A Panel Challenge

Posted on March 2, 2021 by prairiemoonquilts in Challenges

While I was working my way through The Final Countdown at the end of 2020, I unearthed a lot, and I mean a LOT of panels — I did not even realize I had so many! Since I don’t normally buy panels, I know most of these were given to me. Some of them are really old!

I obviously don’t use panels much, either, because I still have all these. I believe it’s partly because I have to think too hard to decide what to do with them.

I gathered them all up, put them in this box, and here’s what I ended up with:

There are 21 panels in this box! I’m sure this is not all of them, as I keep finding random things all over the place as I continue to get more organized. I do know there is a Halloween bunting panel hiding out somewhere, and I can’t think where I put it.

But these are perfectly good panels! So, in order to use them up, I have decided to challenge myself . . .

If you have a panel, or panels, that you aren’t quite sure what to do with, I would love to have you join me if you’d like to make something out of your panel.

Here are the rules I’ve made for myself for this little challenge:

  1. Randomly choose a panel from the box.
  2. Turn the panel into a quilt of any size.
  3. Try to work only from stash, but make a purchase, if necessary, to keep from getting stymied.
  4. Finish the project by April 30.

That’s it. Keeping it simple, so I’ll actually have a shootin’ chance at getting it done. Giving myself a deadline, so I don’t let it languish forever. After all, there are 20 more panels to do something with after this one!

Would you like to join me?

If there is enough interest, and enough people want to join in, there just might be a Viewer’s Choice contest at the end with some prizes. If not, then those of us who make a panel quilt will at least have the satisfaction of having another project done. My grand plan is to make all these panels up into comfort quilts that I can donate.

If you don’t own a panel already, and want to join in, then feel free to purchase a panel and join in — there are so many cute panels available these days! (In fact, my daughter just sent me one that she wants me to use to make something for her — but that panel doesn’t count for my challenge.)

You also don’t have to make a quilt — you can make any project from your panel that you want to. Some of my panels are for pillows, but I still want to turn them into quilts. You get to choose what you make from your panel.

Here’s the panel I have randomly chosen from my box, so this is what I’ll be working with:

And it’s actually two identical panels on one piece of yardage, so I’ll have to come up with an idea for using both of them. Could be two separate quilts — or I could end up having a flash of brilliance as to how to incorporate them both into one — time will tell! No idea where I got this or even how old it is.

I’ll try to take some progress pictures and post what I’m doing along the way as I work on it. First order of business will be digging through my stash for some coordinating fabrics.

Are you in? Do you want to make a panel quilt with me?

55 responses to “A Panel Challenge”

  1. Kathi B says:

    Sure, I’ll make a panel with you! I too have quite a few panels laying around (I haven’t had the courage to count them), so this is a great challenge. Thanks Shelly!

  2. Christine says:

    I’m in! I too have many panels and never know just what to do with them. I have thought about cutting some of them into 2 1/2 inch strips and doing a jelly roll race

  3. Elaine Walker says:

    Sure I’m in. I have three or four panels around someplace. This will be fun.

  4. dianne says:

    ….see, I said I wouldn’t do ONE MORE QUILT!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the panels your working with – (I do Kathy’s embroidery “stitch along” each month.)
    I too have panels I need to attack so, “yes” and look forward to creative suggestions. Thank You!

  5. Kerry says:

    I don’t have many panels, but I am intending to use one for my son – wolves in snow and digitally printed. He liked Game of Thrones so I have this idea of having a “winter is coming” type of medallion quilt for him, but it will have to wait till later – although nothing to stop me doing a few blocks in the meantime!

  6. Christi Bentley says:

    I’m in! I seem to have a lot of panels hanging around right now. Does the April 30th deadline include quilting/binding/total finish, or just a pieced top?

  7. Carissa says:

    I have a panel that I hung on my wall in January so that I’d be inspired to do something with it. Thanks for the challenge, it will be the motivation that I need!

