Saturday, March 21, 2020

~ Jelly Roll Rug Tips ~

The Jelly Roll Rug pattern by RJ Designs has been around for about a year or two.  In that time I've seen many beautiful rugs and many no so beautiful rugs.  So when I was asked to review the Purple Hobbies Jelly Roll Binding/Batting Tool I was super excited but at the same time scared.  Why scared?  The answer is simple, AFRAID OF FAILURE.  Many quilters/crafters have made some really awful looking Jelly Roll Rugs.  And as you know they are a little expensive to make.  It wold break my heart(tick me off) if my rug came out wavy or shaped like a bowl.   And I didn't want a little rug I wanted the Colossal, the bigger the better!  So I took my time, did my research until I felt confident I could make a rug instead of a mess.

While my confidence level was high I purchased a PDF pattern directly from the designer, RomaQuilts.  Click here to purchase a Colossal Jelly Roll Rug pattern.  By the way, it looks like Roma is having a SALE this weekend.  I'm in no way affiliated with this shop.  I will not receive anything if you click on the links provided.  

My first tip is to fan fold your strips after they have been sewn together.  This will make it easier to feed them onto the batting.

When doing the rug research I saw many ideas and tips.  The best one was a trash can and a dowel rod.  I had both but neither were large enough for my batting roll.  So instead I used a laundry basket and an adjustable curtain rod.

I think it might work better because the rubber end caps kept the rod from sliding out of the holes on the side of the basket.  In the picture below you can see how I had it set up under my sewing table with my foot pedal right up against the outside of the basket.  It was a little tight but I could also still use my knee lift.

The batting roll wanted to creep to across the rod as it turned so I used a potato chip bag clamp on the rod to keep it from drifting.

My research found that many quilters were having issues from the very beginning.  The center being the hardest part.  Easing in the bulky layers of fabric and batting was quite tricky.  So I decided to make a change.  That's not a surprise to those of you who know me.  It's rare for me to follow any pattern to the "T".   The alteration is simple.  I cut (2) 3" x 11" pieces of coordinating fabric.  Drew a line 1/4' away from the 2 long sides.  Used something round to trace a curve on each end.  A soda can, veggie can or water bottle will work for the curve.  

I used one layer of batting.  When I make another rug I'll used 2 or 3 layers of batting so it will be thicker and sturdier. 

Pin and stitch on the drawn lines leaving about a 2" hole for turning.  Trim off excess fabric and batting.

Turn it right side out, stitch around the outside edge using a 1/8" seam.  Then stitch 3 lines of zigzag stitch to give the illusion of Jelly Roll batting strips.  

Next I needed to taper the end of the strip.  The instructions an measurements for this are in the pattern.

Again I flew by the seat of my pants and just clipped some off at an angle.

Here's a handy tip.  Dip a long pin in some glue.  I used washable school glue.  Now pinch the pin with the glue between the end of the strip.  The pin will also help you to push the fold into place.

Remove the pin and add a binding clip or paper clip to hold it all together while the glue dries.  Next I started adding more clips to close the binding.

I let this set for about an hour so the glue could dry.  Just enough time for lunch and to check my email.

By the time I came back it was ready to be stitched together.

You might want to use a stiletto to assist the tiny end through the presser foot.

It was a little tricky and it's not so pretty but no one will ever know but you and me.

 Tuck the small end of the strip under center as shown below.  Zigzag stitch until you get to the edge of the next curve.  Tack stitches in place and move to the ironing board.

 Iron your curves before stitching them.  Notice the puckers on the inside curve of the pink fabric.  You want puckers.  I gave this a little spritz of water so the steam could help hold it into place.

Pin the curves in place and zigzag stitch in place.

Next you'll want to press the entire piece.  Pressing is the most important part of making a Jelly Roll Rug.

After pressing she looks pretty good.

 I repeated the same process  for about the next 4 or 5 rounds, until I felt I could go around the ends without causing issues.  After this I would press the rug about every 3 or rounds.  Steam is your friend while making these rugs.  I never use steam when quilting but I quickly learned it is necessary to keep the rug flat.

