The Free Motion Quilting Project: Cheater Cloth Query

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cheater Cloth Query

I've been wondering...how do you feel about cheater cloth?

Cheater cloth is another name for Pre-Printed Fabric or Smart Cloth that is printed with a mock quilt design. It's "cheater" because it's a solid piece of fabric that you can go straight to quilting with rather than troubling to cut and piece.

So how do you feel about it? Do you like it? Have you ever used it?

I'm curious because from a teaching perspective it's a very good option for the following reasons:

1. No marking - the quilt is already printed on fabric so that saves a load of time
2. No cutting and piecing - again the quilt is printed so you can go straight to the quilting.
3. Ultimate freedom of design - It's just fabric so you can play a lot more freely, right?

However the major draw back is of course - Cheater Cloth is not a REAL quilt.

It lacks real quilty things like seams, seam allowances, multiple layers of fabric - all the ridges and weirdness that real quilts have. So quilting a cheater cloth quilt really will be significantly easier than quilting a real, pieced or appliqued quilt.

There's also this stigma I'm picking up that cheater cloth is somehow bad, as in "cheater cheater pumpkin eater"- not a legitimate quilt. Certain big quilt shows even have it in the rules that pre-printed quilts are not eligible for entry.

So if you found a beautiful cheater cloth panel, would you quilt it and hang it in your house as a wall hanging, or would the cheater cloth aspect of it make it somehow undesirable?

I'm curious, and I'd like to know as many opinions on this as possible from quilters of all skill levels and styles, so no matter what is said before you in the comments, please post your opinion below!

And yes, I'm curious because I want to design cheater cloth panels and maybe use them for teaching in the coming year. So if you think this is a totally terrible idea, please tell me so and WHY in the comments. If you think this is a totally wonderful idea, please tell me so and WHY in the comments. I look forward to hearing many opinions!

Cheers,

Leah

73 comments:

  1. Everyone seems to have their own idea of what it takes to be a legitimate quilt...must have 3 layers, or must be pieced or appliquéd, etc. I wouldn't enter a preprinted fabric into a quilt show but if it were pretty then I say what's the difference in that and a whole cloth quilt or a panel? I think it's a great idea for teaching...I'd rather use that to learn on than a top I've spent hundreds of hours on. If I practice on what you're proposing then I'll be more comfortable quilting my tops. Blessings, Marlene

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  2. I have seen some very nice cheater panels on spoonflower, and I would not hesitate to use them for practice or to make a quick project. That said, I do consider them to be "lesser" than a pieced work. There is less creativity and workmanship going into the product, and there will be many very similar if not identical end results out there. Not a terrible thing, but still a drawback. In my mind, they are a bit like paint by numbers art kits.

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  3. I have actually only ever purchased panels for the purpose of practicing FMQ....and so yeah, I think you should design some. ;) k.

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  4. I took the Jan Krentz oath not to use the word "cheater." I think "pre-printed panels" are a great way to practice FMQ. In fact, when my LQS closed, I bought a few panels, thinking I could maybe add to them, quilt them, and donate them.

    I would regard panels as practice and probably not display it. They don't allow much originality, but then, neither do kits, which are certainly popular.

    I totally agree with Marlene; I have heard people say "that's not a quilt" because it doesn't meet some criterion. To each their own.

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  5. A printed cloth could be called a cheater top but it won't be a cheater quilt. Quilt indicates top, batting and backing - 3 layers held together somehow. In my mind, a tied quilt is a cheater quilt but it already has a name which is acceptable.

    Describing anything as a cheater (fill in the blank) is pejorative, IMO. Many will say you can't change perception with a new name, because a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But naming conventions change over time with usage.

    Why not call your printed tops "wholecloth" and the quilts which you create "wholecloth quilts"? Does it matter if they are printed with geometric designs that remind us of pieced quilts? Couldn't you just as easily teach with a fabric of a floral design? I imagine you are trying to relate the process to quilting a pieced top, so that is why you are designing this way.

    A real cheater top would have the suggested quilting designs stamped in a light color that would disappear at the first washing after the stitching is done. A fugitive dye layer. Ha! It would then be a cheater dyed cloth since the color is meant to fade away.

