Jelly Roll Rug
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Have you made a Jelly Roll Rug? When I first read about them, it seemed a bit silly to me. I didn’t think they would wash or wear well, but after making one myself and having it in full-time use in our bathroom for close to a year now, I’m hooked!
I made mine with Moda’s La Vie En Rouge line of fabrics. I sorted my jelly roll strips to put most of the red fabric on the outside edge. I’m happy that I took notes during construction so I can share them with you. My rug did not curl or ruffle and lays nice and flat.
The pattern “Jelly-Roll Rug” by RJ Designs* calls for 1.25 yards of 96 inch wide cotton batting. I used Katahdin on a Roll* which comes pre-cut in both 2.5* and 2.25* inch strips. I used the 2.5 inch roll, and I didn’t use any batting seam tape, but overlapped the batting strips. When you purchase the Katahdin on a roll, it’s mostly very long strips, and only needs joining in a few places.
The pattern suggests a size 14–18 Jeans needle. I selected a size 18 and changed it for a fresh needle midway through the project.
I chose a step zig zag stitch vs a regular zig zag (#16 on my Bernina). Much stronger. 7mm wide, 0.70mm length.
40wt cotton (King Tut) thread is what I used, as I had a nice variegated cone that went beautifully with my fabrics. The pattern recommends 50wt. I don’t believe that would be strong enough. If I were buying thread specifically for this rug, I would purchase Superior Threads Omni variegated. It’s strong, very affordable, and comes in great colors.
I tapered the starting and ending section. The pattern only has you taper the ending section. I felt like it made for a smoother start.
I made the tubes with a dual feed 1/4 inch foot and seam guide (#97D on a Bernina) and seamed the rug with a dual-feed edge stitch foot (#10D on a Bernina). If I do this again, I’ll seam the rug with my walking foot with the edge blade sole.
The most important step I believe I took, because my rug is perfectly flat, was to steam press it EVERY single round. Not just the curves. I used starch for the first 4 rounds, then just steam afterwards. I didn’t remove it from the machine to steam it, but slid my wool pressing mat underneath the rug, at my machine.
I exerted a small amount of push on the tube going around the corners with my right hand as I went, to add a bit of ease to help them lay flat. I think if you let the feed dogs naturally pull the tube around the corners, the weight of the tube and gravity would put just enough tension on it to cup the corners.
As a final note, I love my Bernina 740 and take care of it. I stopped to clean and oil after each bobbin change. I would love to make a larger rug with two jelly rolls, but I think it would be hard on me and my machine.
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