Playful Panel Quilts Class Plan

Using Variable Sizes of Panel Images in Traditional Quilt Designs

Class Plan for Playful Panel Quilts by Cyndi McChesney

One Design in Many Sizes

This short workshop introduces the confident beginner to techniques and tricks for using panel images in a variety of different-sized quilt designs or blocks. Topics covered include how to trim a panel image to the appropriate size for specific designs, how adding coping strips to the panel image can adjust the size to fit as needed, and how to adapt a traditional block to a variety of sizes to accommodate different sized panel images.

Students will be introduced to a simple quilt design – the single Irish Chain – and how to adjust either the open space for the panel image or the basic 9-patch block to work with the panel image. This knowledge opens a world of possibilities for students to adjust quilt designs to work a treasured multi-image panel! They’ll learn how to adjust block sizes to use the images as-is and how to adjust the panel image sizes up and down to work with their chosen block.

This information could be presented in a quick two-hour workshop with several math examples so that students can gain a comfortable knowledge of this skill or be expanded to include the sewing and constructing of at least one full row of a single Irish Chain quilt in an afternoon or longer.

Supplies needed for this class include:

  • Playful Panel Quilts by Cyndi McChesney, C&T Publishing
  • Multi-image panel featuring same-sized images – 1 or more coordinating
  • Coordinating fabrics
  • Optional – graph paper
  • Cutting mats
  • Rotary cutters
  • Square rulers in a variety of sizes
  • Irons and ironing boards with spray bottles of water and spray starch
  • Scratch paper
  • Calculators 
  • Books or magazines with examples of traditional quilt patterns that might work for this technique could be helpful and inspiring (see kit information below).

You can assemble kits including one or more of the following: 

  • Multi-image panel with same-sized images 

  • Coordinating fabrics

  • Quilt block reference such as The New Ladies’ Art Company Quick & Easy Block Tool, by Connie Chunn (C&T Publishing); The New Quick & Easy Block Tool (C&T Publishing); or any of the Quilt Builder block card decks(C&T Publishing)* 

*include in class kit or purchase and have on hand for a shop reference. You can also expand this class to include a lesson on using these tools.

Sewing machines are not needed unless you plan to expand the class to include sewing time.

Please refer to the following pages/chapters in order to present these techniques and skills:

  • Cutting out and squaring images - see page 25

  • Adding coping strips - see page 27

  • Basic graphing – an example of the math for this quilt is in the book - see pages 28 & 29

  • Adjusting the math to work for the panel size - see pages 28 & 29