Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Renewed Jelly Roll Race

I am entering the Renewed Jelly Roll Race into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. Amy’s Creative Side is putting on the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. My entry number is 430 (though on some screens, it seems to show up as 431. Very strange). If you haven’t entered, don’t, because *I* want to win!

Me, yes. You can win next time. 😉

OK, truly, I also would like people to be exposed to my blog. Do you have a friend you can refer?

Here is the schedule:

  • October 26 – 31 Linky open
  • November 1 – 4 Nominations are made (this is where you nominate me)
  • November 5 -8 Vote for your favorites
  • November 9 Winners announced
Renewed Jelly Roll Race
Renewed Jelly Roll Race

The Renewed Jelly Roll Race is my most recent finish. I have another quilt that is nearing completion, but I am pretty excited about the RJRR! It really is a  quilt that came out of something I was going to toss. I felt like the original Jelly Roll Race quilt was a huge, ugly failure. An ugly duckling into a swan.

I became intrigued by a discussion at my Modern Quilt Guild about Jelly Roll Race quilts. I had heard of them in passing, but during the discussion, finally understood the concept. People wanted to do the quilt top at a meeting. I sew slowly, so I didn’t want to race.

I bought a Jelly Roll and got to work sewing the strips together. For a person who doesn’t like really long seams (I prefer chunking!), this project was kind of a nightmare of long seams. It was kind of a tedious job and I soon realized I had no control over color placement, no control over fabric pattern placement. Basically, I had no control.

Jelly Roll Race - Finished Top
Jelly Roll Race – Finished Top

This was a problem for me. While I like serendipity and happy accidents, this quilt was not turning into the successful result of a happy accident. It was turning out very, very badly. My fears were confirmed when the top was done.

I liked the colors. I liked the fabrics. I sincerely disliked the top.

I put it away and left it for awhile hoping it would grow on me. Periodically, I took it out, hoping I would like the top and be willing to put some work into finishing it. My heart sank every time I saw the top and I began wondering what the designers of the Jelly Roll Race concept were thinking.

I began looking at other JRR tops and all of them looked cute or interesting. ARound this time, I heard a CraftyGardenMom podcast. Tanesha was also working on a Jelly Roll Race quilt. She said she cut 20″ off the first strip to make the quilt more irregular. If I had read any directions I might have known that. I wasn’t about to rip all those seams and start over, but I did feel a spark of hope that all was not completely lost.

Jelly Roll Diamonds
Jelly Roll Diamonds

Last year I finished a very successful quilt from my Fabric of the Year series called Fabric of the Year 2010. This quilt is made with diamonds and I still have the Creative Grids ruler. I came upon it and the spark of hope grew brighter. Since the top was languishing, I decided to be drastic. I decided that I would cut the top up into diamonds. What is the worst that could happen? The top could not be any uglier or anymore useless than it already was.

I tried sewing the diamonds together by themselves, but VERY quickly realized that the diamonds were busy and needed their space.

I sewed the diamonds together in chunks with Pure Elements Linen as the sashing. I go into quite a bit of detail about the construction in a post from February.  I sewed and sewed and sewed. The sewing seemed never ending. Diamonds are not hard to sew together, but you do have to pay attention and there were a lot of them. I ripped out a lot of seams to make lines match up. There are a few that don’t, but I can live with them.

Renewed Jelly Roll Race - back
Renewed Jelly Roll Race – back

DH helped me with the math, but I still had quite a few diamonds leftover. I decided to put the extras on the back. You could say that the quilt is two sided, but the quilting wasn’t design with the back in mind.

The back is my typical pieced back, but I haven’t done anything like the big off kilter diamond in a long time. I kind of like it.

This is an original design and there isn’t a pattern. If you want to make one of these quilts, make a Jelly Roll Race quilt that you dislike. 😉

The coup de grace may be that this quilt was chosen to be part of the New Quilts of Northern California exhibit at the Pacific International Quilt Festival, which was held in Santa Clara, California October 10-14, 2012.

So, the bottom line is that this hideous mess was salvaged into something that I like. I want to make another Jelly Roll Race to see if I tame the technique even a little bit.


