Sunday, February 10, 2013

Panels, A Quilters New Best Friend

Have you ever realized you needed a quilted gift in a hurry, like in 5 days or less? Nahhh that has never happened to any quilter. LOL!!  Okay, it's happened to me and you know a quilt would make the perfect gift instead of a last minute gift card. Well hopefully I have something that can save the day. How about a quilt made with a panel?

Panel fabrics are found in any quilt shop or fabric store. They come in diverse themes and colors and the great thing about panels are you can cut them apart, keep them whole and add what ever borders and embellishments you can come up. The options are limitless!! Here are some examples of panel quilts I have done. Then I'll give the step by step instructions on how created them. I also have a wonderful tutorial from my favorite quilter, Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company all about panels.  Go ahead, start your creative engines for more quick and easy quilts with PANELS!!!"

"Asian Bird" Quilt. Designed and Quilted by
Me, Cambria Thompson for my Sister-in-Law, Mandee


"Asian Dragon" Quilt. Designed and Quilted by
Me for my Brother Adam.

"Baby Bear" Quilt. Fabric chosen by my Mum. Designed
and Quilted by me for a baby gift.
"Milton for All Seasons" Quilt. Designed and Quilted by
Me for my Cousin's 1st baby. Isn't Milton the Lamb sooo cute?


"Asian Bird" Quilt

I made this quilt for my wonderful Sister-in-Law, Mandee Brown. It was my 3rd pieced quilt in my long career of quilting for only a year.
I found the 4-bird panel of fabric at Walmart. I cut apart the four birds and found coordinating fabrics and made borders around each of the bird blocks. I then went to my favorite quilt shop here in Arizona, Sun Valley Quilts, and found a beautiful Asian print fabric for the backing.

Border made of squares of coordinating fabrics. Each
bird block had it's own border.

Sandwiched with quilt top, batting, and Asian print fabric.

Quilted stitch in the ditch throughout the quilt and then
quilted just inside each of the bird blocks
to showcase the birds.
Now if you can see that my quilting is not that great it's alright. This was my 3rd pieced quilt I had ever made since my 1st class and I was making my brother's quilt at the same time as this one. I was on a deadline to get them done.
The  next quilt is my brother's quilt. The inspiration came from his love of dragons and big, loud motorcycles. A perfect quilt for a member of  the "Arizona Dragon Slayers" for our Renaissance Faire. Bonus pictures below:

Dragon Slayer Clan

"Arizona Dragon Slayers"
My brother is on the left. Each Dragon Slayer makes his own garb.
From the dragon on their breast pieces down to the last silver stud.
Their weapons are real swords and knives.

A panel quilt fit for the dragon slayer:

Adam, "The Dragon Slayer"

For my Brother, Adam's quilt, I found an Asian Dragon panel and thought this sooo him. I then trooped off to Walmart to find some backing fabric for it and "Low and Behold!!!" I found flames and dragons surrounded by flames fabric. I also discovered a Harley Davidson motorcycle fabric with flames. WHAT A TREASURE!!!
I created a border of the dragons and put a fire, breathing Harley in each corner.
My quilt testers: Tuff (Red Min Pin), Gonzo (the lounging
grey cat), Bremley, my quilting kitty (a little camera shy).
My quilt testers below (Bremley, Gonzo, and Tuff), approved of the softness and the stitch in the ditch quilting.  Pet approved, ready to give!!!

 Baby Bear Panel Quilt

My mother found this adorable fabric at the quilt shop in Eagar, Arizona in the White Mountains area. My mum found a panel and then this wonderful coordinating background fabric.

My mum was pretty clever to get additional backing fabric because I took some the fabric and turned it into a border for the panel. It turned out perfectly.

I couldn't find the picture I took of the finished quilt. However, I sandwiched the quilt, batting, and backing fabric and something a little extra went into the sandwich. And it's not peanut butter and jelly. No, I found some lace trimming and laid that down, sewed the sandwich closed except for an opening at the top. I turned the quilt and the result was astounding. I had never done this before so I was taking a risk. Not to worry, I had my trusty seam ripper close at hand in case it didn't work.
Voila!!! Just like magic it worked, and I didn't even use magic words like Bibbity Bobbity Boo, or Boil and Bubble, Toil and Trouble, or  Abraaaaa Cadabrraaaa make this quilt beautiful!!!!
(When I find the picture I'll add it in)

"Milton for All Seasons" Panel Quilt

This is the most adorable fabric I have ever seen. Milton the lamb is my most favorite with his adorable floppy ears and cutiepatootie face.  It's all about his ears in each of the seasons. Look closely and see what you can notice in each scene.

This is how the panel came. Two sets of Milton and the four seasons. I could have cut it apart but I decided the length of the panel would make a little bit bigger quilt. I made this one for my cousin in Australia for her 1st baby and I wanted her baby to be able to not outgrow it.  So that was the deciding factor of keeping the panel all in one piece.
Now that I decided to keep the panel as is, it was longer in length than in width, hence no perfect squares to work with. What can you do if your panel is not a perfect square? All else fails, add fabric borders.

So I found some coordinating fabrics in the baby fabric section of Sun Valley Quilts. They are polka dots and ducks. I made some four-patch blocks and then cut large rectangles and created a border around Milton the Lamb.
I then took a light green colored flannel, batting, and Milton the Lamb and sandwiched them together. I quilted stitch in the ditch in all of the seams and quilted around each block to make them stand out a bit more. It turned out soo adorable and it didn't take me hardly any time at all.
I was watching my favorite tutorials from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and low and behold Jenny was doing one on panels and precuts. Hopefully this will give you more creative ideas for a quick and easy quilt. Just click on the link below and LET the CREATIVE JUICES FLOW!!!!
Let's go Panel quilting!!!!

Panels and Precuts with Jennie Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company


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    1. This is not a paid blog. I do everything from my own writing, photography, and quilting. I use which is a free website to create your own blog.

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