A Racey Post

Sunday, November 20, 2011 2 Comments »
Jelly Roll Races, that is!  Actually, there was no racing involved, since everything was done in the quiet of my own sewing room, and the stop watch stayed in the drawer. 

I'm sure you have read about the idea of a Jelly Roll Race, or  Jelly Roll 1600 quilt top.  I've been intrigued with the concept for a while, but wasn't juiced enough to try it until I saw this post on Jackie's blog.  The race part wasn't what did it, it was the no-brainer simplicity. 

Take a jelly roll, or the cut-from-your-stash strip equivalent, sew the strips together, end-to-end as you would for binding, then fold the whole darned 1600" length in half to stitch along one edge, cut along one side & repeat the fold/stitch/cut routine until you have a quilt top.  You don't have any control over where the strips will land in the finished top, so there is no point in trying to plan the strip sewing order.  Ridiculously easy. 

Some of the finished tops in Jackie's post, just did not speak to me -- they looked a bit choppy.  They were still nice tops, but not what I was looking to make.  The ones I did like, however, were the batik tops, and one that was done with all black and white prints.  I think the trick is to not use so much glaring color contrasts, and to use fabrics with good texture.
So how did mine turn out?  The first one was great.  It is intended for my nephew and his fiance.  Their living room needs some color --it's your basic beige, with a brown sofa and one picture with some teal in it on the wall.   I picked a Bali Pop that had blues, teals and some browns.  I liked the way it turned out.  When it's folded and draped on the back of the sofa, it will bring a lot of color to the room.

Flush with success, I tried another, this time featuring a Bali Pop that had purples in it, for my purple-loving niece.  It did not turn out well.  Similar colors were lumped together, and a number of the diagonal joins ended up in stacked in rows instead of scattered over the surface.  I think that may have been because I strayed from the magic formula & stuck in one or two additional strips.  Then it struck me.  Why not cut it in sections and re-piece it so that the flaws were not so obvious?  It worked.

OK, so those diagonal joins are still there on the bottom right, but it looks a whole lot better than it did. 

Would I do another one?  Less than 3 hours for a good sized top?  Yep, I would.  I'm wondering what cutting some of the strips in half or into differing sizes would do to the finished layout.  I'm also wondering what a whole bunch of Kaffe Fassett fabrics would look like, especially if I stayed with one color family.  Seriosly folks, it's questions like these that keep me up at night.

Here are some random Jelly Roll Race links:  here, here, here (where they do a variation by putting a 2.5" square between each strip), and here.



Mrs.Pickles said...

What a neat idea. your quilt tops are beautiful!

Michele said...

These tops turned out beautifully! I like how you changed the one you weren't thrilled with into a different quilt with some additional cutting. Very clever :-) I may try a race, but it would be hard for me to not plan out where the fabrics would go!