Book Review: Jelly Roll Quilt Magic

Jelly Roll Quilt MagicJelly Roll Quilt Magic by Kimberly Einmo

I bought this book after Katie, of Katie’s Quilting Corner blog and podcast, interviewed the author and enthusiastically endorsed the books. As you know, I have a love-hate relationship with Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Turnovers, Honeybuns and the like. As cute as they are, I don’t have a stack of them decorating my workroom. Thus, this book is a bit of an odd duck for me to buy and review.
I really liked Katie’s interview with Kimberly Einmo. She sounds like such a nice person. She made Jelly Rolls and their cousins not seem like such a pain. The Introduction sets the tone of the book, which is friendly and fun, but not condescending. The book is written in the first person, so, perhaps, it seems like I am having a conversation with the author?
Einmo reminds us throughout the book that we can cut our own 2.5″ strips and use them for her designs as well.

She goes through the basics that you will need to make the experience successful. i was pleased to see her include “a place to sew” and “good lighting” and “a good chair.” Yes, we need fabric and rotary cutters, but as we get obsessed with quiltmaking good lighting and a good chair will help us keep at it. She refers back to a section in a previous book about quiltmaking basics, which I appreciate. I don’t need that section rehashed in every book. Thank you, Kimberly and AQS!

There is a brief history of pre-cuts, which includes a great chart detailing what each ‘baked good’ is. I didn’t know there were such a thing as Petit Fours (2.5″x2.5″ squares). The chart also includes the total yardage of the pre-cut bundle, which is handy.

The Get Set section includes tips for being successful with your pre-cut. Ms. Einmo shows how to make Flying Geese (you do need a special ruler). This is followed up by another chart on how to make and cut various common quiltmaking shapes and units. Yay! I love charts like this. There is also a discussion of grain, which is always helpful. I appreciated the tip on de-fuzzing the Jelly Rolls as that is one thing I detest about them.
Then, we are on to the ubiquitous projects required for each quilt book published these days. One of the things I like about the projects in this book is that they are not your normal quick piecing projects. They have interesting shapes and interesting overall looks. The colors she uses, which I know are variable depending on availability and year, are cheerful.

The first couple of projects use diamonds. I love diamonds and am glad to see them included as mastering diamonds really expand a quiltmaker’s horizons. A note in Summer Sparklers reminds the reader to refer to the picture frequently since color placement is important. The author does refer to colors as well as lights, mediums and darks in her cutting instructions, which is great if you don’t have the exact Jelly Roll or fabrics.

I am amazed at the quilts one can make from a Jelly Roll and think that this is a good book to work with.

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Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Jelly Roll Quilt Magic”

  1. Glad to hear your opinion on this book, and on precuts. I’ve bought only a few, and don’t think I’ve used them to their potential. They are so pretty and tempting, but usually high priced. And I hate stringiness/fuzziness. I like my own freshly cut patches.

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