Panel Projects - Happy Halloween

Panel Projects - Happy Halloween

Posted on August 18, 2017

If you are an experienced quilter, you have probably looked at quilt panels and thought "those are cheater quilts."  I have to admit that I have been guilty of that way of thinking a time or two.  But, then one day an adorable panel caught my eye and I thought "why not do something with that?"  So, I bought the panel took it home and set upon cutting it apart, piece by piece, block by block.  The end result turned out to be one of my favorite quilt projects ever.  I wish I had a picture of it to share with you but sadly, I raffled the quilt away to help needy families at Christmas time.  That one little panel changed my way of thinking about the simplicity of a "cheater quilt" and inspired me to look at panels for what they are -- pieces of a puzzle that you design yourself.

Panels are wonderful little tools that can help you create amazing wall hangings, baby quilts, full size quilts, and holiday decor.  Many are perfectly fine quilted as they are and trimmed with binding to hang on a wall or door or you can take your creativity and talent to new heights by using pieces of a panel to create your own work of art by pairing it with quilt blocks of any variety.  Truth is, panels are quite the little instrument to get our creative juices flowing.  They are the perfect starter project for someone just learning how to quilt and a fun way to introduce them to free motion quilting.  Panels are great little projects for the crafter in all of us...

Take for example a simple Happy Halloween panel.  People today love to decorate for fall and for the Halloween season.  Being a crafty girl, I always look for ways to accent my home with pieces I have made myself at a fraction of the cost.  I love saving myself the extra money that I would have spent if I had gone to a home decor store and purchased items.  When I saw this little panel come through the store, I just knew I had to have one (okay, maybe two of them) to create a simple yet darling wall hanging that I will use either on my front door or on a wall of my home.  Why two?  Well, one for me and one to share, as my daughter always loves to decorate for Halloween and usually finds a way to talk me out of at least one of my creations per season. 

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This cheery little panel was perfect just as is to simply quilt, add a rod pocket, insert a small dowl rod and then some twine to use as a hanger.  I decided to give it a little additional personality using some suede like fat quarters to make yo-yo flowers and topped them off with three decorative buttons.

First I quilted the piece using some cotton batting and a neutral backing material.  I left about a three inch margin at the top not quilted as I would later use that as my rod pocket.  I used a gray thread as the top thread in the quilt and used a swirly free-motion design to represent wind.  Once quilted, I used a black binding on three sides of the quilt leaving the top open for the rod pocket.  I turned the rod pocket under and pressed a small seam and then folded it again to a size that would accommodate the small dowl rod.

My total quilt time was less than an hour (yes it is machine quilted) and the time it took to make the yo-yo flowers and finish it off was also less than an hour.  It was the perfect little project for a Thursday evening.  All materials came from Zinck's in Berlin, including the buttons.  Total cost of the project was less than $10.

This is the perfect little project to use for teaching someone interested in learning how to free motion quilt or even to quilt using a set stitch.  The project isn't large in size so it wouldn't be overwhelming for a beginner and the outcome is sure to make them feel great!

I already have my eye set on two additional projects using panels - a baby quilt as a gift for a relative and a quilted wall hanging as a house warming gift.  I can't wait to share those projects with you when they are completed and I hope you will tune in for our next blog to see the outcome!

With all the new panels in stock at Zinck's, what will you create? Be sure to share them with us as we would love to see what you've been up to!  You can email them to me at imamaterialgirl67@gmail.com

~ happy stitching!