Okay the hard part is over.  Once you get around those first few rounds it's smooth sailing.  

My research also uncovered a lot of big balls of strips.  This  seamed like a bad idea.  It looked to me that it would add tension to the strip and cause a bowl shape rug to form.  My strip was placed in the laundry basket and set it off to the right of my sewing chair.  

Notice the pink plastic below.  That is pink trash bags.  The trash bags were put over my ironing station that is behind my sewing machine.  I also moved my old treadle sewing machine cabinet next to me and covered it with plastic.  This allowed the rug to slide much easier as it grew.  

When it started to hang off the edge of the table I would fold it up as shown below.  Adjusting it every so often to keep the weight evenly distributed.

Below a video to show how I pushed the rug through.  Notice I'm not adding a lot of pressure  to push the rope against the rug.  You want them to just touch.  Your stitches will pull it together.  The gloves with rubber grippers helped to hold onto the rug and push.  I tried it without the gloves and my hands would slip.  They also started to cramp up due to trying so hard to grip and push without the gloves.

I love my Colossal Rug.  So cute!  Bake Sale 2 by Lori Holt was the perfect fabric.

You can see my Purple Hobbies Jelly Roll Binding Batting Tool Review by clicking here.  It made the construction of the rug so much easier!

If you use the code PodunkPrettiesJan20 at checkout at the Purple Hobbies Website you will get 20% your entire cart! expires 12/2020

I also made a short video about how to make your rug lay flat on this post, click here.

Thank you for stopping by my little spot in Podunk!

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Jan said...

Thank you so much for all the detailed tips! I have thought these rugs looked so beautiful for so many years but never had the courage to make one. First was the "how" to make it so it looked good, because as you said, it ain't cheap! But the other thing holding me back is, well, rugs are made to lay on the floor and be walked on. My concern is don't they wear out in a very short time with people walking across them constantly? Or are they meant to be used in non-traffic areas (though your's is in a baby room, where I was constantly walking when my girls were little). Or are they meant to go under a table so hopefully no one walks on them, or spills anything? Yeah, I'm probably overthinking it, but after the cost and the time put in on these, I want them to last at least until I'm gone! Your thoughts, tips, ideas would be appreciated. Again, thank you. Just discovered your blog due to the QQQ Hop and I'm really enjoying going backwards to see what else you have done! Jan

Podunk Pretties said...

You could Scotch Guard the rug. And don't forget it's cotton and washable. However, when and if you wash it don't put it in the dryer because cotton shrinks about 3% in the dryer. Let it air dry on a flat surface then iron. I also wouldn't put it in a high traffic area. Cotton would not wear well at the front door or in the mudroom. So yes it's more of a decor item rather than a utility item. Just as you wouldn't work in the garden in your Sunday best or use your grandma's antique dinnerware at a pizza party. Mine is in my office where it will see very little traffic. But thank you for thinking I'm young enough to have a baby!...LOL! I do plan to make one for each of my grandchildren's rooms, but in darker colors. I also know that my daughter makes them take their shoes off at the front door and no food or drinks allowed in the bedrooms. To keep your cost down so you feel more comfortable walking on it you could cut your own Jelly Roll and batting, that's what I plan to do for the grand kids rugs. Actually I plan to use batting scraps and fabric from Joann's and WalMart. My rug was made with Jelly Rolls and batting I found on sale. Even with them being on sale it was still more than I would typically spend on a rug. So I understand your concerns. Thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to look around. I hope this is the beginning of a new quilting friendship and look forward to seeing you here in the future. I also have Facebook and Instagram accounts for those who find reading blogs to time consuming. I prefer blogs but I'm an old school grandma!...LOL!

sue keida said...

Thanks for this tutorial. Yours is lovely!
I made a rectangular one but it's kind of wonky.
I love the bigger size!

QuiltGranma said...

Sew Pretty!

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