Even though it’s brutally cold in the Bold North, I’m having fun looking outside at the fresh snowfall while finishing up a Jelly Roll Twist Quilt (a free pattern with a tutorial from the Fat Quarter Shop.) I learned long ago that to thrive in this climate, I would have to plan both indoor and outdoor activities so that I would look forward to winter instead of dreading it.

A Work in Progress

Last fall I stitched a quilt top together using a “Lollipops” jelly roll (forty 2½” x 44″ strips of fabric) designed by Sandy Gervais for Moda. And my plan was to make it into a quilt (top, batting layer for added warmth, and backing all stitched together) in time for my nephew’s birthday this month.

Jelly Roll Twist Quilt Top and BackingI recently learned a few reasons why he said he would like this quilt:

  • His favorite colors are orange and blue.
  • His favorite animal is the shark.

Adding a Shark

I thought it would be fun to stitch an outline of a shark on the quilt. Originally I planned to find a shark image online, print it out, and trace it onto the quilt. However, while shopping at Target I noticed the perfect shark silhouette on a piece of wall decor.

Shark wall decor from TargetDid you know you can snap a photo and use the Colorscape app to convert the photo into a coloring sheet? This provided me with the perfect quilt template!

Colorscape shark outlineI cut out the shape and traced it onto my quilt with a white pencil.

Shark templateShark stitching line drawn on quiltThen I stitched around the outline three times. Since I stitched only one shark in the corner of the quilt, it was a manageable task.

Stitched shark outlineI stitched the rest of the quilt with wavy lines, using the quilt blocks as my guide.

Wavy machine quiltingFinished for the Birthday Boy

Finally I bound the edges with a coordinating polka dot fabric.

Polka Dot BindingNow I can wrap up the quilt and give it to my sweet six-year-old nephew.

Lollipop Fabric Jelly Roll TwistJust as I was about to snap the following photo, my nephew called on Facetime and asked what I was doing. “Um … we’re going to eat breakfast,” my husband resourcefully replied. (I didn’t want to spoil the surprise, after all.) My nephew was concerned that it might be too cold to celebrate today, but my brother assured him that they would find a way to make the day special.

Jelly Roll Twist QuiltMy husband graciously agreed to display my quilt in my “photography studio,” and Chester immediately posed in front of the quilt as if on queue. That dog loves to photobomb!

Give the Jelly Roll Twist a Try!

I highly recommend the Jelly Roll Twist pattern for a few reasons.

  • The free pattern is easy enough for a beginner and pure fun for an experienced quilter.
  • The top is stitched together using one jelly roll and one charm pack (5″ fabric squares), plus fabric for binding and backing. There is very little waste.
  • The completed size is about 52″ x 60″ — a generous size for an adult or child to use for snuggling on the couch while reading or watching TV. (I suggest adding a roaring fire, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and popcorn.)

This happy quilt really brightened my sewing days. And now I hope it will bring comfort and joy to a special little boy.

Are you keeping warm under a quilt or a blanket fort? I hope so!



Today I’m linking up with a few other creative quilters so that we can inspire each other and enjoy some beauty in the world. Check them out!

Jelly Roll Twist Quilt: Making Winter Fun
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Tracie grew up with three sisters and a brother in a farmhouse surrounded by cornfields and relatives. She draws on that early foundation to write about her Christian faith, creative activities, and family life.

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14 thoughts on “Jelly Roll Twist Quilt: Making Winter Fun

  1. That shark is pure genius! I’m not an applique person, but doing some echoed FMQ outlines of a shape like that is a great way to add a special zing. I’m sure your nephew will love it. And I hope you’ll share some photos of him snuggled up in it 🙂

  2. Can’t wait to hear what he thought of it, Tracie! I love the colors in the quilt, and the dot binding is perfect. And Chester, well, what more can be said? Love that pup!

  3. I can totally see why this quilt warmed and brightened your day 🙂 Love those fun colors and prints. The addition of the shark was a wonderful personal touch. I bet you had a very very happy birthday boy! Thanks for the tip on Colorscape. I had never heard of that app before but could see where it would be handy. Thanks for stopping by the UFO party! Can’t wait to see what you work on next 🙂

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