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Thread: printed panels

  1. #1
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    printed panels

    Hi, I bought a couple of printed panels to make some quick wall hangings. Thought I would just have to cut and sew one or two borders and hangers and be done. Now it turns out that the panels are all printed crookedly, they are not square. However, if I want to trim it so it is square, I am cutting away from the printed stripes around the actual motif in an uneven way, meaning the printed borders/stripes that are part of the motif would get thinner or wider from top to bottom or left to right. I would end up having a square wall hanging, but the printed part within the borders that I sew on would be off. Do you understand what I mean? Would you try to wet block the panel to get it square? Other people must have run into this problem before me, or did I just happen to get the rare unsquare printed panel? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I buy a lot of panels and never had that problem

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think everyone who has used a panel has run into this problem. They are seldom printed square and often aren't even designed that way. I'm not sure that they're designed by anyone who has ever quilted before.

  4. #4
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    This is a problem with panels and the main reason I don't buy them. You are not the first one to experience the problem. I've had "some" success in straightening them by grabbing diagonal corners(the worst side) and "popping" it, probably wetting and pinning it to a straight piece would probably work also.

  5. #5
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I would try to block it by spritzing it with water, then pinning it into the shape you want it to dry in. Make sure your pins are rust-proof first, though.

  6. #6
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    I try to buy panels that don't have stripes or borders because the panels are seldom printed straight. The printed borders always show where you have to square them up. I usually cut the borders off, if the printed border is wide enough, I cut it square and reattach it. If necessary I cut new borders from fabric that matches the panel.

  7. #7
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I would try to block it by spritzing it with water, then pinning it into the shape you want it to dry in. Make sure your pins are rust-proof first, though.
    Ditto! I have rarely had one that didn't need blocking. I've had them so bad that I had to cut with scissors rather than a rotary cutter. Blocking makes it so much easier to work with.

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    common (ailment) with panels, they are seldom straight. small-pillow panels may be but the larger the center-the more 'skewed' they tend to be. you can try to block them or you can simply cut off the outer 'frames' and square up the picture area before adding your own borders, or, you can 'fudge' the sizes of your added borders in small amounts so it is not really noticeable but one side may be 1/2" wider than other side-type of fix. I've done all of the above in the past- it does not stop me from picking up a panel I want- I just take a look at it & decide which method will be easiest, give me the best outcome- then go from there- seldom do I ever get to actually use what ever the 'frame' is- except I have cut the frames off before- then re-used them by cutting them straight & incorporating them back into the design after squaring up the center.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  9. #9
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    Sometimes I see a panel I just love, so I buy it. what has almost always worked for me, is grabbing opposite corners and stretching, then ironing.

  10. #10
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I had this problem with panels that I wanted to fracture. As I do all of my fabric ... I pre-washed the panels. I'm betting they were wonky before I started, but oh boy washing made them worse!!

    I blocked them, but in the end I couldn't get the entire panel squared up and ended up cutting it down to a size that I could get blocked.

    You can try blocking them, it did improve mine.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  11. #11
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    I've added another border then trimmed the whole thing to the size I wanted. I used a bunch of cheater blocks for a quilt and once finished it wasn't noticeable.

  12. #12
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    I would wash the panel - see how it wanted to be - and then work with it the way it is. Trim it, put different borders on it -

    I am Not an advocate of blocking.

    The only fabrics I will try to "re-align" are woven plaids and all over prints.

    I have also learned to check to see if the printing is following the grain lines.

  13. #13
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for your replies and tips! Seems like a project that was supposed to be an easy and quick one turns out to be quite a little hassle.

  14. #14
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    Panels are mostly not printed straight, they look really easy but by the time you figure what "fudging" you need to do this time, it's not for the faint of heart. I still use them, mostly the holiday ones, they change with the seasons and I'm sure I notice that it's crooked but no one has ever mentioned it. It's more obvious to the quilter.

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