Have you ever seen a quilt panel that you just had to have? So you hunt online or in your local quilt store until you find it. You are so excited, until you open the panel…. somehow it wasn’t cut right.. you can see the “cut here marks.” It isn’t quite even. Talk about disappointment! How can you use this?

Example of poor panel cut

My first piece of advice is to take a DEEP BREATH. Don’t call up the store immediately and chew out the clerk. You may feel better, but it might not change the situation. Not to worry, there is a way to fix it and no one but you will probably know the difference.

Many panel patterns have a border or spacing strip that will rescue you! Even if the pattern doesn’t have that strip, you can add one.

First, measure the panel’s usable area. That is the area without the cutting marks or selvedge. For example, the usable area for this panel was 23-inch x 43-inch.

Compare that area to the area required in the pattern. In this case, the required area was 23 1/2-inch x 41 1/2-inch. The width of the fabric was acceptable, but the length was 1/2-inch short.

Take the difference, D, and trim the panel’s length (L) and width (W) by that amount. In this case, trim the panel to 23-inch x 41-inch.

Panel with wider spacer/border strips

New Dimensions = (L-D) x (W-D)

If the original spacer/border strips are 1-inch, the quilt center will be 24-inch x 42-inch. This won’t work with the pieced borders. They were designed for a finished quilt center of 24-inch x 42-inch. The pieced borders will be 1/2-inch too large. So the spacer/border strips need to be larger so the pieced borders will fit.

To make up for the missing fabric, add 1/2D to the width of the spacer/border strips. In this case, the original strip width was 1-inch. We need to add 1/2(1/2-inch) or 1/4-inch to the strip width. So the new strip width is 1 1/4-inch. The side strips will be 1 1/4-inch x 41-inch, rather than the original 1-inch x 41 1/2-inch. The top and bottom strips will be 1 1/4-inch x 24 1/2-inch. This means the quilt will be 24 1/2-inch x 42 1/2-inch, which will finish as 24-inch x 42-inch. Perfect!!!

You were able to fix the mistake and complete the quilt! No need to panic 🙂 Hopefully this will help if you ever run into this situation.

Happy Quilting!