    :Diane







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  6. First of all, I've been told very firmly at my local quilt guild not to call it "cheater cloth". It's a "panel" and yes, let's even go so far as to call it a "printed wholecloth." I've used these in several quilting projects, one of which was actually my very first FMQ quilt. When I took it to the local senior center quilt group, they wanted to use it for a raffle rather than just send it off to the hospital or other group to which they donated. Since then I've made one baby quilt and two toddler quilts using panels for the center block and doing some minimal piecing/borders to add some width and length. The toddler quilts were free motion quilted, the baby quilt was for my first granddaughter and that was hand quilted. My first FMQ quilt is also my very first blog post, the other two FMQ toddler quilts have not been posted yet as they are intended Christmas gifts. Both of those used Michael Miller Flower Fairy panels and were rather intricately FMQ'd (for a relative beginner). I'd never call them "cheater" anything!!

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  7. I have used 'cheater' cloth for donation quilts. I think they are great for practicing FMQing.

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  8. I have to say that I have thought of them as not really being quilts, but since I have been practicing free motion quilting I am thinking that it would be fun to quilt a panel that I really liked and I would probably hang it up or use it in a project. I do like to practice quilting on fabric with a large print and outline the designs in the fabric so this could be a similar thing.

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  9. If I liked the cheater pattern I would totally buy it and quilt it and call it a blankie! Of course, I also have an artificial Christmas tree and in some circles I would be banned for life.

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  10. Is a cheater cloth going to become a family heirloom? No. Is it a great way to practice FMQ? Yes. Is it a great gift for the pregnant co-worker you feel obliged to give a gift? Yes. For me it's the same category as a quickly-fused-raw-edge design. It has a time and place. Enjoy.

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  11. I don't see any problem with pre-printed fabrics --in fact I could see a whole business in designing fabric with blocks or medallions that could just be quilted, or could be cut apart and then put together differently or with surrounding borders.

    For your purposes--the idea of using them to teach makes a lot of sense---to be able to outline a clear printed design with quilting--to focus on that would really be a great idea.

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  12. As a beginning quilter, I think cheater fabrics are great! I love being able to practice quilting without worrying about ruining a pieced top that I spent hours on. And a cheater fabric can still make a nice looking "quilt". I am about to start one for my sister for a Christmas gift. I know I will be able to get it done in time & she won't know the difference since she is not a quilter. I say go for it!

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  13. I have some panels in my stash that will get used someday - most likely cut into sections and then joined with pieced blocks. I love to piece so a whole quilt wouldn't really appeal to me.

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  14. I think that pre-printed fabrics are no more cheating than using a sewing machine instead of doing everything by hand. It's a different kind of art, but still requires skill and work to create an attractive finished product. I would like to have the option of buying "cheater" panels that were well designed.

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  15. I don't use them for full sized quilts, but did use one for a wall hanging for my son's room when he was small. I hand-quilted around the figures on it (original Pooh Bear). For a quilt that's going to look like it's actually pieced it needs to be pieced in my opinion.

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  16. I always recommend cheater cloth or panels as the best way I know to get comfortable doing free motion quilting. Since there is no investment in time piecing complex blocks, the newbie is more apt to relax and just learn to FMQ, knowing it's no big deal if she/he makes major mistakes and ends up throwing it all away. Chances are they'll be mighty proud of their first effort and keep it. I've seen panels sold with printed FMQ designs and think they are marketing genius!

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  17. I love the idea of cheater cloth. But would like to be able to customize it. Like have a main panel and couple prints/small blocks to go with. So, we can add one or two borders to it and get some experience quilting around seems too. This is definitely a great way to practice free-motion quilting.

    Personally I get attracted to any kids print than a quilt design.

    I would say go for it. Its a great idea!

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  18. Watch out, this is long. I am on my soap box. :-)

    I don't think that pre-printed panels are cheating. Like everything else in this world, they serve a purpose. It is a good way to practice free motion quilting. When I know some one who is pregnant, I like to get a panel and quilt it, maybe add an additional border. When my best friend was pregnant with her son, I hand appliqued and hand quilted a really cut quilt for him. She hung it on a wall to keep it nice. He never got to play with it, drag it around, etc. He's 25 now. So, now I use the panels and the child has something to love.

