1 Jelly Roll in MODA Lollipop by Sandy Gervais
1/2 yard cream fabric (7521 441 from Lollipop)
1 1/4 yard fabric for backing & binding (17555 13 from Lollipop)
Batting measuring ~15" x 85"
5" strip of ribbon
Spray basting spray (recommended)
I came up with this idea earlier this year after watching the season finale of Desperate Housewives where Mike used a crowbar to remove the panel off the front door jamb that was used as a growth chart for Julie because they had to move out of the house. A light bulb went off in my head! I can make a quilted growth chart that is portable yet permanent. Since nowadays almost no one lives in the same house for their entire childhood, I thought to make a quilted one that can be rolled up and transported but keeps the sentimental value and history intact. Here is my step-by-step tutorial! I hope you and your family enjoy this project for years to come!
Note: You can make this growth chart any length you want. I made this one 80" long because it's for my son and we anticipate him having his family's height genes. All seams are 1/4" unless otherwise specified.
1. Take 4 jelly roll strips and lay them next to each other lengthwise in a combination of your choice. Sew together lengthwise. Press seams toward darker fabric. Repeat with 4 more different strips to get 2 strip sets.
2. Trim selvages and cut 4" wide units from both of your strip sets. You can get 10 cuts out of each strip set for a total of twenty 4" units.
TIP: When you are cutting these 4" units line up the lines on your ruler with the seam lines that run perpendicular for a more accurate cut.
3. Rearrange 10 of your 4" units to get two long strips in a combination you like. For my son's growth chart, I made four strip sets (instead of just two) to get more variety with the fabrics. Jelly Rolls have so many fabrics that you can play around with these strip sets as much as you like.
4. Sew together the 10 rearranged 4" unit pieces to make one continuous strip. Repeat with the remaining 10 units. You will end up with two continuous patchwork strips that will measure 80" when finished. (You can trim now if you don't want yours as long.)
6. Line up all three of your pieced strips with the cream strip in the center and sew together. I recommend sewing with the patchwork strips on top so you can help those seams lay in the right direction as you sew. Press seams toward the outside (patchwork strips).
TIP: My two-ruler shortcut: The backing strips are wider than my rulers so, I line up a ruler that is long enough to cover the width I need by placing the ruler's 14" mark on the right-side edge of my fabric and then line up another ruler perpendicular to the horizontally placed ruler. Now remove the horizontally placed ruler and cut fabric.
8. Lay your backing piece on a long table or floor with the pretty side of the fabric facing down. Then layer your batting piece on top and finally your front. I used two aerosol cans as weights to hold the backing flat, then use a basting spray to help the layering process along. Smooth out all the air pockets until your quilt sandwich is completely flat. Pin all over to secure the layers together.
9. Quilting: Using your walking foot, stitch around the entire perimeter of the quilt about 1/8" away from the edge. I make the stitch line nice and narrow to make sure my binding will cover up those stitches. Stitch-in-the-ditch on the right and left sides of the cream center strip. Trim away excess batting and backing.
10. Binding: I like to make my own binding from 2 1/4" x WOF (width of fabric) strips. You will need 5 strips if you are making a growth chart as long as mine.
11. Make and attach your binding (using your preferred method) to the front of the quilt only. Cut a 5" long piece of ribbon, fold the ends together and pin to center back of the underside of the binding. You may want to fold the quilt in half lengthwise to get that center mark. Stitch back and forth a few times to secure those ribbon edges to your binding. Then stitch your binding down however you like and your loop should be facing down.
TIP: In case you are wondering about the zig-zag stitches... I zig-zag my edges to help make it easier for me to hand stitch the backing on the back. It flattens out the three layers beautifully.
Note: If your batting is thick or really heavy you may want to make two end loops of ribbon instead of one center one to hold it up better.
Ta-dah! Your Watch Me Grow Chart, quilted growth chart is complete! Just stand your kids up next to it and mark with a permanent pen that is safe for fabrics. I plan to make one of these for each of my kids so they can keep it for years and years.
Here is my son, JRW, looking at his 13 mo. old mark on his new growth chart!
1 easy-to-make Watch Me Grow Chart that is sure to be in your family for decades!