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Jelly, Honey & Accuracy

Jelly, Honey & Accuracy

Written by: 
Carrie Nelson

Sewing with Jelly Rolls and Honey Buns is a lot of fun.  But for some of us, accuracy can be a challenge. 

To clarify - a Moda Jelly Roll pre-cut has 40 strips that measure 2.5" x 42" wof, and a Honey Bun has 40 strips that measure 1.5" x 42" wof. 

Whew.  Now that we have that out of the way, one of the most-oft asked questions about sewing with Jelly Rolls and Honey Buns is where to line up the seam.  From the inner point of the pinked edge, or from the outer points?  What do you do if lint has worn down the points? 

For some blocks and pieces, it's not hugely important.  What matters is consistency.  But there are blocks where being even a little bit "off" makes a difference.

So here's a little trick that might help.

It starts with a simple change - a less than scant 1/4" seam allowance.  A scant scant.  (Maybe a scant scant scant?)

Join two strips, using the outer points as your guide.  Stitch with a very scant 1/4" seam allowance.  Two to three threads over will be enough.  Do not press the seam open yet. 

CT Jelly Roll/Honey Bun Accuracy Step 1

Lay the strip on your cutting table with the seam on the left side. (On the right side if you're left-handed.)

  • Pressing the strip flat might help - just don't press it open.
  • This is more easily done with half-length strips - 21" wof. 

CT Jelly Roll/Honey Bun Accuracy Step 2

For a Honey Bun - place the 1.25" line of a rotary cutting ruler on the seam line.

CT Jelly Roll Accuracy Step 1 

For a Jelly Roll - place the 2.25" line of the ruler on the seam line.

Don't worry about where the 1.5" or 2.5" line falls, all that matters is the 1.25" and 2.25" lines.  There should be a bit of pinked edge on the right side of the ruler.

CT Jelly Roll/Honey Bun Accuracy Step 3

Trim the edge on the right side straight.  There shouldn't be more than this, and it's okay if there is a bit less.  The idea is to straighten the un-stitched edges as much as possible. 

CT Jelly Roll Accuracy Step 3

The Jelly Roll strips. 

Press the seams as desired - to one side, or open.  Sew all remaining seams with a "regular" scant 1/4" seam allowance. 

Does this take time to do?  A little bit.  But less than you'd guess.  And the improved accuracy of the strips and pieces makes assembling blocks, especially checkerboards, a bit easier to do.

Why do you need to know this?  National Sew A Jelly Roll Day is Saturday, September 19, and two of the quilt patterns we'll be sharing will be helped with this simple trick.  As for Honey Buns, watch this space.  We have a weekend sew-along coming that will be a lot of fun.  I made a dozen 8"-finished blocks in less than two hours, and a 24" pillow in less than that.  

Pre-cut strips.  They're a good thing. 

Have a good day - and stay safe.

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