    When I started quilting many years ago, it wasn't a quilt if it wasn't hand pieced & hand quilted. Well I beg to differ. I saw a quilt in an exhibition that was made in the 1860's by a young boy. It was machine pieced and machine quilted. Don't tell me that wasn't a quilt. He was using state of the art technology. Our foremothers in quilting would be shaking their heads over all the hoo-haa over what makes a quilt. They would have loved all the fabric, machine and notions choices we have today.

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  19. I've never used cheater cloth before for a quilt. I have liked some of them that have been put out in the last few years. They difinately fool your eye and pull you in to look. I think if it is a really small quilt print that looks like alot of piecing and done well it's great.
    I think it could be a great teaching tool for machine quilting lessons.

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  20. Like the "rose by any other name would smell as sweet" thing. A blanket made from "cheater cloth" would be just as warm or could be just as pretty!
    If I found a pattern I liked, I would buy it and like other sewists, would use it to practice my FMQ.
    If you design some I would totally buy them, cause they are going to be interesting!!!

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  21. I think these panels would be brest for practice for FMQ. My LYS actually uses panels for their intermediate FMQ classes. Sometimes I just want to FMQ and I'm not going to want to put a whole quilt together to just FMQ, panels are perfect for practicing or simply doing FMQ. Please design some. I love your Craftsy class and ordered the Spoonflower fabric to go along with it so I could learn/practice along with the lessons. The Spoonflower panels allow me to jump right to the FMQ part, and sometimes that's all I want to do.

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  22. I love the idea of pre-printed panels for practicing FMQ. I have used printed panels and "cheater" cloths to create quilts just because I love the designs! I would never enter them in a show, but who cares what they begin as, as long as they are made with love and the recipient loves it as well.

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  23. I'm not really a quilter, having only made a few in my life. But I am a great admirer of quilts. I really dislike the "cheater quilts" probably because I often think they are pieced only to discover on closer inspection that they are not. It's like faux bacon. I would much prefer a quilt made with a single piece of fabric not trying to look pieced if it is not.

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  24. I think they would be great for practicing learning to quilt, but I think they would need to be very inexpensive because I would want to though them away since they would be full of errors. Maybe something printed on a fiber material like interfacing, not real fabric. I signed up for your class on Classy and was excited to see the panels that could be purchased to practice on until I saw the price! Good grief, that's a lot of money for something to make mistakes on--and obviously when we are learning a new skill mistakes are an important part of the learning process. So I would vote for something inexpensive enough to not fear ruining.

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  25. I think it's a GREAT idea for practicing free-motion-quilting! The freedom of not having to worry about destroying a pieced quilt. Confidence-building! Fun! A palette for larning new techniques--and the finished product is useful! Who cares if it's "legit". YES, design! Hugs!

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  26. I have used 'cheaters' or 'panels' several times..mainly for practicing or teaching quilting. It does make a pretty learning project and can be quite efficient. Whether it is a real quilt or not, that is a personal matter. If you put your heart and time into it..it is valuable to you. I see it as a stepping stone to bigger things.

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  27. Wendy Shephard designed a quilt using a panel that appeared in the October issue of Quilters World. It makes a very cute baby quilt.

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  28. I'd use a cheater cloth. As a beginner, I'm troubled over what to quilt and practise on. And drawing a design is the first step in this prcess that I stumble over. I've made up squares like you suggested but I'd really rather have something pre-printed, that is proportionally okay (ie not too tight curves) so I can get on with the even harder part- actually doing FMQ.

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  29. I think "cheater panels" are definitely still quilts. As long as there's batting in the middle and it's either tied or quilted it's a quilt. It is however NOT a patchwork quilt.

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  30. I think cheater panels have a place. Teaching is a great one, in my opinion, even with the lack of seams. You have to start somewhere.

