Easy Bright Side Panel Quilt

Easy Bright Side Panel Quilt

Created by Nikki Johnson of fabric.com

We always need a little reminder to look on the bright side, right?

Today we’re going to show you how to make a super easy panel quilt that’s perfect for adding a spot of color to your favorite room. This would make a perfect holiday gift, too!

Shibori Frames


Shop the whole Bright Side Collection here.

You will also need standard quilting supplies:

The minute I saw this bright and happy collection, I knew that a quilt was in its future. It may be fall, but this optimistic little panel adds a spot of brightness that is evergreen.

The finished size of this quilt is approximately 52” x 60”, a nice throw size. Use a ¼” seam allowance throughout.

Shibori Frames

For the front of the quilt:

Prepare your fabrics

  • Cut (4) 8.5” x WOF (width of fabric) strips from your border fabric.
  • Sub-cut two of these into 8.5” x 36.5” strips. 36.5” is the panel measurement, so these will match those sides.
  • Cut the selvedges off the other two strips

Shibori Frames

Cut the selvedges off the panel. The panel’s sides and the two strips that the selvedges were removed from should now be the same length.

Bright Side Quilt

Make sure your panel edges are straight, if they aren’t, straighten them.

With the panel folded (selvedge edges together), place your acrylic ruler on the fold as close to the edge as possible, and cut off any excess. It should be a minute amount.

Bright Side Quilt

Cut your yellow corner fabric into one 8.5”x WOF strip. Sub-cut into (4) 8.5” squares.

Assemble your quilt top

Stitch the two 8.5”xWOF border strips onto each side of the panel (the WOF sides) with right sides together. Press the seam allowances towards the panel.

Bright Side Quilt

For each 8.5”x36.5” strip, sew two of your yellow corner pieces onto the short side, right sides together, so they match. Press the seam allowances towards the yellow side.

Bright Side Quilt

Now sew these assembled strips (right sides together) onto the top and bottom of your panel.

With the way we pressed the seams, they should nest when sewing, like so:

Bright Side Quilt

See how the borders on the side are pressed towards the panel, and the top border is pressed towards the yellow square? This means that the seam will almost click into place for a perfect seam at the corners.

Now that your quilt top is assembled, press your remaining seams open. Pressing this way, with the borders so they nest, and the rest open, will reduce the bulkiness of the seams and make for easier quilting.

Assemble your backing

I used a pieced backing to this quilt; you can do this many different ways, as long as your back is a bit longer and wider on each side than your top.

Cut each of your four fabrics into 30” x 34” rectangles (or you can just sew them all together without cutting and trim later when you’re basting your quilt).

Sew them in pairs, sewing one rectangle to the other, short ends and right sides together. Press these seams in opposite directions so they nest, and then sew the long sides together. Press this seam open.

Bright Side Quilt

Baste your quilt

I won’t go into all the specifics of basting a quilt, there are many methods. My favorite is spray basting, which you can get on Amazon . It’s a little pricey, but it will last for a few quilts, and it’s so much faster.

You can also pin baste with curved basting pins. This is a rather slow method, but it’s a bit more stable and very tried and true. However, you have to stop as you quilt to remove them.

Or, tack baste with a special tacking gun. They’re like the tacks you find on your clothes when you buy them that attach the price tags. A very handy tool and relatively inexpensive for how long it will last you.

The important part when basting is to make sure your batting is larger than your quilt top, and your back is larger than your batting. This will give you some wiggle room when quilting. The quilt “sandwich”, as it’s called goes quilt top, batting, and then backing. Make sure that the wrong sides of your back and top are facing the batting.

You can see here that the batting is larger than the top, and the back is larger than the batting, even though this is after quilting. See how the top has warped a little with the quilting? That’s why it’s important for the batting to be larger.

Bright Side Quilt

Quilt as desired

You can quilt this however you want. I used some random free motion quilting to go around the pretty words and flowers in the center of the panel and then used loopy free motion flowers around the rest of it.

You can also hand quilt, or use straight line quilting. Free motion quilting takes some special tools and a LOT of practice to get good at it, but its SUPER fast.

Bright Side Quilt

Square up your corners

Using a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, trim the excess batting and backing.

Square up your corners, using the corner of your ruler and a rotary cutter.

Bright Side Quilt

Bind your quilt

I decided to use a straight binding instead of a bias binding for this one. It’s faster and easier, and I haven’t had a problem with using a straight binding in terms of durability. If you prefer a bias binding, then make your bias binding as desired.

For a straight binding, cut (6) 2.5”xWOF strips from your light green binding fabric. Sew these together at the ends, right sides together, so that you have one very long 2.5” strip.

Bind your quilt in your favorite method.

Bright Side Quilt

I machine bound it by sewing it to the back with a ¼” seam allowance, and folding it over to the front to topstitch along the edges.

Bright Side Quilt

And you have a completed quilt! It’s so cheerful, and a nice size for curling up on the couch. It’s a constant source of optimism, and a reminder to always look on the bright side of life.

Bright Side Quilt

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