Tuesday, 16 March 2021

The Jelly Roll Rug Experiment

This is something I had wanted to do for a very long time...

So, I cut myself about half of a jelly roll. I estimated that I had about 23, 2-1/2in strips put together from leftovers out of my scrap boxes. Some of them were the WOF but others I just sewed together to make an approximate jelly roll strip. I did not go for the whole 40 strips that a jelly roll usually has as I was really unsure whether this would work for me. Had watched a few videos and also read some blog posts about it and was somewhat intimidated. The pattern for a jelly roll is by Roma Quilts and can be purchased on Etsy.

I had a roll of cotton batting (Rainbow batting from Matilda's Own) that was cut to 5cm, so a bit shy of the 2-1/2in that Roma Quilts is using. However, I did do a basket with this before and it works just as well, maybe even a bit easier as there is slightly less bulk. So, off I went to create the strips...that was actually rather difficult in terms of colour coordination and imaging what that might look like. Always looks so easy in a jelly roll!

Here is my ball of strips
Initially struggled to put the strips together but after a while you get the hang of it and with the help of those wonder clips it goes through the machine quite easily. Struggled big time with the first few strips of the rug and trying to get around a corner. Also got very confused with direction and had to re-start a couple of times. But eventually got it.
Once you get over the first few rows it becomes relatively easy to go around. I set my zigzag stitch at 6mm long and 2mm wide. Would have liked it a bit smaller but my zigzag kept skipping stitches and I figured that this was because I was hitting the sewing line of the strips, so I had to set it a bit higher to avoid this. I used a 90/14 Jeans needle...maybe I should have gone one higher, i.e. 100/16 (only found these when I had already finished this).

Here is an action shot
I had no problem with my rug in terms of waviness. I just steamed it after the first few rows as it was somewhat lifting on the curves due to the strain of going around the corner, but after that it remained flat as a pancake even without steaming. Also thought that I would have to pull my sewing table out to put the extension on the back, however given that it remained flat, I just lifted it when going around the corner. No problem at all. Was really surprised that I did not have more issues with that.

Well, here it is

Turned out fabulous! In terms of colour choices I got it almost right...I thought I would have a nice black edge around the whole thing, however obviously did not allow for the size of the thing. Would have been good if a had the black going around the edge a couple more times (something to watch out for next time). Also, the skipping of the stitches continued to be an issue, so every now and then I had to reverse stitch to cover that which looks a bit unsightly in places. I used a beige Rasant thread...again, in retrospect maybe should have gone for a tan colour.

My rug came in at about 21-1/2in x 32-1/2in, much bigger than I had anticipated actually, but wow, I am so impressed with this. Took me 2 days to do!

Definitely will do this again.

Linking up to Oh Scrap! over at Quilting is more fun than Housework.



  1. Beautiful. I've been wanting to make a jelly roll rug for some time. I have the pattern. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration.

  2. What a great rug! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the process.


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