    I would not choose to put a quilted cheater cloth panel on my wall, that would bother me. My mother-in-law hand quilted a cheater print for our wedding, careful outlining the design. It is beautiful and I appreciate it very much. If someone is still going to put time and effort into something as a gift, it can still be a wonderful thing. If someone were to buy cheater cloth and tie it as quickly as possible (or even quilt an all over pattern on it) and give it to me, it would go in a closet and never get used.

    So I guess I think cheater prints are best when you aren't going to "cheat" on the quilting too, and an excellent choice for practice.

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  31. I'm new to FMQ, so need lots of practice & think cheaters are ideal, but it's not something i'd ever display on a wall or bed

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  32. I like cheater cloths.....I use them a lot for charity quilts.....

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  33. I have used cheater fabric for a couple of quilts. I usually add my own border but I still don't value them the same.

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  34. I used a 'cheater' quilt for learning to execute new designs, on my LA I had fun dyeing a matching back. Then I gave it to a friend, who I knew would wash it a lot...that's just her. Many years later it still looks good, though very faded. So let me say that these cloths have a use :)

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  35. A lot of baby quilts are panels / cheater quilts, and guess what?

    The recipients DON'T CARE! :D

    They are quick to finish, great for practising skills, and people who receive them still call them a quilt.

    Not every quilt has to be show worthy.

    (I'm quilting a panel this week, actually... )
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrea_r/8218421774/in/photostream

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  36. A quilt is made of 3 (or more) layers, and if a cheater cloth is not a quilt (since there are no seams), then neither is a whole cloth quilt! Anyway, who really cares? If the pre-printed designs make it easier for someone to learn, then they are the right way to go!

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  37. As a beginning quilter, if I waited until I finished a quilt, it would be a pretty long time before I actually had a something to actually quilt. So like everyone else, these preprinted panels are a great way to practice. They are also relatively inexpensive, compared to the amount of time and fabric going into my pieced quilt. And they give me a break from piecing! I also like thread painting, and some panels are quite beautiful for that.

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  38. Actually did not know what a cheater cloth was until you used one in one of your Quilt Alongs. I think they are probably great for teaching and practising, and I certainly have FMQ on a Panel and displayed it. I must say though that I prefer to practice on what I perceive as a real quilt (right or wrong), for no other reason than to learn to deal with some of the issues that a pieced quilt brings with it, like bulky seams and intersections that don't match, distortions from quilting in the ditch etc. But for gaining confidence or whipping up a quick project I would say that they have a place, same as the pre-printed Panels.

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  39. I think using a "pre-printed panel" to practice FMQ is a great idea. Practice being the operative word. I think using Spoonflower, at $18 per yard, to generate the practice piece is ridiculously overpriced for something to practice on. I can buy top of the line gorgeous fabric for $10 yard. Please please find a panel that is less expensive we can practice on. I am currently practicing on the Northcott Stonehenge Magnolia panel. I'm learnig following a drawn shape, and travel stitching. When done I will have something pretty enough to hang. Moda has some fabulous panels I plan to practice on next.

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  40. Cheater quilts are best if there is texture difference on each "print" and if the color values change, too.

    This one is a good example. I would use it. Heck! I'm planning on trying my hand at making some for my Appliance Deco collection, but there is definitely a difference between good and sad.

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  41. Hi there!
    I've never used a cheater cloth, but that's just because I haven't found one I liked (within my price range... there was once a beautiful lilac 'patchwork,' sigh)
    I have no problem with using them though, although I think to enter one in a quilt fair would be slightly cheating, unless there were a category specifically for 'quilting' not 'quilts' ('quilts' to me implies making the whole thing, including the design of the top).
    Have fun!

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  42. I have a cheater cloth Nativity scene that I plan on quilting and hanging. I don't mind that cheater cloth at all. I have some other cheater cloth that I think will be nice for lap quilts. It would also make for a cute backing on a quilt that is lap sized. I've seen some really nice cheater cloth centers on quilts that have then been added to with blocks. It all depends on the cheater cloth.

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  43. I think printed whole cloth quilts have a place. Certainly it's a great way to get strait to FMQ. I don't like the name, cheater cloth, as that's a very disparaging name, with a negative opinion stamped on it.
    I'm thinking of giving it a go!