  8. Angela says:

    I’m up for this challenge!
    Like you I rarely ever buy panels and yet there are at least a dozen floating around in my sewing room. They are mostly baby/kids panels with a smattering of holiday panels.

  9. randy says:

    I actually bought the ones I have in stash. Half price of course lol.. I am in…

  10. Shirley Guier says:

    I’ll think about it. I have 1 panel from my Alaska trip that I have never done anything with.

  11. Paula Hedges says:

    Oh, Shelly, this is perfect. I love panels and figuring out how to finish them. Even thinking about writing out quilt patterns based around panels. I have two red/white/blue patriotic panels with eagles on my design board to get the design brain working. So, you have me joining the party happily! Will post pictures of the panels I will be focusing on and even one I’m about to quilt that was a prototype design revamped.

  12. Edwina Smith says:

    I just might have to give this a go. I have way too many panels sitting around. I bought some to practice my machine quilting on so I would be taking care of 2 goals at one time,

  13. Sandi says:

    I’ll give it a try.

  14. I have a few panels I need to use so this will be fun!

  15. Norma Prange says:

    I’m in, you must have been looking in my window! I pulled a panel out last month, it is sitting on my ironing board with some fabric scraps. Now I have a goal, thanks!

  16. Wendy says:

    Well, I know I have at least one, but pretty sure there’s another one in my UFO stash, so count me in! Hardest part will be seeing if I still have fabric in my stash that coordinates!

  17. Carole S. says:

    I’m totally in. This is such an achievable challenge, and goodness knows, I need to get some motivation to get at least one panel quilted.

  18. Candice says:

    I’m in – even though I was just patting myself on the back for getting my UFO’s way down. But I need ideas!!!!

  19. Shaleen Edmundson 2547023224 says:

    I, as many others, have an abundance of panels. Let’s get inspired and get them finished and gifted.

  20. Deanna says:

    I recently finished a “found” panel from my stash I am certain I did not purchase. But, here it is in case it helps you: https://weddingdressblue.wordpress.com/2020/12/28/a-fast-pig/

  21. Pam Desilets says:

    I’m in. I too have a box of panels. I would love to get a few of them finished.

  22. Suzette Harris says:

    I do have a panel (or twenty) kitted up. I’ll dig one out and get after it!

  23. Scarlett R says:

    This sounds like a fun challenge. I have several panels as well. Not sure if I can meet the deadline, but will try!

  24. Sharon Gratz says:

    Would you believe I have a panel spread out and trying to figure out how I can use it as a backing??????? It’s definitely a challenge I want to get on the other side of.

  25. Joan says:

    Yes, I like this challenge. I have panels that I look at now and then–wondering what to do with them. And yes, taking the time to find coordinating fabrics has been a part of what has not led to starting work on them.

    I have made a couple of quilt tops using panels. One was given as a gift long ago, the other still needs to be quilted. This panel and some coordinating fabric was on a quilt guild meeting donation table. Found a medallion quilt pattern that the panel worked for as the center, which became a starting point for adding borders, round robin style. It required fabric purchases, to make it into a quilt someone will eventually like and use (wildlife with oranges, browns and greens).

    Also use panels for machine quilting as practice pieces that can be turned into donation quilts for babies.

  26. Stephanie says:

    LOL, there must be something in the air!
    I just finished using a really old panel in a backing. I plan to do more of these, I have a large box of donated stuff, with lots of panel pieces to play with.
    Shall I send you a pic to share?

  27. Crystal F says:

    This is just what I needed to jump start my supply of panels! They are military themed….so a Quilt of Valor will get made!

  28. Judy Smith says:

    I would love to join in too. I never know where to start. Will be happy to see ideas from others.

  29. sharon says:

    I have a couple of those languishing in my fabric room
    I am in!

