I found this “cheater” panel and the matching cardinal fabric at Paducah one year, and just had to make something for Christmas from it. This cute Christmas Cardinals wall hanging was just fun to make. It could have been much quicker if I had not gotten distracted with other quilting projects.

I started out with the center panel, added some leftover pieced squares, then a border in red. The outside border is the coordinating cardinal fabric. The machine quilting is a small stipple design by RLM. I completed it with dark green binding, and a tag on the back.

Finished size is 35″ x 35″.

Backing for Christmas Cardinals.
Backing fabric

Fabric panels are also called “cheater fabric”. My thought on quilting is that is should be fun and that whatever technique I (or you) choose to do is fine.

Here are some other “cheater fabric” quilts:

I don’t waste time on the “quilt police” that occasionally show up in my life – you know the ones – “I only do hand quilting” or “I would never use that fabric in that pattern” or “I hand piece all my quilts” or “I only do traditional patterns” or “I use cotton batting” or………. Folks like that will not change their minds if I (or you) try to explain why doing a particular thing in quilting is just fine, so do not stress yourself.  The process of quilting should be fun, satisfying, and enrich your soul.

Using fabric panels

The only real rule in quilting is to do good workmanship.  Everything else is personal – the pattern, the fabrics, the quilting design, hand or machine quilted (or tied), and hand vs. machine piecing. Do the techniques you enjoy.

Feel free to mix techniques in your quilts. Quilting and quilts should bring you joy. Your quilts can be as individual as you are. Enjoy the process.

I use a mix.  While I love the traditional look of quilts, I personally don’t want a home full of traditional looking quilts.  I like to use the colors and designs of fabric that catch my eyes.

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Author: IndianaQuilter40

Made first quilt by myself in mid teens. Addicted to quilting. Love using simple quilt patterns and giving them a twist so they are my own....Live in central Indiana. Raised in Montana. Have traveled and worked all over US and in Germany. Certified medical coder, HIM manager, and medical record auditor. Married for 30+ years to a wonderful guy who likes my quilts. We have grown children and starting on grand-kids.


  1. This is so cute! Thank you for sharing this wall hanging. I have 4 of these blocks and now I have a clear idea of what to do with them. Love your blog.

    1. Hello,

      I am glad you are getting quilting ideas for your own projects from this blog. Happy quilting.

  2. This is a really pretty wall hanging. Great idea for using those various small panels that I have purchased over the years and then don’t use. Thanx for all the great ideas on this blog.

    1. I am so glad you are enjoying the ideas on this blog. Enjoy your quilting journey and happy quilting.

  3. What a great idea. I can see doing something similar to this for the seasons or for other holidays too. Thanx for the ideas. All the best with this wonderful blog!!

    1. Preprinted blocks and panels are really fun to work with and can be worked into so many quilt projects. Happy quilting.

  4. Love to see this blog every day !!! The photos are so good and you write in a way that even a beginner quilter can understand and follow. I am having so much fun reading thru the blog too.

    1. It is really encouraging to me that the blog is useful to other quilters. Thanks for spending time here with me.

      Happy quilting.

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