Fun with Precuts Part 1: Jelly Roll Race

Sometimes it feels good to just sit down and sew. No cutting, no planning, no thinking…just pretty fabrics and pure sewing.

Using Precut fabric is a great place to start if this is what you’re after. Jelly rolls, layer cakes, and charm packs give quilters a leg up on getting started not only because the fabric has been cut for you, but also because they feature coordinated colors and patterns that are designed to work together as part of a whole line fabrics.

So often, when I shop for fabric I find a single print that I think is great, but I love seeing how the design of a single fabric plays in a coordinated whole. And without precuts, I’d almost never be able to find the full spectrum of fabrics originally envisioned by the designers.

Oscar loves the colors in this fabric line called Desert Bloom (by Sherri & Chelsi of a Quilting life for Moda).

A few weeks ago, the local quilt shop where my mom lives, High Sierra Quilters in Placerville, CA, was having a sale on precuts. So, we snatched up our favorite jelly rolls and we were off to the Jelly Roll Races. (silly pun alert!)

The Jelly Roll Race quilt is a great way to fulfill that urge to just sew, sew, sew. The quilt is made by sewing 2 ½ strips of fabric together end-to-end to make one long strip that is then folded in half and sewn together. The new piece is then folded in half and sewn together again, and so on until, before you know it, a whole quilt emerges.


For more instructions, you can check out Missouri Star’s helpful Jelly Roll Race video tutorial or get more info at

The whole jelly roll race adventure took a few hours and left me wanting more. So back to the quilt store I went to get another jelly roll. In two days, I had two quilt tops.

The experience perfectly satisfied my desire to sew and to play with pretty fabrics. And listening to the hum of the machine as I went, I knew that every stitch was moving me closer to a finished product I could love.

Another bonus for me was that I also ended up with two quilt tops ideal for starting my new adventures in learning how to quilt with my domestic sewing machine!

And the cats love it too!

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