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How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

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    How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

    Technically, jelly rolls should be 2-1/2" wide. I bought two colorways of the same designer (sorry, can't remember which) (one brownish-yellow and one bluish-pink), sewed strips together and cut them into half-square triangles. Then I lined them up so I have bands of light fading into dark, with blues & browns side by side.

    As a beginner, I would have to teach myself all over again how to correctly cut the triangles so they were the same size. But once that was done (took only two mistakes per cutting time), I used the ruler the exact same way on the brown and blue elements. You would think all the triangles would be the same, yes? Well, it didn't work out that way!

    all the blue elements are wider than the browns by as much as 1/4". I finally figured out that the brown pack is narrower than the blue pack, and combined into three strips per triangle, it makes for a big difference.

    at this point, your advice will be on how to deal with this in the future; I am now in the sewing-into-squares phase, and will even up the sizes after they are all done. This will be a wonky quilt, as the center strips of the brown ones won't match the center strips of the blue ones.

    Thanks in advance for your insight.
    octoquilt1.jpg
    Kelley D, "I am not a quilter!"

    #2
    Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

    I don't have any solutions, but inconsistent sizing is a problem with precuts. And so annoying!

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      #3
      Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

      I posted my own tale of woe a while back. You have my complete sympathy. My experience was a layer cake with large size variance and many crooked pieces. I ended up trimming them down quite a bit to straighten the crooked and then make everything else match those. I haven't had the problem you describe with JRs. It sounds like you have an option to make your blocks wonky, so that's a relief for you! I really learned my lesson to check and measure everything before I begin to piece the blocks. I was too trusting.

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        #4
        Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

        I had two jelly rolls I was using together and happily I pretty quickly saw they were different widths. But what it did mean is I had to cut 40 strips down. That was the only time so far with strips. My bigger problem has been with layer cakes. So unless there is ever a huge sale on them, I do not purchase layer cakes anymore. I have started purchasing many more fat quarters and 1/2 yards of different fabrics to get my variety. I really still like charms even though they are almost never accurate either.
        Karen
        Life is short - Live everyday to the fullest

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          #5
          Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

          Originally posted by Kgrammiecaz View Post
          I had two jelly rolls I was using together and happily I pretty quickly saw they were different widths. But what it did mean is I had to cut 40 strips down. That was the only time so far with strips. My bigger problem has been with layer cakes. So unless there is ever a huge sale on them, I do not purchase layer cakes anymore. I have started purchasing many more fat quarters and 1/2 yards of different fabrics to get my variety. I really still like charms even though they are almost never accurate either.
          I agree with Karen. I love Jelly Rolls and will buy them when the price is right, but no more layer cakes. I buy mostly yardage and cut the sizes I want.

          I wish I could help with your quilt. I guess the best advice is to square up. And, remember that you will see the mistakes, but others will see a beautiful quilt.

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            #6
            Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

            I had a similar problem (and they were even from the SAME Jelly Roll!). I ended up putting 1 1/2" sashing between the squares (but mine were 12" squares) and you can't tell the difference.

            The only pre-cuts I get now are charms (although they aren't perfect, either) and fat quarter bundles when they're on sale. I make my own strips from yardage - which is especially fun, quick, and oh so easy with my new Creative Grids Stripology Ruler! I save so much on cutting my own that I figure the savings paid for the ruler! That's what I told my husband, anyway!

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              #7
              Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

              Jenny mentioned this in one of her tutorials and said she would pick one of the charms (I think she was using from 2 different lines) as her standard. No trimming just follow the one you pick.
              Chris :icon_wave:

              "What I lack in leadership, I more than make up for in sewing." Sheldon Cooper, PhD.

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                #8
                Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

                I'm sorry you had this experience. I would square them all to the same size. Then, if you don't like the wonkiness you could sash or turn every other block to make a zig zag or chevron effect. No mistakes, just design possibilities. I'm sure it will be beautiful!
                Vernona:icon_hi:

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                  #9
                  Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

                  Here is a helpful guide from Bear Paw Productions in how to handle strips of different widths.

                  https://www.bearpawproductions.com/u...May%20Vary.pdf

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                    #10
                    Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

                    I'm in the process of squaring up now. Thanks all for the support and tips; Katier825 I followed the link and will start to do that on my next jelly roll set.
                    Kelley D, "I am not a quilter!"

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                      #11
                      Re: How to handle precuts that aren't the same size? Especially jelly rolls!

                      You could add a narrow sashing between the blocks. That way the misalignment would not be as noticeable. Yes, it would change the design but then the design you had in mind is sort of mucked up already due to the misalignment. On the other hand, you may decide that it doesn't matter that much when you put the blocks together. It will look great no matter what route you take.

                      I did a woven pattern from a jelly roll AND strips from stash. My strips were all 2 1/2" and I didn't realize until late in the process that the jelly roll was over-sized. Not much I could do at that point but finish it. Now I make sure to measure my precuts before they make it into a project.
                      Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric
                      Martina (aka MadQuilter in other forums)

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