Jelly Roll rail fence

Materials

Note that the requirements are based on fabrics with a minimum usable width of 42in

  • One Jelly Roll
  • 2.2m (2 1⁄2yd) backing fabric
  • 1m (1 1⁄8yd) for front joining strips
  • 70cm (3⁄4yd) for back joining strips
  • 1.2m (1 3⁄8yd) of 90in wide wadding or use leftover pieces: minimum 10 1⁄2in square. See 'Cutting instructions' Step 2.

Finished Size

Approx 130 x 158cm (52 1⁄2 x 63in) based on a 10 1⁄2in block

Skill Level

Beginners

You can download a pdf copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Jelly Roll Rail Fence

Cutting Instructions

  1. Cut the Jelly Roll strips into 10 1⁄2in lengths – you should get four from each Jelly Roll strip. You will need a total of 150 lengths.
  2. From both the backing fabric and the wadding, carefully cut thirty 10 1⁄2in squares.
  3. From the front joining strip fabric, carefully cut twenty 1 3⁄4in wide strips across the width of the fabric.
  4. From the back joining strip fabric, carefully cut twenty 1 1⁄8in wide strips across the width of the fabric.

Making the Blocks

  1. Place a backing fabric square right side down, place a wadding square on top of it and then, right side up, place a Jelly Roll strip wrong side down on top of the wadding, matching up the lower and side edges with the wadding.
  2. Place a second Jelly Roll strip right side down on top of the first strip. Using a 1⁄4in seam, join on the long edge nearest to the centre of the block. Open out and press. Right sides together and matching up the raw edges, place a third Jelly Roll strip on top of the second strip and stitch in place. Continue working in this way until the wadding is covered – you will need five strips. See Figure 1.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until you have made thirty blocks.
  4. All the blocks need to be the same size and must be true squares, so trim if necessary.

Figure 1

Figure 1: Making the blocks

Joining the blocks

  1. From the front joining fabric strips, cut twenty-four strips the length of your block (should be 1 3⁄4 x 10 1⁄2in). Wrong sides together, fold the strips in half lengthways and press.
  2. From the back joining fabric strips, cut twenty-four strips the length of your block (should be 1 1⁄8 x 10 1⁄2in).
  3. Right sides together and matching up the raw edges, place a folded front joining strip on the right-hand edge of a quilted block. With the right side of the strip against the backing fabric, on the same edge and matching up the raw edges, place a back joining strip against the back of the block. Stitch the joining strips in place. See Figure 2.

Figure 2

Figure 2: Attaching the front and back joining strips to a quilted block
  1. With the block right side up, open out the back joining strip. Right sides together, place a second block on top of this, matching up the raw edge of the block with the raw edge of the back joining strip; stitch to join. Take care to orientate the second block correctly – the strip direction of adjacent blocks alternate. See Figure 3.

Figure 3

Figure 3: Joining the blocks on the back joining strip
  1. Open out the blocks. Open out the front joining strip to cover the join and slipstitch the folded edge in place on the second block. See Figure 4.

Figure 4

Figure 4: Blocks joined on the front joining strip
  1. Repeat Steps 3–5 to make a row of five blocks.
  2. Repeat Steps 3–6 to make a total of six rows of five blocks.
  3. Join seven front joining strips to make one length; trim to give five pieces the length of your quilt rows (approx 52in). Wrong sides together, fold the strips in half lengthways and press.
  4. Join seven back joining strips to make one length; trim to give five pieces the length of your quilt rows (approx 52in).
  5. Join the rows together in the same way that you joined the blocks. See Figure 5.

Figure 5

Figure 5: Quilt layout

Finishing

  1. Join seven of the front joining strips to make one long length. Wrong sides together, fold the strips in half lengthways and press.
  2. Join seven of the back joining strips to make one long length.
  3. Right sides together and matching up the raw edges, join the back joining strip length to the front joining strip length. Open out and press. This is a split binding.
  4. Working from the back of the quilt, match the raw edge of the back joining fabric (single thickness) of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt and sew in place, folding a mitre at each corner. Before completing your stitching, neaten the short raw end of the starting piece and insert the ending piece into it.
  5. Fold the binding over to the front of the quilt and neatly slipstitch the folded edge in place on the front of the quilt.
  6. Finally, add a label to the back of your quilt, with your name and the date it was made. If the quilt is a gift, perhaps add the name of the recipient(s) and the occasion too

Quilt made by Sadie Yeomans. Front of quilt

Quilt made by Sadie Yeomans. Front of quilt

Handy hint If you prefer, you can make a contrasting binding by stitching the back joining fabric (single thickness) to the front of the quilt instead of the back. The front joining fabric will then be turned to the back of the quilt as a contrast.

Quilt made by Sadie Yeomans. Back of quilt

Quilt made by Sadie Yeomans. Back of quilt

Smaller version

If your Jelly Roll strips are less than 42in wide, you can make a smaller quilt of six rows of four blocks, which will be approx 105 x 158cm (41 1⁄2 x 62in).

The requirements for a smaller quilt are:

  • One Jelly Roll
  • 1.7m (1 7⁄8yd) backing fabric – this is based on a usable width of 42in
  • 80cm (7⁄8yd) for front joining strips
  • 50cm (1⁄2yd) back joining strips
  • 1m (1 1⁄8yd) of 90in wide wadding or use leftover pieces: minimum 10 1⁄2in square. See 'Cutting instructions' Step 2
  1. From the Jelly Roll strips, cut 120 10 1⁄2in lengths. You should get three lengths from each Jelly Roll strip.
  2. From both the backing fabric and the wadding, carefully cut twenty-four 10 1⁄2in squares.
  3. From the front joining strip fabric, cut fifteen 1 3⁄4in wide strips across the width of the fabric.
  4. From the back joining strip fabric, cut fifteen 1 1⁄8in wide strips across the width of the fabric.
  5. Proceed as for the larger quilt, remembering that each row contains four (not five) blocks.

First published in Popular Patchwork September 2011