Bake Shop Basics: Jelly Rolls

Jelly rolls are such a versatile and popular pre-cut.  Today join Oda May and Chef Lissa Alexander for some simple tips on working with jelly rolls.


Jelly Rolls are sweet little bundles containing 40 strips measuring 2 ½ ” x 45”. Jelly rolls are offered in most of our fabric lines, as well as a range of Bella Solids.

Find Moda Bake Shop recipes using jelly rolls {here}.

Tips for working with Jelly Rolls:

  • Run a lint brush over the raw edged sides of the jelly roll before unwrapping it, otherwise you will have little fluffy lint fuzzes all over the place.
  • Iron strips flat before sewing.
  • GET STEAMED!!  It will help to realign the fibers if you use steam when you iron.  They will relax and lose the curl that has been forced into them by being rolled up.
  • Save your leftover jelly roll strips for scrappy binding.

Lissa Alexander

Thanks for the tips, Lissa! Check out Lissa’s recipes {here}.

Happy sewing,

Oda May

Moda’s New Precut: Honeycombs + A Quilt


Hello! My name is  Lissa and I work for Moda, so conveniently I go by modalissa. I am super excited to share a bit of information about the newest Moda precut – Honeycombs. This blog post does have a finished quilt but really I wanted to share with you some tips and techniques on how to machine
piece honeycombs together. I can’t wait to see you create your own hexie-pieces. (that stands for hexagon masterpieces).

{This quilt features Moda’s 6″ laser-cut Hexagons, that we’ve named Honeycombs. Each package contains 40 pieces.}
1 pk.Robin’s Egg 9900HC85
1 pk.Silver 9900HC183
1 pk.Admiral Blue 9900HC48
2 pks White 9900HC98
 Backing and binding 2 1/3 yds of Happy Go Lucky, stock # 55067-17

Marking tool of your choice.
{I used Sewline Fabric Mechanical Pencil Trio 7021. I love this because it is three tools in one, including a black 0.9-mm lead for marking light fabrics, white 0.9-mm lead for marking dark fabrics, and a 1.6-mm tracing roller ball point to trace or transfer patterns. I also tried out the Pilot Frixion pen for my demo and it works very nicely.}


Each of the honeycomb packs is backed with a piece of template plastic that has pre-drilled holes 1/4″ from corner edges. This is the perfect to mark the stop and start when sewing the honeycombs together by machine. The Pilot Frixion pen disappears when ironed so I thought I would give the Sewline pen a try. It seemed to work very nicely. I am no expert on pens and chemicals but I did have good results.


These hexagons are laser cut. This does leave a slight browned edge that shows up more on lighter fabrics. The nice thing about this is that it lightly singes the edges of these fabrics and helps prevent fraying and stretching. All my brown edges disappeared when I washed the final quilt.


 I used bright thread to make it easier to see the actual steps.

Place two hexagons right sides together, lining up one of the edges. Sew from dot to dot, back stitching at each dot. If your machine stitches in place, do that instead of back stitching. A few stitches is all it takes to keep the ends from coming loose as the additional hexagons are added. If you have had experience doing set in seams then this process will be a breeze. I do not press as I go because I want the seam allowances to be flexible so I can “push” them out of my way as I continue to add hexagons.


Add the third hexagon, and start sewing from the outer edge into the center, pushing your seam allowance away so the seam allowance remains loose. Machine piecing hexagons can be done in sections or in rows.
I was designing the quilt as I went along so I did not sew the quilt in rows for this demo. I made my super duper large hexagon flower first and then decided to add a bed of white hexagons. This is when I discovered it is a bit less cumbersome to design your quilt and construct it in rows.  I have attached a {graph page} for designing your color placement before you start. There is also a copy in the Printer Friendly Version at the end of this post.

This is the back side of the hexagons when one side of the third piece is added. This technique takes practice but after you have done a few of them you won’t even have to mark your dots.


Repeat this process by sewing from the outside edge into the center. Continue working in sections, finger pressing as you go. These big hexagons  make the quilt get big fast.


This is the back of my section. Butting the seam allowance right up to the dot allows you to finger press the seams in any direction.  Do not press your seam allowances open. This will help at the center sections to cover any pin hole or small gaps. If you sew past the dot, a small pucker will show up on the front. This is easy enough to fix by ripping out {gently} 1 or 2 stitches.

