelly Roll from Moda by 3 Sisters called Park Avenue.  One of the women I work with had a beautiful piece of brown cotton velvet left over from a project and it coordinated beautifully.  There was just enough to add a 3.5" inner border.  Since this Jelly Roll is a Christmas line and I would be using this quilt during the holiday season I wanted to add a red border.  It finished at 88" x 114".  At the quilting stage I thought I had made it a little too long but after washing it measures 80" x 107" which is perfect.  I wouldn't want it any narrower or someone will end up getting "uncovered" during the night!  As it is, it is not quite long enough to get to the bed rail.  And, if you want to cover the pillows you'll see that it is plenty long enough to do that.  In fact, it's the perfect length for a pillow tuck.  So, I am quite happy with the finished size.  If you want your quilt just like this, follow along: 

This version requires a total of 70 strips, just a few less than the twin size version because we're adding borders too.  If you are using a Jelly Roll pack Plus stash remember to mix up all the strips before you begin sewing strips together.  Start with (1) Jelly Roll plus 10 extra strips cut from stash, so 50 strips or about 2000". Piece together using the Jelly Roll method for a unit that measures approximately 62" x 64".   Do not trim yet.  As before, divide the remaining 20 strips into 2 groups, one for the top and one for the bottom, same as before.  However, for this quilt, I actually layed the strips out in the order I wanted them. I did not sew them together jelly roll fashion.  Lay 10 strips out into 6 rows at the top of the quilt, stagger the strips as you go, cut extra length off so you can use it to fill in on another row.  Sew the strips into rows and attach the rows to the beginning section. Lay the remaining 10 strips out into 6 rows for the bottom of the quilt in the same manner.  This adds 12" to the top and bottom and gives us a finished strippy quilt approximately 62 x 88 with uneven edges.  Now it's time to trim the long edges square.
I use a combination of my longest ruler and my large square to trim it up.  Use the square ruler to keep your edges even (perpendicular) by lining up a marked line on the ruler with a seam in the quilt top.  Use the long ruler butted up against it to cut with.  If you prefer you can mark it first, measure the width of the top and bottom edges to make sure they are the same length and "square".  Then go back and cut.  You could also fold the top in half matching the top and bottom edges, find the point which is the narrowest and trim off to that point, on each side. 

Cut (8) 3.5" strips of the inner border fabric. Piece into one long strip.  Measure the length in at least two places.  Cut (2) border lengths from it (apprx 88").  Pin and sew.  A walking foot is handy so the fabrics feed evenly; it will help keep your quilt square and borders flat, not wavy.  Now measure across the width in at least two places.  Cut (2) widths (approx 68").  Pin and sew.  Top now measures approx 68 x 94.

Outer Border:  **I prefer not to piece my outer borders.  If I can, I buy enough for tearing lengthwise strips, 3 yards will do it for a non-directional fabric.  This also gives you enough fabric to line up a motif, if necessary. Tear four 10" LENGTHWISE strips from your border fabric.  Measure the length and trim torn strips to length (approx 94").    Attach side borders.  Measure width (approx 87") and trim remaining borders to correct length.  Attach to top and bottom.  Finished quilt top size:  88 x 114.

Close up of quilting:  Quilting was done with an overall design on my long-arm machine called "HO HO HOLLY".

Detail of quilting

Quick Look Fabric Requirements:

Version 1: 
(78) 2 1/2" WOF strips- either 2 Jelly Rolls or 1 Jelly Roll plus 38 strips from your stash, or ALL Stash (yeah baby!)
2 3/4 yards for lengthwise border strips OR, 1 1/2 yards for pieced borders OR, for a directional print 3
5/8 yds
Backing:  7 1/2 yards, no matching, pieced horizontally OR 2 1/2 yards of each of (3) coordinating fabrics
Binding:  1 1/8 yards bias strips, or 10 Jelly Roll strips or 2/3 yard for cutting straight WOF strips

