How to Make Quilts Using Panels of Fabric

Written by crystal marie
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How to Make Quilts Using Panels of Fabric
Add one or more borders to a fabric panel to make a simple quilt. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

You can make quilts using panels of fabric for your home or to give as gifts. Also known as "cheater" panels, the fabric panel forms the centre of a simple quilt. Add one or more borders around the panel to make the quilt the desired size. Choose contrasting solids or coordinating prints in 100 per cent cotton for the borders. Prewash and iron the panel and border fabrics before you measure and cut the border strips.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Fabric for border(s)
  • Fabric for backing
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Batting

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Smooth the fabric panel flat. Trim the panel so the amount of fabric around the centre motif is equal on both ends and both sides.

  2. 2

    Measure the panel length on both sides and through the middle. Add the three numbers together, and divide by three to get an average. Cut side border strips of the desired width and average length of the panel.

  3. 3

    Pin the border strips to each side of the panel, right sides together, with the edge and ends even. Sew the side border strips to the panel with a 1/4-inch seam. Press the border strips away from the panel.

  4. 4

    Measure the quilt width on both ends and across the centre. Add the three numbers together, and divide by three to get the average. Cut end border strips the same width as the side border strips and as long as the average width of the quilt.

  5. 5

    Pin the border strips to each end of the quilt, right sides together, with the edge and ends even. Sew the end border strips to the quilt with a 1/4-inch seam. Press the border strips away from the panel.

  6. 6

    Measure, cut and sew on additional side and end borders until the quilt is the size desired. Carefully press the quilt top after the addition of each border.

  7. 7

    Smooth out the batting on a flat surface. Smooth the backing on the batting, right side up. Smooth the quilt top on the backing, wrong side up.

  8. 8

    Pin through all three layers around the perimeter of the quilt top. Make sure the layers are smooth and free of wrinkles. Sew around the perimeter of the quilt with a 1/4-inch seam, stopping six inches from the start of the seam to leave an opening to turn the quilt right side out.

  9. 9

    Trim the backing and batting even with the edges of the quilt top and cut diagonally through the seam allowance across each corner of the quilt, being careful not to cut through the stitching at the corner. Turn the quilt right side out through the opening. Reach inside the quilt and push each corner square with your index finger.

  10. 10

    Fold the fabric at the opening neatly to the inside, aligned with the sewn edge of the quilt. Sew close to the edge to close the opening.

  11. 11

    Sew around images on the centre panel and along the border seam lines to finish the quilt.

Tips and warnings

  • Many panels are part of a fabric collection designed for mixing and matching.

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