The Popular Jelly Roll Rug – What an Idea!

Everywhere I look, I’m seeing Jelly Roll rugs. On Pinterest, on Facebook, at the International Quilt Festival, at smaller quilt shows; they are everywhere.

I personally like throw rugs, I have them at the front and back entrances to our home, in the laundry area, the kitchen, the bathrooms, the hall, and beside the beds (even though some of the floors are carpeted). Why you ask … they are easy to wash and they can add a wonderful bright pop of color.

So I’ve been making rugs for years because I really do like them. Here’s a blog from several years ago about a rug I made with the seams of worn-out jeans. It’s still one of my favorite rugs.

When I started seeing Jelly Roll rugs, I put one on my list of projects to make and this past week was time to take action.

Jelly Roll Rugs Are Easy!

I spent some time on YouTube and checked out several blogs and then just made it up as I went.

I used a Jelly Roll of fabric, scraps of batting, cut 2½” wide (or you could use Katahdin Batting from Bosal (affiliate link) – it’s already cut to 2½” wide ), 90/14 denim needle, and cotton thread.

Katahdin On-a-Roll batting by Bosal

I used an almost complete jelly roll of Shangri-la fabric from Moda. I’d taken two strips out of the Jelly Roll at some point in time and then rolled it back up. But as we all know, you can never get back that neat and tidy look that a Jelly Roll has when it comes from the factory once it has been unrolled. So I took care of the problem by making it into a rug.

I decided on the order in which I wanted the strips to be sewn. I joined them together end to end and then starched and pressed that big long strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.

I butted the ends of the batting scraps together and zigzagged them.

Next Steps to Jelly Roll Rug Greatness

I placed the batting on the wrong side of the Jelly Roll fabric and folded both edges to the middle and then folded that in half so all the raw edges were in the middle of the strip. I used tiny clothespins to hold everything together but you could use Wonder Clips (affiliate link).

Ready to Stitch Together

I stitched with a straight stitch to keep my strip from unfolding. Then with my stitch set at 5.5 mm wide and 1.4 mm long, I zigzagged the strip in one continuous oval. Realize that it is important for your rug to lay flat so you’ll need to ease in extra as you are going around the ends. The outside of the strip needs to lay flat so the inside had extra that I “smushed” to make it fit. I have little tiny gathers on the inside of my strip. Every couple of rows, I stopped and pressed to make sure that the rug continued to lay flat: no curling because there wasn’t enough fabric and no “mountains and valleys” because there was too much fabric.

If you are going to put your Jelly Roll rug on a tile or hardwood floor, you will want to apply some sort of tape or backing to make it non-slip.

More Resources for Your Jelly Roll Rug Project

For other ideas of what to do with Jelly Roll strips, check out the 4 Scrap Quilts eBook.

And if you’d like to do something scrappy without Jelly Roll strips, check out these two free eBooks:

Free Scrap Quilt Patterns EBook

6 Free Scrappy Quilt Blocks From Quiltmaker!


And here is a scrappy eBook available for purchase…

 The Best of Fons & Porter: Scrap Quilts

We featured five scrap quilts in the January/February 2019 issue of Love of Quilting. It’s available in a digital version at

Until next time, Happy Quilting!




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