Panel Magic II

Panel Magic II - 6 - Borders July 28 2020

Oh my goodness, we are nearly finished! Just the borders to go. (Pattern steps #31 to #36)

When adding borders it is very important to measure and cut accurately, and pin well. This ensures the quilt will be nice and square (and it keeps our long arm quilters very happy).

Measure  across the center of the quilt top vertically. The measurement should be very close to 61½”.


Our first border is of fabric E. It is a narrow one and in a dark accent colour so seam placement will not be too evident, so we don’t need to be too fussy.

Trim the selvages from all six 1½” strips. Now cut two of them in half.

Sew a half strip to the end of a full strip and repeat this to make a total of 4 border strips. Press seam allowances open.

Trim two of these border strips to the measurement determined earlier. Do you have a long tape measure?

Find the center of one border strip and mark it with a pin or fabric marker. Find the centers of the quilt top sides and mark. With right sides together, pin the ends of the border to a quilt top side. Now match the center marks and place your 3rd pin. Always working to the center of a space between pins, continue pinning and if necessary easing the fabrics together. The diagram shows the order in which the pins should be placed.


Sew the side borders onto the quilt top and press towards the border.

Measure the quilt top from side to side. It should be close to 53½”. Trim the remaining fabric E border strips to the measurement. Pin-pin-pin, sew the border strips to the top and bottom of the quilt. Press towards the new border.

*Fabric B 2” x width of fabric strips will be used for the second border and since it is wider we must be more aware of the seam placements. Trim all of the selvages and then sew 2 strips end to end. Repeat to make another set. Press seam allowances open. This seam allowance will be your center point of the side border. Measure and cut the borders to size. To the sides of the quilt, pin-pin-pin, sew and press.

Cut the 3 remaining fabric B 2” strips in half. Sew 3 of these strips end to the end. Repeat this to make a total of 2 border strips. Press seam allowances open. Mark the center point on each. Measure the quilt top from side to side. It should be close to 56½”. Trim the borders to this measurement and to the sides of the quilt, pin-pin-pin, sew and press.

One more border to go!

To add the third border, follow the same method we used for the second border*.

The quilt is ready for layering with batting, backing and to be quilted.


It’s time to clean up the sewing room and get ready for the next project.


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Panel Magic II - 5 - Assembly July 28 2020

Assembly time!  (Pattern steps #26 to #30)

Take a look at the panel blocks and decide where on the quilt top you would like them best. Sheltering Snowman - Should the snowmen always be facing out or in?

Rustic Charm - The moose and bear are both dark, perhaps they should be far away from each other on the quilt.

Holiday Wishes - Three blocks have words, do they need to be separated by those blocks that don’t?

Let’s number the panel blocks for ease of explanation. 1,2 and 3 are the top row and 4, 5 and 6 are the bottom row.

Sew a snowflake unit to the top of panel blocks 1, 3 and 5.


Sew a snowflake unit to the bottom of panel blocks 2, 4 and 6.



Now join units 1,2 and 3 to make one section.

Repeat with 4, 5 and 6 to make another section.

Woo hoo, this quilt top is starting to take shape!


If you have kept your seam allowances accurate, the measurement horizontally across each of these sections will be very close to 51½”. If you are off by more than ½”, then measure across the top edge and bottom edge of both sections. Find the average (Grade 5 math! Add the 4 numbers and divide by 4!) This will be your number rather than 51½”.

Time to make three horizontal sashes.

Trim the selvages from the 4 - 3½” x width of fabric B strips. Cut 3 of the strips in half and the fourth strip into thirds. Sew the half strip to each end of a shorter strip. Press the seam allowances open.

Place a pin at the center point of the strip and trim 25¾” out each side of the pin. 


You may wonder why we are so particular about having the sashes equally cut. When sewing them on to the sections it will sometimes be necessary to ease in or slightly stretch the sections to fit the sash exactly. This will ensure the quilt top stays square. No one likes a wonky quilt!

Pin, pin and pin, then sew a sash to the top of each section. Press towards the sash.

Sew another sash to the bottom of the lower section. Now join the sections.


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Panel Magic II - 4 - Snowflakes continued July 28 2020

This session, we are going to finish up the Snowflake Blocks (Steps #1 to #6 and steps #17 and #18).

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of 24 - 2” fabric C squares.  A fabric marker is recommended as the line may show through the light fabric. We like Frixion® pens as they iron away so easily.


With right sides together, place a 2”  fabric C square at one corner of a 3½”  fabric B square.

Stitch nearly on the line on the side closest to the corner.

Trim away the corner leaving a ¼” seam allowance.

Press towards the small triangle.


Make a total of 24 of these units.

Assemble 6 Snowflake blocks as shown in the diagram on page 2 of the pattern. The arrows indicate the pressing direction.


The Snowflake blocks should measure 9½” square.

Sew a 4½” x 9½” fabric B rectangle to each side of the Snowflake blocks.


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Panel Magic II - 3 - Snowflakes July 28 2020

Let’s get started on the Snowflake blocks by building some Flying Geese (step # 8 to #16 of the pattern). Find the 2½” fabric C squares and the 4½”  fabric B squares. You will also need a pencil and/or a fabric marking pen, a rotary cutter and a ruler or a “Deb Tucker’s Wing Clipper” by Studio 180 Designs, Ltd.

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of  48 -  2½” squares fabric C squares. A regular pencil will work fine here, as you will be cutting on the line the marks will be hidden in the seam allowance.

With right sides together, position 2 - 2½” squares of Fabric C on 1 - 4½”  square of Fabric B. The inner corners will overlap.


Stitch a ¼” on each side of the line. Slice the unit into 2 pieces along the marked line.


Press the seams towards the triangles.

Place another 2½” square as shown in the diagram.  Stitch a ¼” on each side of the line.

Slice and press towards the small triangles.

Repeat with the other half unit.


Square the 4 Flying Geese to 2” x 3½”. 

If you are using a regular ruler, place the 1¾” horizontal and vertical ruler marks on the intersection of the 2 seams. And if you have a 45° line, position it along a seam as well. Trim the right side and top side of the fabric.


Turn the piece around 180° (a rotating mat is great for this!) and position the top edge of the ruler along the fabric edge and the 3½” ruler line along the left edge. Trim the right side and top side of the piece.  You now have a Flying Goose!


If you are using a Wing Clipper, review the process by watching this video.



Make a total of 48 flying geese.


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Panel Magic II - 2 - More Cutting and Frames July 28 2020

Let’s continue with the cutting.

Prepare fabric B for cutting as we did last week. Please note that the larger cuts are listed first as sometimes an unused portion can be used for a smaller sized piece. To avoid confusion later, label all of the cuts. 

Continue cutting fabrics C. D. E. F and G.


Oh, by the way, is your rotary blade sharp?

 It is always a good idea to read over the pattern instructions before beginning. We are going to be rebels and not start at step #1 but at steps #20 to #25 on page 3.

Find the panel squares, the 2 sets of fabric D framing strips and the 2 sets of fabric B 3” rectangles.

 With right sides together, pin a 1½” x 10½” Fabric D frame strip to each side of a 10½” square panel piece. If you have the “needle down” feature on your sewing machine, engage it. This keeps your fabrics in place if you happen to stop sewing mid-way. Sew the 2 side frames with an accurate ¼” seam allowance. Press towards the frame.


Repeat this step with the remaining 5 panel pieces.

Sew a 1½” x 12½” a Fabric D strip to the top and bottom. Press towards the new strip.

Using a 12½” or larger square ruler, square the block to 12½”.  If you have a little problem at an area, mark it with a pin so you will be aware when adding the next piece of fabric.


It is more important to pin as the pieces get larger. Pin and sew a 3” x 12½” Fabric B strip to each side of the 6 pieces made above.  Press towards the strip.

Add a 3” x 17½” a Fabric B strip to the top and bottom. Press towards the new strip.

The 6 Panel Blocks to should be 17½” square.

Set aside.


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Panel Magic II - 1 - Fabric Preparation and Cutting July 28 2020

Sometimes panels get skewed when rolled onto a bolt. Before cutting, we need to straighten the grain of the fabric as best as possible.

As you can see, when this panel is folded selvage to selvage, it doesn't fall evenly. Yup, it's skewed!

Grab the diagonally opposite corners of the panel and give them a gentle tug and shake. Repeat this with the other two corners. You may have to do this a few times. In most cases this fixes the problem.


Now let's cut our six panel pieces to 10½" squares.  Measure both ways across the middle and see if there is a design line that can be followed. I see on Holiday Wishes, I have the outside of the red border design so I am going to cut there. For those of you using the Sheltering Snowman panel, 10½" falls at the outside of the red frame. And the Rustic Charm panel 10½" squares fall at ⅛” beyond the wood grain frame.

After cutting I still found the squares slightly skewed. Another tug and shake is needed.  But not to worry if we are slightly off...all will be rectified later!


Time to do some cutting. Let’s start with fabric D.

Line up the selvages together and hold the fabric as wide as you possibly can. Does it fall smoothly? No skewing? Great, give it a good press. But if your fabric falls unevenly, then simply keep holding it up with selvages together and shift one selvage sideways until your fabric falls smoothly. Press the new center fold.


On your pressing surface, grasp the folded edge of the fabric and bring it up to the selvage strip. The selvage strip should be visible. Press. Now the fabric is ready for cutting.

The raw edge of the fabric is most likely not even, so your first cut should be along the edge to even it out. By the way, we love using the Shape Cut Plus® at the shop. The rotary blade fits into the slots and easily slides up for accurate cuts.


If your panel pieces are not exactly to size, then cut the 1½” pieces at 1¾”.   Do 7 width of fabric cuts then sub cut into 12 @ 1½” x 10½” and 12 @ 1½” x 12½”. 





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Panel Magic II - Introduction July 28 2020

thimbles & things  is very excited to announce our first Quilt Along!!! We hope you all decide to participate as this is going to be fun!  This is a free Quilt Along!

Panels are so popular now, that we thought a panel project was a good place to start.  Panel Magic II by Wanda's Designs features six 10" panel squares and makes up to 62" x 72" cozy throw.

We are starting September 4th, 2018! Just enough time to gather your pattern and fabrics. The  pattern is available at the shop (visit or call 705 326-9357 to reserve), or online, where it is available as a download. 

Panel Magic II Pattern

If that is not easy enough, KITS are available too! Kits include a pattern and all fabrics needed for the quilt top and binding.

Choosing your own fabrics? Here are the fabric requirements:



One panel or large print fabric

6 - 10½” squares



2.25m / 2½yd



0.4m / ⅜yd



0.4m / ⅜yd


Border #1

0.25m / ¼yd


Border #2

0.5m / ½yd


Border #3 and Binding

1.2m / 1⅓yd


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