Tutorial Tuesday: Jelly Rolls & Honey Buns

Organizing the Scraps

Between the Dutch windmill and the Dutch tulip blocks that I have been making , as well as the blocks I made over the last several months, I find myself with an ever accumulating stash of fabric scraps. This past weekend I set aside some time to clean up my work station and to organize them all. 

Organized Fabric Squares

Storing squares is easy as long as they fit the 6” interior of the plastic shoe boxes, but storing my strips was a pell-mell mess. I do not have a lot of the strips, just enough to create bit of disorganization, so I decided to get organized by rolling them.

Fabric Strips in a Shoe Box

 Jelly-Roll or Honey Bun?

A jelly-roll of fabric, as many of you already know, is a selection of 2 1/2” x 42” strips of fabric that have been rolled to keep them organized. These rolls are typically made up with a variety of coordinating fabrics, which makes fabric selection an extremely easy alternative for people who may not enjoy spending the time to choosing 20+ matching fabrics. Jelly-rolls are also fun and they cut down on the amount of time you may otherwise spend on cutting fabrics.

The downside to purchasing a jelly-roll is that you will spend a bit more per yard for the fabric. The ones I looked at on Sunday averaged out to $13.00/yard, which means you pay someone a few dollars to have them cut the strips for you. It really is not a bad deal if you are pressed for time, don’t enjoy choosing fabrics or if you would just like to splurge on a nice fabric collection.

A Honey bun is the exact same thing as a jelly roll only it is made with 1 1/2″ strips.

My Honey Buns

My rolls are made with my left over 1.5 ” strips, which actually makes them a quilter’s Honey Bun.  I organized them by their colors and added tags to each roll with information about the size of the strips and how many are on each roll. Here is how I did it:



Jelly Roll Tutorial 1I lined up my strips on my cutting mat, spacing them 1/4″ apart. The pieces will shift when you begin rolling them, so spacing them 1/4″ apart to begin with is a good idea.





Jelly-Roll Tutorial 2



Jelly-Roll Tutorial 3

Once all the strips have been laid out, you need to decide if you would like the individual ends of the strips to show once all the fabric has been rolled or if you would like the ends to be tucked in. If you would like them tucked in nice and neat, then you need to begin with rolling from the left (if you laid it out like I did above.) If you would like the ends to show, like in a typical jelly-roll, then you will need to start rolling from the right side where you can see the individual strips spaced at 1/4″. Whichever you decide, you need to start rolling.






Jelly-Roll Tutorial 4When you reach the end of the roll, you can tie it off with a piece of string or yarn. If your roll is big enough and you happen to have them, hair rubber bands work great

I make little labels out of scraps of paper. This tells me at a glance, what size the strips are and how many I have in each roll. I then laminate the paper with a piece of tape, covering both the front and back. The final step is to punch a hole in the tag and attach it to the roll.
Thats it! You now have a well organized roll of fabric strips. Once your strips are cut, you can make a roll of 50 strips in about 5 minutes.

Jelly-Roll Tutorial 5



You can organize your rolls standing on end, or laid on their sides in a box. You can make a beautiful display of them or fill a basket with the rolls to brighten up your work room. The possibilities for storage and/or display are endless, so have fun.

These rolls also make great gifts for your favorite crafter or quilter. To create a standard sized jelly-roll you will need 2 1/2 yards of assorted fabrics. For a standard honey bun of fabric you will need about 1 3/4 yards. Cut your fabric into strips across the 42″ width of the fabric, then roll and tie off with a decorative band or ribbon.

Happy Rolling!

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