15 Innovative Ways: How to Use Fabric Panels

Jackie Vujcich digitally printed fabric fabric panels free download

 

15 Innovative Ways: How to Use Fabric Panels by Colorado Creations Quilting

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

  1. 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”.   

                         Birds of a Feather Medallion Quilt by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting

  2. 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.


     Hoffman Call of the Wild Moose   Hoffman Call of the Wild Fox   Hoffman Call of the Wild Elk
                        Hoffman Call of the Wild Bison  Hoffman Call of the Wild Bear

    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. 
  3. Colorado Creations Quilting patterns “Genna & Gerry” also uses fabric panels from Quilting Treasures Fabrics with easy border ideas. 

    Genna & Gerry Quilt Pattern by Colorado Creations Quilting
     

    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.
  4. 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 Quilt by Pine Rose Designs

    “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 pvquilt@gmail.com
  5. Nearly any nature panel will work well with the attic window technique.  Here are two: Timeless Treasure’s “Gulf Breeze”

    Gulf Breeze Quilt Pattern

    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

    Michael Miller Fabrics "Rose Arbor"

    You can find this very same panel here at CCQ in our fabric panels. 
  6. 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. 

                                                             Dreamscape Triptych Quilt Pattern by Colorado Creations Quilting

     Notice how I added a few applique flowers to enhance the design? 

    Close-up of applique on Dreamscape quilt pattern by Colorado Creations Quilting

    Check out my upcoming tutorial on “Creative Ways on How To Use Fussy Cutting to Enhance Quilts".
  7. 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.
       
                                 Convergence quilt using a fabric panel by Colorado Creations Quilting

    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.

    Laser cut applique trees by Colorado Creations Quilting    Convergence quilt using laser cut appliques by Colorado Creations Quilting

  8. 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. 

                                       Daydream Blossoms quilt pattern by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting

    Check out my upcoming blog post “What’s in a Name” to see how I came up with Daydream Blossoms.
  9. 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 at Colorado Creations Quilting 

    “Drop Shadow Collage” from Quilts with a Twist demonstrates an imaginative way to cut up and use the panel.
  10. Some panels are printed with small squares/rectangles. Here’s what I devised with a few of these panels.  

                                       Coffee Cat quilt pattern by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting     
          
     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,

                                      Around the Block by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting 

    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.

     Around the Block by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting  Around the Block by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting  Around the Block by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting 

    But wait! you say. What about those panels that have squares /rectangles that aren’t the same size?  Around the Block above delt with this issue as does Jordan Fabric’s in their pattern Out of this World
     
                  Out of this World at Colorado Creations Quilting

  11. I combined the Be Jolly panel with other blocks when I designed my “Be Jolly” block-of-the-month (BOM).

          Be Jolly Block-of-the-Month by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting             Be Jolly Block-of-the-Month by Jackie Vujcich for Colorado Creations Quilting 

    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!
  12. 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.                     
                                   Sunflower table runner by Jackie Vujcich at Colorado Creations Quilting

    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.)
  13. 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.

             Park Landscape quilt using Michael Miller Fabric   
    Majestic Mountain quilt kit also uses a panel that is cut into strips and can be assembled in just a matter of hours.  

                                

    A great feature about this pattern is that nearly any panel will a work.

  14. Ever think of a quilt that isn’t rectangular?  Why here’s one using the Mountain Majesties digitally printed fabric panel by Hoffman Fabrics.    

                                                View Finder quilt, fabric by Hoffman Fabrics at Colorado Creations Quilting

  15. 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 
     Tote using Fabric panels    Tote using fabric panel

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:     Albert Einstein quote on creativity at Colorado Creations Quilting

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.

Happy Quilting,

Jackie V

 



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  • Linda Whitehead on

    I just read your article regarding innovative ways to use panels. I enjoyed it very much. I love to use panels to create my own art. Please put me on you email list if you have one, I am always looking for interesting panels. Thanks

  • Gloria A Heltshe on

    Hi! Happy to see what you are doing now-good luck!!! Gloria


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