Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jelly rolls and t-shirts

Things do pile up when I don't post! I have several projects underway, but here are just two.

First, I saw the Jelly Roll races video and thought it would be a fast, fun way to make quilts for Project Linus. And in fact, my guild had a worknight and made several -- you can see photos here, and Maggie's race-winning quilt (with explanation of how it was put together) here.

Unfortunately, I couldn't be at guild that night (though I was having a great time instead at the Chicago Ethnic Grocery tour!), so I decided to make one at home (photo above). I had purchased a roll of twenty 2-1/2" strips of child-friendly fabrics at a quilt shop in Indy and thought I'd use those. With an added border, it ended up just about the 40" x 60" standard for Linus. I think it's bright, cheery, quick to make, and I really don't like it!! I'm great with scrappy and with letting things happen while I make a quilt, but with this, I had absolutely no control over the design. By using only 20 strips -- half what's in a jelly roll -- the strips end up going vertically, and there is just not enough space in the quilt to compensate for odd groupings when fabric strips end up overlapping themselves in the next row. The most successful jelly roll race quilts I've seen have been mostly monochromatic, or black and white with a single color added. You can see some of these, as well as some tips for making this type of jelly roll quilt, on Floribunda's blog. I think next time I make a strip quilt, I'll try a design where I have more control -- I really like the design of the strip quilt on the Butternut Street blog.

I'm also working on a long-promised project -- a t-shirt quilt for my sister and her husband. I didn't want to use the standard same-size blocks with sashing, and I've been having a bear of a time figuring out how to juggle the pieces to fit everything together. My small quilt group gave me some great ideas, and that has helped me to finally get going again! It's my first t-shirt quilt -- should have started by making a less-complicated layout, but where's the fun in that?

12 comments:

floribunda... aka Julie said...

That ethnic grocery tour sounds like a lot of fun -- I guess I need to get back to Chicago one of these days! Good luck with the t-shirt quilt; I've been lucky enough to have never been asked to make one. DH always manages to trash his sailing/race shirts before I can save the logos!

AnnieO said...

I'm with you, I like a little more control in my scrappy--but this is bright and cheerful and someone will love it.

I never made a Tshirt quilt and I hope no one ever asks me to--looks like a lot of work! Good luck with sorting out all the formation around the blocks. Your sister will be thrilled.

Mary Mc said...

Someone is going to be so happy to receive the jelly roll quilt! I think I'd like to do something like that soon... And the t-shirt quilt is going to be fantastic. I just love the black and gold fabrics that you have chosen for the background--it's going to be great!

Exuberant Color said...

I don't like most of those quilts because the fabric selections aren't too great. A friend of mine did a different approach. She sewed them all end to end and then chose a length she wanted the quilt to be and cut it off into many pieces that length. Then she had more control of what went where when sewing them back together. I also like a straight joining seam better than the diagonal.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Thanks for your thoughts on the jelly roll races look - I saw the video, thought it was great, but didn't want to make one for exactly the reasons you've shared. I've also done the end to end variety Wanda described.

I, too, like the look of the quilt on Butterbean's blog (pattern available on Etsy, I find out).

I made ONE t-shirt quilt - that is enough for me!

True Blue Nana said...

I agree. I am not crazy about those quilts either. My cousin has done several this way, she calls it a lasagna quilt.

Tonya Ricucci said...

mmm, no. not a fan. Much improved by some cutting and resewing... not to mention using more than one line of fabric... sigh. good luck with the t-shirt quilt - dont' envy you that.

Liz said...

I stopped by to say hello and thank you for your comment on my blog, yesterdays colly wobbles (quite an old fashioned expression I admit) have been replaced today by a bunged up nose and sore throat but I think last nights FMQ tutorial was quite well recieved,my ladies seemed a bit more confident and determined to go home and practice. X

Liz said...

BTW love your quilt for James, a lovely quilt for a babe, a pairs activity for a toddler and inspirational quilting. Fabulous X

Clare said...

Not really a great fan of Jelly Rolls. Sorry. Surely the idea can be adapted using strips? Like the diagonal joins.

Like the look of the Ethnic Grocery Tour.

Maggie Szafranski said...

We missed you at the worknight, but that ethnic tour sounds like it would be a lot of fun!

YankeeQuilter said...

At our last retreat a couple of the quilters were making those jelly roll race quilts. I ended up convincing most of them to cheat and do some strategic inserts to break up the jellyrolls...one did some erratic half square triangles in black and white...added lots of fun!