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  44. I found that when I first started FMQ I would practice on a piece of fabric... but it would suck. So I just jumped in with two feet and tried to quilt a quilt I made. I cared, I did a great job. Even now when I test drive a design, I still do a horrible job, just enough to get the idea/feel for it. But it always translates well. Some people are just scared to fail. I have no idea how to tell the difference between these two types of people. I think you would do well financially by designing the panels, but is it the best teaching technique, I don't personally think so.

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  45. I've heard them called "convenience cloths"...No, they're not for entering in a professional quilt show, but they have their place.

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  46. I have some cheater panels given to me by an aunt, and I tend to use them for FMQ practice, as backing, or to make quilted things where the design won't be recognizable anyway (I cut one up to make coasters, napkin rings and a wine cozy, which was perfect.)

    I would use a cheater cloth as a blanket, but I wouldn't display/give this as a real quilt, simply because it doesn't feel like something that I made 100%. (I feet the same way about kits)

    In the context of a class, I would appreciate having the cheater cloth available, but also being given the option in advance to make my own pieced quilt top to bring.

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  47. Interesting question Leah. My quilt guild's challenge last year was to use a panel "cheater cloth" in a quilt. The directions were to some how add to it by piecing, quilting, applique, embellishments, etc. We had great response and some wonderful quilts shown at the conclusion of the challenge. I think it would be a great teaching tool for machine quilting classes as you wouldn't have to spend time on the preliminary stuff and still end up with something pretty at the end.

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  48. I didn't have time to read all the other comments so sorry if this is redundant with others.

    I get really bent out of shape when people try to prescribe what is or isn't a "legitimate quilt" I think it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

    It takes (at least for me) a lot of practice to get good at FMQ, and if that's your goal, then I think practice on "cheater panels" is excellent! It's like making a small sample in a class to learn a technique- I mean you don't usually put that in a quilt show but it has significant value as a learning tool. And, I really like the idea of cheater panels because they're more interesting and pretty (usually) than just plain muslin with squares or circles boxed off to practice in. For me this meant that I could then make my "practice sandwiches" into charity quilts or something that will be useful to someone. Do they mimic all aspects of a "real" quilt? No, but that isn't always the point. So bascially, you should definitely design some!

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  49. I say do it! I'm just learning the fmq from watching your video lessons but am afraid to start quilting my quilt that took me a year to piece for fear of ruining it. Yes, I would buy your cheater panels to sandwich and practice fmq. It sounds like a great investment in skill building. Go for it!

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  50. Leah, if it were not for 'cheater cloths' I don't honestly think that I would ever have learned to quilt my quilts. I used to tie them (had no one to teach me to quilt) as this is what I had seen for sale at the Flea Markets when I was a child.... Saw my first 'cheater cloth' at the 5&10 cent store and bought a yard and started sewing along the outlines..... 66 years later, I am using 'cheater cloths' to improve my machine quilting ;-)... SO...... YEAH!!! for 'cheater cloths'. Anne

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  51. Whole cloth quilts lack quilty things like seam allowances, and they are certainly "real" quilts! Go for it; I would like to see some beautifully designed quilt panels to practice on. who knows, I might even hang one on my wall, though I likely wouldn't be entering it in a show.

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  52. I don't like the term "Cheater"...I prefer "shortcut". Because it's not cheating to take a piece of cloth and make it into something beautiful. I use them to border, practice on, make into simple quilts,and donate to charity. The recipient is thrilled to get it, and that's NOT cheating!!

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  53. I like all things artsy - quilts are no exception. So a "cheater fabric" looses the essence of what a quilt is; it won't even remind us of the times when quilts where made not because of beauty, but out of need. In that sense, I don't like cheater fabric.
    However, I do see the advantages of using cheater fabrics for teaching; even more for learning. To be honest, I would just mark the pattern on a solid fabric and use it instead of a cheat fabric; besides, the cost itself would discourage me from getting it.

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  54. I use "cheater cloth" all the time for baby quilts and donation quilts. Sometimes I quilt them as is, other times I just add a border or even cut it up and use it for piecing. I don't see anything wrong with using pre-printed panels.

    I think using pre-printed panels to practice FMQ is a great idea. It's how I started. I had trouble practicing on something I spent hours piecing but had no problem practicing on something pre-printed when my only investment in it was basting the layers together.

    Pre-printed panels are also great for backs. I once gave a baby quilt for a gift and the mom liked the pre-printed back better than the pieced front. This hurt my feelings a little bit at the time, but it was a gift and she liked it. She didn't sew and so didn't realize that there was a difference between the two sides.

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  55. I think these would be great for practicing free motion quilting on. My main objection to them as whole cloth quilts is they put the designing of the quilt into someone else's hands (i.e. the fabric company). That being said, I have used baby panels for baby quilts and they work just fine. They are just not heirloom type stuff nor are they meant to be. And a lot of them are not what I would consider high quality fabric, depends really on the fabric and it's intended use. We use a large swath of it for a tablecloth at our stitching group luncheons.

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  56. I made a comment on Facebook about this but I didn't get to complete my whole idea about it. So to reiterate I am on the fence about pre-printed designs but there again I've only seen panels that are not to my taste and I think I would change my mind if I saw something that I really liked.

    Yes it is someone else's muse as it were and not something that a quilter could ever say "I did that" about but in the end what a body does with it is all their own work so it's kind of a collaboration.
    I think if I had the opportunity to purchase a few pieces that I really loved I would take the plunge and as many other people have stated, it's PERFECT for practicing on, you don't have seams to deal or other quilt blips that occur occasionally and you can just set up and go without agonizing over what goes where.

    I think if you want to design some, do it! Not everyone is going to agree on the idea but if it's something you really want, then that is all that matters in the end.

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  57. I have purchased a few table runners that are "cheater cloths". Both of them are seasonal items (fall, I believe), and I love both of them. They were cute, quick and fun. I loved the opportunity to just throw something together and quilt it rather than taking the long approach. I do prefer pieced work for bed quilts and baby blankets, but the panels were a nice change.

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  58. I am impressed by the thoughtfulness of the comments and can appreciate the generous spirit being expressed. In my head I agree with the beauty of pre-printed panels for practice. But the purist in my heart feels that if I'm going to spend all that time on a quilt (and for me, FMQ is a slow process...and my time is in precious short supply), it needs to be pieced. Sorry, but the analogy that comes to mind is spending time sewing a couture garment using bargain fabric and slubby thread. Just like we don't jump right into couture without practice, the place for pre-printed panels makes sense. But when you asked if your readers would purchase panels, I have to say that no, my heart just wouldn't let me invest time on a cookie cutter project. Sorry...I tend to go against the flow a lot.

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  59. For myself, I wouldn't use a cheater cloth. I love taking large pieces of fabrics, cutting them up into small pieces of fabric and sewing them back into one large piece of fabric. :-)

    But I can see the value of a cheater cloth in a class to teach FMQ techniques. Actually, I think it's a great way to learn FMQ!

    And I make no judgments on those who use cheater cloths. To each his own! But for me, I wouldn't use it to make a quilt - it seems to defeat the purpose of why we quilt.

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  60. I think "cheater cloths" or pre-printed panels have their place! It's great when your in a time crunch or for baby blankets or for practicing your quilting. I have seen some very nice pre-printed panels and would totally use them, layer it and call it a quilt! I say in art... there is no wrong way!

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  61. Cheater cloth is fine- you'll just be making a wholecloth quilt- nothing wrong with a wholecloth!

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  62. I thought that cheater cloth was fabric pre-printed to look like it was pieced, not pre-marked lines for quilting. At least that's the definitely I got when I searched on Google, and it sounds like a very different thing from pre-marked lines for quilting. I think the pre-marked lines for quilting are a great idea and I've been thinking about getting one for purposes of practicing free-motion quilting. At our last quilt show, a lady had done just that, to practice, and ended up winning the best machine quilting award. So design away!

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  63. I think that using a "printed piece" for practicing purposes is a wonderful idea. I have tons of hours in some pieces and do not want to try my free motion quilting on them. If you are using this technique for a class, you can put a disclaimer on it and offer the student to choose. I love your web site.

