Learning about Jelly Rolls

I had made it thru 3 days at the International Quilt Festival without buying any fabric!!

On the last day, at the very last booth we visited, this Jelly roll just jumped out and grabbed me…..

The colors were so vibrant and I just knew that I could make a fun quilt with it!!

I found a pattern that I liked (more to come about that), opened the roll, and started fondling the fabric. The first thing that I noticed was tons of schmutz showing up on my cutting board….

I realized that this was coming from the pinked edges of the strips and I was NOT amused!! Although, I should have realized what was going on when I moved the roll from the background fabric….

Now I started wondering exactly how wide this strip was. I was surprised to find that from outside edge to outside edge, it was 2-5/8- inches…..NOT 2-1/2-inches!!

I knew that the 1/8-inch would make a big difference with the piecing.


Should I try to adjust my seam allowance to make up for the difference or should I recut all 40 of the strips??

Since I am already struggling with keeping my seam allowance consistent, I decided that I needed to recut them. I was thankful for the Accu-Quilt machine which made it much easier to cut two strips at a time…..

I know that I could have cut many more at one time, but it was too important to get the strips PERFECTLY in line and I could only do that in groups of two!!

Each cut left a small string of fabric and a bit more schmutz….

Eventually, they were all cut, leaving 40, perfect 2-1/2-inch strips AND a pretty pile of leftovers..

I really haven’t worked much with precuts and especially not jelly rolls, and I have these questions for you……

  • Is it normal for the “pinked” edge strips to be oversize??
  • Do you recut or adjust your seam allowance, or do you just not worry about it??

Thanks for any feedback. I am truly perplexed!!

8 thoughts on “Learning about Jelly Rolls

  1. I had the same mess from my jelly rolls by Moda. I had never used them before at all. I have read that cheaper jelly rolls are not accurately cut so it is a crap shoot what the size will be. I am not a super precise quilter so eyeball my seam allowances. I have fun and my quilts are pretty none the less 😊

    1. I don’t have the wrapper anymore but am pretty sure that it was a Moda fabric. I didn’t want to post that!! I have really been trying to work on precision in the last year or so and it really drove me crazy!!! Next time I will just cut them from my own stash….there is plenty of it!!

  2. I think it is pretty normal that they are not exactly 2 ½ inches. I don’t usually worry about it because most of the patterns using jelly rolls are not complicated and mainly just use strips and some background. Since they are not intricate, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I will be interested to see what others think

    1. I have been working really hard to perfect my 1/4 inch seam allowance and it just messed with my mind too much to have to change it!! Most of the comments that I have seen are that people don’t use them unless they REALLY like/need the fabric!!

  3. I don’t buy jelly rolls. They are so limiting in the type of quilts that like to do. And my hands don’t appreciate the sizing so washing them would be a frayed disaster.

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