Printed quilt tops is cheating

Printed quilt tops is cheating (not really, but we’ll get into that later).

They are called cheater quilts too.

Shortcuts simply aren’t well received by many, but you and I are always looking for an easier way to make that award winning quilt. Take a look at what Jenny Doan made recently using a digitally printed fabric.

From Jenny Doan’s Instagram @jennymsqc

You know that I don’t like making show quilts, so I won’t be winning any quilt awards. But you can make a winning quilt with a printed panel, cheater quilts have won at the Houston Quilt Show – I kid you not.

Personally I just think using a printed panel is clever. What do you do if you enjoy quilting, but you’re not a fan of the cutting, stitching and piecing? We like piecing and appliqué, at times, but the results of a printed quilt top with some finely tuned quilt designs and motifs give us that perfect edgy result that we love.

So, when we don’t piece, we make whole-cloth quilts. Or we do what I do and get a panel. It’s substantially cheaper than the time and money spent on piecing.

Imagine a quilt that looks like you spent a million hours of work piecing all those tiny bits of fabric. And you have perfectly placed every last, perfectly cut, piece of appliqué.

That’s a lot of perfect, but it really is, perfect. And the artistry lies in the quilting bringing that panel to life. Doodling designs with a sewing machine is art. And damn it’s a lot of fun too!

This is Daindelina

Accessible to anyone

Printed quilt tops make quilting accessible to anyone who enjoys the quilting part of the process, but not necessarily the patchwork intricacies.  I enjoy both but have fumbled my way through projects only to give up before putting the top together. Simply because I either get bored or get frustrated when blocks and pieces don’t fit.

Digitally printed quilt tops bring modern quilting design to everyone’s home.  Perfectly straight lines for ruler work that every quilter will love and no hassles with seams that are too thick! I mean, it’s a win-win. And the digital print opens up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to special effects, unusual colours and patterns, curves, shadows, colour variations – the list goes on and on.

Let sleeping scirros lie

Caring for a digitally printed quilt panel

In the same way that you will take care of your patchwork quilt, you still need to take care of this panel. (Did you read the post I wrote on taking care of a quilt? All that applies here too)

But, it’s not a complicated matter, and there is no special treatment required to ensure many years of happy use of this fabric.  It is durable and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Because all the appliqué is printed LOL, it won’t come undone!

When you first get your panel you will give it a lovely steam with your steam iron. The damp heat helps to set the colour if there is anything that’s still not 100% set (it is properly treated when printed, using heat and steam, but I like to show my panel an extra bit of love, and who doesn’t enjoy a spa?). Once quilted, or your project is finished, washing in cold water on a gentle cycle is all that it needs, and it can be tumble dried on low heat.

Quilter's sampler custom printed quilt top
Quilter’s Sampler in Rusticana


I mentioned earlier that your project won’t need different treatment to your quilts. You can make sewing machine covers, pillow cases, tablecloths, duvet covers, just about anything you can make with your sewing machine. Take Quilter’s Sampler for example: You can cut each of those blocks and turn them into pillow cases. Have a special event that you want a themed tablecloth for – well these will be great for that too.

Take a look at the huge selection of panels available from Lavender Quilting Farm, and get your favourite today!

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