Now you are ready to press the seam allowances. They tend to naturally fall in one direction making it easy to press. If you are piecing in sections, press each section once complete. If you are piecing in rows, press once you’ve sewn at least two rows together.

Have fun creating your own Honeycomb projects!

Here is a {pdf of tips and graph pad} for sewing with Moda’s newest precut, Honeycombs. I hope you have fun creating all kinds of projects with this yummy cut of fabric. 

 One honey of a quilt! It measures 44″ x 62″

This was such a fun project to make. I couldn’t decide how to quilt it so I sent it to  Crystal Zagnoli at The Quilted Cricket in Colorado and asked her to do some simple loop-dee-loops. I love how it turned out. Many of the Moda designers will be introducing Honeycombs and patterns, so be on the lookout for all kinds of new projects for this classic shape.


Lissa Alexander

Patchwork & Points

Kennedy and her quilt

1- Martinque by 3 sisters charm pack
1- bella solids charm pack
(yes you heard it here- Moda is doing a variety of bella solids in charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes and fat quarter bundles) IN STORES APRIL 2010
1/2 yd Prairie Point
1 1/2 yd Backing (you will also cut 1-5″ square from this fabric)

Your choice of buttons or floss to tie quilt top


STEP 1: Set aside 4 solid charms and 5 print charms.
STEP 2: Alternate print and solid charm packs sewing sets of two. Press towards the prints so the seam allowance does not show through. Continue combining the sets until you have 9 sets of 8 squares.

STEP 3: Using the charm squares set aside in step 1, add 1 charm to each of the rows. Arrange the rows in whatever order you want. My niece Kennedy was up bright and earlier so this is where the project became “hers.” This will give you 9 rows x 9 rows. Imagine the possibilites of adding the solid charm packs to your favorite print collection. Can you tell I am super duper excited about mixing Bella solids with the moda prints?
And yes i did let my niece have a Dr. Pepper for breakfast.

PRAIRIE POINTS (or as my niece calls them, shark fins)
Cut 4 strips 4″ wide.  I decided to do this size prairie point when I was playing around with my pillowcase tutorial. Follow the directions listed on my blog for the prairie points except the size is smaller. I have listed the sizes here.
Fold the strip in half length wise and press to determine the middle. Start on one end of the strip and cut every 2″ stopping at the middle fold. From the other side of the strip make your first cut at 1″ then start cutting every 2″ being sure to stop at the middle fold.
4″ strip cut every 2″ alternating on each side so it it staggered

Lay the strip on your ironing board and press all the squares in the same direction. Leave the 1″ strip
loose. You will get rid of it later.
Then continue pressing all the triangles back onto themsleves in the opposite direction.
The strip of “Points” will fold together to create your strip of prairie points.
By pressing the points in the same direction you can “nest” each of the points into each other.
The points all line up nicely and rest inside each other. This step if reminds me of a caterpillar. To hold the “caterpillar” in place you can now top stitch this down to hold them in place.

Prairie Points rolled up
If you want a strip longer than approx 41″ of points just make another strip and nest it into the last point on your strip. This is the perfect size for making prairie point border on a baby quilt or throw.

The length of the prairie point strip will always be the length of the fabric. The only thing that varies is how many points and how far apart they are.

For example, cut an 8″ strip for 4″ prairie points and you will have fewer but bigger points. The strip will still be approx 41″/42″ long.

Cut a smaller strip 6″ for 3″ points. The strip will still be approx 41″/42″ long.

Machine Baste the praire points to all 4 sides of your quilt top.
Lay quilt top on the floor right sides up.
Next lay quilt backing right side facing quilt top.
Lay batting on top. Pin the 3 layers together. Sew 1/4″ on four sides leaving a 12″ opening to turn the quilt right side out. Be sure and use the 1/4 seam allowance so you do not chop off the small prairie points.
Clip away any excess batting and backing. Trim the corners nicely and turn right side out.
Sew the opening closed. I topstitched around the edges of the entire quilt.
Use your favorite choice to secure the layers together. Kennedy choose to tie the squares in the middle of the print blocks with a pink thread.
I was serious about Kennedy making the quilt “Hers”. The quilt is off to Austin for a neighbor who is expecting a new baby.(Kennedy said 70% chance it is a girl)

1 Print Charm Pack & 1 Bella Solid charm pack yields a 9×9 quilt measuring approx. 40.5″ x 40.5″

2 Charm Packs & 2 Bella Solids charm packs yield a 10 x 15 quilt measuring 40.5″ x 67.5″

3 Charm Packs & 3 Bella Solids charm packs yield a 15 x 16 quilt measuring 67.5″ x 72″

Lots of fun doing this project with my niece. She nows wants a sewing machine for her birthday!
Project Runway, here we come!