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  64. I think taking a class and using wholecloth it would be super! At least you have some direction and would be able to practice free motion quilting on something that is a bit more exciting than muslin... or use quilting blocks that took hours to construct. Give your students the option, but I bet many will opt for the wholecloth, and will hang it up themselves or give it away as a gift.

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  65. I think a cheater cloth is a fabulous idea for a beginner class on free motion quilting; your challenge, Leah, may be that you have a LOT of fans at various skill levels. So far you have magically kept us all interested and sewing along with you.

    Just my opinion: I'd rather learn new techniques on a whole cloth quilt. I take my practice much more seriously if I'm working on a piece that I want to turn out well. Practice sandwiches don't inspire me to do my best work for more than a short amount of time.

    As an aside, quilters seem to have different definitions of "cheater cloth" and "panels." I have heard using panels is "cheating," but aren't panels often just large-print fabrics? I have used panels a couple times--my current Wild Horses quilt uses panels, but would anyone say they are "cheaters"? Yikes, they are going to be my biggest quilting challenge yet! (See what I mean on my blog--lots of mane hair that I want to FMQ 'enhance'.)

    So, my definition of 'cheater cloth' is something that is clearly mimicking a pieced or appliqued block.

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  66. My sister made things out of that (cats) and I bought it off eBay with out her knowing it and I'm so glad I did because she Past away at 44 years old. I can see her hand stitches on it. Its good if you need a quick gift for a friend of a friend in a hurry. I love cutting and sewing to create something lovely and you pour your heart into it also. Its good but not from the heart you no...

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  67. I definitely don't think that using a cheater cloth is a problem. Whole cloth quilts are well-regarded and they are basically the same thing, just with more ink. However I do have to confess that I have never used a cheater cloth because I have never seen one that wasn't gawd-awful hideous. Ok that is harsh. They tend to be novelty or cutesy or country and I just am not in to that.

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  68. I have bought pre-printed panels and used as center blocks for quilts, and I have bought fabric that looked like a quilt top and then just added borders and quilted it. One of my favorite quilts that I keep on my bed during the winter would be what you are referring to as a cheater quilt. I like them!

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  69. Perhaps we need a picture show of what has been done to make 'cheater's into handsome serviceable items.
    It is an interesting discussion.

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  70. Leah, your blog is always interesting. If a preprinted panel has helpess me to practice, practice, practice and I can bind it and use it, what is the issue. It seems more practical to use a pretty piece of preprinted cloth than to use small pieces of muslin then try to figure out what to do with them. Over my shoulder is a preprinted quilt from back someplace in the 80s, that even had the quilting lines on it . It is Amish in style and hand quilted to learn the how to's. It is still my work and I hang it proudly....didn't know I shouldn't!! If anyone asks, I tell them exactly what it is. Why do we make it so hard to be a quilter.

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  71. Hahaha, I think it's funny that people would think it's not a "Real" quilt. Quilting is the process, not the fabric used for the top of your creation. Cheater fabric is just another print. It may be a print with hexagons, squares or other motifs but in the end it's just another pattern. What you choose to do with your non-solid-wholecloth-fabrics is up to you and that's really where the creativity, art and personal taste come in. If someone quilts using a solid piece of fabric in only one color is it any less of a quilt than one using prints? No. So another form of print = cheater fabrics. If used by themselves, are just whole-cloth quilts. If cut up they are just another piece of fabric cut up to include in the quilting process.

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  72. p.s. the term "cheater" cloth is not a derogatory word. That's just what that fabric is called. It's as if people get bothered if we were to call a pair of pants Levi's vs. jeans or Kleenex's vs. tissues. Any other rose and all that.

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  73. I went into a quilting fabric shop for the first time today, I have been sewing for most of my life (clothing). I saw the preprinted fabric and knew what it was for but not the best way to use it. The nice woman in the store told me after I mentioned loosening my tension so I could easliy remove the stitches and reuse it, that they have their student learn/practice free motion quilting using 1 color, then switch to another color, then a third color and it could e reused that way and with each color change the student can see their improvement. I plan to go back and buy 1 yard. My FMQ skills are not ready to be used on a quilt yet.

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