I first discovered the joy of jelly rolls many years ago when I first started working on Today's Quilter magazine. Until then, the idea of making quilts with pre-cuts was a little alien to me. Yes ok, quilts were something I sometimes made using fat quarters, occasionally coveted from fabric shops, blissfully rummaged on holidays and shopping trips in Bath, England where I was living at the time. But I only came across a jelly roll for the first time when I joined the quilt publishing and discovered oh what a world awaited of beautifully pre-rolled, pre-cut fabric collections.


There are many benefits to working on a quilt magazine but the sheer volume of exciting fabrics we got to fondle and photograph in the quilts and news pages we featured was high on my list. We featured fabrics from some of the best loved fabric brands and I soon discovered a whoel universe of clever ways to cut and piece these strips of fabric into elaborate quilt tops.

Then on a recent chat to a friend who also quilts, we got on to the topic of jelly rolls and she'd never come across them before. After a quick chat and a dive into Pinterest board inspiration, she quickly became hooked and I added another 100 quilt ideas to my list of "quilts I want to make one day" list.

So why make a quilt from a jelly roll? Well it depends what floats your boat but for many of us, we love sewing the quilt top but could happily skip a bit of time in the fabric prep. The beauty of jelly rolls is they come cut for you, and cut accurately, and all the prints in a jelly roll come from the same fabric range so they'll coordinate instantly. They also come in a wide variety of designs, from some of the top contemporary Moda Fabric designers to batik effect fabrics (hot stuff in the quilting world as we type) or for solids fans, check out the collection of Robert Kaufman half rolls – a pack of pre-cut solid shades in variegated tones of one colour (or rainbow shades).

More like this

In this round up I've included a feast of free jelly roll quilt patterns to inspire you , alongside a few of my favourite patterns to buy too. Now I've written this article for you, it's probably time I finish the three jelly roll quilts I've started in the past year!

What is a jelly roll quilt?

A jelly roll is a roll of pre-cut strips of fabrics. Each fabric in the roll measures 2½ x 42–44 in and there are usually around 40 fabric strips in a roll. The fabrics often all share a united colour theme or design, or are part of the same fabric collection, so when you make a quilt from a jelly roll you know the fabrics will all match up and look beautiful.

As all the fabric pieces are cut to size for you, jelly rolls are a really nifty way to speed up making your quilts. If you love the sewing but don't enjoy spending ages measuring and cutting fabric scraps, jelly rolls are for you.

Jelly rolls got their name from Moda fabrics, who coined the term to describe their rolled packs of pre-cut fabrics from their popular fabric collections by well-known designers for quilters. The absolute best thing about them? There are hundreds of different ways you can twist, turn and combine the strips to make different patterns. Here's our favourites...

Where to buy jelly rolls for quilting

We like these places and brands to shop for jelly roll inspiration...

  • Etsy - have a great range of jelly rolls available online, including some beautiful on-trend batiks
  • Ebay - they'll never compete with our love of a good fabric shop, but if you're on the hunt for jelly rolls it's worth checking them out. Check the product descriptions before you buy.
  • Cotton Patch – Large range of Moda Jelly rolls and some beautiful Robert Kaufman Kona half rolls
  • Fat Quarter Shop – the US online store has a huge range of Moda Jelly rolls in some of their most popular fabric collections
  • Create and Craft – have a small but beautiful range of modern Jelly Rolls for quilting
  • Joann – good for classic fabric jelly rolls

Jelly roll quilt patterns to try

Jelly roll quilt pattern

Jo Avery gives log cabin quilts a granny square feel with this beautiful quilt pattern from Love Patchwork & Quilting. And it's free here on Gathered!

How to make a roll quilt

Free Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Sew Rail Fence quilt blocks

Rail Fence quilt blocks are one of the simplest quilt blocks to sew for beginners and they're perfect for jelly rolls. You basically sew 4 fabric strips together and then cut down into squares. Piece them together at angles for a quick patchwork quilt. DIY joy has this tutorial below.

DIY Joy jelly roll quilt pattern

Jelly roll quilt patterns rainbow blocks
© DIY joy

Jelly Roll Twist quilt

This variation on the rail fence block from the Fat Quarter Shop blog includes great step by step instructions to talk you through how to make it.

Precut Parade Jelly roll quilt pattern

Jelly Roll Twist precut quilt pattern

Cutting corners – triangles jelly roll quilt

Quilt queen Jenny Doan has a brilliant video tutorial for how to make this beautiful triangles jelly roll quilt – find it over on Missouri Star Blog.

Cutting corners quilt pattern

Cutting corners jelly roll quilt pattern

Sew zigzag love hearts

This is a super sweet quilt pattern, from Hopes Quilt Designs on Etsy, is a really clever way of turning pre-cut fabrics into a beautiful quilt design.

Zigzag Heart Diamond Quilt pattern (£8.96, Etsy)

Hearts jelly roll quilt pattern

Come What May – Twisted quilt

By cleverly grouping strips of different fabric shades you can create a quilt pattern with a sense of movement and texture. You can make it as a baby or lap quilt and the pattern includes colour diagrams to show you through how to piece the quilt, step by step.

Twisted Quilt Pattern (Etsy, £7.66)

Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern Etsy

Stoplight rectangles quilt

If you're ready to level up and get playful with your jelly rolls, this clever quilt pattern could be the one for you. Colleen Tauke shows you how to make this beautiful quilt with a bohemian twist over at Quilting Daily.

