As a blogger, I frequently find myself giving holiday gifts either way in advance (Merry Christmas! I need to publish this, open it before you see it online!) or way late (Merry Christmas in January! I finally finished this after the holiday blog rush was over!). I completed this quilt right before the actual holiday last year, gifted it to my Mom, and then took it back and took some pictures before she could actually use it. As my fourth finished quilt, I felt a little confident when I started and was quickly taken down a peg once I realized the mistake I’d made.
Check out more inspiration here – 30+ modern Christmas quilt patterns!
Christmas jelly roll quilt
Fabric details before I get started sharing about where I went wrong! I started with an Evergreen by Moda jelly roll and the random bars that I added in are Cotton + Steel from the Tinsel line. Binding fabric was a subtle print from Joann.
I started out following the “Jelly Roll Jam” quilt pattern (free) from Fat Quarter Shop but here is the mistake.. I didn’t look at the finished size! Total rookie move. I merrily cut, sewed together, and then finally laid it all out… to realize it was definitely not big enough to snuggle under.
I laid it out. I ignored it for a while. I stepped over that quilt, on my cold basement sewing dungeon floor, for weeks! I didn’t want to buy more fabric, I didn’t want to give up, so I just let it sit there.
Normally I’d ask my mom for advice, but since it was for her, that seemed unwise! I turned to Facebook and asked in a quilting group for ideas. There were lots of great tips, but one sparked an a-ha! moment for me. Why not go asymmetrical?
Here is a full length photo of the quilt – experienced quilters avert your eyes! Precision is not my strong suit (or my goal, to be fair).
I circled all the spots where I had to get creative. First, I used up the remaining jelly roll pieces in improv piecing, found in the top and bottom left. Then, I started fitting in long bars of the C+S print! No tutorial, no rhyme or reason, just laying it out, toggling squares so everything looked right, stepping back, evaluating, adjusting, etc.
I decided to proceed with the style and do a pieced backing fabric as well, tucking in the remainder of the tree print.
I actually tried to hand quilt this in the beginning, but quickly realized that it didn’t look right with the prints, so I went back to my comfort zone with (not-that) straight line quilting. My mom is a perfectionist, but hopefully that only applies to things she makes herself, because nothing I make is particularly straight or precise when it comes to quilts! But, I think they are well made in a structural sense, and certainly will keep a person warm.
It’s easy to see the crooked stitching, or puckered corners, but I also see the obvious: it was sewn with love, and the subtle: it represents a sewing growth moment for me! I’m proud that I made it work, didn’t rush into a solution, and hope that next time I’ll remember to check the finished size of a tutorial/pattern before I get started.
How would you have fixed this problem? Check out the Christmas quilt that I sewed last year for my Mother-in-law here!
Pin this Christmas jelly roll quilt for later with this photo or link: