I think the best thing about Jelly Rolls is that they are a fairly inexpensive way to get a little bit of ALL the 42 fabrics in one fabric line. Plus, because each strip is 2 1/2″ wide by about 42″ long, you are getting about 3 yards of fabric in one roll! And, of course, all the fabrics coordinate beautifully since they are all from the same line. Now, here’s my biggest word of advice when you buy ANY precut fabrics, always buy a yard or two of coordinating yardage. Want to know why? Well, most people will buy jelly rolls or other precuts to make into beautiful quilts for their family, friends, or even themselves. But sometimes the inspiration to purchase the JR is there and the idea of what to make comes later, sometimes, years later! And I know that it’s not absolutely the LAW that the backing of a quilt MATCH the front with fabric from that same line, but it’s always nice to have that option when it comes time to make a backing. Plus, if you don’t use the yardage you bought for the back, you can always use it to make coordinating pillowcases or a tote bag or even a cute quilted bag to put the quilt in! (Have you seen any of those at Wal-Mart recently? I noticed they started selling quilts by Better Homes and Gardens and they are being sold in the CUTEST quilted tote bags!) Sorry, I may digress a little here. As a fabric shop owner, when I buy precut fabrics, I usually buy a few bolts of coordinating yardage. I want my customers to have the option for borders and backing and even binding when they are ready to finish their quilts. And even though I would LOVE to buy all 42 fabrics in one line, my budget usually only limits me to 3 or 4 bolts.
OK, now you’d probably like for me to STOP rambling and get to the suggestions for
WHAT TO DO WITH A JELLY ROLL
This is one of my favorite patterns that uses a Jelly Roll (it also uses 2 charm packs and has a larger size option that uses a layer cake and a jelly roll). It’s called Sugar Free by Threaded Pear Studios. Even though this is the “smaller” size of the two included in the pattern, it’s actually a very nice size quilt. It went together REALLY fast because most of the cutting of fabric was DONE (the MAJOR advantage of using any pre-cut fabrics). Of course, as you can see in my sample, I used some fabric from the Figgy Pudding line that came out 2 or 3 years ago, and it’s still a quilt TOP because I’ve struggled with what to do for the BACK since I didn’t buy any yardage of this fabric when I had the chance! (Somehow ended up with 2 charm packs, a jelly roll, layer cake AND honey bun but no yardage!) I still love it and can’t wait to make up a sample using my FAVORITE fabric line which is Sugar Pop.