Sewing ideas using fabric jelly rolls & charm packs

Written by kelli nottingham
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Sewing ideas using fabric jelly rolls & charm packs
Make holiday decorations or sachets out of Swiss roll and charm pack fabrics. (quilted Christmas tree image by Katrina Miller from

Swiss rolls and charm packs are pre-cut bundles of coordinating quilting cotton. Swiss roll fabrics are 2 ½ inches by 44 inches, while charm packs are 5-by-5-inch square pieces. Because the fabrics are already cut to a consistent pre-measured size, crafting and sewing projects come together quickly.

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Multicoloured Skirt

Create a simple but eye-catching skirt by sewing charm pack fabrics into strips as long as your desired skirt length, adding additional length for the hem and an elastic waistband casing. Use Swiss roll strips for a patchwork skirt by cutting the strips into smaller rectangles. The strips also can be used to make a vertically striped skirt or a peasant skirt with gathered horizontal flounces. Simply sew several strips together to create longer strips for the flounces.

Simple Square Quilt

Charm packs are ideal for simple quilt designs. Lay out the squares of fabric into your desired pattern, alternating colours or fabrics to create a variety of designs. Sew the squares into long strips, and then sew the strips together. Press the seams flat, and layer batting and backing under your quilt top. Use embroidery thread to tack the layers together, and finish the quilt by binding the quilt edges.

Bargello Wall Hanging

Bargello is a technique used to create interesting geometric patterns. Sew your Swiss roll strips together along the long edges to create one large striped piece. Sew the remaining two long edges together, creating a tube of fabric with the seams facing out. Flatten the cylinder, and use a rotary cutter to cut smaller tubes of fabric of the same or various sizes. Use a seam ripper to undo one seam on each of the tubes, making sure to vary the fabrics being opened as you do so. This will create strips of sewn rectangles, with various fabrics at the start and end of the strips. Sew them together as you would a quilt top, using your creativity to determine where to put the various strips. Layer and bind as you would a quilt, and hand-stitch loops for a curtain rod or dowel at the top of the wall hanging, spacing them closely enough that your hanging will not droop.

Pin Cushion

Pin cushions can be made in a multitude of shapes and designs, limited only by your creativity. Consider cutting your Swiss roll strips or charm pack squares into triangles or smaller squares. Piece these together into a front and back for your pin cushion, sew the front and back together, and stuff with batting.

Yo-Yo Brooch

Create a yo-yo brooch by cutting a Swiss roll or charm pack fabric into a 6-inch-wide circle. Fold the raw edge under and sew ¼ inch from the fold edge using a long gathering stitch. Pull the threads to gather together so the fabric forms a double-thickness circle. Sew a decorative button over the gathered stitches, and attach a jewellery pin to the solid side of the yo-yo. Sew multiples of these together to create larger brooches.

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