Sweet Candy Quilt

Featured Fabric collection Sweet by Urban Chiks
Main Block Bkgd: 9900-23 5 yards
Main Block Fan: 2 Jelly Rolls™or 80–2½”xWOF strips
Main Block triangle & quarter circle:5 assorted tonals ½ yd. EA
Inner border: 31057-14 ½ yard
Final border & binding: 31052-15 2 yds.

The complete pattern to make this quilt is posted on the moda website under the Fun Stuff/Free Patterns tab.

Print copies of the the fan shape on lightweight or typing paper. You will be using the paper to flip and sew the fan shape. Cut the jelly rolls into approx 5″ long strips. Arrange 8 strips for each fan. (make sure your birds are going right side up!)

To use any paper foundation method or flip and sew technique, it is best to use a very small stitch. This will almost perforate the paper and be easy to tear off just like tearing a page from a tablet. Lay 2 pieces of fabric right sides together and lay them on top of the fan piece. Align the edge of the fabric along the solid line. Sew 1/4″ from the edge. Flip the fabric open and finger press. Fold the edge of the fabric back and cut using the next solid line as your guide. Add another piece of fabric right sides together and sew. (as shown below) I just started sewing from end of the fan to the other. You will notice the fan template has you start in the middle, flip and sew in both directions. Both directions will work.

Continue sewing all 8 petals of the fan. Make a template for the fan that includes the seam allowances. Lay it on top and trace to get your cutting lines.

This is what the back of the fan will look like with the paper. Small stitches and the paper will tear off very easily.

Follow the pattern from the website to make the entire quilt.

I was playing around with some options. The picture below is featuring ric rac so you have a nice edge turned under with 1/2 the ric rac peeking through. Sew the ric rac on top of the fan (pictured here) I loved this.

Turn the ric rac under and press. Now you can machine or hand applique the fan in place with a ric rac edging. Next time I will use a larger ric rac so more shows through once I have turned the edge.

I also played around with other bella solid colors as backgrounds. Who doesn’t love the bubble gum pink? I also couldn’t resist putting 4 fans together to make a Dresden plate type pattern.

What about good ol’ 30’s green?

lots of options…………………Sweet by Urban Chiks
thank you to Angela Worrell for letting me use her quilt in progress for photos

Sultry Jelly Roll Project Sheet

This quilt was made using the Sultry Collection from Basic Grey available in stores Feb 2009.

Braid: One Jelly Roll™ (40–2½”x WOF strips)
Inner border & Braid: (30170 13) ⅞ yard
Final border & Braid: (30160 17) 1¾ yards
Binding: (30167 15) ⅝ yard
Backing: 4 yards– pieced across
Completely optional but I use Best Press to press everything.It produces a nice pressed project without a starchy build up. I would drink this stuff if it wouldn’t kill me. Ask for it at your shop and give it a try. Lots of Flavors.

Sewline marking pencils.

From 7 of the Jelly Roll™ strips, cut a 2 1/2″ square. This will be your starter piece for each row. Then cut the remainder of these strips into 7″ x 2 1/2″ sections. Cut the other 33 Jelly Roll™ strips into 6 – 7″ sections. We also cut a few extra strips from the border fabrics to have enough strips to make this length. For a complete printable pattern, go the moda website, under Fun Stuff is the Sultry Project Sheet. If you are like me, you probably do not need another ruler, but I used the Fons & Porter ruler that is 8″ x 14″. It comes in so handy. I was able to cut the 7″ strips by turning the ruler on its long side and making a cut at 7″ and 14″ all the way down the strip.
Let me do some preaching here: Before you start to sew this. Stop and change the needle on your machine. How long has it been? Well that is too long.