Stoplight jelly roll quilt tutorial

Stoplight jelly roll quilt pattern

Sew tumbling blocks for a clever effect

Tumbling blocks are a great patchwork quilt block to transform your jelly roll strips into eye-bendingly good quilt tops, as you combine diamonds cut from jelly rolls and place light and dark tones together to create shadow and depth from your patchwork. See our guide to how to sew set-in seams.

Gat the Parallelograms quilt pattern with the digital issue 21 of Today's Quilter magazine

Tumbling blocks jelly roll quilt pattern

Grow jelly roll flowers

Corey Yoder's Tulip Market quilt for Moda is a beautiful way to use traditional quilt piecing to turn jelly roll strips into a garden-full of patchwork blooms.

Tulip Garden Jelly Roll Quilt Pattern

Tulip market jelly roll quilt pattern

Rainbow Rails Jelly Roll Quilt

AQS blog has got a really clever rainbow quilt pattern which looks deceptively complicated but is actually just a twist on the classic rail fence quilt blocks pictured above. Find out how it's done...

Rainbow Rails jelly roll quilt pattern

Rainbow Rolls Jelly Roll Quilt

Jelly Weave Quilt Pattern

One for all those of you who have got a bit of quilting experience under your belts, this clever strip quilt by Allison Harris from Cluck Cluck Sew looks trickier than it is to make. You sew large quilt blocks and set them on point (at a diagonal angle) for a clever interweaving effect.

Jelly Weave pattern (Annie's Store, $9.49)

Jelly Weave Quilt Pattern

Sweet sixteen quilt pattern

We've found your perfect beginner jelly roll quilt with this easy-to-piece checkerboard quilt from Fabric Addict Canada on Etsy.

Sweet Sixteen Quilt Pattern (Etsy, £3.66)

Checkerboard jelly roll quilt

Sweet pastels quilt

Inspired by that iconic retro candy, the liquorice allsort, Angie Wilson’s sugar-sweet quilt is perfect for pepping up your sofa and uses jelly rolls for the coloured fabric with white fabric for the background. The pattern was published in issue 27 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine

Get the pattern from the digital issue 27 of Love Patchwork & Quilting

Sweet pastels jelly roll quilt pattern

For extra drama boost – try a bargello quilt

With their design, based on small squares of fabric, Bargello quilts are a perfect choice for jelly roll quilting and they're surprisingly simple to sew, despite the huge drama impact of the finished quilt. Luckily we've got a how to guide from Today's Quilter magazine to show you the ropes...

How to make a bargello quilt

Bargello Quilt Pattern
This wallhanging, called Bargello Schist, appeared in Issue 32 of Today’s Quilter and shows Bargello being used in a more contemporary way.

Free baby jelly roll quilt pattern

Pick a jelly roll of sweet pastel prints and combine it with on trend linen to make Alice Hadley's classic baby quilt (designed for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine).

Easy baby quilt pattern

Free baby quilt pattern

Back to school quilt

Today's Quilter magazine featured this beautiful houses quilt pattern by Pam and Nicky Lintott of The Quilt Room in issue 5. It's inspired by an antique schoolhouse quilt block. It's made from a jelly roll plus background fabric.

Get the pattern with Today's Quilter issue 5 via the Digital issues app

Schoolhouse jelly roll quilt pattern

Sugar skull quilt pattern

Natalie Santini’s sugar skull quilt was first featured in Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine and now you can find out how to make it here on Gathered with our step by step guide. It uses one jelly roll and backing fabric.

Sugar skull quilt pattern

Free sugar skull quilt pattern

Pathways jelly roll quilt pattern

If you're looking for a quilt project to really curl up and get your teeth stuck into, this beautiful classic jelly roll quilt from Sherri Quilts is traditional quilt pattern, perfect for jelly rolls and pre-cut fabrics, which looks instantly modern by opting for fresh, contemporary fabric prints.

Pathways quilt pattern (Etsy, £8.11)

Pathways layer cake quilt pattern

Jelly strip stash buster quilt

Reach for your brightest jelly rolls and prepare for some seriously satisfying patchwork piecing with this jelly roll quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew, based on a tutorial from Film in the Fridge.

Cluck Cluck Sew Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt

Jelly Roll Stash Buster quilt pattern

Batik braid quilt tutorial

We've had a bit of a thing for chevron quilts for many years, so we're excited to share that Reanna Lily Designs's braided quilt pattern – perfect for jelly roll quilts.


Batik Braid Quilt pattern

Batik Braid Jelly Quilt Pattern tutorial


Zoe WilliamsLaunch Editor, Gathered.how

Zoe is the launch Editor of Gathered.how. She has over a decade of craft publishing experience under her belt. She's a quilter and sewist who works with the UK’s best-selling craft magazines including Today’s Quilter, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Simply Sewing and The World of Cross Stitching. Zoe loves being immersed in Gathered’s quilting content, tweaking our tutorials and publishing new patterns. Zoe has previously written for radiotimes.com, Simply Knitting and The World of Cross Stitching and was previously Deputy Editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine. She has guest-lectured at Bath Spa University. She’s a keen quilter with 5 projects in progress at any one time and another 12 or so planned.

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating