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Playing with color and movement: Making placemats with jelly rolls

Playing with color and movement: Making placemats with jelly rolls

by Claire Haillot

Welcome back to my ‘quilting for not so beginner’ blog week. In yesterday’s post, I introduced the PFAFF passport 2.0 sewing machine and talked about its many features that make it perfect for quilters of all levels. Today, I’m using the machine to create a simple yet fun project: making placemats using jelly rolls.

An assortment of Jelly Roll strips in orange shades with 3 yards of orange fabric to play with color and movement while creating placemats

Using jelly roll strips to create placemats using the PFAFF passport 2.0

For this project, I’ll be playing with jelly rolls to create movement in our placemats. Let’s say it’s a follow up to last year’s Improvisational quilting for beginners blog week.

The jelly roll kit I’m using consisting of 20 strips and 3 yards of a neutral fabric for the backing and binding. However, you can adjust the supplies based on how many placemats you want to make and how much jelly roll you need to create a specific look. I know I have too many strips for the project, but the intent is to study how their texture and color play with one another so I couldn’t limit the supply to just eight strips.



  • jelly roll kit
  • 3yds [2.7m] of a neutral fabric
  • crib size light batting


  • 50wt thread for piecing
  • 40wt thread for quilting



  1. The first step in making these placemats is to break open the jelly roll kit and start playing with the strips.
  2. Pick eight strips and align them side by side. Play with them, rotate them, and see which ones play best with one another.
  3. Take pictures so you can remember the combinations you like the most. If you find it overwhelming, begin by simply positioning them from lightest to darkest and work from there.

Two rows of 8 strips in different colors featuring the color orange

Playing with jelly roll strips to create movement in placemats

4.  Once you decide on your eight strips, stitch them together. I used the PFAFF passport 2.0 sewing machine with the                  optional ¼” Quilting Foot for IDT System to precisely feed my strips through the sewing machine. Piecing strips                      together is incredibly easy with this machine. Once the strips are pieced together, you’ll end up with a large piece                    measuring 16½” by approximately 40”.

8 assorted strips featuring the color orange sewn together to make a placemat measuring about 14½” x 16½”

One set of 8 strips makes three placemats

5. Cut the piece into three equal units of about 14½” x 16½”. You now have three placemats ready for quilting. You can         proceed to make more placemats with the other jelly rolls.

Sewing two strips of fabric together on the PFAFF passport 2.0 sewing machine

Piecing strips together is incredibly easy with the PFAFF passport 2.0

This project is a simple and fun way to experiment with color and movement in your quilting projects. By playing with jelly rolls, you can create different looks or ‘moods’ to your projects. But don’t start quilting your placemats just yet! Tomorrow I’ll play with the second unit to create another design using the PFAFF passport 2.0. Stay tuned for our next post, for a placemat that will look completely different.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Unleash your quilting creativity with the PFAFF passport 2.0: Lots to love!

Go to part 3: Color and movement: Creating a grid design with the PFAFF passport 2.0


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