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Thread: Having a terrible time with jelly rolls

  1. #1
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    Unhappy Having a terrible time with jelly rolls

    For some reason, perhaps the severe fall causing brain damage I had, has frozen my mind to figure out a pattern that I've made several times before. It is featured in the book Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott on page 56.

    You simply take jelly rolls and sew four of them together then take 2 strip units and lay them right sides together alternating the colors. Cut them into squares then diagonal. That I understand but, when I lay them out they are not working, small strips don't meet, and so on. What in the world am I doing wrong? The more I try to make them work, the worse it gets.

    Maybe I'm just not to quilt anymore because of the injury but that is my joy and I've been unable to do it for 5 1/2 half months and would really like to get back to it.

  2. #2
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    Why would you have small strips? Wouldn't the strips all be the same width? Maybe someone has the pattern and can help. I wouldn't give up quilting, just do it your way. If a piece doesn't match up so what?
    I love my life!

  3. #3
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I have the book at home and have made most of the quilts in it. Will look as soon as I get home from work.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  4. #4
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your head injury.
    Have you checked the width of your jelly rolls? If they are not all the
    same width they might not match. I also like to heavily starch my
    jelly rolls. When working with bias edges starch is a big help.
    Even if it doesn't match perfectly, it won't show after you quilt it.
    If it gives you too much grief, move to something else less stressful.
    Just have fun.

  5. #5
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    No answer but sending a big hug.
    Anna Quilts

  6. #6
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    Hang in there Roberta, someone in this fine group of quilters will have the answer. Keep on keeping on and enjoy the process. Your cheering section is roaring loudly.

  7. #7
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    Don't give up! Just keep working at it and try not to feel too frustrated. Some things may be harder to do, but you can still do them. Just may take a little longer.
    Penny

  8. #8
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    I really can't help you but just wanted you to know that someone on this QB will come thru for you. These members on here are the most kindest and most generous people ever. Sorry to hear about your injury-hope all goes well for you.

  9. #9
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    Roberta, This looks just like one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns. I have dropped a link to her page. I think her pictures will be helpful. Possibly your top and bottom squares are not lined up when you cut the diagonal? Keep plugging girlfriend! It will click!

    http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/strip-twist.html
    Beth in AZ
    www.bzyqltr.blogspot.com
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I too have troubles with math these days. I do more simple things now than before. I will wait on the answer too. Loved the one on quiltville link.

  11. #11
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    I'm so sorry to hear of your misfortune! I hope you can continue to heal quickly.

  12. #12
    Super Member Evie's Avatar
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    Roberta, sorry to hear of your head injury. I hope you're mending.

    I have the book and took a look at the pattern. It's gonna be one of those where your seams have to be pretty accurate in order for the strips to line up properly. If the seams aren't too out of whack, I'm sure you can "fudge" getting them to match up since the cut is on the diagonal (which could be part of the problem). Or, if you really don't want to fiddle with this pattern, maybe you can try Bonnie Hunter's pattern that Beth posted above (at #9). All the pieces are the same; the layout is different but you would still need to match up seams.
    "I keep my end tables full of needlework and quilting so I don't have to dust them." ~ Author Unknown but I agree!

  13. #13
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    See if you can get a sewing friend to come over for an afternoon. Sometimes two hards ARE better than one. I understand your frustration. I had to have a two week series of shock therapy treatments to try to get me out of a suicidal depression cycle. Dr said most people don't lose any memory. I did. Had to learn to use my computerized longarm all over again. It's a good thing my husband and I have always done it together. Turns out the suicidal thoughts were a side effect of Lyrica and I wouldn't have needed the shock therapy after all.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  14. #14
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    Wishing you a speedy recovery. Hope you are able to continue your quilting.

