I love doing trunk shows for guilds. It was so sad last year that so many trunk shows and workshops were cancelled due to Covid-19. I've done a couple of virtual trunk shows but I love being back in person with guild members (all masked-up).
This week I got to do an in-person trunk show with the Silver Needles Quilt Guild in Salina, Kansas. It was so good to be back in the guild environment. Upcoming activities, community outreach, show and tell. It was all so familiar and wonderful.
My trunk show was called Confessions of a Sassy Stripper and was all about Jelly Rolls and projects with other strips.
While I was working at Mea Bernina, the owner came to me and asked me about hosting a jelly roll club - we decided to call it the Sassy Strippers. My mission was to come up with project and techniques that used jelly rolls and other types of strips.
Best place to start? The Jelly Roll Race, of course!Years ago, the jelly roll race was really the thing. Its still a thing! within an hour (more or less), you have a cute quilt top ready for quilting for a baby, charity quilt, or lap quilt. There is really a lot you can do with the Jelly Race quilt - leave it as is, insert a vertical strip, add appliques, and much more. The one I did was in black and white and I added a vertical strip with some red accents. I love it. It was simple, the colors are striking, and I could make it again and again.
So, we were off - now to dig deeper into Jelly Rolls and JR patterns.
It used to be the Jelly Rolls were made from a single collection.
Collections tended to be larger and could more easily include 40 unique fabrics. Today, there are usually 2 or 3 of each fabric in a Jelly Roll because collections are smaller. My favorite Jelly Rolls are the ones curated by individual or shops - 40 fabrics that coordinate well, even if they are from different collections. I had the fun task of curating several Jelly Rolls while working at Mea Bernina.
There are several (ok, millions maybe) patterns that feature Jelly Rolls. My mission was to develop original or locate free patterns that challenged the Stripper Club members.
One of the early challenges I took on was a bargello quilt. I loved bargellos but never quite got the idea of sewing strips together, cuttings them into substrips, and then UNSEWING. It was the unsewing that really confused me. But after I did it, it was crystal clear. After experimenting with the size of the substrips and whether they go "up" or "down", I developed a pattern that used 3 exactly the same Jelly Rolls in rainbow solids. The resulting quilt I named Iz's Rainbow to pay tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and his version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I teach this technique in one of my workshops - its one of my favorites.Continuing to look for challenges, I found a block and redrafted it to work with 2.5 inch strips. I call it Stop and Go because it requires the technique of partial seams. For this quilt I used a half Jelly Roll curated from a collection we carried at the time with the addition of some coordinating solids (don't ask, I forget the name of the collection, and its not available any more anyway. So sorry). The addition of a plus sign sashing really makes this quilt unique.
These are just three of the quilts I've made with Jelly Rolls. I'm still experimenting with different techniques and projects - not just quilts, but bags, baskets, rugs, table runners, and art wall hangings. So many fabrics and projects to do! If you are intrigued by these patterns, you can download them from my Etsy Shop.
Curious about Jelly Rolls? Get one and get to work! It took me 98 minutes to sew and press my Jelly Roll race.
On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!