Making Jelly Roll Race Runners

I’ve been experimenting: inspired by a mini roll of ten neutral width of fabric (wof) strips and a Dashwood Studio fat quarter purchased from my local quilt store, Purple Stitches.

After a bit of umming and ahhing I decided to make a table runner (or two) using the ‘jelly roll race 2‘ method demonstrated by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Fussy-cutting motifs from the Dashwood Studio fabric

I began by fussy cutting eleven 2½” squares featuring the lollipop flowers from the fat quarter. Before stitching all the wof strips together, with a fussy cut square between each, I cut two extra wof strips from my stash just to make the final runner a bit longer.

Once I’d stitched all the strips together, end to end, I cut off and discarded 18″ of fabric from one end of the very long strip and stitched the first very long seam (This was enough of a battle for me – I can’t imagine trying to control a whole jelly roll sewn together end to end!). Once I’d cut the resulting double-width strip in half, I then stitched another long seam so I had a pieced fabric measuring 8½” wide (four jelly roll strips). I had intended to cut this in half and again join them together lengthwise (making a fabric 8 strips, 16½” wide) but decided the long, skinny dimensions of just four strips suited it’s use as a table runner better. I did cut the strip in half – to be made into two separate table runners, each measuring approx. 8½” by 62″.

Two runners, each four strips wide.

Looking at these long pieces of fabric in shades ranging from palest beige to light grey I was reminded of weathered planks of wood. This was my inspiration for the quilting pattern on the first of the two runners. I had a rummage through my little collection of Aurifil 40 weight threads and found several neutrals and a dark gold. Imagining the fussy cut squares were knots in the ‘wood’ I echo stitched elongated whorls around each and then began creating irregularly spaced lines of stitching between them to represent wood grain. I completed all the stitching using a walking foot.

Quilting the knots and wood grain pattern


For the second runner I used the same quilting threads apart from the dark gold which I felt might dominate the simpler quilt pattern I’d envisaged. This time I imagined narrow lengths of ribbon twisting around each other as I stitched lines the whole length of the runner.

Twisted ribbons quilting design

To finish the runners I added double fold binding cut 2¼” wide. For the first runner I managed to use the remainder of the fat quarter and a one half width fabric strip from a coordinating fabric. For the binding of the second runner I used strips of neutral fabric from my stash. I used Hobbs 80/20 wadding in each and backed them with soft quilters calico from Lady Sew and Sew.

I enjoyed adapting the jelly roll race piecing method to make these runners. Next I’d like to try making runners using fabrics of different shades of blue or grey and maybe have them finish a little longer by starting with 14 or 16 wof strips rather than twelve.

Linking with Yvonne for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday #3 and Hilary for Sew Cute Tuesday.



5 thoughts on “Making Jelly Roll Race Runners

  1. What a great idea for adapting the jelly roll race pattern. I love how table runners can be whatever works best for your situation, and the splash of color you added is beautiful. I am especially drawn to your wood grain quilting, it compliments the overall design so nicely! Thank you for linking up.


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