what are jelly roll quilts

What Are Jelly Roll Quilts? Free Guide and 12 Patterns

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What are Jelly roll quilts?  They are a type of patchwork quilt that has gained popularity in recent years. They are made using pre-cut strips of fabric that are rolled up like a jelly roll, hence the name.

These strips are usually 2.5 inch strips and can be purchased in coordinating colors and patterns, making it easy to create a cohesive design.

Photo Credit: www.Happyquiltingmelissa.com

Jelly roll quilts are a great option whether you are a  beginner or an experienced quilter. The pre-cut strips eliminate the need for cutting and measuring, which can be time-consuming and frustrating, as we all know. I love using my own strips for making a lap quilt for friends and family. 

Additionally, the use of pre-cut wide strips allows for a quicker assembly of the quilt top, making it a great option for those who want to complete a project in a shorter amount of time.

Experienced quilters can also appreciate the convenience of pre-cut fabrics and the endless design possibilities they offer.

What Are Jelly Roll Quilts

Jelly rolls are produced by many fabric manufacturers, including Moda Fabrics, Robert Kaufman, and Free Spirit. Jelly rolls are a great choice for quilters of all skill levels, including new quilters. 

They are easy to work with and can be used to create a variety of different designs. One of the benefits of using jelly rolls is that they offer a variety of fabrics in one bundle, making it easy to create scrappy quilts or designs with a variety of fabrics.

There are many different ways to use jelly rolls in a quilt project. One popular method is to sew the strips together end-to-end to create long strip sets.

These strip sets can then be cut into smaller pieces to create a unique design. Another method is to use the strips to create a log cabin quilt top.

what are jelly roll quilts
Photo Credit: materialgirlquilts.com

Jelly rolls can also be used to create a variety of different sized quilts, from lap quilts to baby quilts to full-sized quilts.

They can be used on their own or combined with other pre-cut fabric bundles, such as charm packs or layer cakes, to create even more variety in the design.

The History of Jelly Roll Quilts

Jelly Roll Quilts are a popular type of quilt that have been around for over a century. The term “jelly roll” was first used to describe a type of pre-cut fabric strip that was introduced by the Moda Fabrics company in 2006.

However, the technique of using pre-cut strips of fabric to make quilts has been around much longer.

In the early 1900s, quilters would often use scraps of fabric left over from other projects to create quilts. This was a way to make use of materials that would otherwise go to waste. 

Funny how quilters NEVER get rid of fabric scraps and how that trend began a journey of answering what are jelly roll quilts.

As the popularity of quilting grew, fabric manufacturers began to produce pre-cut strips of fabric that were specifically designed for quilting.

These strips were often sold in design rolls, and were known by various names such as “race strips” or “jelly rolls”.

The use of pre-cut strips of fabric made quilting faster and more efficient. Quilters could spend less time cutting fabric and more time piecing together their designs.

Furthermore, this led to an increase in the popularity of quilting, as more people were able to create beautiful quilts without spending as much time on the cutting and preparation stages.

So many of us who quilt love using our own jelly roll strips. We love buying the different fabrics that quilt shops bundle together especially if we are color challenged. The precut strips make creating a quilt so much faster. 

Photo Credit: www.patchworkposse.com

How to Make a Jelly Roll Quilt

Making a jelly roll quilt is a fun and easy way to create a beautiful and unique quilt. Here are the steps to make a jelly roll quilt:

  1. Choose your jelly roll: A jelly roll is a pre-cut bundle of fabric strips that are usually 2.5 inches wide and 44 inches long. You can choose a jelly roll that has a specific color scheme or pattern that you like.
  2. Plan your design: Decide on the layout and design of your quilt. You can use a traditional pattern or create your own unique design.
  3. Cut the strips: Cut the strips to the desired length for your quilt. You can use a rotary cutter and cutting mat to make the process easier and more precise.
  4. Sew the strips together: Sew the strips together using a ¼ inch seam allowance. You can sew them together randomly or in a specific pattern.
  5. Press the seams: Press the seams open or to one side as desired.
  6. Add batting and backing: Cut a piece of batting and backing fabric to the same size as your quilt top. Layer the three pieces together and pin in place.
  7. Quilt as desired: Quilt the layers together using your preferred method. You can use a machine or hand quilt.
  8. Bind the edges: Add binding to the edges of the quilt to finish it off.

By following these steps, you can create a beautiful and unique jelly roll quilt that will be cherished for years to come.

