When I saw a picture of a jelly roll rug, I knew I had to make one myself. I watched a couple tutorials on how to make one, and then I bought the pattern. I had a couple of jelly rolls in my stash, but I chose to cut up a fat quarter bundle that I have multiple bundles of into strips. There was a fear I would mess up my first rug, so this would be my practice rug. Once I have gotten this rug under my belt, I have an In Bloom Cotton + Steel maple roll that will also be made into a jelly roll rug.
This fat quarter bundle is a mix of fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics, which I bought from Fat Quarter Shop a while ago. I love the colours of this fat quarter bundle, and thought it would make a nice rug. I previously made a table runner with the same fabric. For this rug, I cut four 2.5″ strips from each of the 10 fat quarters, which gave me 40 strips. This will be a small rug, half the size of using a full jelly roll.
While there are rolls of batting precut into strips, I chose to use the batting I already had.
I used a couple packs of small binding clips when sewing the fabric and batting into the cord. They are perfect for keeping everything folded and in place while sewing. The more clips you have on hand the better. I had to stop during the sewing to fold and clip the fabric and batting. More clips would have allowed me to sew longer strips at a time.
Once I got the fabric and batting sewn into one long cord, I wound it up into a ball. I put it into my yarn bowl to hold it in place. I set the yarn bowl on the floor by my feet while sewing the rug. The yarn bowl is perfect for small rugs, but would not work if I was making a larger rug.
When sewing the jelly rug, you want to have a flat surface, especially as the rug gets bigger. I do not have an extension table for my sewing machine. Using books and boxes of fabric, I created a level surface around my sewing machine. When I first set up my make shift extension table, I could have done a better job. My rug got wonky as I got to the outer part, and I had to take it apart and redo it.
The recommended needle for this project is a denim needle, but I found my zig zag stitches kept skipping with a denim needle. I tried adjusting the settings on my machine and sewing slow, but I could not stop the skipped stitches. I ended up trying a topstitch 100/16 needle, and that helped stop the skipping stitches. Sewing at a slower speed will also help reduce skipped stitches.
My rug is not perfect, but it is only the first one I’ve made. I like to think my next one will be better. I have a pack of topstitch needles, have my thread, and the boxes and books I used to make an extension table are ready to go. My next rugs are already in progress. One using a fat quarter bundle from Michaels, and the In Bloom roll from Cotton + Steel. I also have a Sunday Supper jelly roll by Sweetwater that I would like to try making jelly roll rug placemats with.
What bundle of fabric would you use to make a jelly roll rug?