  30. mimisdarlins says:

    This sounds like fun! I only have three I can think of, and one is already started, but I can grab one of the other two. I’m trying not to start any new quilts, but these will be far less work, and I’m eager to get at least one of them done. Shall we send you a pic when we finish, or post to IG or ???

  31. Amanda M. says:

    I’ve been trying to be good and not start any more projects until I get a certain amount of stuff completed. I do have a few panels and haven’t started on the planned promised quilts for friends yet from these. Thank you for the prod!

  32. Karen says:

    This is a great idea! Count me in!

  33. Darlene Y says:

    I have a couple panels I would like to use up. You could count me in on your challenge!

  34. Lyndsey says:

    I have one panel in my stash ans I’ve spent the last month trying to figure out how to use it. This will give me the push to get a quilt made that incorporates it.

  35. Kay Talbott says:

    I have twins of several of the panels in your box. Definitely going to try and finish one! Just have to finish quilting a baby quilt for an soon to be March baby!

  36. Elaine Walker says:

    Shelly, excuse me please******* I want to enter my block count from Feb and can’t find the right post. Can you help me?🤨🤨🤨

  37. REBECCA BALL says:

    I’ll join in. I seem to make a really big quilt out of panels. I have a huge stack of them. surely one can be finished.

  38. Karen O 'Rourke says:

    I will definitely enter this Challenge. Four really wonderful panels are hanging from a hook in the Quilt Space. Entering this Challenge may get one of them “off the hook”. April 30 the deadline coming up!!

    Karen O in MN

  39. Pam M says:

    I’m in. I challenged myself December 2019 and made several panel quilts to give as gift to friends. But I still have way to many panels.

  40. Leah G. says:

    Sure, I’m in. I have some I can make for our Hospice Group.

  41. Donna L Coppin says:

    I’ll join in also. I have 2 already sandwiched and ready to go and not sure how many others are in my stash. They are fun to work with and a good way to practice quilting on. Count me in!

  42. Chris B. says:

    I’m in. I have 135 to choose from!

  43. Andrea Hall says:

    For the person who is not fond of panels, I seem to have several! I will join you in the challenge. I’ve chosen a panel to use, but still have more that I am not sure what to do with them.

  44. I’m in Shelley! I just finished 2 panel quilts in the past 2 weeks but found a few more panels in my stash that need to have something done to them. After my Eagle Quilt I need something not as intense! 😉

  45. christopher thomas says:


    I would do this, but I do not have any panels so as not to go out and buy some I am just not going to do this challange

  46. Anne says:

    I have 2 bins of panels… I’m in to use one up!

  47. Roseanne says:

    Hi Shelly! What a fabulously fun idea for a QAL. I do have a few panels that I could work on, but I also found a new one that I just “have” to buy. I’m so glad that Carol and Wendy mentioned this! ~smile~ Roseanne

  48. I have a panel challenge I’ve been working on for over a year…well, it was put on the back burner when Covid hit. I’m in! I need to get this completed. Thanks for the challenge!!

  49. Connie Wolfe says:

    I like this challenge. In fact, I’d already pulled one panel for next month’s Comfort Quilt and had begun previewing fabrics for it. This panel is a little different. It has 6×6 squares of animals to cut and supplement with another block. So, that piecing might help me stay focused. Let the quilting process begin!

  50. Mary Beth Baker says:

    Love the challenge! Please count me in!

  51. Judy Fry says:

    I have a few panels that have been given to me. I’ll join in.

  52. Denise Lewis says:

    I’ll join you too. I have purchased a bunch of panels and have made some tops with them, but havent completely finished very many of them.

    Guess I’d better pick one and get busy completing it.

  53. Cynthia says:


  54. Klonda says:

    Count me in

  55. Pam Avara says:

    I really need to stay caught up my blog reading. Generally I don’t buy panels, but this past year I’ve bought 3, including one which has a published pattern for a quilt. I tracked down all of those fabrics and it kitted up for my to-do list.

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