The Batik Braid Quilt Tutorial

Welcome to my Braided Quilt Tutorial. This tutorial is just a “how I did it” and “this is how it turned out” kind of tutorial. The one jelly roll makes a nice lap sized quilt, roughly 50″ square.
Edited to add- It has been pointed out to me that the math for this tutorial is off a bit, for a standard jelly roll. The jelly roll I used is from Walmart. (My current wallies still sells fabric.) I think there might be more strips in their roll or something because I used the math listed below and I even have pieces left over. BUT if you are using a traditional 40 strip jelly roll- you’ll need to divide your 7 x 2.5″ strips {there should be 240 of them} equally in to then start the tutorial. (8 piles of 30 strips OR maybe 6 piles of 40 strips.)

The following directions are for the quilt I made, with the roll from Walmart. Here’s how it shakes down:

I took the plunge and decided to finally cut into my jelly roll pack. I own 5 packs (well, 4 now) But I’ve been hesitant to cut into the beautiful strips… ’til today. LOVE these batik fabrics, by the way!!!

I made the quilt by cutting the jelly rolls into 7″ lengths. (2.5″ x 7″) I then sorted the strips into 7 piles of 40 pieces each.
Then using one stack of 40 at a time, start sewing in the above fashion. I grabbed the strips quite randomly, so the quilt has that absolutely scrappy feel. Stitch them in the order illustrated above, alternating right and left sides.

Updated to add: Holding piece 1 in your left hand, right side up, lay piece 2 on piece one, right side down.  Sew that short seam (where piece one is touching piece two) using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Open this piece.  Next add piece 3, match right sides, use a 1/4 seam allowance and make sure piece 3′s short edge is in line with piece 2- as in the picture.  I hope that helps.  Your quilts are looking really cool.

Next you have to trim the long braid. You’ll trim it twice; the sides and the ends. First trim off the triangles on the sides. My strips turned out to be about 8″ wide. (The picture below represents all 40 strips, not just the 10 or so shown.)

Next you’ll need to square up the top and bottom ends. (The picture below represents all 40 strips, not just the 10 or so shown.)The long strips will not have intersecting seams, so its ok to square off the ends at “the point where you run out of fabric”. Does that make sense?

After the 7 wide braided strips are complete & square, ya just sew them together. When the quilt top is complete, you will need to go back with your rotary cutter and trim the top and bottom edges so they are flush and even with one another.

Go forth and cut into those jelly rolls!!!

Lets talk quilting. I’m thinking I should quilt this in a colored thread. Which color are you guys thinking? Blue, Pink or Brown?

If you make it, feel free to share it in the ReannaLily Designs Flickr pool.  And if you like this tutorial, check out some of ReannaLily Designs patterns and ePatterns, in the pattern shop.


52 Responses to “The Batik Braid Quilt Tutorial”

  1. Lurline says:

    Oh, that is so pretty and you make it look so easy, thanks!
    Hugs – Lurline♥

  2. Melissa says:

    Blue. You made that just today? It would have taken me weeks! Looks great

  3. Owens Family Adventures says:

    I'm leaning towards quilting with the pink thread. Go bright!!! :)

  4. Leigh says:

    LOVE this! Can't wait to put this together!

  5. Aunt Cindy says:

    How big was your finished quilt? I have a giant pile of new fat quarters. I was thinking of doing this pattern with some of the fabric.

  6. Carolyn says:

    You are correct about this jelly roll being much larger than the normal ones that are sold at fabric store.

    I had two of these jelly rolls also. I have made two quilt tops that are double bed size and still have enough left to make a small baby quilt/lap quilt. I did add sashing and border material, but not a lot. I fell in love with the colors. I really like the pattern that you did with the strips. Turned out absolutely wonderful!

    What did you use for your backing and border fabrics? I know you did this back in April, but I am just now connecting to this through which was posted today, July 4, 2011.

    • Carolyn says:

      Can you tell me where you got your Jelly Rolls from as I would like to make a Queen Size Quilt and the Jelly Rolls here in Australia are not large.

      • Leann says:

        You posted quite a long time ago and I noticed you did not get an answer to your question. I buy a lot of my fabric and jelly rolls from,,, and and a few others. Missouri Quilt has weekly and daily deals where I have bought charm packs for less than $2 and jelly rolls for less than $20. All quality fabrics. Good luck shopping and contact me any time for information.


