Tag Archives: free motion

Jelly roll frenzy (race)

7 Aug

When I finished my Craftsy Block of the Month quilt one of my commenters called V from sometimesshesews.blogspot.com introduced me to the notion of a jelly roll race and provided me with this link to youtube as I’d never heard of it before.

So basically all the pieces sewn end to end in to one long strip then the long ends of the strips sewn together again, and and again and again until you have a quilt.

Erm , hello, I LOVE that idea!

The roll I used is sweet tooth by Benartex which is all sweetie themed – I do LOVE sweets! I bought it from the Missouri Star Quilt company – my Dad was visiting from the USA so got it sent to his address. Sadly I would not recommend this company at all, terrible communication and service. I digress…

Sadly I have nobody to race so I have called it a jelly roll frenzy. What brilliant fun! So quick! Sometimes it can feel like when you do anything labelled ‘sewing’ you actually spend a considerable amount of time doing other things like cutting, planning, pinning, ironing etc – this is just pure unadulterated SEWING! I simply loved making this quilt top! I think everyone should have a jelly roll in the cupboard so you can whip one of these babies up when you just need some mindless escapism at your sewing machine.


I sashed with a pinky polka-dot and bound in a gorgeous sunshine orange. The backing was big fat magenta polka dots. I finally got round to watching the free craftsy course on creative quilt backs (need to review that) and used the technique to match large prints. Worked really well – can you see the join?


More Craftsy I’m afraid… I recently bought free-motion fillers by Leah Day as one of my Christmas presents from my Dad -he got me a gift voucher for three classes. Again, must review when I’ve finished it. I found a lovely pattern in lesson three “independent designs” named “basic spiral”. I thought it looked like swirly sweets so it fitted with the fabric perfectly. Frankly the quilting leaves something to be desired and is a bit clunky but from a distance it has the effect I wanted.


I love the finished article and am really peased with the size, this is just perfect for snuggling on the sofa. Sadly, I think the overall effect is a bit too little girl with the sweets and the pink. I am considering giving it away, but I really love it – clearly there is still a little girl very much inside and not even attempting to get out!

Oh, and I’m not the only one who likes it…


Over to you:
Have you ever done a jelly roll race?
Have you made something which hasn’t turned out how you thought, but you love it anyway?
Any other little ideas like the jelly roll race I can try?!

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

**all views are my own and I get no affiliate income from this**


Quilting: you can’t cut corners

8 Feb

At the beginning of my sewing journey I found Craftsy and I really loved it. I adored that I could make all my errors in the comfort of my own home and replay the instructor again and again until I got it right.

In this first wild flush of attraction – imagine me running through the flowery meadow oozing joy whilst holding hands with Mr Craftsy and gazing lovingly in to his eyes – I thought participating in Amy Gibson’s free class Block of the Month would be super easy. It’s not like I’m entirely new to quilting and piecing. I’ve completed smaller projects like baby quilts etc and know some quilting techniques; I’ve even done a bit of free motion and didn’t sew my fingers together. It’s just this would be my first large scale patchwork quilting project. Confidence was high, I repeat, confidence was high. Dear readers, I know you can see my folly.


The first issue was my general approach to long tasks. I was the kind of kid who’d be set a big homework project to complete over weeks and weeks and would start it the night before. I have not grown out of this awful habit. I watched the videos each month very dutifully, I just didn’t actually do any sewing. Finally I bought the fabric at Creative Stitches in Exeter in September and I started cutting the bits in October thinking I’d be whipping up this quilt in no time. I laughed in the face of these weaklings who aren’t hardcore enough to crank out projects in long gruelling sessions like me – ha ha ha. Oh dear. Quilters I can hear your echoing laughs…

First major quilting discovery
It takes bloomin’ HOURS to piece stuff together!
Yes. What a naive fool I was. These blocks are really HARD! I was decidedly less smug already. After all my faux quilting bravado do you know how I finally finished it? I started doing a couple squares every now and again. Yes, quilting brought me what umpteen years of education had not.


So now to the quilting…
Second major discovery
It takes bloomin’ HOURS to quilt a 20 block quilt!
Researching and praticing the techniques before you even get near the quilt top is not included in above equation. You are also absolutely terrified you are going to utterly ruin the work you’ve already done!

Dogwood technique blogged about here

Third major quilting discovery
the bloomin’ thing can’t fit properly in the sewing machine!


So you think ‘ah I’ll do a bit of echo quilting around that square with my walking foot’ like Amy suggests. BUT that means you need to rotate the thing 360 degrees – so at some point the biggest bit of the quilt needs to be rotated into the ‘throat’ of the sewing machine. I’m there stuffing the thing in, then it is so wedged I can’t actually sew. If force fed geese are unethical then the same protections should apply to sewing machines! Utter nightmare. On a more positive note – seriously good upper arm workout! I was ‘feeling the burn baby!’ It took me weeks to quilt the thing, again I was reduced to doing little and often.

Which leads me to…
fourth major quilting discovery
I bloomin’ love my finished quilt!


Taking in to account all of the above I was ready to be much less enamoured with the finished item, frankly I thought I’d be sick of the sight of it, but I really do love it! I snuggle up under it and feel so proud of the journey I’ve been on with this project! What’s more, after all of the above moaning, I am missing having a ‘big’ project going on that I can dip in and out of… I think I want to start another one! Dear quilting friends, is this how it begins?


Here it is adorning my favourite sofa in the lounge, ready to snuggle in to!

Tell me what you think:
Have you ever done a really big project like a large quilt?
Did you participate in the Block of the Month?
Are there any ‘discoveries’ you’ve made in a project which took you totally by surprise?

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday