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Help with squaring panel!!

Help with squaring panel!!

Old 01-22-2018, 10:35 AM
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Default Help with squaring panel!!

I am doing a donation quilt for basset hound rescue and I am using 2 continuous sections of a pamel with multiple different sized pictures within the panel each framed. The size is 42" X 47" and will be the center of my quilt. I am desperately trying to square up the panel in anticipation of adding the gorgeous checkerboard border with a floating border in between the panel and the checkerboard border. I have tried letting the panel hang and letting gravity do the work and today I tried pulling the panel into square and pressing it(video online). I am pretty picky and like things to be right but this panel is making me crazy. If I get one side acceptable another one is wonky. I am under deadline and would welcome any suggestions.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:35 AM
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If it's not too far off, can you adjust the width of the first border - kind of trapezoid shapes?
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:39 AM
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I agree with Irishrose. You will have to adjust your border. If it is not too far off it will not be noticible. Good luck, it will work out great.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:13 PM
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Have you tried blocking it with starch? Sharon Schamber had some videos on how to do this, but I can't find them. Here are the steps I would take with a panel.

Mark the outlines of what the panel *should* be on the matte side of a piece of freezer paper using a permanent Sharpie (so the lines don't bleed). This would be a square or rectangle -- whatever the cut size is that you are looking for.

Hopefully you have an ironing board with enough padding that you can stick pins in it. If not, you will have to add a layer of padding to it (batting would work fine, especially something stable like Warm & Natural). Iron the freezer paper to the top of your ironing board (or the top of the padding).

Heavily spray starch the panel (sopping wet).

Pin the wet panel to conform to the marked shape on your ironing board, stretching as needed. You can use lots of pins. If you can't get it exactly right, get it as close as you can without huge ripples in it. Stretch as necessary.

At this point I would let it dry naturally. You can place a fan on it so it dries faster.

Once it's dry, remove enough pins so you can maneuver your iron around on it. Use a pressing cloth and steam to gently reheat the starch in an area and press it down. Once the entire block has been done, let it rest until cool.

Basically what this does is allow you to manipulate the panel into correct shape (or as near to correct as you can get it). The starch holds the fabric in place while you work on the quilt.

In order to keep this shape, you need to do some quilting. The quilting stitches secure the panel to the batting, which is much stronger, and the batting will keep the panel straight. This means you need to do some quilting in the panel. If you quilt only around the outer edges of the panel, the panel might balloon up out of shape when washed. (You could still apply more quilting at that point, but it would be a hassle.)

The above sounds like more work than it actually is. You may not be able to get the panel exactly squared, so you still may need to do the framing as described above. It will be less wonky to frame, however.

Edit: You can try pressing while the panel is wet. If you do, be sure to use a pressing cloth so you don't accidentally scorch the starch. Although scorched starch will wash out later, it's hard to tell the difference between scorched starch and scorched fabric.

Last edited by Prism99; 01-22-2018 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:29 PM
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Panels are seldom square. I sew a blending border color on it and then square it up. Usually not off much to notice when all completed. I fretted over the one I squared up being off but to my surprise no one noticed but me. LOL It won 2nd place at the local quilt show.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:31 PM
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I had one that was quite off square. I pretended that is was square and made no allowances for it when adding the border. When I put in on the LA, I made sure to pull it square and quilted it down. After I washed it, it stayed where it was quilted.

BTW - I bought the panel off eBay - expect the seller got a bolt cheap because it was printed off grain.

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Old 01-24-2018, 03:18 AM
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Very nice. I'm looking for ideas for my peacock panel.

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Old 01-24-2018, 03:55 AM
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Panels make me crazy. Basset hounds make me happy! Get happy and work around the panel...the Sharon Schamber approach is a lot of work but it may be the answer. However, when I've worked with panels, I've used the surrounding borders and ensuing quilting to 'fix' the problems...it works.
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