The panel challenge

Some of you might remember that when I was in Canada in September I stopped in at the Sunshine Quilters’ sewing morning and accepted their offer to join their mystery panel challenge. The rules, as I understood them, were fairly simple:

  • You draw a mystery brown paper bag that contains a fabric panel.
  • Whatever you make has to be quilted and include some of the fabric panel.
Winter animals fabric panel

I drew this fabric! What a challenge!

So, here is what I made.

I fussy cut a squirrel from the panel and incorporated it in an autumnal pouch. I also made a wrist strap for it, but I am still searching for the right gold or brass clip thingummy to attach it with. Silver will not match the zipper pull.

Quilted pouch in autumn colours with squirrel

The squirrel in the panel worked well with autumn colours.

I fussy cut the snowflakes from the borders and made a box pouch with hexagon flowers on both sides. The border fabric was also used in the zipper trim. The pouch is a modified version of these.

Quilted box pouch with fussy-cut snowflake hexagons

I focused on the borders between the panels when making this pouch.

I cannot remember why the idea seemed like a good one at the time, but the bear became an egg cosy.

Quilted egg cosy

The bear is sewn down using Vliesofix and raw-edge appliqué.

Quilted egg cosy

I hand embroidered the text on the back of the egg cosy.

Finally, I wanted to use the red bird in something. I made up the hexagons without a clear plan. I thought about putting them on a notebook cover or the like. Then, my friend Sharon said, ‘Make a coaster!’ So, I did. At 6½ inches, it is a very big coaster … or a very small mini quilt.

Mini patchwork quilt (coaster) with hexagons

I decided I had to feature the cardinal bird in one thing I made using the panel fabric.

Panel quilting challenge

Altogether, I made four items using the panel.

It is an eclectic mix of items, I admit. The only thing they have in common is that they all use the panel fabric and linen.

Quilted panel challenge

And there is still a lot of fabric left!

Chelsea of Patch the Giraffe has decided to continue the fun. I have posted the remaining panel fabric to New Hampshire, so let’s see what she can make of it. Give her time, and I am sure she will come up with something special.

When I first drew the fabric from the bag in Canada, I was very worried. What could I make with a raccoon!? I panicked. However, once the panic faded, I found this challenge a lot of fun. I could have kept going, but my other UFOs are calling me. From being a fabric that frightened me, I now have a strange affection for it. I was genuinely sad to say farewell to the last of it at the post office.


38 thoughts on “The panel challenge

  1. I love the way you incorporate the animals from the panel into 3 totally different projects and then send the remaining panel away for someone else to use it. I am inspired by your creativity and ability to see the many uses for this one piece of fabric.

    • It certainly made me think! I wish I had been able to do more abstract things, where the animals or snowflakes were not recognisable but just became colours and patterns. Maybe next time. It was my first fabric challenge, after all!

  2. Well done Carla. You made me laugh for two reasons. Firstly, for no doubt winning the prize for using the least of the panel fabric in your items, and secondly for putting that bear on a egg warmer – who else would do that but you! I’ve no idea what I would have done with all those wild animals, but you’ve created 4 lovely items. I think the red cardinal mat is my favourite – I love your hand stitching around the hexagons. We don’t have any colourful birds in New Zealand – they are all boring black and brown.

    • I think my guilt about small amounts of fabric in each partly explains why I made four things!

      The egg cosy is so easy to make that I am tempted to make a set of them in fun colours.

      I never thought about NZ’s wildlife like that. No parrots?

  3. Hello from the Sunshine Quilters in Grand Forks, B.C., Canada! It was lovely having you at our sewing day and you certainly dove right into the panel challenge and have made some lovely things! As the organizer of the challenge, I assure you we’ll have your photos posted at our challenge reveal for everyone to see. I’m especially adoring the bear egg cosy!

    • Thanks, Stephanie! It was fun meeting you all and I am so glad you let me gatecrash your challenge. I hadn’t tried a fabric challenge before and really enjoyed doing something different. Thank you for organising it!

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