Panels – some quilters love them, others are plain stymied! Here are a few tips to inspire you to look at panels in a new way.
First, I guess we should define a panel. A panel is a large scale design, or series of designs, that usually coordinates with a specific line of fabric. For example, this panel measures 24” x width of fabric (selvage to selvage).
It’s from the Keep It Sassy line of fabrics. It coordinates with these prints.
Tip #1-you don’t have to use every piece of the panel in 1 project.
Here is a panel called Dear Santa.
I thought the letters to Santa, the large center “Merry Christmas” block & the (bottom) reindeer would work well together for a wall hanging. I used my word program to design the fun lettering & appliqued it all with a blanket stitch.
I still have all the other prim-style squares to use in another project or projects. I am kinda leaning toward mug rugs at the moment. This is a brushed cotton panel, so flannel is an obvious choice for pairing…which is also very absorbent, ala the mug rug idea.
Tip #2: Check the designer’s and manufacturer’s free pattern pages.
The Bee Yourself panel has 4 free patterns to inspire you. Lap Quilt, tote, table runner, and placemats. When we find these patterns we will link them up for you in our product listings, like we have with Bee Yourself.
Tip#3: Sometimes you need a quick baby or other gift and a panel can be a real time saver. You can do simple sashing & a border, or add a little interest by making your blocks in an attic window setting. Give your design just a little extra effort by adding that 1/2 square triangle in the corner. (This pic is from an old free pattern from moda, but the copy is no longer online , so I found instructions from Quilter by Design, Debby Kratovil: http://quilterbydesign.com/lessons/quickatticwindows.html)
Tip #4: Panels can make great accents for your pieced quilt backing! A few off centered bits of fun or a nice center medallion.
Tip #5: Remember to keep the selvage on until you use it- you may need some coordinates & it always helps to have a starting point when you search!
Tip #6: Panels are quilting whimsy. Remember to have fun. They can be a test to your creativity; take it as a challenge to grow. If you like the design, colors, and how you feel when you look at the fabric, you will find a way to use it. Look, here we used one on the flap of a messenger bag.
We’ve put select panels on sale for Stuff My Stocking today! Save at least 30% on each one. Hey, one even has stockings on it!!