Tokyo Train Ride Jelly Roll Race Quilt

by | Sep 21, 2015 | Jelly Roll Race Quilt Top, Quilting Projects, Sewing Projects | 3 comments

Over the past year I have made a total of 5 quilts, and 3 of those have been Jelly Roll Race tops. I really enjoy the way that this quilt looks, and it is a great skill builder if you have trouble with straight lines and stitch control, because it is a lot of straight lines. Like, no jokes, it is all straight lines.

You can see my very first two JRR quilts here on the Craft Collective blog, which were made for my mom and mom-in-law. They were a big hit, but I have had a tinge of jealously when I have visited them and seen their lovely quilts.


In search of some good pre-cut fabric stores, I came across an amazing Canadian based fabric website, Dindydoo Fabrics and Notions. Alicia has an incredible selection of Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Charm Packs, and Fat Quarter bundles in a whole array of different styles and designers. Even better than that, her Cotton+Steel selection is seriously off the hook. It was here that I came across a steal of a deal: a Jelly Roll of Sarah Watt’s Toyko Train Ride * drum rolls please * on sale. The lord of fabrics had smiled upon me; it was a quilting miracle (and it was in my shopping cart immediately).

Tokyo Train Ride Jelly Roll Race Quilt Fabric

Now, I must confess that I started this project circa 2015 PB, that is pre blog, and I do not have a lot of pictures of the entire process. But I do recommend checking out the youtube tutorials put out by Jenny at Missouri Star Quilt Company, aka my future best friend (she doesn’t know that yet), to check out all of their great tutorials. Or, you know, you can click below:

Now, my jelly roll had direction patterns, so I had a bit of a panic attack when I went to go sew my long strip together. I didn’t want to have upside down bunnies and trees, so I ended up taking some extra time, cutting my strips down to size, and then sewing the strips together. I don’t know if I still could have done it Jenny’s way, but I didn’t want to take any chances. If you are working with designs that look great upside down, then you are in the clear.

When it comes to quilting my JRR tops, I have always done a simple Stitch in the Ditch method, because I like showcasing the designs in the fabric. Also, I am not quite good enough at fancy quilting yet, so I don’t have a lot of experience doing anything else. This video is very helpful if you want to know more about SITD quilting methods and also to give you the courage to quilt on a regular machine.

Now, I always try to stay in the ditch, but life is a struggle and my lines are, at times, wibbly wobbly. Not in this picture though, dang look how s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t that is.
Tokyo Train Ride Jelly Roll Race Quilt Quilting

All of my previous quilts have been machine binded, because I was tight on time, or I was so done  with the project that I never wanted to look at it again; but with time on my hand, I decided to try my hand at hand binding my Tokyo Train Ride quilt.
Again, my quilt mother goddess has some great tips:

Daaaaaaang, hand stitching takes so much longer than machine binding, but it is a great excuse to hunker down with 1 or 7 episodes of the X-files and a big cup of tea. Honestly though, after the whole process is done, I think I am hooked on hand-binding. My corners came out way better than ever before, and it just looks so much cleaner when it is hand bound. I think from now on, I will make sure I set out the extra time to hand stitch these suckers. That also means I will get to invest in those fun little binding clips that all of the professionals have.

Tokyo Train Ride Jelly Roll Race Quilt Binding

Finally, 2015 PO-BLO (post blog), my quilt is complete!
I cannot wait to snuggle the heck out of it!

Tokyo Train Ride Jelly Roll Race Quilt

So, I probably should have ironed this bad boy pre-picture, but you get the idea. This was my first outdoor quilt picture and I was very aware of the people’s stares around me. Don’t worry, I will get better at the pictures.
If you are new to quilting, I cannot suggest this style of quilt top enough. With this top, you will start to learn the basics of piecing together fabrics, working with a 1/4″ seam allowance, and get a whole lot of straight line practice in. You do not, however, have to worry about piecing points together, or correct angles, or making sure all of your seam allowances are correct (or even the straightest, for that matter). The finished quilt is also a great size, 50″ x 58″, which makes it a good snuggle blanket while not being to difficult to wrangle when you are basting or quilting it. Furthermore, by using precuts, you can sample all of the designs from a collection without having to fork over a lot of cash at once, and all of the fabric will already be coordinated for you.  It truly is a really good starter quilt for the ultimate beginner, and with a strong fabric choice, you will have something that you can treasure.

Toyko Train Ride Jelly Roll Race Quilt Otis
Now, have a tempted you into your own JRR quilt? I promise, it’s super fun and a great intro into quilting. I highly recommend checking out Dinkydoo Fabrics to find a precuts that you love; currently, I am inlove with Moda’s Nocturne Collection  and Cotton+Steel’s Honeymoon Collection. Start your own fall quilt to snuggle into!





  1. Laura

    I’m so excited! I’ve been looking for a quilt a beginner like me could make using the Tokyo Train Ride fabric and stumble on your blog. And it’s such a beautiful quilt! Thanks for posting this! I’m wondering if you used the Jelly Roll pack from Dinky Doo that’s 5″ by 42″. The strips look so thin I was wondering if you had to cut them down width wise?? Thanks in advance!

    • Natasha

      Hey Laura! Yay I am so excited! You can always double check with the chat function on the website, but I believe the 5″ is a typo, and the maple roll is the usual 2.5″x42″ jelly roll size. I recall thinking the same thing when I read it! I cant wait to see it! Please send me a link to your finished quilt, or tag #condifentbeginner on instagram or facebook!

  2. Robyn Holm

    Very inspiring!



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