In certain respects, quiltmaking is an intellectual challenge for me. I want to know what makes the techniques tick, why fabric behaves the way it does and, often, what happens if….. The intellectual challenge in this case is to figure out how to make a Jelly Roll Race quilt not look terrible, to have some sort of control over what seems, essentially, to be an uncontrollable technique in terms of design.
This is the second Jelly Roll Race I have made. The first Jelly Roll Race (Renewed Jelly Roll Race) was unsatisfactory after sewing the strips together. I wanted to try the technique again to see if I could impose some order on the design while using the technique. I also wanted to send a calming cover to my sister, which led to me adding some turquoise and chocolate. This piece came out much more satisfactorily, though still with an out of control design sensibility. The batiks help make it work because of the subtle patterns embedded in the fabric design. I am not much of person to like this palette, but it really called to me. The addition of the chocolate squares to this piece really help the eye move around despite the concentration of like strip colors in various places around the quilt.
In the back of my mind the little quilt voice was telling me to try the Jelly Roll Race technique again. It is hard to face that reality, but I have to. I don’t like failing at something unless I understand why and this is a mystifying technique.
I bought one of the Hoffman Bali Pops at PIQF (or shortly after, perhaps). I think that the first thing that makes a Jelly Roll Race more successful is to buy one with batiks. Batiks blend together really nicely and they have a depth that is subtle. I really liked the calming colors of this particular combination. I am not much of a beige person, but I was ok with the beiges in this collection, because they tended towards yellow or gold and went with the other the fabrics very well. I would buy this collection again. In fact, working with these colors and fabrics made me ask myself why I don’t buy more batiks. I don’t know if I could find the stock numbers of this particular collection and buy them all, though I suppose it is possible. I need to just buy more batiks.
TFQ was here and she arranged all the strips for me. It was very helpful, because I didn’t think to do it before hand, but really needed to do so.
Why I say I lost my mind is that this type of quilt is a pain in the neck. I forgot how much thread this technique uses and how long the seams are. I went through at least 2 bobbins of Aurifil! Ironing the piece was stultifying! This technique is just plain tedious.
We did cut half of the strips in half, which made the process more tedious. I can’t say whether it made the top more interesting or not. I need more data to decide on that point.