  • Pure Elements Linen by Art Gallery/Pat Bravo Designs
  • Terrain by Kate Spain Jelly Roll
  • Random purples for the back from my stash

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats

Finished quilt measures : 61?x 61?
Special techniques used : Jelly Roll Race Technique
Best Category : Favorite Throw Quilt, Favorite Professionally Quilted Quilt, Viewer’s Choice (of course!)

Quilted by Colleen Granger of Sew Little Time Quilting.

Sample of Links About this Quilt:

  • Renewed Jelly Roll Race at the show:
  • Finished Quilt:
  • Renewed Jelly Roll Race Update:
  • The Beginning and the End
  • Renewed Jelly Roll Race Progress:
  • Trying out backgrounds:
  • Jelly Roll Race Spark of Possibility:
  • Jelly Roll Race Beginning:

Sampler Class: Fusible Machine Applique’ Tutorial Part 2

We are making the Flower Wreath block. To find out how to make templates, including the ring see Part 1.

Flower Wreath
Flower Wreath

Choose your fabrics. You will need fabric for the flowers (1-4 fabrics), leaves (1-20 fabrics) and the wreath (1 fabric). The leaves can be the traditional green or you can use something else. If you use one color, you might want to mix up the prints to increase interest. You can also use different colors. Make the block your own.

I am going to try and use a variety of turquoises and aquas to keep my color scheme in the aqua/turquoise with red range. I have a few of the leaf fabrics picked out from my scrap basket, but need to find more. It is important, with my limited color scheme to make sure the viewer can see the individual leaves.

Cut piece large enough for ring
Cut piece large enough for ring

The ring is the biggest pain to deal with so I deal with it first before I even really think much about fabrics for the other parts. I decided to use one of the Pat Bravo Pure Elements solids in the turquoise range, but more on the green side. I haven’t used it in this quilt before. I picked it to highlight the leaves a little more.

Cover fabric with fusible
Cover fabric with fusible

Now you need to make sure that your fusible will cover your fabric.

I used a package of Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite, but there are many fusibles that will work just fine for this project. Use what you know how to use or what you have on hand.

Tear the paper carefully off of one side of the fusible (or follow directions for your fusible) and stick it to the fabric, smoothing it carefully so there are no puckers or bubbles. The fusible is sticky so you can stick to the fabric and reposition it until you are happy.

Back of fusible backed fabric
Back of fusible backed fabric

Since the pieces I had were 8.5″x11″, I needed to cover an extra piece (bottom of the photo above) that was wider than the 8.5″ width of the fusible. I cut a piece from the fusible (white part in photo above) and re-positioned it  to cover the part of the fabric I need for the size of the template.

Once you are happy, fuse the 2 sided fusible (should have the paper left on one side) to your ring fabric. Follow the directions on the package or website. You may want to cover your ironing board and the piece with junk fabric or an applique’ pressing sheet to keep your iron and ironing surface clean.

Turn your fusible backed fabric so that the paper left on the fabric is face up, as in the photo above. Place your ring template face down on the paper and trace around it with a pencil.

Ring cut out
Ring cut out

Cut out the ring carefully on the line. I used an X-acto knife to start the center. I did use a pair of fabric scissors, but not my Gingher scissors. It is kind of hard to know what to do, because you are cutting both fabric and paper and you need a nice sharp edge. I use a pair of my mid-range scissors and hope for the best. They still seem sharp even after a bit of this type of cutting.

Fold the ring into quarters and finger press lightly. Again you will be lining up the folds to center the ring.

Retrieve your background. Fold the background into quarters and finger press, so you can see the folds.

Line up ring on background
Line up ring on background


Remove paper from the ring.

Line up the folds of the ring on the folds of the background. If they are all in alignment, there should be a ring fold snuggled with a background fold evenly. If you want to check, measure from the edge to the ring. You do need an absolutely square block for this to work.

Press the ring onto the background so it sticks.

Carefully bring background with the ring stuck to it to the iron. Check to see that your ring is still in place. According to your fusible directions, press the ring into place.

Your ring should now be firmly ironed on to the center of the background.

Leave this piece on the ironing board temporarily.

Get the tearaway you purchased (or had) and cut two pieces of tearaway stabilizer a little bit larger than your background. Place your background on top of the tearaway and pin it to the background. This will provide stability and prevent the piece from puckering when you zig zag stitch the pieces.

You are now ready to machine applique’ your first part of the block. See part 3 for machine stitching the block.