15 Innovative Ways How to Use Fabric Panels
Fabric panels range from approximately 24” to 36” wide and 42” high and we have nearly 50 panels for you to choose from here at CCQ! Many of the fabric panels at Colorado Creations Quilting are digitally printed fabric-giving you the most realistic, color saturated images available in the fabric world today. Since CCQ offers so many fabric panels, we thought you’d like some ideas on how to use them in your quilt and craft projects.
Here’s 15 ideas to get your started
- Use the panel as the center medallion of a quilt by adding numerous borders as I have done here in my quilt “Birds of a Feather”.
- Use a fabric panel for the quilt center and add creative borders with easy blocks on one or two sides to keep it simple. Take a look at these quilts made with Hoffman Fabrics' digitally print fabric panels from the Call of the Wild collection.
You can find these fabric panels right here at CCQ. As an added bonus, you can find a free download on the Hoffman California Fabrics site to make any of the quilts above.
- Colorado Creations Quilting patterns “Genna & Gerry” also uses fabric panels from Quilting Treasures Fabrics with easy border ideas.
The best part of this quilt pattern is that you can exchange any fabric panel that is approximately 24” x 42” and coordinating fabrics and use it with this pattern to create a quilt of your own. If you do take this challenge to swap out panels/fabrics to make it your own, I’d love to see what you come up with. So send us a photo.
- Use a fabric panel for the quilt center and add an inspired border surrounding the panel that incorporates a theme/idea displayed on the panel.
“Mountain View” has done a wonderful execution of this by putting the delectable mountains design in the border on this mountain scene panel. We have a picturesque Hoffman Fabric digitally printed fabric panel “Mountain Majesties” that would work really well with this pattern. Mountain View, a Pine Rose Design by Eileen Hoheisel is available at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nearly any nature panel will work well with the attic window technique. Here are two: Timeless Treasure’s “Gulf Breeze”
by Nan Baker (click here to get the free download courtesy of Timeless Treasures Fabrics). You can also find more of her work at Purrfect Spots. Michael Miller Fabrics’ “Rose Arbor” (get the free download here)
You can find this very same panel here at CCQ in our fabric panels.
- Creating a triptych usually works with any panel. My “Dreamscape” quilt is a prime example and the pattern will be available in the near future.
Notice how I added a few applique flowers to enhance the design?
Check out my upcoming tutorial on “Creative Ways on How To Use Fussy Cutting to Enhance Quilts".
- Use fabric panels in an imaginative way such as replacing one of the pieces in Ricky Tims’ “Convergence” pattern with a panel as shown here.
We have this panel "Snowy Woods" in our Fabrics collections at CCQ. Notice how adding one of our laser cut pre-fused applique can spice up the quilt.
- Use panels as a starting point for bed quilts. With a little planning (or my pattern, “Daydream Blossoms”), you can create a bed quilt with a great focal point.
Check out my upcoming blog post “What’s in a Name” to see how I came up with Daydream Blossoms.
- Some panels are printed as large squares/rectangles such as Hoffman’s digitally printed “Breeze Digital Focal Panel” which you can pick up here.
“Drop Shadow Collage” from Quilts with a Twist demonstrates an imaginative way to cut up and use the panel.
- Some panels are printed with small squares/rectangles. Here’s what I devised with a few of these panels.
My “Coffee Cat” quilt uses my strata technique (which is also incorporated in my “Savvy Strips” quilt which you can get right here at CCQ in our patterns area. I substituted a small panel square every now and then in the Coffee Cat quilt to mix things up. In my “Around the Block” quilt,
I again cut up the little fabric panel squares/rectangles and incorporated each one in the middle of a well-known quilt block and added some half-square triangles and flying geese to make the whole quilt work.
But wait! you say. What about those panels that have squares /rectangles that aren’t the same size? Around the Block above dealt with this issue as does Jordan Fabric’s in their pattern “Out of this World”.
- I combined the Be Jolly panel with other blocks when I designed my “Be Jolly” block-of-the-month (BOM).
Other Colorado Creations Quilting BOMs will be available on the CCQ site in the near future. The problem with this quilt is that once the fabric was no longer available, I couldn’t sell my BOM. But don’t worry, I’m thinking of ways to revamp the quilt!
- Fabric panels are often called “cheater” quilts, since you can easily just layer a panel with batting and backing, do some machine quilting and voila– a quilt! But try to go a little further as I did with my sunflower table runner.
It was “just a panel” with an easy border that I added; but I used the trapunto technique for the flowers’ centers and it really added an extra element to the quilt. (I’m afraid that pictures aren’t worth a thousand words here.)
Cut it up! This quilt used the Park Landscape fabric panel by Michael Miller which we have in stock in our fabric panels collection. It was cut into various rectangles, sashing was added and an awesome quilt was created.
This Majestic Majesty quilt also uses a panel that is cut into strips and can be assembled in just a matter of hours. You can find several of these quilt kits here.
A great feature about this pattern is that nearly any panel will a work.
- Ever think of a quilt that isn’t rectangular? Why here’s one using the same Majestic Majesty's digitally printed fabric panel by Hoffman Fabrics again.
- Last but not least consider using the panel for something other than a quilt. You'll find tote bag patterns at Pink Sand Beach Designs.com
So, there you are, 15 ways to use fabric panels as promised. A few items to consider:
- The printing process is pretty fluid, especially when you have fabric involved. Fabric panels may come off the bolt skewed or not quite the size required by the pattern. So, if you’re a perfectionist like me, don’t stress too much when you try to “square up” a panel. Just do your best- your project will turn out gorgeous.
- Most people try to fit the blocks to the panel; but as Jenny at Missouri Star Quilts says "It’s much easier to fit the panel to the blocks" (i.e. trim the panel down to the size of a row of blocks or border).
- Look at your favorite fabric manufacturer’s websites. You can find many free downloads there!
- I didn’t even mention above that they are great for practicing your free motion quilting.
- Finally, remember that just because fabric panels go out of print doesn't mean that a quilt pattern using that panel is obsolete. Many panels are about 2/3 yard (24" x 42") so you can substitute a different fabric panel and fabric to coordinate with it and still use the quilt pattern. At CCQ, we have both fabric panels and quilt patterns that use panels. Check them out here!
Quilty Quote of the Day:
Well that’s my 2 cents worth on fabric panels. If you’d like to chime in on panels or show us your panel creations comment below. I might even put them on the blog. Speaking of blogs and panels, read how Daydream Blossoms came to be in an upcoming blog.