Version 2:
(70) 2 1/2" WOF strips
Inner Border:  7/8 yd 
Outer Border:  3 yards for lengthwise strips or 2 5/8 yards to piece border strips
Backing:  8 yards or, 2 3/4 yards of (3) coordinating prints, horizontal seams
Binding:  1 1/4 yards for bias strips, or 11 Jelly Roll strips or 7/8 yard for cutting straight WOF strips

So, there you go!  Hope this works for you.  If you have any questions, please contact me and I'll answer asap!  Now go sew up your stash!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Project Update

Looking back on my January post there are a couple of projects I've finished but haven't shown final pictures of.  Here is a look at a couple of them.  Unfortunately, I realize I've given quilts away without taking a picture of the completed quilt. 

Autumn Leaves
This quilt is finished.  Quilted and bound and off to its new home.  I'm very happy with the final project.  The pattern is from the book All for Fall by Anne's Quilt Loft, published in 2003.  I used a batik mottled dark blue for the background of the leaves, a second slightly lighter blue batik print for the sashing.  The squares in the chain block are cut at 2".  Blocks finish at 8".  Don't know how I missed getting a picture...hmm seems to happen a lot.  Got to figure out how to remedy that. 

Nick's T-shirt quilt

Nick is on the left and my older son is on the right.  I really had a good time making this quilt.  I designed the layout based on helps from the book "You Did What with my T-shirts?" by Judy Bobbitt and Katie Reed.  The book suggested putting a border around every t-shirt to get them all to a uniform size.  I used a stripe cut at 1" for the first border around each t-shirt then the "background" fabric around that to get each shirt to about 20.5".  There is one long narrow shirt in each vertical row.  Those finished at 11 x 20".  What I like about this is that the T-shirts appear to float on the background; there are seams inbetween in the red fabric.

Backing of T-shirt quilt
 This is the backing layout for the T-shirt quilt.  I've been trying to USE my stash and this backing emptied out some of my reds, blacks, and whites.  I did have to buy a couple more white FQ's.  The design for this is from the book "The Original Turning Twenty" by Tricia Cribbs.  I used more than 20 fabrics because some of them were not Fat Quarters.  If I only had a strip of something I cut what I could from it.  My version is bigger than the one in the book (of course! I'm always doing that!) so I needed more blocks.  This setting is 5 complete blocks across and 7 down.  I used about 12 black blocks, about 17 white blocks and about 7 or 8 red blocks.  Basically, you sew the block with large pieces and cut it in half on the diagonal.  Join halves of different colors to get the zigzag.  So many possibilities...Get this book!  

I am making progress on my Scrappy Trips blocks.  I've completed 35 of 63 blocks.  I don't work on it that often.  I would like to cut some more strips for it, too.  But, the more blocks I make the better I like it.  It has a different feel than what I thought I would get but I guess that's what my stash looks like, interesting, huh?

Well, lots to do today so I better get going...I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to make a Jelly Roll 1600 quilt BIGGER!

I've been meaning to post this for awhile.  I've made several Jelly Roll quilts and none of them have been "1600" quilts.  I like to make bed size quilts so each one has been made to fit a given bed size.  I've made one twin size, 2 queen size and a full size.  I haven't looked around a lot to see if others have posted info on how to make a larger than throw size but I think this should work for you if you want to make one a bit bigger than the original. 

To start with a jelly roll 1600 quilt is made with 40 2.5" strips each approximately 40" in length thus you have 40 x 40" equals 1600" of length.  The basic instructions tell you to sew all 40 strips together into one long strip joining them with a diagonal seam as you would join binding strips.  From there you can cut this 1600" length into (2) 800" pieces and sew that first very long seam of your quilt top.  Fold this 800" length in half and cut at 400" and sew the two strip sets together.  Repeat again with 200" length.  Repeat again with 100" length. Repeat for the final time which gives you a 50" width for your quilt.  Each time you fold in half and sew you are doubling the number of strips in the strip sets.  After you sew the first seam your strip set is 2 strips wide.  After you sew the second seam the strip set is 4 strips wide; then 8, then 16, then 32 and you're done.  32 strips x 2" gives you a quilt which is 64" long.  This is important because in all the sizes I've made I have never sewn more than the five seams it takes to make it 64" long.  And, if you add more strips to with you only get a quilt which is WIDER, not longer.  So, what do you do if you want to make a longer quilt??