Okay, now begin, Sew a 7″ strip to one side of the 2 1/2″square much like you would a log cabin. Press.Add another strip to the other side of the square as shown below.Continue adding strips to each side working away from the square. This is it! Kind of mindless from here on out. Just pick up any strip and sew. It is meant to be very scrappy. The length of this section will determine how long your quilt is before borders. Follow the project sheet qty for their recommended lengths.Once the rows are the desired length, you will need to straighten the top edge. I line my 45 degree lines on my ruler along the strip seams to make sure I have a parallel cut across the top. (my pics are pretty yellow so you can’t see the yellow lines on the ruler, but they are there)This is one thing I did different from the project sheet. The project sheet gives instructions to trim the rows before sewing. This area is all bias edges, Yikes! which is code word for “Will Stretch.” Optional technique shown here: Lay 2 of the rows right side together lining up the side edges. Using a straight edge draw a sewing line down the length of the row. Pin the rows together in a few places and sew taking care not to pull or stretch the rows. Trim off the “tags” or excess.
Ta Da! Easy! If for some reason your rows end up being slightly different lengths, don’t trim yet.

Continue sewing your rows together always lining up from the top and matching the sides. Once the top is complete you can straighten the bottom edge. Add borders.

Jump up and Down! You are done!

This is a wonderful quilt to make for a baby quilt also. Sew 5 strips into rows about 45″ long.
Add desired borders. Enjoy!

The project sheet quilt yield a quilt that finishes 65″ x 70″. Ask for the Sultry Collection at your favorite independent quilt or specialty store.

Baby Playpad

1 Moda Layer Cake of your choice. Wonderland by MoMo featured here.

1 3/4 yd. Backing

Full -Size Poly Batting (I tripled the batting so it would be lofty but soft)

Cordonnet thread or embroidery floss to tie the quilt.

To make this play pad you will need approx. 20 layer cakes. (10″ x 10″ squares) Choose your favorites and sew them into sets. You will need 8 sets of 2 and 8 sets of 3. Lay the sets onto your cutting mat and cut into 2 – 5″ sections as shown here. Join the sets of two and sets of 3 together.

Set 4 sections of aside. Sew the remaining 4 sections into a ring end to end as shown below. Choose a fabric anywhere on the ring and cut it in half. This is what will give you a staggered strip. If there is a fabric that is not your favorite, choose that one to cut in half so it appears in smaller pieces in your quilt.Sew the 8 rows into sets in a pleasing order. Press the seams all in one direction. Join all the rows together. Press and square up any extra along the bottom.Make a quilt sandwich by laying the batting (I used multiple layers of poly-fill batting), backing and quilt top. Make sure quilt top and backing are right sides together. Pin all the sections together. Sew around all four sides of the quilt top leaving approx a 12″ opening to turn the quilt right side out. Trim the excess batting and backing away. If you will hold your scissors at a 45 degree angle while trimming the excess it will help “plane” the bulk of the batting and make it lay flat.TIP from Carolyn St. Clair: To get a nice sharp corners, sew the corners like the picture shown below. Trim.Once you have the quilt turned right side out, sew the opening closed. I originally was just going to tie this quilt but I started sewing a running stitch along the edges and I really liked how it turned out.So I added more running stitches throughout. I use a thread called Cordonnet by Mettler. I love this thread because it is on a spool but has the weight and feel of embroidery floss. 2 strands of embroidery floss is about the same weight as 1 single thread right off the spool. No separating floss. Did I say it comes on a spool? This thread can also be used on your sewing machine with a top stitching needle. It comes in several colors. I think Aurifil makes something similar so I am going to check it out also.

A fun, soft, easy baby project measuring 36″ x 47.5″. This is a great quilt to throw down for a baby to play on.

1 moda layer cake will yield 2 of these. I am thinking about possibly even sewing a piece of ribbon or twill on it to be able to roll it up and tie it.

OPTIONS: The same quilt can be made larger. Just determine how long you want it and sew that many layer cake squares together to get your length. To make a large one, 76″ long, sew 4 layer cakes together and then cut then in half, join 2 sets of 4 together to determine your length. 4 layer cakes is ideal to sew together before you sub cut. 4 will fit folded over into 2 and fit on your cutting mat using a 24″ ruler. Do not press until after you have sewn into rows. Great for college dorms, hunting lodges, etc. Showcases large prints nicely.
Enjoy and have fun creating,