Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spaghetti, potato chips and jelly rolls

Does this sound like a junk food diet ?  Actually, these are some names for quilts made from fabric strips. The concept has been making its way around the Web.  In the "Jelly Roll 1600" video, at the end of this post, you start with a jelly roll (2.5" wide strips from a particular fabric collection) and sew the strips together end to end to make a 1600" strip.  Fold the strip in half and cut to make two 800" strips and stitch them together lengthwise; then continue cutting and sewing until you have a quilt top. Here are some creative variations and tutorials.

1600 Jelly Roll quilt + by Kristin La Flamme as seen at Flickr

Fiber artist Kristin La Flamme was inspired by the Jelly Roll 1600 "races" but she did not purchase the jelly roll, rather, she made it herself by cutting 2.5" strips from the solid fabrics in her stash. She says: "I suppose the lesson is that just because a pattern calls for jelly rolls, it doesn't mean one needs to go purchase a roll, but can choose a more personal collection of fabrics." Also: "I was going to call this quilt 'Amish Drag Racing' but it called out for the triangle border and now it looks more like a Navaho rug"! Kristin La Flamme resides in Hawaii; you can see a gallery of her work at her website.  She is also a member of the fabulous 12x12 International Art Quilt Challenge.

Jelly Roll Race Quilt by Beth Miller at Wandering Threads

This Jelly Roll Race quilt by Beth Miller really caught our eye. She made the quilt a bit longer by incorporating a filmstrip of the fabrics in the top and bottom border.  Beth says:  "I followed the Jelly Roll Race quilt pattern from 1 Choice 4 Quilting (inspired by the Heirloom Creations Blog.) I used Hometown by Sweetwater because I thought the color palette would be perfect for our friends' living room. My favorite part about this quilt is the movement even though the design was so random."

Sunrise-Sunset Quilt Tutorial by Kay Koeper Sorensen at Quilts Plus Color

Kay Koeper Sorenson created this marvelous quilt which includes a dramatic black-and-white accent fabric; the accents are used as "spacers" between each fabric strip.  Kay's detailed tutorial includes suggestions for fabric selection, arrangement, cutting and construction; in a followup, Kay came up with a myriad of additional design possibilities.  She says:  "Maybe this should be called a Potato Chip quilt - since I'll bet you can't make just one just like you can't eat just ONE potato chip!"

Potato Chip Quilt 2 by Kay Koeper Sorensen at Quilts Plus Color

We love Kay's modern art quilt; the curved rows and occasional hand dyes are a wonderful touch. You can read about the construction of "Potato Chip Quilt 2" at this blog post.  To see photos of Potato Chip Quilts made by Kay's blog readers, click here.

Jelly Roll Race Quilt by Sherri at Companionship Quilters (Bellevue, WA) as seen at Flickr

The Companionship Quilters of Bellevue, Washington held a jelly roll race and you can see all of the quilts at their photostream on Flickr. Sherri created a happy springtime quilt by adding cheerful appliqued flowers and a butterfly on top of the quilt; this is a very clever idea.

Jelly Roll Races by Heirloom Creations (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) ("Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!")


  1. i have a few jelly rolls and I like the idea of wonky blocks and then adding a flower appliqué, something simple but fun.


  2. Thnaks for these posts! I love your blog. I recently made my first jelly roll 1600 quilt and gave it away as a gift. I also would like to make at least one more. I like the quilts in this post. I love Kay's list of design possibilites! She really thinks "outside the box".

  3. Thank you for including my work on your post and for your kind words about it.
    It is so much fun to see all the other creative ways people are doing something similar.

  4. Our guild uses colorful donated fabric cut into 2 1/2" strip andmakes them for dialysis, chemo, hospic patients...we call them lasanga quilts. I love the trianles in the border.

  5. Great ideas for the "jellyroll" quilt. We did a race at our quilt group and it was great fun. We donated 30 quilts to charity. I love seeing all these creative ways to do it. Tami In Denver

  6. Thanks for including my quilt :) I love seeing all the different styles and I'm really enjoying your blog!

  7. Wow!!! Quilters rock!!!! I loved the quilt by Gyongyi Varadi, based on the stone carvings at Newgrange. Its hard to pick just one favorite, but I also greatly appreciated "My Fair Lady" by Peggy Nehing.
    I particularly enjoyed the close-up photos that inspired some of the quilts as they focused in on what the artist(s) were thinking.


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