March 4, 2012

Lasagna Quilt Tutorial

My best girlfriends and I got together to "bake" up this yummy lasagna - what a fun time we had!

We each picked very different fabrics, but they all came out so well - it shows how versatile this quilt is.

Stacey: Santa's Little Helper by Erin Michael for Moda
Lucinda: Dill Blossom by Robert Kaufman
Tara: Dizzy by Robert Kaufman

Ingredients Needed: 1 Jelly Roll (A pre-cut roll of fabrics - 42 strips, 2 1/2 inches wide)
1/2 yard of fabric for binding (or set 5 jelly roll strips aside for scrappy binding)
3 yds for backing

Prep Time:  The quilt top can easily be done in about 3-4 hours.  We tend to chat while we're sewing so we may go a little slower than others!

Do not pre-wash jelly roll strips - they will fray and shrink.  These strips are made to be sewn without pre-washing.  Because of that, do not pre-wash your backing or binding either - that way, the first time it is washed (always on cold - tumble or air dry) all of the fabric will shrink at the same rate.

Lay out your jelly roll strips in piles according to color.

Then begin joining your strips together as you would binding - right sides together at a 90 degree angle with a little extra on each edge.  Sew according to the dotted line shown below.  Mix up your color selection so that it appears random.

Sew all of the jelly roll strips in this fashion.

* Chain piecing is a good idea here*

Once all of the strips are sewn together, iron the seams open and then trim to 1/4" on either side.  Your strip will be 1600" long!!

The next step is important - cut 18" off of one side of your long Jelly Roll strip to help with offsetting the seams along the way.  If you are making a scrappy binding you need to use this 18" strip for your binding.

Now for the fun part - start sewing!!

Find the beginning and the end of your long jelly roll strip and place them  right sides together - sew together on the long side using a 1/4 inch seam.   Once you get to the end, you will need to cut the end to open it up.  Your strip will now be 800" long. No need to iron the seams now, you can do this at the end.

Repeat 4-5 times until your quilt is approximately 44"x 65"

And here are our fabulous lasagna quilt tops!

Lucinda's Florals

Tara's brights!

Stacey's Sock Monkeys

Make your quilt "sandwich."

To finish your quilt, lay your backing down on a hard surface and tape down with blue painters tape.  Layer your batting over it and then place your quilt top to make a "sandwich" of the three pieces.  Tape the top down with painters tape as well, taking care to line up all three pieces.  Once they are in place - pin or spray baste the three layers together to prepare them for quilting.

Quilt according to your favorite method, either "in-the-ditch" or free motion quilting.  Tara quilted her's in the ditch and it was done very quickly.

I chose to free-motion quilt mine, so it will take a little longer to complete.

To bind the quilt, cut 2 1/2 inch strips of fabric (or use those leftover jelly roll strips) - join them in the same way the quilt top jelly roll strips were, then iron in half the length of the strips.  Sew the raw edge of the binding to the quilt and miter the corners.  Wrap the binding to the back of the quilt and hand or machine stitch down.

Here's the finished product - don't forget to add a label to your quilt!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thought this would be a great project for today, but you lost me in the instructions. Do you connect all the jelly rolls in one very long strip, cut off 18" and then sew both ends of the long strip together? I didn't understand the "once you get to the end, you will have to cut it to open it up" and then "repeat 4 - 5 times". I have been quilting for over 10 years, but this has me stumped. Even the photo didn't make it clear how you were joining this if you had one long strip.

    1. I'm sorry if there is confusion, you are correct - you connect all of the jelly rolls into one long strip, cut off the 18" and the join the beginning and the end of the jelly roll strip, right sides together. Then you sew all the way down the long end of the strip, so that you now have a piece two strips wide. At the end of your seam, you will open the two strips so that they can lay flat. You then go from there. You are a no-reply blogger, but if you email me your contact information (staceysnapier at gmail dot com) I'll happily walk you through it. I hope this helps.