Let's start with a full size quilt.  The one I'm quilting right now is 65 x 96 without borders which will plenty long enough once I wash it and it shrinks up a bit.  (EDIT: It's washed and bound and pictured above.  Final measurements are 59 x 89.  It shrinks a lot!)  This one requires a total of 78 strips (you could buy two jelly rolls but I wanted to use stash fabric too).  If you are cutting extra strips from stash it's ok to add more than one strip of a fabric you like.  For the first unit sew 50 strips together * using some from the jelly roll and some from those you cut; in other words, mix them up!  When those are all sewn into one length your starting length is about 2000".  Then I sewed those up as per the basic directions folding in half each time. (For math geeks you might like to know that that gives you measurements of 1000, 500, 250, 125, 67.5)  That gave me an almost square quilt top measuring 67 x 64.  There are 28 strips remaining.  Divide them into two groups of 14 strips and sew each group in jelly roll fashion (560", 280", 140", 70"and, no, you don't have to measure your length, I'm just including this in case you want to know the math behind the sewing).  You end up with two units each measuring approximately 16 1/2" x 70".  The 70" width after 4 seams gives you plenty to work with.  Sew one of these units to the top of the original unit and the other one to the bottom.  By adding one group to the top and one to the bottom you can repeat strips and it won't be obvious that you have done so and it helps to blend all the fabrics together into a more unified look.  16 + 64 + 16 = 96" in length!  Trim the sides up even to about 65 or so and you're ready to add borders or not.  I didn't but you certainly could.  Backing for this size requires 6 yards.

Next time, I'll give instructions for a queen size.  And, maybe get some pictures to go with...

Now go cut up some of that Stash!!  Have Fun!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I think I'm ready!  I've spent as much time as possible over the past several days getting all my projects organized for a retreat.  I'll have 3 whole days to sew my brains out.  It's actually pretty exhausting, as many of you could attest to, but "sew" worth it :) ! 

Here are some of the projects and ephemera I'm taking...the wine and food is already packed in the car.  The laundry is in the dryer but there's only a couple of things I need from that load.  I just wanted it done so there would be less to contend with when I get back.  Are you like that too?  I like to get the house fairly clean and orderly so I don't come home to a mess so, the dusting and vacuuming has been done too. 

I'm looking forward to having lots of progress to report on my Bow Ties, Autumn Leaves and Scrappy Trips blocks.  I've got a couple of new projects to start too-or should I say stashed projects.  I've had fabric for a Twister quilt for a couple of years that I haven't gotten to yet and I found a project I want to make out of some flannels from my stash, too.  So, do those count as new or old projects? At least they aren't UFO's!  We had a great time last year and I got so much done I was amazed.  It was my first retreat like that and I was surprised by how much I accomplished so I packed lots of projects for this year.

In February I spent a couple of weeks out east visiting family.  I happened to be there when Nemo struck so I thought I would share a few pictures from that.   I hadn't seen that much snow in a long time!  I'm glad I was there so I could do the digging out for my 85 year old Dad.  If you caught up with me on Facebook, you already know we had to cancel his birthday party because it was the day after the storm...see the picture from that day...the one with his van totally covered in snow.

This is my Dad's back yard.  Isn't it pretty? Friday morning the snow starting.
By dinnertime it was coming down pretty heavily.

By bedtime we knew we were going to have a lot of work to do the next day!

