My First Jelly Roll Quilt: Date Unknown
The first jelly roll I purchased many years ago was "Saltwater" from Tula Pink. I fell in love with the "octopuses". (Check here if you use another form for the plural.) There is a seriously cute factor to the faces in her prints. I snapped up a jelly roll in the line, and set to making an easy quilt. I imagine this was among my first 5 so you know it's old!
The jelly roll was an easy precut to make 16 patches, but the "0" blocks caught me up as a beginner. Why? A jelly roll is 2.5" wide, and you have to use a special technique to be able to produce a 2.5" HST (half square triangle.) The same process came up as I was finishing it, and I thought it would be good to review since many people aren't familiar with it.
Above you can see where I stopped the project several years ago. At the time, I was thrilled! It was a big deal to get that far. I was new to dealing with pinked points of precuts. They didn't always line up as nicely as ones I cut with a rotary cutter.
But this time when I looked at the 6 rows I had done, I thought it looked a little boring. I had a few partial strips of the jelly roll left, and also some yardage I snapped up when I found it was becoming hard to find already.
Scoring Some Points
As a beginner quilter, I was totally unaware of how two blocks set together could produce a secondary pattern. This time I could immediately see how to make the quilt more interesting by simply adding some HST to each 16 patch. Instead of squares and circles, I now had stars interspersed with QST's.
Thinking Through This
Sometimes I need to see the process rather than just read about it. You may, too. Let's do this together.
If you cut a 2.5" square from a jelly roll, and pair it with a solid 2.5" square to make a HST, (mark the center diagonal, sew 1/4" to either side of the line, cut down the center, and press!) this is what happens. Your unfinished HST will measure close to 2". (But what if you need 2.5"?) Although it sounds like producing something out of nothing, there is an easy method that will work, believe it or not.
Cut your solid WOF (width of fabric) 3" wide.
From the 3" WOF, cut 2.5" pieces.
Your solid measures 2.5" x 3".
Your jelly roll is already cut into 2.5" strips.
Cut those into 3" lengths.
Using the 45 degree mark on any ruler, lay it on the edge of solid so the corner of the ruler lines up directly over your fabric corner. You will NOT intersect the other corner. Draw a line.
Rotate the solid rectangle, and repeat the process.
I am comfortable using a very scant seam as I have a very limited supply of this fabric left. If you want to have a full 1/4" seam allowances to your HST, you may choose to cut your rectangles longer. 2.5" x 3.25" pieces will give you plenty of room for full seam allowances and squaring up. The process is exactly the same.
Sew ON the LINES.
Cut down the center.
This is one of those sewing tricks that was hard for me to understand until I had done it.
This method produces 2.5" unfinished HST. You eliminate the dog ears on one edge, but not the other. Again, if that very scant seam scares you, increase the length of your rectangle. Play with it. Adapt it. Make it yours. It's a great technique to put in your toolbox, and expand the potential of your jelly rolls or precuts.
I'm off to finish this one. I hope you have time to sew today.
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.