Did you know? The world’s biggest spool of thread is located right here in Hamilton, Missouri! It’s 22 feet tall, 8 feet wide, and wrapped with ONE MILLION yards of thread. Come for a visit, and you can add a few yards of your own!
It’s no secret we love thread, so our newest Triple Play tutorial is all about spools! We’re using charm packs, layer cakes, and 2.5 inch strips to create big spools, little spools, and everything in between! Fun fact: Jenny’s larger-than-life spool quilt pattern is actually a jelly roll race, and it’s so fun to make!
Precut fabric revolutionized the quilting world. The quilting skill was historically passed down through teaching – one would learn the intricate and mathematical approach of measuring and cutting fabric by hand from the generation that came before. Anyone who has pieced a quilt knows it’s difficult work! Before you could even consider your project or layout, all the fabrics must be cut from bolts or repurposed from used materials. The margin for error was extraordinary, a single miscalculation could jeopardize an entire quilting project.
Quilting is now easier and more approachable thanks to precut fabrics. Precuts are perfect for beginners (that’s why Jenny uses them to teach!). If you don’t know what exactly a fat quarter is, or if you never heard of a honey bun, we hope this guide kicks off your quilting journey with confidence.
A Layer Cake is a curated bundle of 10″ squares of coordinating precut quilt fabric from a designer’s collection. These versatile packs can be used for a number of projects. Their larger size allows them to be to cut into strips or smaller squares if needed! A typical layer cake contains 42 squares of precut 10″ fabric, enough for a small quilt top. Depending on the distributor, layer cakes are also called ’10 stackers,’ ’10 squares,’ ’tiles,’ and ’10 karat crystals.’
With such a big cut of fabric, layer cakes can dazzle because the printed design catches the eye first. If you want to showcase a gorgeous fabric, consider Jenny’s spin on tradition and create the Irish Change quilt. The Layer Cakes in this project are left completely whole and highlighted with fabric strips to create a beautiful showcase of 10″ squares!
For an easy introduction to the world of Charm Packs, use the pack as it is and create the Charm Quilt on Point! This simple creation turns the Charm Pack fabrics on point before sewing them together to create a beautiful layout with little effort! Select your favorite Charm Pack (much like in the Irish Change quilt, your Charm Pack fabric will be the focal point), add a border and a back – you just created the easiest quilt you ever made!
Have you heard the saying “there’s always a bigger fish”? How about “there’s always a smaller square”? As you probably guessed, a Mini Charm Pack is exactly that – a smaller version of a Charm Pack! These fabric bundles contain forty-two 2.5″ squares of precut fabric, half the size of their larger counterpart! With a name as specific as Mini Charm Pack, it’s difficult find this precut under a different name (but let us know if you do!).
Think small when using this precut, it’s better used as a compliment than a feature! Mini Charm Packs create intricate and impressive designs, even though it’s really no different than sewing a larger square. The 2.5″ Mini Tumbler Quilt is a great option if you want to play with these mighty minis, but you can add creative flair to any quilt with a 2.5″ square as a cornerstone!
Let’s get away from squares and focus on strips! A Jelly Roll is a bundle of 2.5″ strips of precut quilt fabric, featuring an array of coordinating fabric from a designer’s collection. Jelly rolls make sewing up a cute strip quilt a snap. Not only are there countless patterns that use only a Jelly Roll, but you’ll find these strips so handy you may use them with other precuts. A standard Jelly Roll contains forty 2.5″ x 44″ strips of fabric and is also called a ‘rolie polie,’ ‘strip-pies,’ ‘roll ups’ or even just ‘2.5″ strips.’
One of the easiest quilts for beginners is the standard Jelly Roll Race quilt! Piece your Jelly Roll strip by strip, and you can stitch up 1,600 inches of fabric in less than an hour! This pattern can be wildly colorful, with constantly changing colors and designs – so be bold with your Jelly Roll choice!
