This will be your favorite quilt pattern for all the fabric panels in your stash! If you pick up beautiful fabric panels every time you visit the quilt shop and then try to find a pattern, look no more. Here’s the perfect panel quilt pattern with festive stars and a coordinating striped border.
This free quilt pattern is perfect for beginners. You can use it with ANY size fabric panel. Wouldn’t it make a darling baby quilt? I’ll show you exactly how to make any panel into a treasured quilt.
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Easy Panel Quilt Pattern is included in the blog post below and is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is totally optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.
You don’t have to save this quilt pattern for a Christmas panel. I absolutely adore my adorable ‘Le Buddies’ Minion Quilt that shows how fun this pattern can be. Did you notice that the ‘Le Buddies’ panel is a different orientation than my Christmas Westie panel? That’s fine.
It doesn’t matter if you are making a quilt for someone young or old, or to hang on your wall, get ready to sew!
The border that perfectly frames any quilt panel is literally stars and stripes, so it would make a very patriotic red, white, and blue quilt too.
What Size Will the Panel Quilt Be When Finished?
The finished size of your panel quilt will depend on the starting size of your fabric panel. The panels I used in the photos above were both approximately 36’’ x 42’’ before I trimmed them. The finished quilts are approximately 49’’ x 55’’.
The corner stars and striped border will make the finished quilt 16’’ taller and 16’’ wider than the fabric panel. The corner stars finish at 8’’, and the stripes are made with 2 1/2’’ strips, which means you could use coordinating jelly roll strips in the border if you wish.
I have seen fabric panels that are 24’’ x 36’’, and some very large ones that are 76’’ x 60’’. All of these panels will work with this panel quilt pattern. It doesn’t matter what size the panel is, it will work! Just add 16’’ to the height and 16’’ to the width of the panel to determine what the finished size will be.
Of course, it would be very easy to make your panel quilt even larger by adding another border.
I kept the fabrics in my stars and border simple to coordinate and still let the panel be the real ‘star’ of the quilt. If you have a panel with coordinating jelly roll strips and fabric pieces, a scrappy version would work well too.
OPTIONAL: I used my Accuquilt cutter to cut most of the pieces for this quilt. If you love to use your Accuquilt fabric cutter like I do, I’ll share the cutting die numbers for dies that you can use. Using an Accuquilt is not necessary for this quilt, but I love it! See all my Accuquilt friendly quilts.
I can’t wait to see all of the easy panel quilts that my readers make!
Free Easy Panel Quilt Pattern
To make this pattern with a 36’’ x 44’’ fabric panel, you will need:
- the fabric panel (yes!)
- 1 yard of coordinating fabric for the stars and stripes (mine is red)
- 1 yard of background fabric (mine is cream)
- 3 1/4 yards of fabric for the back of the quilt (or enough fabric to piece together a 57’’ x 63” quilt back)
- a piece of quilt batting at least 57’’ x 63’’
- 1/2 yard of binding fabric (6 binding strips)
Keep in mind that your fabric requirements may differ widely depending on the starting size of your fabric panel.
You will also need:
- a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and mat
- sewing machine
- thread (I suggest thread matching the background fabric)
- ironing board and iron
- pencil or fabric marking pen
These cutting instructions (like the fabric requirements) assume that you are using a fabric panel that is approximately 44’’ x 36’’. I’ll share tips for adjusting this pattern for different sizes of fabric panels.
First, trim off any fabric around the printed image on your fabric panel and square it up. It doesn’t necessarily have to be square, but do make sure that both of the long edges are the same length and both of the short edges measure the same width. My panel quilt was assumed to be 44’’ x 36’’, but after I squared and trimmed it up, it was only 41’’ x 33.’’
From the darker coordinating fabric, cut:
- 8 strips 2 1/2’’ x WOF (width of fabric)
- 28 squares 2 7/8’’ x 2 7/8’’
From the background fabric, cut:
- 8 strips 2 1/2’’ x WOF
- 4 squares 5 1/4’’ x 5 1/4’’
- 4 squares 3 3/8’’ x 3 3/8’’
- 4 squares 2 7/8’’ x 2 7/8’’
- 8 squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’
Optional Accuquilt cutting instructions:
- Instead of cutting 2 7/8” squares, you may cut twice as many 2” finished HST triangles with die 55712 (available separately or in the 8” Qube set)
- Instead of cutting 5 1/4’’ background fabric squares, cut 16 4’’ QST triangles with die 55711 (available separately or in the 8” Qube set)
- The 3 3/8’’ squares may be cut with the square on point die 55713 (available separately or in the 8” Qube set)
- The 2 1/2” squares may be cut with die 55709 (available separately or in the 8” Qube set)
- The 2 1/2” strips may be cut with strip cutter die 55017
Make the Centers of the Star Blocks
Use a 1/4” (or scant 1/4”) seam allowance throughout this quilt pattern.