  7. Beverly says:

    Very pretty. It looks like a Shelly Burgess pattern.

  8. MARY says:


  9. barbara johnson says:

    I LOVE this pattern… i found this on quilter’s cache a while back, printed it out and finally used it as a “border” around a Tween quilt i was making and needed to “make bigger”… i LOVE your batik… People need to know how quick this can go and it’s simple and relaxing.. Makes a great quick gift.. thanks for bringing this to the attention of so many… b.johnson

  10. Pat says:

    I recently scored dozens of rolls of vintage British ribbon in all sizes and colors. The lady sold me a big sealed box of what she called “craft stuff” for $2.50. Wouldn’t that make a cool quilt?

  11. Jacoba says:

    thanks for this lovely design and instructions – have lots of jelly rolls and now i know what to do with them.

  12. I love this design. I am a fan of scrap quilts. Did you sew each strip on the right side onto the base strip or did you sew it on the wrong side and then flip it over and iron it flat? please send me an email when you answer.
    Thanks, Carole

  13. LuAnn says:

    I love this and would like to make it. But I really don’t understand how you are pieceing these strips together. Can you show a diagram on how the 1/4″ stitching is done to piece these together?

  14. Robyn says:

    Love the quilt, but just wondered if you have ever seen the Binding Tool by quiltersmerc to make the braid. When you cut your strips with this tool, you will have the diagonal on the edges of the braid already cut perfectly, no trimming needed.
    This link shows how to use the tool to make your braid.

  15. Diane says:

    Have my strips all cut and ready to sew. I’m using tons of scrap fabric so this will be quite interesting also have a ton of navy blue fabric with white polka dots, plan on using 2 1/2 inch strips in between the rows, then making a border all around. can’t wait to see how it all works out, plenty of fabric left over to make jabots to match, using in spare/guest bedroom :)

  16. Olivia says:

    This quilt is so beautiful! I’ve been wanting to make a braided quilt for so long and haven’t gotten around to it. Thank you for your clear directions, I have always been a little confused about which you piece together first. I will definitely be saving this tut!

  17. Barb says:

    I am working on a braided quilt right now out of scraps I’ve accumulated over time. I plan to use a variegated thread to quilt it, eliminating the decision to choose just one color.

  18. Kiihele says:

    I have recently started making braided table runners, but I have a really hard time keeping the points in a straight line despite having drawn a line on the backing. Any suggestions? From anyone? I would love to make a quilt but am afraid it would never fit together. This quilt is sooooo pretty.

    • judy stengel says:

      I have seen braided quilts done with a strip sewn on one side of the braid and then the next braid is attached and so on. In other words there is a sashing in between each braided section. This would solve the problem you are having.

    • Freddie Lloyd says:

      I think you may be making what they call quilt-as-u-go table runners. I have done them and had the same problem in keeping things straight. But when I made this pattern into a quilt, I had NO problems at all. My braids were cut into different sizes, edged with a contrasting fabric. with another wider coordinating strip between EACH braided strip. Kinda makes them look like framed pictures all sewn together. Very Nice !
      Going to do a red, white, & green for Christmas using some fairy frost fabrc (WHITE)

  19. Mary Hill says:

    I have been wanting to make one of these braids for a while, I don’t have that tool. but plan now on getting one. I have to make a quilt for my Grand-daughter who recently married, but didn’n know what kind of quilt I wanted to make for her. I think this will fit the bill, I think I will make sashing strips to separate the braids in black.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Becky says:

    Very nicely done and easy to follow!!!! I want to try my own. Thanks I have bookmarked it for return. :L)

  21. Wambui says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I couldn’t wait to try this. I started sewing the strips together tonight. This is sooo much fun and it looks beautiful.

  22. La Verne says:

    Fabulous colors and Great instructions. Making a Nursing scrubs Wall Hanging quilt with photos and I wanted to go a little out of the box and border it with the French Braid. My backing will be a plain white sheet and then I will bind it. My reasoning for the white sheet, is it’s going to hang on a wall so who will see the back of it anyway? AND IT’S CHEAPER. lol

  23. Connie says:

    Great tutorial…I plan to make one and wuilt it with variegated thread.

  24. Diane Reddy says:

    I would use varigated thread in the colors of the quilt.

