A New Project!

I know, I know. Why on earth am I starting something new when I have a sewing room full of UFOs? Well, I have my friend Char to blame — er, thank — for this one. Char, who blogs at The Quilted “Q,” wrote a post recently about a video tutorial she found online to create a quick but dramatic quilt made from 2½” strips of fabric. Fabric manufacturers have found a ready market for packages of these pre-cut strips that feature an entire line of fabric. The packages are popularly known as Jelly Rolls, although that name is trademarked by Moda Fabrics.

Intrigued, I clicked on the link Char provided. After watching the video I decided on the spot to make a quilt using a Jelly Roll that’s been in my stash for a few years. The quilt pattern, Tea Time, was designed by Larene Smith of the Quilted Button. The tutorial is by Donna Jordan of Jordan Fabrics and includes a pdf handout:

(Clicking here will take you to the video and the pdf handout.)

In doing a little research I found that Larene Smith’s design first appeared in 2009 as a free pattern called Tea Time in Bali and was offered to promote Bali Pops, the name Hoffman Fabrics gave to its packages of 2½” batik strips. You can see Larene Smith’s striking version here.

The fabrics in my version are very different. I’m using the one and only Jelly Roll in my stash, “High Street” by Lily Ashbury for Moda:

It was an impulse purchase. I really don’t use pre-cuts much (mainly because I like to wash and iron my fabrics before using them) but for some reason this one spoke to me. I do remember buying this while on a quilt shop hop with good friends; no doubt they influenced my decision to purchase it!

The pattern calls for 40 strips, from which you make eight strip sets of five fabrics. This Jelly Roll has five main colors — pink, orange, yellow, green, and grey . . .

. . . and with one exception each color is represented with eight strips. All I had to do was lay out the strips on my ironing board and combine them into eight piles of five strips each:

I tried not to think too much about choosing the piles, just making sure I had one of each color and looking for contrast in value and scale in the strips that will be next to each other. Because of the unique way the strip sets are cut and arranged, each fabric is going to wind up in different places in the blocks for a very scrappy look.

You see only seven piles above because I had already sewn one strip set together. Actually, you sew the strips into a tube and then cut the tube into triangles which open up to reveal blocks measuring 7″ square. Each tube yields seven blocks. Here are the blocks from my first strip set:

They went together really fast, and I’m eager to move on to the next set. Truth be told, I’m in a bit of a winter funk (and darn it, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday on Groundhog Day so we’re looking at six more weeks of winter). Being able to finish a quilt top quickly is sure to be a mood-lifter, and I will certainly enjoy working with these colorful and cheerful fabrics.




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12 Responses to A New Project!

  1. Pam says:

    The fabrics are very fun! I love the color combinations and the pattern. Can’t wait to see your progress on this project.

  2. Vickie Rooks says:

    First—back on the receiving end of your blog! Happy dance! This looks like a fun project. I was recently introduced to Jordan Fabrics and their tutorials! Great being able to support an Oregon shop! Happy sewing!

  3. Reigh says:

    This one looks like a lot of fun! I like the random bright colors. Have a good time putting it together!

  4. virginiahammon says:

    What a quick and fun quilt pattern! I went to their site to watch the video because the instructions weren’t quite clear to me, and the video is great. I have some jelly rolls calling me!

  5. Suzette Shoulders says:

    What a happy quilt this is going to be, Dawn! And of course it is good to start a new quilt in the New Year!! I have never bought a “jelly roll” because I am allergic to sizing, and have to wash everything… but I have certainly been tempted! Those fabrics in your roll are very delicious! Suzette

  6. Kristi says:

    Your fabrics are beautiful! Perfect for Spring. This looks like a fun pattern to sew.

  7. Donna says:

    Can’t wait to see your quilt top!!! Love your colors; fun and springy!!!!

  8. Diane says:

    Oh Nubs, these fabric patterns and colorways are marvelous! Another epic journey in FLD Quiltland to lift the spirits of your blog followers. TYVM!

  9. Char says:

    Look at you!!! I sent you a picture of mine on the design wall in FB Messenger. Go have a look. (I can’t post on FB because my baby sister will see it and it is for her.) The layout of the blocks was challenging. The video shows her placing them randomly but I didn’t like that look. It took a few tries before I got a pleasing layout. Can’t wait to see it finished!!!

  10. Colleen says:

    Friends that encourage impulse fabric accidents? I can’t even imagine ;D. I have a pile of this fabric waiting to become a quilt. Perhaps this will be just the inspiration I need!

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