Jelly Rolls, Patterns, and Quilting the Amish Way
So what IS a jelly roll? (Hint–it’s not jelly in a roll.) Today we are continuing our focus on Amish crafts. As we all know, Amish women are wonderful quilters. I very much doubt that they use jelly-rolls, which are pre-cut fabric in long strips. Whenever I’ve seen Amish or Mennonite women in fabric stores or at quilt shows, they are shopping the bargain table for inexpensive fabric. It’s amazing the works of art they are able to make out of fabric that you or I would pass by.
But a jelly roll is FUN to use. The fabric is usually pre-cut into 2-1/2 inch by 42 inch, and the pieces in a package coordinates very well together. You can buy them almost anywhere. Sometimes Walmart will have them. Click on the picture above and it will take you to the JoAnn’s page. Jelly rolls were made famous by Moda Fabrics. Click here to see what they have.
For a year or so I had a jelly roll in my craft closet. I knew I liked the colors, and I had seen it for sale at JoAnn’s, but I had no idea what to do with it. I ended up giving it away in a contest! After I attended a quilting retreat earlier this month, I saw some women using jelly rolls, and then I really wanted to give it a try. There are a lot of free patterns for jelly rolls. Or you can just do whatever you like with them. Together, one jelly roll with 20 strips will make a nice lap/crib quilt.
For this quilt, I didn’t need a pattern. All I did was cut one inch off each end to cut off the salvage. Then I cut 7 inches off half of the pieces, and 14 inches off the other half. Then I mixed and matched the pieces. It was a LOT of fun, and didn’t require much skill. I can’t wait to quilt this, which I’ll do on my machine. It’s small enough to do so easily.
Quilting with a jelly roll might not be an Amish tradition, but their skill with a needle and thread inspires me, as I’m sure it does a lot of you. If there’s a pattern you enjoy using, I’d love to hear it–leave us a comment!
p.s. – My May special continues for one more week (until June 1). Click here and use the BUY NOW box on the middle of the page. You can order any book for $10.
— Vannetta Chapman (@VannettaChapman) May 24, 2014