SAILING SHIPS OF OLD QUILT (another panel quilt)

SAILING SHIPS OF OLD QUILT: The ship blocks are cheater blocks and the blue/gray alternate blocks look like waves. The red border around each ship was part of the panel. The border was a solid navy blue.

Quilt Sailing Ships of Old hanging on fence.

I like using panels for quilts – they make for a fun project and a way to save time on piecing or applique. Think outside the box and be creative.

My personal problem with fabric panels (maybe yours too) is that I see one, have some brilliant idea of how to use it, and buy it. The panel comes home, gets washed and dried, and is stored on a shelf for a weeks, months, or (gasp) years. By the time I find it again it is hard to remember why I bought it in the first place.

I solve this by keeping them together in one area, and when I want or need a quick project, the panels get pulled out. Then a choice is made, and the project is quickly finished, because of the size and there just is not that much of my sewing time involved.

Sailing Ships of Old Quilt was pieced in November of 1992, and machine quilted and bound in 1996 by BE (for the cost of $45). The quilting design was a sort of wave.

Finished size 70″ x 91″.

Cotton fabrics and polyester batting. The backing was a white flat sheet.

This quilt looked new when it was donated to a local charity in August 2002 for a raffle.

Clip art of old sailing ship

I did these two panel quilts. Hopefully they will inspire and encourage you to try something new with your own fabric panels:

Another example of a fabric panel quilt:


Proud Polar Bears quilt completed.

Don’t have a lot of time? Want something fun, quick, and personalized in a quilt? Pre-printed fabric panels or blocks are a great way to do this. This quilt, Proud Polar Bears, went together super quick and easy.

I used two coordinating prints to go with the polar bear blocks. I chose a fabric that looked like snow flakes for alternate blocks. The second fabric was all white animals for the border.

The quilt top was simple and easy to piece in 1996. It was machine quilted in 1998 by MG. It was a Christmas gift to the daughter who loves all animals. She loved the Proud Polar Bears on the front, and the cozy flannel on the back.

Finished size is 75″ x 88″.

Quilts do not have to be complicated to be loved and beautiful.

Projects using pre-printed blocks or panels can be used in simple or complex ways. What appeals to your creativity?

Polar Bear quilt displayed outside.

Ideas for pre-printed blocks and panels:

BRIGHT & HAPPY BUGS QUILT (or a fabric panel quilt)

Cheerful and bright nap size quilt featuring happy lady bugs.

This Bright & Happy Bugs Quilt is a fun nap size quilt for the four year grand-daughter “C”. It’s hard not to smile at these cheerful, colorful bugs. She loves the bright colors and has quite a story to tell about the bugs adventures when she is here.

The Bright & Happy Bugs quilt stays at our home and when “C” wants to curl up, read, or nap she gets it from the rocking chair and curls up in it. Usually there is also a stuffed animal enjoying the quilt with her.

The top is a panel that I pieced bright borders to. We picked the 3 bright colors to add. The pink and yellow strips are 2.5″ and the dark purple is 4″ wide. The outside border is 6″ wide, and is a bug print that coordinates with the fabric panel. The outside border of small bright bugs is a coordinating print to the panel. We had a wonderful time working on this together – building memories and a fun quilt.

I saw a quilt at a fabric store that was off-set like this and thought it would be fun to try. I usually do borders all the way around, like a picture frame. It is good to try something different.

RLM machine quilted it in a stipple design. I self bound it by pulling backing to front and machine sewing down using matching lilac thread.

I decided to use this really soft lilac linen for the quilt backing. It was for a previous project, and there was enough leftover to use for this quilt. I love it when things come together perfectly, don’t you?

Solid lilac backing of quilt.  Can see machine quilting design.

Size is 35″ x 58″.

Helpful tip:

Fabric panels are a fun way to make a quilt or other items for home, and there are so many available now that cover many interests and color schemes. Look around for panels the next time you are out shopping for fabric and see what can be found for a fun, easy project.

Clip art of spool of thread with needle.