1. Cut 8 of the darker fabric 2 7/8’’ squares in half diagonally. You will need 4 triangles for the center of each star.
2. Mark a center line across each background fabric 3 3/8” square. This is really easy to do by folding each square in half and pressing the fold lightly with your iron.
3. Sew a darker fabric triangle to one side of the square, using the center line you marked to help you center the triangle on the square.
4. Then sew another darker fabric triangle to the other side of the square. Press the points of the triangle outward. Use a ruler and rotary cutter to help you trim away the ‘dog ear’ triangles along the top and bottom edges.
5. Sew two more darker fabric triangles to the top and bottom edges of the square. If you like, you can mark the center of the square in the opposite direction to help you sew these triangles on correctly too.
Press the block and trim away the dog ears and any extra fabric to make the block 4 1/2” square. Repeat to make 4 pieces.
Make 16 Flying Geese Units
This method makes 4 flying geese units at a time. You will love it!
1. Use the pencil or fabric marking pen to draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of 16 of the remaining 2 7/8” darker fabric squares. This is a cutting line.
2. Place two 2 7/8” squares right sides together on a 5 1/4’’ background fabric square, aligned with opposite corners. The squares will overlap and the drawn lines (from Step 1 above) should make a single diagonal line across the larger square.
3. Sew 1/4’’ away from the drawn line on either side. Cut the piece apart along the line. Fold the small triangles up and press.
4. Place another 2 7/8” square right side down on each piece, aligned with the remaining corner as shown. Stitch 1/4’’ away from the drawn line on either side.
5. Cut apart the pieces along the line. Fold back the triangles and press to make 4 flying geese units. Press. Trim the flying geese units to 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’.
Repeat to make 16 pieces.
If you are using AccuQuilt-cut fabric pieces, sew two 2” HST pieces together with a background fabric 4” QST piece to make a 2 1/2” x 4 1/2” flying geese unit. Repeat to make 16 flying geese units. Press.
Make 8 Half Square Triangles (HST’s)
1. Use the pencil or fabric marking pen to draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of all of the 2 7/8’’ background fabric squares. This is a cutting line.
Place the 2 7/8’’ background fabric squares right sides together with the remaining 2 7/8’’ darker fabric squares. Pin the squares together.
2. Sew 1/4’’ away from the cutting line on on both sides of the line.
3. Cut each piece in half diagonally along the line. Open and press to make 2 half square triangles (HST units). Press. Trim each HST to 2 1/2” square. Repeat to make 8 HST units.
If you are using AccuQuilt-cut fabric pieces, sew the 8 background fabric 2 1/2” HST pieces together with the remaining 8 darker fabric 2 1/2” HST pieces. Press.
Make 4 Sawtooth Star Blocks
1. Arrange the following pieces as shown to make a Sawtooth Star Block:
- 1 center piece
- 4 flying feese units
- 2 half square triangle units
- 2 background fabric squares 2 1/2” x 2 1/2”
Pay special attention to the orientation of the half square triangles.
2. Sew together in 3 rows.
3. Sew the rows together to make the block.
Repeat to make 4 Sawtooth Star Blocks.
Make the Striped Border Pieces
1. Cut 4 darker fabric strips that are 2 1/2’’ wide and the same length as the longer edge of your trimmed fabric panel piece. If the longer edge of your panel piece is longer than 42,’’ you will need to piece these strips together.
2. Cut 4 background fabric strips that are 2 1/2’’ wide and the same length as the longer edge of your trimmed fabric panel piece. If the longer edge of your panel piece is longer than 42,’’ you will need to piece these strips together.
3. Sew these strips together in 2 sets. Each set should have 4 strips in an alternating pattern. Press.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 above to cut (and piece together if neccessary) 4 darker fabric strips and 4 background strips that are the 2 1/2’’ wide and the same length as the shorter edge of your background panel. Piece these strips together in 2 sets of alternating strips.
5. Sew the Sawtooth Star Blocks to the ends of the shorter strip sets. Make two.
Assemble the Easy Panel Quilt
1. Sew the longer strip sets to the longer edges of the fabric panel.
On my Christmas quilt, the longer edges were the sides, but on my Minion quilt the longer edges were the top and bottom. This does not matter.
2. Sew the shorter strip sets with the star blocks on the ends to the shorter edges of the fabric panel.
If desired, you may add another border to make your quilt larger.
Measure the quilt top in order to add a second border. See how to cut the correct size quilt borders. Cut and attach any additional borders.
Finishing the Quilt
1. Cut or piece together a piece of quilt backing fabric at least 4’’ taller and wider than your quilt top. The batting should be the same size as the quilt back. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing, batting, and top.
4. Trim and square up the quilt, removing extra backing and batting. Cut the needed amount of binding strips and bind using your favorite method. This is my favorite quilt binding method.
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