Used in various craft projects, fabric panels are beautiful and exciting pieces that have multiple purposes. Although fabric panels are mainly used in the quilting, these designs and pictures are useful in most craft projects and allow you to showcase your creative side. These are innovative ways to utilize fabric panels that you might have lying in your collection and that could use repurposing.
Fabric panels often are infamously coined as "cheater quilts" since all it takes is a bit of batting and backing, and your quilt is complete. However, there are several techniques you can incorporate that will add extra elements to compliment the beauty of your panel.
- Center Medallion: Using a fabric panel as a focal point, you can start this technique by adding solid or pieced borders surrounding the center. This style was first seen in Europe and is known for its difficulty.
- Attic Window: This quilting technique uses the panel design as its base and is pieced together with strips of different contrasts to give you the illusion of viewing the fabric through a window. This style works fantastically with nature scenes and is a clever way of showing a design.
- Triptych: You can take almost any panel and create a triptych, which involves cutting the material into three equal sections that, when folded or hinged together, create one whole scene. You can add applique accents around the center point to bring your quilt together.
Quilt panels also come in designs that guide you through the doll and toy creating process.
- Dolls: Whether the fabric panel has pre-designed cutouts or if you’re taking a design and crafting from scratch, you can create dolls from almost any fabric piece. When crafting multiple toys, you can use different patterns that can help set each one apart.
- Animals: Like dolls, stuffed animals are great toys as well! You can rely on a designed cutout or stitch them together from scratch. You can bring an entire farm or aquatic scene to life if you’re feeling adventurous!
- Calendars: No matter the season, you can create calendars to bring more excitement to the holidays. All you’ll need is the seasonal panel of your choice, backing fabric, and thin batting. There are several tutorials that you can follow to create your calendar. Once you've finished, fill the pockets with candies or papers with ideas for fun holiday activities.
- Play Mats: You can take a storybook panel or a landscape to give a home to your newly crafted toys. Choose a fabric to provide backing and create a batting sandwich. Finally, you can stitch it all together with the binding method of your choice.
- Toy Storage: With all these toy ideas waiting to come to life, you might not know where to store them all! After backing a panel, you can sew smaller squares onto the front to serve as pockets to store toys.
- Fabric Books: Cloth books are fantastic for younger ones and serve as the perfect gift when paired with a matching toy.
A quilt panel can make a statement as a cute bag! You can take any size panel and use its design as a front for your tote.
- Tote Bags: Whether you're shopping for groceries or need somewhere to keep all your craft supplies together, a tote bag is perfect for bringing on the go!
- Zip Bags: You can use panel squares to create drawstring pouches and zip bags. These are incredibly useful to store smaller items such as pens, crayons, makeup, and more.
Of course, quilt panels have home décor appeal! Using pieces to furnish your home is a creative and cost-effective method to decorate. You can bring a colorful and cozy feel to your home with any of these ideas.
- Wall Hangings: You can spruce up any large piece by stitching borders. With added binding, batting, and rod pocket, you’ll have a wall hanging that you can showcase in your home.
- Table Runners: You can add flair to your dinner table with a table runner made any fabric panels you have lying around. You can use the piece in its natural appearance or add intricate elements such as stitching and appliques to make the fabric your own.
- Placemats: If you’re looking for a matching set, you can use incorporate the same design you used for your table runner into crafting placemats! Remember to have your backing fabric and thin batting material to add definition to your new mats.
- Cloth Napkins: A quick and easy project, stitching cloth napkins adds a personal touch to your table décor and is an affordable way to dress for all occasions.
- Pillows: You can save yourself from the hassle of spending on expensive decorative pillows with this nifty project. You can use rectangular panels to create stunning handmade pillows. Crop around your main design to bring focus to its imagery.
- Christmas Stockings: You can piece together multiple panels to a larger design if you’re not one for solid patterning. A few snips and stitching, and you have yourself handmade festive décor!
As far as the idea of making clothing goes, panels can be a fantastic inspiration! You can create vibrant skirts, captivating graphic tees, or even use them to back a cozy cardigan. You can add more prints to create a color-blocking effect like that of a baseball tee.
If you’ve tried everything mentioned, you can always use fabric panels as a canvas to practice embroidery techniques and stitching. However, you might start a new project and need to fine-tune any methods that need a little finesse.
So, there you have it! Fabric panels have many uses, and while they all require quilting and sewing techniques, what you create is a product of where your creativity will take you. So, while you've learned some innovative ways to utilize fabric panels, now it’s time to shop for the perfect materials to help put these ways into practice. We at Lindley General Store have a fine selection of fabric panels for quilting in Canada that can serve your craft needs. To view our online shop, we encourage you to check out our website!