  25. Caroline Arcand says:

    I LOVE this tutorial … and I am a new quilter! Your tutorial makes this pattern easy to follow. I must print this right away!

  26. Tina says:

    Thank you for sharing. I cannot wait to try my hand it this pattern.

    All the Best!

  27. Candace Hall says:

    Oh no! I already have too many projects going on now – but this ooe looks great!

    I have a 40% coupon – and my AC Moore sells jelly rolls at an already=reasonable price.

    Looks like it’s a shopping trip!

  28. JulieCC says:

    My “Walmart” jelly roll has 24 strips. Fabric Editions makes their precuts (and those for Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, etc.).

  29. fundus says:

    Like your colors. I’ve made several of these Pioneer braids and just love them for using up scraps. Very pretty quilt.

  30. variadee says:

    Never thought of using jelly rolls for this quilt. Looks so pretty and happy. Thanks for sharing.

  31. DARLENE BONSAN says:

    very nice done and very nicely illustrated also. Thanks so much for the tutorial and keep up the GREAT work.. A++++++

  32. Donna Lucero says:

    I can’t wait to make it. My daughter gave me a bunch of jelly roll sized strips of fabric and I was looking for a pattern that would be easy and also looked complicated at the same time and I found it. I’m starting on it now.

  33. Allisa Heard says:

    I love your tutorial. It gave me the courage to complete a project similar to yours. I took white cotton scraps from the quilts I have quilted over the last few years. Tye-Dyed them a variety of colors and patterns. Then cut into the strips you described. I then put them together into an Around The World design/pattern. I used black between my rolls of braids. It looks awesome. Really wanting to get some other projects out of the way so I can quilt it. Thanks again for the tutorial.

  34. Debbie says:

    I’m on my way to Wally World!! I’m going to make this for a Christmas present!! Thanks for the easy way!! Blessings!!

  35. Sue says:

    The image did not show up. I would love to see it.

  36. Linda says:

    This quilt is so beautiful. I have been looking for a completed size and it is no where. How big will it be with 40 – 7″ x 2-1/2″ fabric pieces?

  37. Michele says:

    My jelly roll strips are only 40″ so this gives my 5 pieces per strip with 40 strips is only 200 pieces.

    Your jelly roll must have been 42″ and 42 strips to get 240.

  38. Pat says:

    This turning out beautifully. Thank you. However as a novice can you suggest the best way to machine quilt it?

  39. Sue says:

    I am unable to get the pattern to come up. Help

  40. theresa moss says:

    WEll I have my two rolls all cut and ready to sew.. I am so excited to try this. It looks so easy once you sew one set together…

  41. Sandy says:

    I made a quilt like this many many years ago, only it was called a Herring Bone Pattern. Could never find that pattern again. My sister-in-law stumbled upon your tutorial. I like how you emphasized “My Way”, I too have found ways to do things that aren’t by the book, and they work out just fine.

  42. Jill Schwieger says:

    I just linked here from AllFreeSewing, and see that you originally posted a year and a half ago. I love your quilt, and your tutorial is excellent! Very easy to follow. I am curious as to how you ended up actually quilting your piece. Did you somehow follow the strips, or perhaps something free-flowing? The quilt top pattern itself is so intricate, I couldn’t figure out how you might quilt it without detracting from that. Would love to see a photo of the completed quilt! Thanks….blessings….

  43. Linda Plunkett says:

    I was looking for a beautiful and fairly easy quilt pattern for a long time and I came across this Batik Braid Quilt. I am quite new to quilting having only made two table runners, coasters and placemats. I am really looking forward to getting a Jelly Roll and start this quilt with your easy to do directions. Thank you for sharing this.

  44. BettyLou Lovato says:

    Love the colors you used Lots of color combinations would be pretty. I love scrappy, Why not use a verigated thread in pinks or turquoise. I wrote down instructions because my printer is not working. Connecting has some beautiful batiks and good prices too. I have found their fabric very nice quality. Their solids are the same color on the back, nice if making napkins. I made grand daughter a table cloth and napkins. Kona cottons may be the same but Connecting Threads price is cheaper. Also may not be quite as thick as Kona Cotton.

  45. Andrea Tymeson says:

    I love this quilt pattern, but I have trouble choosing a color sequence. Do you have a way to repeat the fabrics as you go along. Also, if several braids butt up to each other, how do you keep from having awkward colors next to each other. Just wondering . . . Thanks for your help.

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