  15. #15
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Yikes! I posted my response to you yesterday afternoon and it doesn't show up here. I have made this quilt before. A couple of things that I noticed while making it was to make sure that you have one light/dark/light strip and one dark/light/dark strip when you're getting ready to cut your squares. All strips should be the same width. If, when you say "small strips" you're talking about the squares that you've cut, or the diagonals you've cut from those squares, I found that stay-stitching the diagonals really helped keep everything the same size. A design wall helps too - you want to form an on-point square from one of your darker strips. Wishing you all the best!
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  16. #16
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    I have done this block many times, sometimes using scraps and sometimes using jelly rolls. I am pretty sure of my ability to do an accurate 1/4" seam, but often my blocks don't match up like I want them to. I have found that the little culprit is my pressing: I have a bad habit of not working carefully and slowly to make sure the seams are truly flat. I get in too much of a hurry, I guess.

    Please don't be too hard on yourself. Take it slow. Sew steadily. Press well. Cut accurately. You'll get through all of this and create a colorful masterpiece at the same time.
    Sometimes I try to act "normal," but it gets boring so I just go back to being myself.

  17. #17
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    I am sorry about your terrible fall. Sometimes it takes longer to get back in the grove. Quilting is so versatile you can do so many easy patterns, just do what comes easy and gives you joy.
    Wishing you a complete recovery

  18. #18
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    I don't know the pattern but just wanted to add my wishes for your recovery. I think getting back to quilting will do great things for you.

  19. #19
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    It may be that you are having difficulty with your 1/4" seams because of your injury. I might recommend that you start back with a pattern not requiring so many matching seams. Perhaps use the jelly rolls to make a split rail top. There is absolutely no better medicine than a hit of confidence. And it feels like trying to work thru this problem is creating some frustration. Please do things that will let you give yourself a giant pat on the back to help speed your recovery. Tricky quilt tops can always come later. Good luck to you and keep trudging on - it will get better, just not usually as quickly as we would like.

  20. #20
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    Make two individual strips each containing four different strips. Then lay the two strips right side facing and cut your squares. From these squares cut them into half on the diagonal. Then sew the mismatched diagonal triangles together. to make another square. Did I get this right??

  21. #21
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    It is also possible you just have a bad jelly roll! I once bought two small jelly rolls my daughter fell in love with. They were not from a major manufacturer, and they were dreadful! They were very unevenly cut with a total variation of width of probably 1/4". They also had a bit of a bend in the middle from poor cutting. I ended up finally finishing the jelly roll race quilt she wanted me to make, but it took a lot of fudging to even make that forgiving quilt. Anything that needed accurate piecing would have been impossible. Since then I stick with Moda precuts.

  22. #22
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    I have a similar pattern, it may be Bonnie Hunter's but I am thinking of using 1-1/2" strips between the blocks. I don't want to try matching so many seams & this may work well.

  23. #23
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    I'm so sorry about your fall and brain injury. I know it's frustrating and scary; I had a nasty fall several winters ago when I slipped on ice at the gas station. I hit my head on the metal gas pump and got a terrible knot. Went through weeks of having trouble with things that once came easily--matching things up, measuring, remembering how to do fractions. I healed , thank God, and pray you do as well. Hang in there.
    Chances are, you will have an "aha" moment and will suddenly see why things are not lining up. If you're too frustrated, put it aside and do an easy thing for a bit. Putting pressure on yourself won't help; it adds to the brain wires messing up.

  24. #24
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Roberta, I suffered a cerebral vascular accident, (blood vessel in my brain blew) in 1990. I learned to quilt after that. The good news is with brain injuries you can continue to remember things at odd moments for years, other things you just figure a new way to accomplish. Do not give up, just set this UFO aside, and look for another quilt to try. When you go back to it (maybe in 6 mos.) the directions might find the old pathway to making it. I have found that sometimes just giving myself more time makes things click better. If you can't come up with the answer by next year, make a jelly roll race quilt using the YouTube videos and move on. Don't let what was depress you, just know that your new normal will bring you blessings and skills you never knew you had. I am sorry to hear you were hurt, but your new normal will have it's bright moments just like the old normal. Hugs.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  25. #25
    Super Member d.rickman's Avatar
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    Here are the pages - maybe someone can check this out and help this young lady with overcoming her health issues and get back to her passion. Thanks in advance.Click image for larger version. 

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    Quilting People are the Best, Have a great sewing day!
    DonnaJ

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