Jelly Roll Quilt in less than 35 minutes!


I wondered how fast could I sew a jelly roll quilt. So I challenged myself and you can see how I pieced the top in less than 35 minutes with great looking seams I might add! And you can use these concepts too.

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Jelly Roll Quilt in less than 35 minutes!

Looking for easier and more successful ways to make quilts is what I think about because of my engineering background. I have been told by several people that I see the world differently than most. Because of this, I have some basic concepts for my sewing that allow me to get a lot done in less time. With all of the Jelly Roll Quilt contests being talked about, I wondered how fast could I sew a jelly roll quilt. So I challenged myself, and you can see how I pieced the top in less than 35 minutes with great looking seams, too!

Jelly Roll Quilt in less than 35 minutes!

Jelly Roll Quilt Example

Before I could sew the quilt, I had to make my own jelly roll - cut 40 strips. I remember being frustrated with rotary cutting when the strips were not straight even after folding and aligning and pressing the fabric. What was causing the problem? I know many quilters are frustrated with this issue, so in the beginning of the video I show exactly what matters when cutting your strips (and it isn't the pressing) so that they are always straight. Some points that you might want to know:

  • I do not use the lines on my mat so I save time. If using mat lines then 3 things are aligned, fabric, lines, and ruler. Without lines, I align only two: fabric and ruler.
  • I most often use the back side of my mat because then I don't have the lines which I consider to be "noise". I can focus on what really matters. (Be sure your mat is meant to be cut on the back side - it should have the same type of surface. Not all mats are made this way.)
  • I do not use a 24" ruler so that I save time and have better results. When using a long ruler, I have to either walk my hand into 3 different positions, or if I don't then at the end when I am reaching across the table so far, the ruler slips and I get a crooked cut.
  • I use a 6" x 12" ruler most often to save time and get guaranteed results. This requires double folding and since I know what to watch for and what doesn't matter, I get the job done quickly and correctly.
  • Watch the video to see why to hide the selvages when folding, why pressing isn't critical to a straight cut as long as the ruler is aligned correctly, and how I cut so that I do not have to turn the mat or fabric around or walk around the table.

After demonstrating the cutting, I prepare the strips off-camera and make one long strip ready to sew. I demonstrate how I hold my fabric and what tools/concepts make it possible for me to complete the quilt with almost perfect seams in less than 35 minutes. If I didn't have my tools, I wouldn't be able to sew this fast. A perfect example of when the right tool makes all the difference in the world.

I hope you enjoy the Flight of the Bumblebee as I stitch up a storm! Here is the video link:

Jelly Roll Quilt in less than 35 Minutes

If you decide you want to try the products, please support your local quilt shop. If they don't have them in stock, your shop owner just may not have heard about them yet, so let them know to ask their distributor for Qtools Cutting Edge, Sewing Edge, and Corner Cut. If you don't have a local quilt shop, Visit My QuiltingHub Page.

I hope you find this video inspirational, educational, and that it gives you the ability to enjoy your quilting even more. Let me know if it makes a difference for you and if you make it faster than 32 minutes. Hint: Having someone press seams in between would make a huge difference, but I don't know if that is cheating. We'd have to find the official jelly roll race judges. But that isn't why we quilt; it is to enjoy the process and the results. So...

Enjoy your quilting,

Marci Baker


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Method of using an iron to press seams and blocks. This means simply pressing downwards on the seam with the iron from above and not moving the iron back and forth which can distort the block or seam.
Picking a hot iron up off your fabric or quilt top and then putting it down in another place to remove the wrinkles. When you press your fabric, you do not slide the hot iron.

See Also: Ironing
A heavy plastic measuring guide that can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
A construction technique in which long, narrow pieces of cloth are joined lengthwise, sometimes with long rows of quilt blocks, to form a quilt top. The term "strip" can be used to describe the long pieces of fabric between blocks (see Sashing) or to describe the small, narrow remnants used in string patchwork.

See Also: Sashing
Marci Baker

Recognized internationally for her expertise in quilting, Marci enjoys sharing ideas that simplify the process of quilting.

A native of Dallas, Texas, and currently residing in Fort Collins, CO, Marci has loved sewing for years, making her first quilt at age 9 and sewing her own clothes in high school and college. She began teaching quilting in 1989 for her local quilting guild and shops. Marci has combined her degrees in math with her love of quilting to develop simpler methods. Her goal is to get more people quilting because of the enjoyment and success that they can have knowing these easier ways. You will be inspired to make more quilts in less time when you quilt with Marci Baker.

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