Panels are a new quilter’s best friend. You can quickly and easily create something beautiful without much additional effort. They are also great to learn how to quilt on. Because they require so little effort and time to create a top, you don’t feel nervous about quilting it. If you mess it up, what did it cost you? You can always buy another panel and try again! Check out these quilts that some of our longarm quilting machine renters have quilted and you’ll see what I mean.
New Custom Quilter
Meet Lewe the Ewe from Suzybee. Anu wanted to learn how to free-motion quilt. She chose this panel because of all the separated spaces. You can see the different fillers that she experimented with all around the quilt.
I particularly like the flattened blocky meander that she used in the main picture of the panel. It’s a great way to learn free-motion quilting skills!
Rental Certification Class Panels
Panels can definitely be a new longarm quilter’s best friend for sure. To use the longarm, there is a certain amount of looseness that you need to be comfortable with. Being nervous can make that a little challenging. Check out what these first time quilters did with their panels.
This was Jana’s rental certification class quilt. Technically, I’m not sure this counts as a panel. There are a lot of fabrics out there that are picturesque like this, but simple repeat continuously. Adding the sashing between the four horizontal blocks breaks up that panel feel very nicely. She quilted this with the help of the paper pantograph, Hurricane. I think it adds nicely to the theme, don’t you? It just has some spiked swirls like what we see of a Hurricane from above.
This is Kathy’s Rental Certification Quilt. She found this beautiful Robert Kaufman panel from the Effervescence line of fabrics. This is the color way called Water. We actually carry a couple of the wide backs from this collection (including Water) in the shop. Kathy decided to quilt this with a pattern called Cadence. It is a fleur-dy-lys pattern with swirls that has a very pretty flow to it, much like water.
Quick and Easy
Peggy made these little lap quilts to sell at local art and craft festivals in Louisville. This one is A Bee’s Life by Michael Davis from Wilmington Fabrics. She also used the other fabrics from the line to frame out the panel and make it a quilt. The big question she had with this one, was what color thread to use. Originally, we both thought she’d use white. There is so much white in the outside edges, it would have blended in perfectly. But the white on that dark panel would have been very loud and distracting to the panel. We ended up with a Medium Gray. It reads more boldly on the borders, but it left the panel undistracted. Besides, Seamless, the pattern she chose, looks like the flight of a bumble bee.
This is another one that Peggy made for festivals. This is the main panel from a line called Seeds II from J. Wecker Frisch, for Quilting Treasures. The thing that she did that I just thought was brilliant, though with it’s challenges, is the middle border between the tomatoes and the black outer border is ribbon that she topstitched down on top of the seam. The effect is beautiful, but there is added thickness now there, especially where the ribbons crossed. I like it though. She quilted this with Seamless as well, and with white. It is bold in the black, but I think it looks nice.
…oh the joys of panels!
Next time you’re shopping for fabric, check out the panels. Especially if you are a new custom quilter. For those who are not new quilters, they’re a great way to practice or expand your skills. Even if panels don’t become your best friend, they can still make great quilts for charity. When you’re done, post it online and tag us. We’d love to see what you’ve been working on!