Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Don't be scared of panels?

Do you ever see a panel print or border that you wish you’d know how you could convert it into a quilt?  Another way to empty those overflowing scrap bags or totes that you have stored on your shelves by adding additional blocks.  Yippee!!!  These are more challenging projects but you can do it.  Just have fun with it and don’t stress out! 

 Panel prints are usually a large central design.  They will vary in size but can usually be used in place of pieced blocks in quilts or the center of a large quilt.  Most the time when you see a panel it will also have frames or additional designs between panels that go along with the theme.  Some will have border prints which are images printed lengthwise on the grain of the fabric.  These border prints are usually repeated 2 or 3 times across the width of the fabric.  Cut these up and use as blocks within the quilt.  Sometimes they will also have scenes along both selvages with area in between left plain to incorporate within your quilt.
(TIP:  Remember when you are picking out fabrics they don’t always have to be from the same collection or line of fabric. This would be of your choosing which to use where in your quilt.)

Spaces between blocks can be filled with sashings or filler strips, allowing you to use border strips or theme prints here.  Sometimes your fabric frames, pictures you want to use are too small and won’t match your other block sizes.  Consider adding a frame around all 4 sides of a darker fabric to make them stand out.  If you want these blocks to blend in then use a lighter fabric.  Don’t forget that adding triangles to a block will also add dimen
Now start jotting down your ideas on how you want this quilt to look.  Look through quilt books.  The first step is starting somewhere!  It might change by the time you start cutting or maybe change your mind at the end.  It will work!   Be sure to pat yourself on the back when you are finished because you deserve it!!!

You will see in the picture I have posted below is four panels the same print and size. 

I used coordinating fabric for the sashing in between and around the outside of the panels.  The picket fence was a coordinating fabric and chose that for borders with sunflowers in the corners.  These sunflowers were too small and I added a frame with light fabric around the flower to make it fit my border pieces.  I had the quilter machine quilt sunflowers and vines in the blue border to pull it all together. 

This is not as complicated as you might think!  So look for those panels and just imagine what kind of wall hanging or quilts you can come up with!  Get those creative juices flowing!
Let me know your thoughts and ideas on panels. Feel free to comment below.  I have more panels to work with but that will be another time. 

Glad you could join me – until next time………Connie

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