How would you like the ability to avoid piecing and whip up a quilt in no time? It’s possible with quick and easy quilt panels ~ as in, no piecing required. They are ideal for a last-minute gift or a one-hour quilt.
Like the one I did below.
Let me explain.
If you’re like me, time is at a premium. You want to make quilts to give as gifts, but quilt planning-cutting-piecing all take time.
I know there are quilters who really frown at anyone who uses pre-printed panels. The way I see, if you’ve sandwiched the panel with batting and a quilt back, done the actual quilting, and bound the quilt ~ in my opinion ~ you’ve made a quilt. The person receiving the quilt won’t care that you didn’t piece the quilt top. I promise. Think of it like making a wedding cake using a cake mix.
My Quilt Panel Story
I wanted to make my Dad a quilt. He lives in assisted living and a quilt would really warm up his space. I have two ways I can do this. I can spend all of my free time not visiting my Dad but working on a quilt for him OR I can buy a ready-to-quilt panel, whip up a quilt, and spend a weekend visiting my Dad. See, how that works. Everyone wins.
For my Dad, I purchased a pre-printed panel. My Dad’s favorite color is blue and I thought it wouldn’t be difficult to quilt the triangular shapes.
One way I simplified the process was using this easy technique for pin-basting a quilt. The entire process took me about half an hour and I was ready to start quilting.
Doing the Actual Quilting
For my Dad’s quilt I opted to use rulers for the actual quilting. I know many of you are overwhelmed by the idea of machine quilting. Rulers insure you get straight lines on a quilt.
Before starting a project, do a little practice quilting with rulers on a domestic machine. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is when you stick with simple lines. This is the route I took on this quilt and, I’m pleased to say that it was a great experience.
Keep in mind, you will need a special ruler foot that fits your machine and is specifically designed for ruler work. These are best purchased through a dealer that carries your sewing machine brand. The only other tool necessary for machine quilting with a straight edge is an acrylic straight-edge 1/4″ ruler that fits comfortably in your hand.
Note: Do not attempt to machine quilt with one of your regular quilting rulers and a universal foot. The ruler can slip under the foot and damage your machine. It’s better to purchase the correct ruler and foot when planning to do any ruler work.
Before I attempted my quilting I watched the entire Craftsy class How to Use Quilting Rulers for Beautiful Motifs by Amy Johnson.
My Quilting Results
Using my ruler foot and ruler, I worked on my quilt in rows. First, I quilted a straight line beneath all of the triangles. I was able to remove many of my pins and felt like my quilt and backing were pretty secure. Next, I went row by row and quilted the triangles. Finally, I went back and did the red tree trunks. That’s it.
I did the entire quilt in 30 minute blocks of time so I wouldn’t get too tired or make a mistake. Now, here’s the best part. The pre-printed panel is already square which makes squaring the quilt a snap.
Leaving a 1/4″ margin around the quilt, I trimmed off the edges and bound the quilt. And, I was done.
Pro Tip: Need help binding a quilt. See my tutorial How to Machine Bind a Quilt.
All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable way to make a quilt. I didn’t get stressed out and I love the way it turned out.