Perhaps you’ve seen the adorable Jelly Roll rugs popping up on social media and at your local quilt shops. The pattern is by Roma Lambson for RJ Designs and pays homage to those oval braided rugs our grandmothers made. This version, however, is faster and easier as it starts off using a Jelly Roll – 40 pre-cut 2.5 inch wide strips.
A second pattern has come along, Jelly Roll Rug 2 which is even faster and easier, so it’s one of the projects I chose to take on my recent quilting retreat.
I knew this project would be easy to do on my fabulous new Janome HD 3000BE since HD stands for Heavy Duty , and heavy duty sewing through lots of bulk (4 layers of fabric and 4 layers of batting) was indeed the name of the game.
Aside from looking OH so cool, sleek and modern, the Janome HD 3000BE is a formidable, sturdy machine, yet weights under 20 pounds. The hard protective case is included so this is an ideal machine to take along to classes, the cottage, or, in my case, a retreat. It’s completely mechanical; ie non-computerized, so it’s also a great machine for anyone new to sewing, or who’s intimidated by too many electronic buttons to push. The Janome HD 3000BE is a simple machine to use, but don’t confuse simple for basic. There’s a BIG bang for the buck here.
Instead of a Jelly Roll, I decided to cut 2.5 inch wide strips from my stash. Yes, as a few of my Facebook followers have commented, I did intentionally choose fabrics to coordinate with the machine. lol! When the machine is this sleek and dynamic, why not?! I thought this rug would be a great stash-busting project, too, yet it barely made a dent in it. I see more rugs in my future.
Complete instructions can be found in the pattern, but basically, layered on each strip of fabric is a 2.5 inch wide strip of batting, which I again cut from my stash.
As a longarm quilter for hire, I’m often left with long strips of batting cut off from around customer’s quilts so this was the perfect project for those scraps. You can buy pre-cut batting strips already on a roll, too, but I wanted to keep the cost of this project to a minimum. Other than the nominal cost of the pattern, I didn’t have to buy any additional supplies. You can either zig-zag the ends of your batting strips together on the machine, or as I chose, to use fusible batting tape which I already had on hand. Alternatively, you can cut your own from scraps of fusible interfacing.
This is also a great project to use up any bits of thread, especially if your strips are really scrappy. I used Janome’s Iris quilting thread, in red of course, to match the accent red of the machine. Red is my favourite colour anyway, so I use it whenever I can.
Again, detailed instructions are in the pattern. You sew your strips into tubes then zig-zag those tubes together to form the rug. Before the clever folks at RJ Designs came out with these patterns, who would have thought you could sew a rug on your sewing machine?! Sewing the tubes was another ideal opportunity to use my trusty Wonder Clips, by Clover. I use these ALL the time, and they were definitely easier to use at this step instead of pins.
You can see in the above photo that I used the Overedge Foot, one of the 8 presser feet included with the Janome HD 3000BE. Though I was only using a straight stitch, not overcasting to finish a raw edge, the Overedge Foot gave me the perfect 1/8 inch distance from the edge of my tube. I loved the versatility of this machine! There’s a little metal guide on the right side of the foot, so my stitching was uniform for each and every tube.
You can see how much fun those tubes can be as my friend, Moishe, is demonstrating. He thought they’d make a great wig, too. (He’s a hairstylist by profession, lol!)
As instructed in the pattern, you can sew your tubes with a 1/4 inch seam allowance instead of the 1/8 inch as I did. There’s a special 1/4 inch foot with guide, along with 3 other specialty presser feet included in the bonus Quilting Attachment Kit which is included with the Janome HD 3000BE.
Janome is famous for their presser feet, mainly because they’re so quick and easy to snap on and off. Less time adjusting and more time spent sewing! The Quilting Attachment Kit is also available separately so be sure to visit your local Janome dealer for more information.
Since I’m all about versatility and creativity; making things your own, I decided to mix up things a bit and switch out my thread colour while zig-zagging my strips together. This was an ideal time to use the vertical spool pin included with the Janome HD 3000BE. It saved a lot of time as I didn’t have to remove the spool of thread each time I changed colour.
I also decided to vary my stitches as I sewed the tubes together. There’s 18 stitches on the Janome HD 3000BE with adjustable stitch length and width, too, so again, lots of versatility for ultimate creativity. The inside of the flip top lid lists all the stitches, settings and which presser foot to use there’s no guesswork. Janome thinks of everything!
The feather stitch is one of my all-time favourite stitches, so I used it most of the time in place of a regular zig-zag. It’s available on almost all Janome machines, too!
In case you were wondering, that little spongey square stuck to the right of the machine is NOT included as part of the machine, lol! It’s a cute and functional little Janome “Cling and Clean”, which just clings to the body of the machine without any adhesives. It’s designed to wipe off the fingerprints from computer screens of sewing machines, smart phones, tablets, etc. but I keep one handy on each machine to help wipe off the lint as well.
I certainly built-up some lint from all the sewing I did at the retreat, so my little “Cling and Clean” helped me keep the Janome HD 3000BE looking sleek and shiny throughout. As always, please visit your local Janome dealer for more information.
I’m SEW in love with my cute little rug! Another use I thought of, though, was as a mat for under my sewing machine, especially since this one coordinates sooooo well with the fabulous Janome HD 3000BE! lol!