Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Reproduction Fabric Panels

Do any of you own pre-printed fabric panels? These are also called "cheater cloth" fabrics and used to be very popular years ago. It seemed that just about every reproduction fabric designer had one or two in their fabric lines. If you collect reproduction fabrics like I do they're really fun and a welcome addition to your fabric collection. If you can find them anymore. 

The cheater cloth nickname was originally given around 1910 because it was an easy way to "cheat" and make a quilt without doing any piecing. Here are some of the panels in my collection. I only have a few, mostly ones designed by Judie Rothermel and a smaller piece of one designed by Jo Morton. 

Years ago, when I first started quilting, I used to practice my hand quilting on these. Treated them as a finished quilt top, layered with batting and backing and just followed the lines to do some hand quilting. Then sewed on a binding.


This picture below is of a tumbling blocks fabric panel that a friend of mine had machine quilted - she added borders and turned it into a pretty lap quilt that looks antique. Quick and easy.

I'll tell you, it doesn't look that much different from this little tumbling blocks quilt I pieced all by hand from scraps. You probably know how long that took. I've always wanted a larger one so maybe someday I'll use my panel (above) and do the same thing.

Most of the ones I've shown here are pretty old and hard to find but I know fabric companies still make these. I saw that Moda came out with one by Betsy Chutchian recently. Mary Ann's Gift??  And I think I saw one by Julie Hendrickson too. If you can't find any new ones, try Etsy or eBay. You might get lucky. 

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We had a small amount of snow here yesterday but the sun is out today and I'm almost certain spring is coming . . . . It has to, right??



Nancy said...

In addition to using these for a quilt, I think they're also helpful in choosing repro-style fabrics/colors to combine. I've seen cheater fabrics before but the ones I've seen were of poor quality, nothing like the top companies make these days.

www.self-sufficientsam.blogspot.com said...

I have a couple cheater cloths but not from my favorite designers. I need to go check out the 2 you mentioned. I did practice hand quilting on them which I really enjoyed. You have some gorgeous ones!

Anonymous said...

I have one of the Judie's cheaters and also a matching one from ca. 1880s. The Judie cheater that is made of her conversationals is my fav.

Mary said...

I've quilted for years and I don't recall seeing these panels. How wonderful they are!

Yvonne said...

I have never seen those panels before, but they are beautiful and I think perfect fot practicing hand quilting without the seems.


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