In the last post, I was working on strip sets for my new pattern made for panel blocks.  For this sample, I am using the Zinnia panel from Elizabeth’s Studio.  There is a variety of zinnias in the panel, and the blocks are 7″ x 7″.



The key to working with blocks from a panel is to make sure there is enough room for the seam allowance when you cut the blocks apart.  I’ve seen some really nice panels that I’d like to use, but the blocks were too close together, and I’d end up cutting into half the blocks to get a seam allowance around the other half of the blocks.  It seems like a waste of fabric to me, so I avoid those panels.

When you cut the blocks apart, take care to add a 1/4″ seam allowance to each side of the 7″ block.  Remember, fabric is flexible, so cut one side at a time, and make sure it is straight with that side of the block.  You may or may not be following the grain line of the fabric, depending on the way the panel was printed.  When you sew the blocks together with other sections of the quilt top, they should end up square.

In my strip sets, I chose 10 different fabrics to match the zinnias:  2 reds, 2 pinks, 2 oranges, 2 purples, and 2 yellows.  I sub-cut the strip sets slightly smaller than the blocks.  The colors are so bold in the strips, I didn’t want them to overwhelm the blocks.




Now I throw everything on the design wall, scattering the zinnias among the strips.




I chose a dark-ish green for the background, wanting to highlight the brights of the strips and flowers.  I added a small strip of green to each side of the colored strips, to bring them up to 7″ wide.  That way I can create vertical rows to put it all together.




Then I added sashing with the same green between the vertical rows.




It’s slowly coming together!  Come back for my next post when I finish the top.



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