Sometimes, your dream of giving a handmade gift seems to reach beyond your skills or your time constraints. Making a baby’s crib quilt from a preprinted panel may be the solution. The project requires a minimum of supplies and only basic machine sewing skills. You will be able to complete most panel quilts in one evening, so it makes a great last-minute gift, as well.
Place the panel on a table with the right side facing up. Lay the quilt batting on top of the panel. The batting should be close to the same size as the panel, but you will trim it when the piecing is complete, so it will not matter if it is slightly larger than the panel.
Lay the coordinating fabric on top of the batting, with the wrong side facing up. This may be slightly larger than the panel; you will trim all the layers.
Pin through all three layers with T-pins; because they are longer than regular dressmaker pins, they are easier to use on the thick stack of materials. Place a few pins in the center of the panel to prevent the layers from slipping.
Machine-stitch around the four sides of the fabrics with a 5/8 inch seam allowance on the printed panel, leaving about 4 inches open for turning. Trim the seam allowances to match on all layers; clip the seams about 1 inch apart, taking care not to clip through the seam.
Turn the quilt and hand-stitch the opening.
Pin the layers together from the center to the edges. The more pins you use, the easier the quilting will be, as the layers will remain in place, rather than puckering.
Machine-stitch around the designs on the panel; if desired, use a contrasting color of thread to add texture and interest.
You may also want to replace the outer bands of the panel with the coordinating fabric.
You may add a ruffle to the quilt by pinning it to the right side of the panel, with the ruffle toward the center, before you begin layering the fabrics.
The quilt may also be hand-quilted, but it will take much longer to outline the design.