Pre-Cut Fabrics 101: Jelly Rolls


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Okay, many of you asked for more information about Fabric Jelly Rolls. I am more than happy to share. So I thought I would start a series in which I discuss a few of the great pre-cut fabric options. The fabric company MODA first came up with these pre-cut fabric packs named after sweet treats, but others soon followed because pre-cut fabrics are a dream to work with!
What it is:
A fabric jelly-roll consists of strips of fabric, each cut to 2.5" wide and 44" long. Generally when you buy Jelly Rolls there is one strip of each fabric in a given line of fabrics.

What they look like:

They are a squatty circle which appear much like a Jelly Roll (hence the cute name!).

Where to buy it:
 Online will have the most options, but many fabric stores are catching on that these pre-cuts are becoming all the rage. They usually have a small selection at Joann Fabrics and other big box craft stores.  Here are some good online resources to try:
The Fat Quarter Shop (has the most and best selection, but high priced)
Esty (a lot of fabric sellers on Etsy offer these now)
eBay (if you know exactly what fabric line you want check eBay for some great deals!)

What I suggest when buying:
1. MAKE SURE you double check the amount of strips you will receive. The standard is 40 strips, but some sellers sell in bunches of 20 and sometimes 15 or less.  

2. If you are seeing this fabric line for the first time from looking at a jelly roll, use google to look for a picture of the line as fabric swatches. Sometimes you will be surprised at the color combinations that are unseen from the photographed jelly roll.
For example: Here is a picture of the Jelly Roll I purchased to make my Gracie Quilt...

 And here's the finished quilt. See the difference? 
There was a strip of fabric from each color pallet of this collection. I chose to use mostly the warm colors, but the image for the jelly roll showed mostly the cool colors in the line.
What You Should Know:
DO NOT pre-wash your pre-cut fabrics. It will become a ball of strings and then ironing all those strips? No!  Fabric is generally pre-washed these days and increased fabric quality leads to less shrinking.
Why it rocks:
Umm...less cutting!  That's the name of the game, but I particularly LOVE buying solid colors for sashing in my quilts.  For instance, I am about to start making this quilt...

See all of that 2.5" wide white fabric seperating my blocks (called the sashing)? Yeah, I'm, not cutting any of that. Because I bought this...
This is especially helpful, because making very long cuts using a rotary wheel and plastic ruler is hard to cut evenly. But these are all cut for you and make quilting a snap! I bought 5 jelly rolls of plain white like the one shown above.
What you can make:
- the Gracie Quilt via Plucky Momo (tute coming soon)
- Postage Stamp Quilt via P.S. I Quilt
- Fat Quarter Shop Jelly Roll patterns (for sale)
- Summer in the Park quilt by Missouri Quilt Co.
- Jelly Roll Quilts (book) by Pam and Nicky Lintott (I own this)

1 comment:

coffeeiv said...

I am so glad you said not to wash the fabric! I did that with some really cheap fabric and I STILL haven't finshed my first placemat because the ironing discouraged me! I just bought a MODA jelly roll and WILL NOT be washing it. Thanks for heading me in the right direction!