The Honey Bun is the Jan to the Jelly Roll‘s Marcia. Have you ever heard of it? This slender roll is perfect for sashing and strip quilting. The Honey Bun is a bundle of forty 1.5″ strips of coordinated, precut fabric. When piecing a quilt top, it’s more common to use a Jelly Roll, but don’t count the Honey Bun out. Whether creating a small quilt top or an intricate design, the Honey Bun will serves up loads of versatility. If you can’t find a Honey Bun, try looking for it’s alter ego – Skinny Strips!
Jenny’s very first quilt was a Log Cabin quilt, so they’re near and dear to her heart. If you want to feature a Honey Bun in your next project (and not just for sashing), a simple log cabin block is the way to go. You can get 21 log cabin blocks from a single Honey Bun!
If you absolutely adore a line of fabric, the answer is the Fat Quarter! A fat quarter bundle is a stack of fat quarters (quarter yards of fabric, cut wide) of coordinating quilt fabric from a designer’s collection, and of all the precuts, it gives you the most fabric! Fat quarters measure 18″ x 21″ and make it easy to build a quilt with your fabric lines. With just a little extra cutting, the possibilities are endless for this precut bundle. Fat Quarters are sold in bundles called Fat Quarter Bundles, but sometimes they are also advertised as “rolls.”
Hi there. I am Becky Vandenberg from Be So Crafty, a blog devoted to all things sewing. Be So Crafty began last year when I wanted to use my fabric stash for a good cause, so I decided to sew 100 skirts in 100 days and donate them to a local charity that helps refugees in Utah. Sewing skirts everyday for 100 days was a fabulous experience that I plan to write about soon. Although I have been sewing for years, I only began making quilts abouts 3 years ago and LOVE it. So I was absolutely thrilled to be apart of this Tutorial Reboot series for Missouri Star. The quilt tutorial I have decided to reboot is Jenny’s Jelly Roll Race because it’s quick and simple and perfectly color coordinated, thanks to the use of precut jelly rolls.
First I unrolled that perfectly beautiful Jelly Roll and snipped off the selvage.
I followed Jenny’s advice in the video tutorial and kept the fabric strips in order; that means some of the same colors were touching and that is okay.
IMPORTANT NOTE: With solid fabric strips you have to be super mindful of the front of the strip and the back of the strip when you make the jelly roll quilt. “Right sides together” takes on a whole new meaning when there is no printed side. One important thing to remember: after you sew the diagonal line, turn the top strip over and then add the next strip.
With the beginning and end of the 1600” strip, place them right sides together and sew one LONG ¼” stitch making your 1600 inch strip into an 800 inch double side strip; basically fold the long strip in half (end to end) and sew down one side. Cut the fold to create a new “end” of the 800 inch strips and once again, fold the strips in half (end to end) and sew down one side. Cut along the fold and fold the quilt top end to end and sew down one side. Repeat this step a couple more times until you have the finished quilt top.
Follow the Jelly Roll Race video tutorial exactly and you cannot go wrong. That’s all I did.
In order to incorporate the fun airplane backing into the front of the quilt, I grabbed some big scraps from my stash and cut out an airplane applique.
Then I sent the backing and the Jelly Roll Race quilt top to the quilter because I wanted it done all fancy. However, this quilt can easily be quilted with some straight lines or all over stippling with your sewing machine.
To create the binding, I cut eight 2 ½ inch strips from the binding fabric and sewed them together exactly like I sewed the Jelly Roll Race fabric. This made a 240” strip (always make more than you think) which I folded in half and pressed with a hot iron. (Binding tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vCWpxBRs20)
Now I get to hand sew the binding. I grabbed some clips, red thread, a sharp needle, and a Diet Coke, and found myself a nice spot on the couch to watch a documentary while binding the quilt.
I am so happy with how this amazing baby quilt turned out! I love the solid color strips and how they turned out beautifully to look like the sky.
I will definitely be making more Jelly Roll Race quilts; this was such a fun project. Thanks for having me, Missouri Star!