Think Creatively About Using Fabric Panels

Think Creatively About Using Fabric Panels main article image
Posted on May 13, 2021 by Kathy Kysar
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Sometimes I think it is a blessing to be a self-taught sewer, because when I enter a fabric store, I see things differently. I’m naturally drawn to fabric panels and all of the creative possibilities they hold. I’d like to share with you 5 ways to use panels that you may not have thought of before!

#1 Table runners and placemats

I first started out using fabric panels to make table runners and placemats. I simply cut the panels apart and pieced them back together using fabric scraps as borders.

Wildlife Table Runner

Alaska Wildlife Table Runner

#2 Potholders

Panels of the right size are perfect to make into potholders. I try to find panels that are between 8×8” and 12×12,” but it is easy to cut down larger panels. I have to laugh about this one because when I first met my husband, he had fabric made of duck panels that someone had made into curtains for him. I immediately took them down, made them into potholders, and used a more appropriate fabric for curtains.

#3 Pockets on kuspuks or hoodies

Another favorite project of mine is to use panels as pockets on kuspuks, hoodies, or other garments with large front pockets. A kuspuk (also known as qaspeq and atikłuk) is a hooded overshirt with a large front pocket commonly worn among Alaska Natives. Kuspuks are tunic-length, pullover garments. Panels make beautiful, stand-out pockets!


#4 Pillow covers

Removable, washable, pillow covers! These are extremely popular in my Etsy store and at summer markets. Purchasing throw pillows from a thrift store for the inside make these very inexpensive ways to dress up a living room or bedroom. Then, I simply sew on borders and an overlapping back piece closed with a button or two, and voila! A removable cover that can be changed with the seasons and thrown in the washing machine to keep it fresh is always a great thing.


#5 Facemasks

Finally, I even use the faces from panels to make adorable face masks. Kids and adults, alike, love wearing these!

I hope you’ve been inspired to seek out panels in your locally-owned fabric store to spark your creativity. The possibilities are endless!


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Think Creatively About Using Fabric Panels

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