Jelly Roll Race Quilt – An Explanation

June 7, 2011By

On Friday, I posted this video of a Jelly Roll Race. It’s a quirky, fun way to make a quilt, especially if you turn it into a race among quilters.┬áThe pattern is here on the Heirloom Creations site. It’s an extremely easy quilt to make, but it can be a little perplexing to see how it comes together.

So to explain more visually, I had a little fun and made a mini-jelly roll race quilt using paper strips and tape. I think this shows the basic concept, and is much easier to photograph than a 1600″ long piece of fabric!

Let’s begin!



1. Grab your strips. Rather than using fabric, I’m using paper strips and marking them 1 – 6.

2. Miter them together, end to end. Or, in my case, tape them together into one long strip.

3. Remove a portion of the first strip. In this case, I tore away a portion of strip 1.

4. Daisy! No, wait. This is actually a very important step that I had a hard time photographing. Fold the very long strip in half, end to end, right sides facing, and sew a seam along the right edge all the way down. When you get to the fold, stop, cut the fold, and finish the seam.


1. As you can see, the first long seam is done and the strip is open at the seamline.

2. Repeat the process. Bring the bottom edge up to meet the top edge, right sides together.

3. Sew (tape) along the right edge. Again, cut the fold at the bottom to finish the long seam.

4. Open at the new seam line, and you now have a wider, shorter bundle of strips.


1. Here we go again! Take that strip set…

2. Fold it in half top to bottom, right sides together.

3. Sew/tape along right edge, cutting along bottom fold to finish the seam.

4. Open it up at the long seam line. If you were making an actual jelly roll quilt, you’d do this process five times, but my paper was in a nice quilt shape, so I stopped. The purple lines in the last photo are the “seam” lines of where the strips were connected. By tearing/cutting away a portion of strip one before we started, this ensured a randomized placement of these smaller seam lines.

There you have it! A visual explanation on a small scale of a very quirky, fun piecing process.

Tomorrow – my own jelly roll race quilt. Oh, you had to know I made one, right? Of course I did.

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Comments (14)

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  1. carolyn says:

    nice explanation! :)

  2. Sharon Moran says:

    Great. Had lots of fun doing this quilt at our guild retreat. Just made my 3rd one. Also did a military type one as well.

  3. Carolyn Katzoff says:

    I love making the Jelly Roll quilt. My only concern is that my width did not
    come out to 48 inches, but only 40. Did I do something wrong or miss
    something. I put borders on to widen it.
    Please advise, Carolyn

  4. Margaret says:

    Instruction #2 says to mitre the strips together. Exhibit #4 with the purple lines shows straight lines. Is mitring important or can the seams be straight?
    Thank you,

  5. Kelly says:

    Thank you for your helpful tutorial! I linked you on the Glitter Blog!

  6. Dee Korn says:

    I would like to make a douple jelly roll quilt. For our king bed. Can I buy 2 of the 40′s and make one. Thank you

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