Using Panels for a One Block Wonder

Have you seen some of the wonderfully creative One Block Wonders (OBW) made using precut panels?  If you haven’t you should join the Facebook group “One Block Wonder Quilt Forum”!  This is my third OBW using panels and I wanted to share how I put them together.

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My last OBW using panels “The Heron”, was so much fun I couldn’t wait to make the next one.  Start by purchasing 7 Panels.  One to be incorporated into the top and 6 to be aligned for making the hexagon blocks.

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The process is same whether you are using yardage or panels.  The only difference is the repeats are already cut for you.  I don’t trim the panels, I just press them and layer them assuring they are all going in the direction.  Align them as directed in Maxine Rosenthal’s book One Block Wonders or One Block Wonder Encore.

Once the repeats/panels are aligned, trim one long edge so all the layers are ending in the same place.  This panel has a good size design, so I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide by Width of Fabric (WOF).  Then using my ruler with a 60 degree line I cut my equilateral triangles and made my blocks.  Once the blocks are sorted by predominate color it is time to design.

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I know that when I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide, my finished hexagon block will measure 6″ wide.  I squared up the panel and measured the width.  This panel after squaring up was 23″ wide.  This means 3 finished hexagon blocks would measure 18″ and 4 finished hexagon blocks would measure 24″ wide.  At this point I had two choices, trim the panel to 18″ wide or add fabric to make the panel 24″ wide.  I decided to add fabric that I will hide later.  You can decide to center your panel or offset it in any way.

I place the panel on my design wall and start the designing process.  I always place my blocks on the design wall so the opening is north and south.

I have established that I will need four  blocks wide across the top and the bottom.  How deep it goes depends on me.  I chose 4 blocks wide and 3 blocks deep on the top, and 4 blocks wide and 2 blocks deep on the bottom.

When placing the blocks on the side of the panel, every other block remains whole, while everything other is a half of a block.  I don’t remove the half until I’m sure the block will remain there, I just fold it in half.

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When I am satisfied with the design I number the rows as always and stitch the rows together in four groups: the top, bottom, right side & left side.  I think of this as a giant block that has a rectangle in the center and will be constructed using a partial seam.

Decide whether to attach the top or bottom first.  I am going to attach the top rows first by trimming the points that will be stitched to the panel, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Once I have stitched the top rows to the panel I need to choose which side to attach next, matching up dog ears as you would when joining the rows and stitch three quarters of the way down (partial seam).

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By using a partial seam, it allows you to match up the dog ears of the bottom of the side rows.  I will them mark where the panel hits the bottom rows, add a 1/4″ seam allowance and stitch to the bottom and then finish the partial seam.

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It is now easy to stitch the remaining side rows to the panel matching the dog ears at the top and bottom.  I have not finished this top yet as I’m teaching several classes soon and wanted to have a good visual example to show the class.

Now to hide my added fabric.

I made sure I had several left over blocks.  I stitched the two halves together, pressed the seam open and using my ruler, trimmed 1″ off every side.  This reduces my hexagon to about 4″ wide.

I use a Fusible Knit Interfacing, cut a square slightly larger than the hexagon.  Place the bumpy side of the interfacing with the right side of the hexagon.  Stitch around the hexagon using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Trim off the excess interfacing and snip a hole about 1″ wide.

Turn the hexagon right side out.  Now the fusible ‘bumpy side is on the outside.  Finger press the edges to flatten it out.  This is a great way to get a perfect finished edge.  Once I have decided where to place my smaller hexagons, I can use my iron and press them in place and finish them by stitching them down.

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See how well the small hexagons hide my added fabric?  I will post this OBW once I finished it.

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I was closely supervised while making this OBW by my quilting buddy Tucker!

4 thoughts on “Using Panels for a One Block Wonder

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