Jelly Roll Race

Quilt With Sashing

Making a quilt that incorporates an entire collection of prints would be costly if it weren’t for pre-cuts! The Jelly Roll (a term from Moda) is a roll of fabrics all precut to 2.5″ and they come in the fabric’s off-the-bolt width, usually about 42″ to 44″.

There’s an existing quilt technique called a Race Quilt, and I thought it would a fun retreat project. But, I noticed, a roll of pre-cuts is typically all prints. The race quilts can look busy, and I didn’t find the angled seams all that flattering. I wondered if adding solid fabric sashing would allow those beautiful prints to shine. It gives the eye some pause so each print can be appreciated without fighting to be viewed. Also, keeping with a rectangular theme, I chose to try using only straight seams.

To make one yourself, you will need basic sewing items, and:


one roll of pre-cut fabrics (I used Ombre Confetti Metallic Jelly Roll, as seen here)

two yards of a coordinating but solid fabric (I used Kona Cotton White)

thread and pre-wound bobbins (I used Aurifil Cotton 50 weight, 2435 Peachy Pink)

You will begin by cutting strips 1.5″ in width from the solid yardage. Start with about one yard’s worth. This will yield a lot of long strips. Sew them end to end with 1/4″ straight seams. Set this super long piece aside.

The solid fabric will add a lot of length to your quilt top, and you likely won’t want it that long. So, unroll the pre-cuts and pull out your least favorites of the bunch, probably 5 to 7 strips, and save them for another project, or perhaps the quilt’s binding. On the first strip, trim off about 18″ of it. Sew this shortened strip and the remaining pre-cuts in the same manner as you did the solid fabric, end to end with 1/4″ straight seams. You now have two long runs of fabric.

ong section

trying to find the center of the initial run was truly a family event

Place one end of your solid strip right-sides-together with your pattern strip, and, with a 1/4″ seam allowance, run a line of stitching down the whole thing. This will create one incredibly long strip that is about 3.5″ wide.

Note: you may (or may not) need to cut more 1.5″ solid strips to achieve the necessary length of fabric. I cannot tell you exactly how many solid strips to cut, because the size of pre-cut rolls varies by collection and/or manufacturer.

You should now proceed with the race quilt. There are many videos and tutorials readily available online. I watched Jenny Doan in this Missouri Star video a few times in preparation for mine. It’s good. I have a friendly critique on Jenny’s video though. The title called this a one hour project and, I know I am slow, but it took me way longer than that. She also talks about how easy this is, and, I had trouble at times. Finding the centers of my lengths was the worst, so please, take your time on that. Triple check when possible.

I am so pleased with having used solid sashing and straight seams to have a quilt top that is made entirely of rectangles. It is bright and it is fresh. I highly recommend using the remaining solid yardage to create a border. I had enough left to add a 3″ wide border all around the quilt top.

Let me know if you have any questions and have fun! Happy sewing to you!


Adding a border is pretty – and – it keeps the side’s seams from fraying!

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