A most awesome, amazing, Jelly Roll Round Robin Challenge!

I’ve been wanting to share this very special story with you for quite some time. But it is so exciting that I’ve been waiting to make sure I had time to write it in such a way that would give these amazing gals the recognition they truly deserve!

Meet the Jelli-belles!

Last year, I had the privilege to travel to Las Cruces, NM, to present a lecture and workshops to the members of the Las Colcheras Quilt Guild. While there I met many of their members including the very talented, Judy Gillen. I talked about the Jelly Roll Round Robin I had featured in a chapter in my book, Jelly Roll Quilt Magic, and I encouraged them to join in the fun and organize a Round Robin in groups among themselves.  Not long after my visit, Judy gathered a group of five quilting friends and she organized her own Jelly Roll Round Robin challenge!

Copy (1) of JellyRollMagic-3c

This group of friends decided on some simple guidelines and chose fabrics. The rules were simple: each participant could make a center block in one of the following sizes: 12 1/2″, 14 1/2″, 16 1/2″ 18 1/2″ or 20 1/2″.  (Keeping the sizes uniform and easily divisible by 2″ would make it easy to add subsequent borders constructed from precut strips or squares.)


Judy set up a very “do-able” schedule that made it easy for each member to complete her round of adding a border, but not so much time that the group would lose momentum. For fabrics, they each chose a Jelly Roll, background fabric and a charm pack. However, after their first meeting together they decided it might be a good idea to include a matching Layer Cake as well — to make sure there was plenty of fabric for everyone when it was their turn to add a border. It was just that easy. Then, they jumped in and got busy!


Judy kept a very detailed journal of the process during the Round Robin Challenge, including notes, plans, drawings, and photos, which she very kindly sent to me to peruse after-the-fact. I loved reading each and every entry in her journal — all the notes, drawings, and words of good wishes! All the quilters wrote encouraging and engaging entries. It was fun to read about the inspiration and challenges each designer faced when it was her turn to add a border. But mostly, I was especially excited to see the extraordinary creativity of each quilt — and just how differently they all ended up becoming!




Judy peeking from behind her center block (which was an original design.) Judy bought her fabrics in Colorado, so she designed the center star block and added an appliqued Columbine blossom — even adding some surface painting to add detail and texture. Gorgeous!


And now, for the big reveal — all the completed quilt tops!


Jeannie Robinson’s Quilt



Emma Giron’s Quilt


Stevie Halliwell’s Quilt


Elizabeth Haubold’s Quilt


Sherri Manios’ Quilt


….and the organizer of the Jelly Roll Round Robin,
Judy Gillen’s Quilt

Thank you, THANK YOU, ladies for taking inspiration and running with the idea and to make it your own! I’m just thrilled that we can all see and share in the end results of your extraordinarily beautiful quilts!! I’m sure they will be treasured heirlooms for each of you and your families; sewn by your talented friends to be cherished for years to come!




  1. Wow what a fun round robin and it looks like it was very well organized! Thanks so much for sharing all the photos with us. It’s fun to see what others come up with when presented a challenge.

  2. Gorgeous quilts made fusing an awesome idea! You ladies did a wonderful job!

  3. What organization and teamwork! Lovely results. Thanks for sharing with us.

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