Jelly Roll Rug

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!

Jelly Roll Rug
Jelly Roll Rug

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.

Superior Threads King Tut
Superior Threads King Tut

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.

Wool Pressing Mat
Wool Pressing Mat

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.

Linked up at Sew It Cook It Craft It.

*Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Polly

    Love this, CJ! I made one last year …all green batiks…it’s in my powder room! super fun to make!! So gad you are back to blogging!! You have so much great creativity to share with us all!!

  2. KimS

    I am getting closer to joining the jelly rug band wagon. I thought it seemed like a lot of work for a rug I doubted would wear well with foot traffic. Yours is so pretty and looks perfect. Thanks for the details, your tutorial is sew helpful.

    1. tinksquared

      I felt the same way Kim. Ours gets walked on daily, as Jim and I both shower in the guest bathroom. I hate cleaning tile, fiberglass is so much easier!

  3. Susan

    Love your colors. I have used this line of fabric too. My only suggestion is to start with several bobbins wound. It is amazing how much thread is used. I just purchased one of the Sasher tools. Hope this helps speed the first step of folding the tube.

    1. tinksquared

      Yes, it does take a LOT of thread! I’ve also purchased the Jelly Roll Sasher, but haven’t tried it yet to review it.

  4. Diane S.

    Welcome back to your blog. I’m so happy you decided to return!

  5. Diane Obernesser

    Wonderful directions. I copied them even tho’ I don’t think I’ll make one–I use a walker & it might be difficult to use. But perhaps as a gift.

    1. tinksquared

      Thanks Diane, it would make a great gift, but they are pretty labor intensive.

  6. Sheryl Silkie

    Thank you for this tutorial. Im getting ready to make one and so appreciate all your tips

  7. Julia

    I have been looking at the Bernina 740. Do you love yours? How do you like the dual feed for piecing?

    1. tinksquared

      I flat adore my 740. I’ve had it for 4 years now. Favorite Bernina ever! I love it so much more than I did my 830. Dual feed is the bomb!

  8. Diane

    I made a Jelly Roll rug, but had so much trouble with it getting ripply. Had to tear out several times. I tryied to keep it flat by laying books around my machine. Any suggestions as what to do . I would like to try making another one.

    1. tinksquared

      Hi Diane, I can’t think of any more suggestions other than those I posted. Pressing each round, and easing the tubes around the corners really makes a huge difference. If yours rippled, try those suggestions and see if it helps. Perhaps use a walking foot, and make sure the weight of the rug isn’t stretching itself, making it ripple. I think this would be extremely difficult to do if you aren’t able to keep the entire rug flat with none of it hanging off the table you’re sewing on.

  9. NANCY Kim

    Hello, could you tell me the name of the jelly roll you
    Or if the one you made might be for sale?
    Thank you

    1. tinksquared

      Yes it’s Moda La Vie En Rouge. I don’t know if it’s still available though.

Your feedback is always welcome! If you have a question, I will respond to it here.