The Stacks Quilt


Jenny shows us how to make an easy Stacks Quilt out of 2.5 inch strips of precut fabric (jelly rolls). Save time with Jenny’s chain piecing tips.

Get the supplies here:

Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here): 

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got such a fun project for you today. Take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this fun? Doesn’t this look like a big Jenga game? I actually wanted to name the quilt Jenga but that’s a trademark name so we’re calling it Stacks. And it just reminds me of stacks of books. It’s just really fun. So to make this quilt, what you’re going to need is one jelly roll of color. And we’ve used Basic Mixology from Studio M for Moda. Beautiful line. And you’re going to need one jelly roll of white. Just a solid white one. And you’re going to need about a yard and a half for that five inch border. And it’s going to make a quilt that is 74 by 89. So it’s a great size quilt and super fun and easy to make. Let me show you how to make this because this is really cool.

So first you’re going to take, you’re going to take your strips, and you’re going to do this to every single of the strips you have. So I’m going to four here. And I’m going to lay them out. Just leave them folded in half. Because you’re going to cut four pieces out of each strip. And you’re going to do this to every strip. So let me just lay these out here like this. And I’ve got four here. I’ve got them lined up. I’ve got them, you know, one of top of each other. I’m going to take my ruler and I’m going to cut off my selvedge end. Just like this. And you see I have them stacked too. You want to line those up on your mats to make sure your strips stay straight. That was kind of a tongue twister. And then you’re going to cut these at eight inches. So we’re going to count in eight, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and make a cut. Oop, and open the rotary cutter and make a cut. Then count over eight more, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. And that should give you your four strips of color. If you need more color you can always open these up like this because that’s where the fold is. And press those out and cut one more if you need those. But you should have enough just by cutting four. So we’re going to put these in a stack now over here. And then we’re going to cut our white strips. And the white strips, we’re going to do the same thing here. We’ve got, we’ve got two strips stacked up right here. Oop, let me turn them around this way for my left hand. And I’m going to line one up there. And I’m just going to stack this one up on top of it. Just like that. Now out of white strip you’re going to cut ten inch pieces. So you’re get four of those out of each piece. So we’ve cut off our little selvedges and we’re going to count ten, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. And make a cut. And then we’re going to count ten again, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. And this really does take most of your strip. You’ll have a little piece left out here. So you’re going to do that to all your strips. Every single one of them, you’re going to cut four, four pieces out of your white strip and four pieces out of your colored strip. Now we get to put them together.

And what we’re going to do is we’re going to go over to the sewing machine and we’re just going to take a white strip and a colored strip, put them right sides together and sew a quarter of an inch all the way down. You’re going to chain piece and do these to the whole stack. So let’s just do a few of them for you right here. Somebody asked me the other day about chain piecing. It’s, it’s one of those things that I say all the time but some of you may not know. Chain piecing is when you sew strips one after the other after the other and you don’t cut the thread in between. So that’s kind of what we’re doing here. So we’ve got that. I’m just going to get one, one of every color here. One thing I like about this quilt is that everything you do, you just do the same thing over and over again so you kind of, you know, four eight inch pieces out of the color. Four ten inch pieces out of the, out of the white. You do it to everything. Then you start sewing your strips together and again you’re just going to do the same thing over and over again.

So now we’ve got these all cut apart and I’ve sewed, you’re going to need four for each row. And what I’m going to do here is I’m going to go ahead and, and press these. Just let them lay down a little bit. It doesn’t matter which direction they’re going because they are not going to line up with anything and we are just going to be able to sew these together. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our row and we’re going to sew four of these units together. So I’m calling this a unit. And we’re going to switch out colors and we’re going to put them like this and just sew them end to end. Four of them in a row. So let’s go to the sewing machine and do that. Now one of the things you’ll notice on here is that once I’m ready to put my row together, again I’m going to chain piece but I’m going to chain piece to the other. So now I’m taking this colored one and attaching a white one to it and sewing it. Then again I take the end of my other strip and attach another strip to it right here. And make sure it goes white to color, white to color, just like this. And then you can see I’ve got the whole thing sewn together but it kind of looks like this and we’re going to cut it apart. And it will be one long strip. Then what we’re going to do is we’re going to sew the ends together and make a circle. I know you might think I’ve lost my mind here but this is going to work, I promise you. So we’re sewing these together to make a circle. Now you’re going to do this to all your strips. And you’re going to have all these circles. And then we’re ready to lay out.

And this is how it’s going to work. So this is such a great fun idea. You’re going to take your circle. Now this is what makes the stacks and this is what makes it fun because it’s a little bit of creativity on your part. You’re going to take one of the white pieces and you decide where to cut it. You’re going to cut in a different place for each strip. And because we use the same numbers of strips your strips are going to stay the same length but then they’re going to go back and forth because you’ve cut them in a different place. So let’s cut this one a little bit off center here. Just like this. And we’re going to lay it out like this. So when you’re ready to lay your strips out you’re just going to lay out your big long strips like this. Now this is also a quilt that is easy to make larger or smaller. Because there are 40 strips in a roll you’re going to have 40 rows of this. So there’s 40 rows of these down and, and that makes it easy to figure. So less strips, smaller quilt. Now you can see this one we’ve cut a little different length but you’ll line them up all the same. And you want to line them up and you want to watch and be sure you have different colors you know lining up, not the same colors. So like this one right here has this, this purple. I may not want it too close to that purple so I can actually flip it around, oop we don’t want those together so we’ll use another strip. So let’s see here, we’ve got, here’s a yellow. And see how they’re just going to stagger back and forth, back and forth. Let me put one more up here. There we go. Oop and you know what I look like I have too many going this way so I’m going to bring it back the other way a little bit. And all that happens depending upon where you put that strip. You know where you set that strip together. So now we have these awesome strips. None of the seams line up. We don’t have to match anything. And we’re just going to sew them together. You know two, two, sew the strips together.

So I like to do that by sewing two at a time. So I’m going to take my two strips like this, line up the ends and just sew a quarter of an inch all the way down. I’m going to press those open. And then you have this two-strip unit. And when you lay them back out you can look and make sure that you have, you know, your colors are good and separated. That it has the stagger going the way you want it to. And it just, I mean it’s just so fun because so much of it is left up to you where you cut that seam. So again let’s take a look at this. And one of the things I want to point out is, like right here I have two yellows together but I don’t die over that. They’re different patterns and perhaps I had two books that were the same. I mean it’s just the fun of watching them stack up and stagger from side to side.
I really loved making this quilt. I love the personal interpretation of where the strips go, you know you get a little say in that. I love that it looks like books. My night stand kind of looks like this with several books on it. I even thought it would be fun, you could put the name of the books on some of these spines and make it personal for you. Remember any of the products we use in the tutorials you can find a link for in the description below. Thank you so much for watching. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Stacks quilt from the MSQC.

posted: Jelly Rolls | tagged: , , , ,
Have you used this tutorial to make something cool!?
Send it in to us and share it with the world!
  • Donna

    Great quilt…has inspired me to do a baby quilt using 2 1/2″ square “blocks” stacked in this manner. Probably will use white 2 1/2″ X 5″ strips between…just thinking/guessing. Thanks, Jenny! Only problem is…it’s 1:54am here and I can’t start on it now because of all my “light sleepers.”

  • Anita

    Thinking this would be the perfect LAP quilt in my reading room….so should I use HALF the amount of a jellyroll ? Not sure of size. thank you!