Dug my way out to the car then took a break.  Cleared off the car, met a couple of neighbors, cleared out a path for fuel delivery and for the dryer vent.  Whew!  Thank goodness the plow guy did the driveway!  I also made a birthday cake for my Dad using his Mom's recipe! I made that while the snow was falling and had the crockpot going too.  We never lost power so we stayed inside comfy and warm....and I sewed and sewed and sewed.
Cake from my Grandma's recipe

Well, I leave you with visions of yummy cake swirling in your head.  Hope you're having a great weekend!  I'll be back next weekend with an update on what I got done on Retreat!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Old Things and New Things-January Report

As I’ve been rummaging through bins of old projects I found a couple that I think I’ll keep out for awhile.  My design walls are covered with several different projects so I took some pictures of them to share with you.  Here's what I've been working on this month:

Nick's T shirt quilt
This young man will get his t-shirt quilt soon.  I just have to add the border and finish piecing the back and then it will go on my long-arm to get meandered.  So, there are 15 of the blocks I've completed this year.

3" finished Bow Ties
I'm up to 103 Bow Tie blocks!  So, only another couple hundred to go.  When I can, I cut for them in groups of 4.  This has been a great Leader/Ender project.  28 of these were done this year.  I'm all out of "Ties" so I have get some more cutting done!

The last 4 Cats

Now I have 80 Cat blocks to put together with sashing.  The sashing will have friendship stars in them.  That would be a good Leader/Ender too, once I get that all cut.

Leaf Blocks
 These Leaf Blocks are my latest "discovery".  I made them with fabric from an exchange eons ago.  It took awhile to find my place in the project again but today I cut some more background and squares for the alternate block and I'm ready to make some more.  It will be at least a lap size quilt but I may have to get creative when I come down the home stretch if I want to make it bigger...I won't have enough background for that.   Not a problem; I'll think on that as I go along and I'm sure I'll have something figured out by that time.  BTW, did you notice that something is missing from these blocks???  There's no stem!  I stopped making them because I didn't know what I wanted to do about it.  Now I, rip, rip.  I'm going to take out the plain square and make a new pieced square with a "stem".  It won't take much time at all and I'll be very happy with them. 

Here is my favorite project this year:  I LOVE making these blocks.  It's better than eating potato chips!  I can't wait to see how each one looks when put next to the others and I can't wait to see it as an entire quilt.  Just jump onto the bandwagon and you'll have So Much Fun!  Bonnie's pattern is here.

Scrappy Trips!

Finally, here is a project I started so I could use some of the Kaffe's I've been hoarding:

Hidden Stars
The closest I could come to a name for this block is Hidden Star.  I saw a picture in a magazine but couldn't find the pattern or a link any where so I figured out what size I wanted the blocks to be.  These are 9" finished.  It goes together like a nine patch with connector corners to make both the star points and the white background.  So the base pieces are cut at 3 1/2" and the connectors are 2" squares. 

January has started out for me with lots of fun sewing.  How about you?  I hope you've had a good start to the new year too!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Out of Hibernation

Here's a quick look at one of the projects I've brought out of hibernation.  I had started these basket blocks back in 2005, if you can believe; and worked on them once or twice since then.  Then they got placed in a bin and put on a shelf and mostly forgotten.  I don't know what made me think of them now necessarily except I've been doing an inventory of sorts lately.  Mary Huey ( came to speak at our guild last week on the topic of UFQ’s.  She made some good points one of which, if I may paraphrase her, is that in order to Finish Something you need to know what you have. So, it got me thinking about some of those bins put away in the back of the closet; things I really want to work on some day.  Well, today is the day for this little project!

There are (14) 8" blocks and (14) 4" blocks in mostly 30's fabrics.  They are quite cheerful for a wintry day.  I put together kits for another 6 of the larger blocks which I hope to sew tonight.  I like to have things ready like that, don't you?  Since my goal is sew at least 365 blocks this year maybe this project will stand a chance at getting finished!
I hope you are sewing today too!