So I thought it would be fun to include some of our favorite jelly roll quilt tutorial ideas. Most include a free pattern.

Grab your sewing machine, favorite fabric collection and let’s make a quilt. My favorite quilt for beginners is a lap quilt or baby quilt. They are smaller and perfect for beginner quilters. 

So check out these free tutorials. Just a note, always have some extra strips or get extra jelly roll bundles when you cut so if you make a mistake you have extra fabric.  Also check out our free Quilt Size chart Guide.

Know how many yards of fabric you need depending on the project you planning on creating. It covers the different sizes and the width of fabric you will need. 

Jelly Roll Fabric

I love Amazon because I can get fabric so quickly. Here are a few of my favorite bundles on Amazon.

You can also check your local quilt shop to see if they have bundles or Fat quarter shop for bundles. 

Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Photo Credit: seekatesew.com

Remember we talked about Jelly roll fabric strips coming in coordinating bundles. This is simply a strip quilt with pre-cut jelly roll fabric. She made this easy jelly roll quilt by simply using a fabric line with movement and in between the strips adding a solid background. This quilt is so easy to make and again can be made in any size. 

Download Tutorial: Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

​Jelly Roll Quilt

Photo Credit: www.seasonedhomemaker.com

I made this pattern as a baby quilt.  You use pre-cut fabric strips and turn them into different directions in these jelly roll patterns. I made a smaller project for my great grand baby. It was so much fun and her blog post gives a ton of quilting tips. You can create a totally different look by simply using fabric colors.

Download Tutorial: Modern Quilt Design

​4 Corners Quilt Blocks

Photo Credit: quirkygranolagirl.blogspot.com

If you are looking for easy jelly roll quilt ideas, this is the pattern for you. You simply create 4 quilt blocks and then place them together. It’s one of the best jelly roll quilt patterns for beginners, as you get perfect at sewing your jelly roll race quilt pattern and then simply put it together.  Quilting life is about simplicity as a beginner. 

Download Tutorial: Quilt Blocks

​These 3 will get you started, but if you need more free patterns, check out our 12 Jelly roll quilt Patterns

Tips and Tricks for Making Jelly Roll Quilts

Jelly Roll quilts are a fun and easy way to create beautiful and unique quilts. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your jelly roll quilt:

  • Choose your jelly roll wisely: When selecting a jelly roll, pay attention to the colors and patterns. Make sure they match the theme of your quilt and complement each other. Also, consider the quality of the fabric and the manufacturer.
  • Use a ¼ inch seam allowance: A ¼ inch seam allowance is standard in quilting, but it’s especially important in jelly roll quilting. This will ensure that your strips line up perfectly, and your quilt top lays flat.
  • Press your seams: Pressing your seams is crucial in quilting, and jelly roll quilting is no exception. Pressing your seams open will help reduce bulk and make your quilt top lay flat.
  • Use a design wall: A design wall is a great tool for laying out your jelly roll strips before sewing them together. It allows you to see the overall design of your quilt and make any necessary adjustments before sewing.
  • Consider the backing fabric: When selecting your backing fabric, consider the weight and color. A lighter weight fabric will make your quilt easier to handle, and a solid or neutral color will help showcase the design of your quilt top.
  • Use a walking foot: A walking foot is a great tool for quilting, especially when working with jelly roll quilts. It helps prevent shifting and puckering of the fabric, resulting in a more professional-looking quilt.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to creating beautiful and unique jelly roll quilts.


Jelly roll quilts are a popular and versatile type of quilt that can be made using pre-cut strips of fabric. These quilts are easy to make and can be customized to fit any style or color scheme.

One of the benefits of using jelly rolls is that they are pre-cut, which saves time and eliminates the need for measuring and cutting fabric.

Additionally, jelly rolls come in a variety of colors and patterns, making it easy to find the perfect combination for any project.

Jelly roll quilts can be made using a variety of techniques, including strip piecing and log cabin blocks. The strip piecing technique involves sewing together strips of fabric to create a quilt top, while the log cabin block technique involves using strips of fabric to create a block that can be used in a quilt top.

Overall, jelly roll quilts are a great option for both beginner and experienced quilters. 

They are easy to make, customizable, and can be used to create a variety of different quilt designs.

Whether you are looking to create a simple and modern quilt or a more traditional design, jelly roll quilts are a great place to start. So now you know the answer to the question: What is a jelly roll quilt.

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