Saturday, August 26, 2017

1600 Race (making a quilt out of a jelly roll... quick!!)

Oconomowoc Quilt guild had an interesting meeting last week.  We had a race to make 1600 quilts.  I never even heard of them until the month before.  We had 7 machines at least 3 people at a machine.  A jelly roll of strips were sewn together end to end.  We had to fold it in half and sew a 1/4 " seam the length of the strips.  Then you fold it again ( cutting the folded end) and sew the 2 and 2 strips together.  Then you have 4 strips.  You fold it again and cut the loop and sew again.  And you do this until you have a quilt.  It took about 45 minutes.  This is a great way to make quilts for comfort.  Donation quilts.  So if you are looking for something fun to do at one of your guild meetings have a 1600 Race!!  Everyone's a winner!!  I found some instructions I added below. 

I found these Instructions on the Web.  
Jelly Roll 1600” Instructions
Instructions courtesy of Heirloom Creations
Note: instructions follow for making the quilt top as a race. If you are doing it on your own, at your own pace, just proceed through each step normally.

Advance Prep:
Your pit crew needs to have the following items on hand: one jelly roll or 40 strips that are 2 1/2” x 40′′, scissors, thread, one full bobbin of Aurifil thread and one iron.
Shuffle jelly roll strips to mix up the colors. Most pre-selected jelly rolls roll like colors together. For this quilt, the outcome will look better with a randomized order. Prints with an up or down look will not matter which way they are sewn.

Warm Up Lap:
Sew all 2 1/2” strips on a diagonal into one long strip. (Like 
sewing binding together).
Before the Green Flag Drops...
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP... From one end, cut off 18′′ of the sewn together strip and throw it away. This will randomize the location of the diagonal seams throughout the quilt.

********* Green Flag = GO! *********This is where the race will start!
Find the beginning and ending of the 1,600′′ long strip. Placing each of the ends right sides together, start sewing. This will be the longest seam. When the end is reached, cut the jelly roll strip apart and finish the seam.

Pit Stop #1
The strip will now be 800” long. No need to press; it can be all be done at the end.
Lap #2
Locate the beginning and end of the 800” strip and start sewing them together. When the end is reached, cut the jelly roll strip apart and finish the seam.
Repeat the same process a total of five times! Each “lap” will take half the time to sew as the lap before!
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Press all seams the same direction and trim sides even. Borders are totally optional. I personally like the size that this quilt finishes without adding anything extra. Just quilt and bind as desired.
Where can I find pictures and more detailed instructions on making the jelly roll quilt?
Please visit: (race & quilt instructions & race video) (video showing how to make the quilt) Tips for smaller and larger quilts using the same jelly roll strip process are posted in several discussion
blogs at:
Search on “jelly roll quilt 1600 baby”, for instance, then read through the discussion sessions for suggestions.
How big is the finished quilt top?
Your quilt top will be 48” x 64” assuming you start with 40 2 1⁄2” strips. Adding borders is an optional finishing touch that will also make the quilt top bigger.
Do I need to donate my quilt-top or finished quilt to Ronald McDonald House?
If you’ve used your own fabric /jelly roll strips - of course not! That is entirely your choice. However, if you are considering donating, it does make a great donation to a worthwhile charity. Jelly roll quilts are fun to begin with, and this pattern will be especially cheering to a sick child.
If you’ve used fabric/jelly roll strips provided by BPQ/Charity, then yes, we encourage you to turn in your finished quilt-top or quilt at a BPQ meeting to donate back to The Ronald McDonald House.