A Quilter's Dream or Coordinated Cheaters?

I've heard the expression cheater fabric by definition - faux quilt. I'm glad I discovered panels before I heard the word "cheater". What an ugly label for such a beautiful and inspiring piece of fabric. I challenge anyone to work with a panel, add the sashings and border, quilt it, painstakingly stitch the binding, listen to all the oohs and aahs from fellow quilters - and then tell me it was "cheating".

A Story Teller

I've always said I like fabrics that tell their own story. I've discovered panels and the more I look around the more I want to work with them. I've purchased some intriguing panels over the last couple of years but was a bit stymied. What do I do with them? Where do I begin?

The first thing I wanted to try was to simply quilt the panel - voilĂ  - Flip the Pig followed by Welcome to My World, Jungle Things and What's Bugging You. OK - now I'm hooked but I realized I needed some ideas and guidance.

Learn to Quilt with Panels

I searched the racks for a book. There are not many but the one I did find was "Learn to Quilt with Panels" by Carolyn S. Vagts. Carolyn is a quilt designer and the editor of Quilter's World magazine. She also has a successful quilt shop in Lake Orion, Michigan.

Learn to Quilt With Panels

Turn Any Fabric Panel Into a Unique Quilt

Beginners and experienced quilters alike will adore this book because it shows how to use panels as a focal design element or how to simply use parts of panels to make something truly unique. The book progressively shows you how to do different techniques with a variety of panels.

Using Quilting Panels with PreCuts

I then stumbled on a Missouri Star Tutorial Using Quilting Panels with Precuts. This is a great tutorial packed full of ideas and suggestions.

Jenny sums up the dilemma surrounding panels perfectly: "If you need a quick project, panels are the way to go. When a designer designs some fabric, they often design a panel to go with it, but we don't always know what to do that panel. You just have open them up and dream on them."

Missouri Star - Using Quilting Panels with Precuts

Panels Showcase

Panels are so inspiring. In January I ordered several panels from Loralie Designs. What a fun day it was when they arrived. I also purchased several children's panels from Chinook Fabrics in High River. I can hardly wait to dive into them.

Flip the Pig - September 2014
World of Susybee

Flip the Pig

There was no piecing at all in this panel that I made for a quick baby gift. The back is matching fabric from the line. From start to finish it took less than three hours including the quilting. Of course, the binding took the same amount of time as usual - forever!

Welcome to my World
March, 2015
Whistlepig Creek Productions

Welcome to my World

This panel comes in both white and black backgrounds I picked black and ended up making three quilts each with a different coloured trim - lime green, purple and pink. The back and the border is matching fabric from the line.

What's Bugging You - March, 2015
Whistlepig Creek Productions

What's Bugging You?

I made two quilts from this panel. The first has purple trim and a purple back. The second has orange trim and the back and the border is matching fabric from the line.

Jungle Things - March, 2015
Whistlepig Creek Productions

Jungle Things

When you can't decide - buy them all. Jungle Things is new on the shelves and features extremely colorful jungle animals. I gave this quilt red trim and binding and the back is matching fabric from the line. The border matches the sashing in the panel.

Minnie Mouse - June, 2015

Minnie Mouse

I fell in love with this panel on first sight. It took me a nanosecond to decide this would be my next panel. The back is matching fabric from the same line.

Jolly Santa - December, 2015

Jolly Santa

This is a panel that Birdie bought in Port Elgin when Karen and I visited Ontario last summer. Birdie decided to have it quilted and give it to Carla for Christmas. The back is navy. I added the navy border and lime green binding. This panel was surprisingly straight and very easy to work with.

Rejoice - December, 2015
Noel by Wing and a Prayer


This panel was also purchased by Birdie in Port Elgin. She is going to hang it in the Legion in Hanover over the Christmas season so I added hanging tabs. The panel was perfectly straight and very easy to quilt and bind.

The panel fabric is Noel by Wing and a Prayer Design by Timeless Treasures.

For the back and binding I used an Andover Fabric 2013 Patt 7115 from the Internaitonal Quilt Study Center & Museum designed by Kathy Hall with Jo Morton.

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