What is a Jelly Roll?
This is a question that keeps popping up on my mailing list and I thought I would try to tackle it in a bit longer form. First let me start by saying we are not talking about jam-filled cakes. Although, I do have a great recipe if anyone is interested. What I’m talking about are the cute little bundles of 2½ inches wide strips popping up from different manufacturers and yes they all have a different name for them.
The first part of working with 2½ inch strips and Jelly Rolls is understanding how they are cut from a bolt of fabric, it’s what makes them so versatile and one of my favorite precut’s. Each strip in a Jelly Roll is 2½ wide and its length comes from the full width of fabric or WOF for short. Generally, they are cut from standard bolts measuring 44-45 inches. Some of the more pedantic may think of it as a cut that runs from selvage to selvage of the fabric.
Jelly rolls are made up of many 2½ inch wide by 44 to 45 inch long strips of quilting fabric.
What does each fabric manufacturers call a “Jelly Roll”?
Great question! The name Jelly Roll was coined by Moda Fabrics to Identify pre-cuts from its designer lines of quilting fabric check out the link above to see all our Moda Jelly Rolls. Moda Fabrics commonly bundles 40 2½ inch strips to make a Jelly Roll which is just shy of three yards of fabric that's ready to sew. Below is a picture of Rachel Remembered 2½" Jelly Roll click the link to learn more.
Island Batiks calls there 2½ sets Island Strips click the link to see all the Island Strips I carry. With the same cut of fabric 2½ inches wide by 44-45 inches long fabric. So far each pack they have released has been 40 strips of fabric, but it vary in the future. They usually have two strips of each print in the set so you have 20 fabrics with two strips of each fabrics to equal the 40 strips. Island Batiks is well known for its beautiful batiks hence the name check out Fresh Pick'ins 2½" Island Strips by Kathy Engle below. It's one of my favorites.
Hoffman Fabrics calls its Bali Pops and Bali Poppy. Both are strips that are 2½ inches wide. The Bali Pops is comprised of 40 different batik fabrics and the Bali Poppy has only 20 strips of unique fabrics in the pack. So, if you only need a few of a specific color you should pick up the Poppy. Both packs have unique strips of fabric and no duplicates so you get the most variety with them.
Free Spirit Fabrics call its 2½ strips a Design Roll make sure to check them out. Design Rolls usually contain 40 strips, but may vary. Normally a roll is made up of fabric from one designers and a particular fabric line is featured. My favorite has to be as the Shade Classics Design Roll, which is pictured below. I just love the deep blues.
Timeless Treasures has two sizes of 2½ inch strips packs and you can view them all by visiting the first link. Timeless Treasures calls them Tonga Treats and Junior Tonga Treats. Tonga Treat have 40 strips of fabric in the pack with two strips of each fabrics so you get 20 unique fabrics in each pack. The Junior Tonga Treat have 20 strips and it is comprised of 20 unique fabric styles. I enjoy collecting many Tonga Treats in my own collection. You never know when you need just a bit of something unique for that special project. It's a great way to increase variety at a lower initial cost. The last one I purchased for myself was the Jelly Bean Tonga Treat, which you can view here.
Riley Blake Designs in my opinion has the best name of all - Rolie Polies. It's a bit off topic, but I find those tiny bugs that quickly roll up into a ball when you try pick them up cute - like a mini armadillo - maybe there is a unique quilt idea in there somewhere, but let's get back to fabric. Its 2½ inch Rolie Polie packs vary the most in the number of unique fabric that make up the roll. Usually they only have one strip of the fabric from the line but I have noticed that varies also. One quick pro tip on buying Rolie Polies is to read the descriptions carefully to get the exact amount of strips you are looking for. My recent favorite is Sew Cherry pictured below.
I hope this has helped clear up some of the confusion and misinformation on Jelly Rolls, Strip Sets, Island Strips, Rolie Polies, Tonga Treats, Design Rolls, Bali Pops and more. I know it gets quite confusing but they are a great way to get a variety of fabric and have awesome possibilities for projects. I will be going into greater detail about 2½ inch strip projects in the coming days join my mailing list to get notified when it comes out. In the post I will go into great detail about the interesting ways to use the full pack of fabric on a project. If you haven't already joined my mailing list, I send out lots of great info and free patterns you can use on your next Jelly Roll project.
If you have any more questions or comments shoot me an email at Margo@MyFavoriteQuiltStore.com