I thought that I would share the program we had at our guild this week. It was really fun and something that other guilds could definitely do!
First of all we wanted to make quilts for our local hospice and get the guild members involved. When I saw the Jelly Roll Race video I KNEW this was something very doable for us! Now I am not going to reinvent the wheel ;-) The video is great and you should watch it first if you are unfamiliar with the process. I'm simply going to tell you how I adapted it for a group to work on.
First of all, we asked guild members to bring in 3 @ 2.5" strips to each meeting. Next time I would NOT do this! I would ask for say 20 @ 2.5" strips all at one time because sorting the strips took A LONG, LONG time and it would have been much easier if they all came in at the same time. I would also get a couple people to help sort the strips to lighten the load.
OR Buy 20 Jelly Rolls ;-) Done!
That said - any time I had 8 strips of exactly the same fabric donated I kept those aside for binding. I have those here that I kept apart as I will ask members to make the bindings next meeting. Why did we ask for members to donate the strips? To keep costs down for one; and, to get members involved and using their stash - wins all around!
All told we had 22 member donated strips jelly rolls so we needed that many sewing machines for the night. We decided not to use irons since we are in an old building and I was worried about blowing fuses! That said - you DON'T need to iron until the top is finished so this sped things up a lot! i passed out a printed set of instructions (adapted from the instructions here) to each team if they needed help and I did a short demo before the race started. I was able to leave one hour and 15 minutes of the meeting for the race but it would have been nice to leave an hour and a half.
We got into teams of at least 2 people. Some teams had more. One one side of the team was the sewer and they started to sew mitering the strips like you would binding.
The second team member had a set of sheers and was trimming the excess fabric off with the sheers No need for rotary cutters and mats - this was faster and less equipment was needed.
After the first pass the team members worked together to stretch out the strip and get the two ends together. Each pass the team members worked together. One sewing and the other stretching out the strip and helping the sewer manage the strips. Again - if you're not sure what I am talking about her please check out the video!
The first top was finished in about 50 minutes! We had a fat quarter bundle to give to the winning team since that could easily be divided among the team members. In this case it was a team of two.
All told, 2 teams had sewing machine problems; but, by the end of the meeting we had 12 out of 19 tops completely finished! And 2 more were about 5 minutes away from being finished! We were all amazed at how much we accomplished on just ONE meeting - yey!
I asked members to please take the tops home to iron and bring them back. Three members took the remaining jelly rolls home to sew and I heard back from one person that she finished her second one the next day - yey!
Here are our 12 tops from member donated strips! Not bad huh? We are purchasing backing and batting and asking guild members to quilt and bind them. I will get that organized next meeting.
So, what do you think? Pretty cool huh? People felt really good about the evening and I only have heard great things about how much fun everyone had :-D Would I do this again - yes! But, I would implement the changes I had mentioned and get the strips all in at once. It feels so good to have som much fun doing charity quilts.
So what do you think? Is this something you would take to your guild? Would you do it like this or make changes? Any questions feel free to leave them here!