    2. Missourie Star Quilt Company have a great Youtube tutorial for this quilt. They call it The Jelly Roll Race Quilt

  3. Hi Stacey, I'm having the same problem understanding, and I would love to try this pattern. So once you have all your strips sewn in 1 long cbained strip, and then you cut off the 18", it's still in a long strip correct? What happens at this point, how would you have 2 strips to sew together "all the way down the long end of the strip".

    thank you,

    1. Thanks Lynn - I'm going to have to review my own tutorial and see if I can clarify.

      Let me know if this helps: After you cut off the 18" you still just have one long strip. You take the front of the strip, and the end of the strip and place them right sides together, and then sew on the long side - all the way down.
      Imagine one jelly roll strip - you are basically just matching up the beginning and end of the strip together, right sides together, and then stitching down one long side - when you open that up, you have one piece, two strips wide. You will have to snip at the bottom to open up the piece flat.
      You will then do the same thing, matching up the front and the end of the now two-strip wide piece and stitch again. Is that making it any clearer?

      I'm so sorry you're having trouble with this. I'm going to look at the tutorial tonight and see if I can add some steps and pictures. Thanks!

    2. Aha!!!!! Got it! Thank you... (Genius idea, by the way!)

    3. It might be easier to understand if you use the term fold, for bringing to two ends together; and then say that you cut open the long jelly roll strip at the fold.
      This is how I visualized your instructions.

    4. It might be easier to understand if you use the term fold, for bringing to two ends together; and then say that you cut open the long jelly roll strip at the fold.
      This is how I visualized your instructions.

  4. Thank you, Stacey

    I will definitely make this for some charity quilts. I have purchased some jelly rolls from Walmart because they are much less expensive and will work just fine for my purposes here. (However, they do not have as many strips, so I will have to use about 1 and 1/3 for each quilt.) And thank you for the additional instructions.


  5. Very cute! I get the instructions, your basically sewing 2 strips at the same time. It would be the same kind of concept as if you were going to cut multiple squares at one time. By sewing one long strip and then splitting it you are doing 2 rows at a time. I think you lose people cause most a accustomed to putting 2 pieces together. Doing it this way you take out the measuring of pieces to cut down for the finished width. Instead folding in half right sides together, sewing, splitting the fold and doing again definately takes some time away! :). I'm going to definately need to make one, now to figure out who needs one the most! Lol!

  6. I am a beginning quilter, and I think I have figured this out. To start with you have 1 1600" strip which you fold in half, sew together lengthwise, cut the folded end Now you have 2 800" strips. Fold this, sew, and clip and you have 4 400" strips. Fold, sew, clip, and you have 8 200" strips. Fold sew, clip, and you have 16 100" strips. Fold sew, clip, and you have 32 50" wide strips. The strips being 2" wide you now have a quilt measuring 50" wide x 64" long (32x2). I assume the binding strip needs to be 328" (64+64+50+50) plus a few extra inches so you can match up beginning and end. Is this correct?

    I do not know how to do mitered corners or now to finish the binding. Can you explain this or provide a link with these instructions. Hopefully it will have a lot of good pics like your blog did. They made it so much easier to understand. Thanks for helping me with this and thanks for posting the instructions. I think this is going to be a really fun first-time quilt. I can't wait to start.

    1. Charlene - you totally got it correct!!

      I haven't done a binding tutorial, but here are a few links:

      Sometimes I hand sew down the binding on the back like the first link and sometimes I machine bind, like the second link.
      If you ever get a chance this would be a great topic to take a class on so you can have someone demo it for you.

      Please send me a picture of your finished quilt, I'd love to see it!!

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  8. Thank you for all the details. I found them very easy to follow going step by step. I decided to use a quilt as you go method to quilt it & it came out great!
    Thank you for taking the time to share your project!

  9. Should I pre-shrink my batting, if I'm using cotton, or should I let it shrink with the rest of the quilt? The batting package says to wet it and dry/fluff it but, of course, I'm sure they are assuming that it's being used with pre-shrunk fabric.

  10. Hi..I enjoyed making the top and decided on the ditch stitch. What is the trick to keep the backing and batting from slipping? I pinned it at first but then had to keep repinning each row. It got a bit puckered but looks ok for my first one. I just think that I was making it more work than needed! onto the binding!


I really love hearing from you ~ thanks for your comments!