Jelly Rolls for Hexagon Quilts

A new Inklingo quilter asked a great question in the Yahoo group. It is easiest to answer with pictures, so I am replying on the blog instead of in an email. (Aren’t we lucky to be online?)

Julie asked whether she could use Jelly Roll strips (2.5 inches wide) to print Inklingo one-inch hexagons

The answer is YES. You can use Jelly Rolls for a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt with one-inch hexagons.

PREPARING THE FABRIC STRIPS

Instead of throwing narrow strips of fabric in the washer, I recommend rinsing them in the sink. There are good reasons for washing first to remove the sizing.

  1. Fabric often shrinks more in one direction than the other, and uneven shrinkage can ruin the appearance of the finished quilt.
  2.  The sizing prevents a good bond between the fabric and the freezer paper, and you are more likely to get jams if the fabric separates from the freezer paper in the printer.
  3. It removes dirt, pesticides, and other chemicals which are part of the manufacturing process.
  4. You will notice if any of the dye bleeds in a way that would ruin your quilt.

I never print fabric that has not been rinsed or washed. It only takes a minute to swish in water, blot on a towel, and lay flat to dry. Finish drying with an iron, if necessary.

CUSTOM PAGE SIZES

We use custom page sizes with Inklingo to make efficient use of fabric. Several examples are provided in the Catalogue of Shapes in each shape collection. 

The page for one-inch hexagons looks like this:

Suggestions are listed for 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 15 hexagons, but there are always more options.

All Inkjet printers allow you to print custom page sizes, but they usually require a minimum width of 3 inches, so in this case, even though the fabric is 2.5 inches wide, you would cut the freezer paper 3 inches wide and center the fabric so it would cover the area where the hexagons will print.

FP is 3 x 13.75  

Fabric is 2.5 x 13.5

To print 5 hexagons at a time, you would cut the strips 2.5 x 13.5 inches, and iron to freezer paper cut 3 x 13.75 inches (above). For 4 hexagons at a time, you would cut the strips about 11 inches (top photo). (It is easier to print several short strips than fewer long ones, even if your printer will let you print 20 inches at a time.)

For 6 at a time, the freezer paper is cut about 16.25 inches long.

You can use the freezer paper over and over again.

Before Inklingo, I had no reason to print Custom Page Sizes, but it is simple. You just need to enter the numbers in the print dialog box. There is a step-by-step guide on the web site under the Support tab with tips for your very first time.

FREE CHAPTER WITH PRINTING TIPS

There are more photos in the free chapter of The Inklingo Handbook, especially the photos on pages H44-H47.

The first chapter is included with the free shape collection for LeMoyne Star.  You will find everything you need to know about printing on fabric.

Inklingo uses fabric more efficiently that traditional methods. For example, although most of us like to use a rotary cutter, there are also layouts for hexagons to be used with scissors, when it would save some fabric.

Inklingo is ideal for hexagons. It is the quilting tool we’ve always wanted because it simplifies the preparation and gives us more time to sew! 

You asked a great question, Julie. Thank you!

Linda & Monkey

PS  If you are looking for other topics, there is a Search button at the top of this blog.

11 Replies to “Jelly Rolls for Hexagon Quilts”

  1. I have a lot of strips cut for my scrap quilts. My current inkjet will not allow me to enter a custom page size. I am working on La Pass and had the perfect fabric in my stash for the small hexes, but it was already cut into 2.5″ strips. I made a test sheet of 8.5 x 11 hexes on my printer, then used that beneath my freezer paper to see where I could line up each strip in order to get strips of hexes centered on my 2.5″ widths of fabric. I will post a picture on my blog later today of what it looks like. So proud of myself for working around my printer limitation.

  2. Hi Linda, Thanks for the explanation, but how can I be sure the printer is not printing the shapes outside my paper/fabric? I read you have to center, but how can you be sure it is exactly centered enough? Do you test it first on paper and then mark where your edge of the paper has been or something like this? And how do you do this for smaller scraps? I don’t know if the shape is not printed outside my fabric or how I can prevent this. Thanks for your help!

  3. I’m about to practice custom shapes now, because all I have right now is a jelly roll. Another question – can you iron several strips to a sheet of 8.5 x 11 FP and print, or do you just recommend printing one at a time?

  4. Hi Julie,
    Please re-read the blog before you cut your fat quarters into 2.5 inch strips.
    You can use your fat quarters for hexagons more efficiently if you do NOT cut them into 2.5 inch strips.
    I just responded to you on the Yahoo list too.

  5. Thank you Linda and Monkey, I’m off to cut some Fat Quarters into strips now 🙂

    i realy appreciate the time you took you answer my question on here 🙂

  6. Thank you Linda, this is a very clear explanation.
    I would like to add a small tip for those who are going to try this for the first time:
    When I print custom sizes, sometimes the printer prints a little outside my fabric on the shiny side of the freezer paper, which does not really absorb the ink. When you wipe these lines immediately after printing with tissue paper or a scrap of fabric, it absorbs the ink. This prevents ink from getting on your iron, your ironing board or the right side of your next piece of fabric, or the inside of your printer when you reuse the freezer paper.
    Hugs,
    Anneke in Rotterdam

  7. Great tutorial Linda and Monkey 🙂 Always wondered about the laundry-ing of these strips and how to use them. Not that I have any but it’s always good to know in the event I happen upon any 😉
    hugs
    Ellyx

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