Soft book Panels to Quilts

I'm back with a very simple tutorial on converting children's soft book panels to quilts. I used the soft book panel from the Storybook Christmas Collection I shared last week. But first I want to show you a few samples using another panel.

My friend Jeannine created two very cute quilts for new babies in her family. She used the Funky Monkey book panels. And she went to the local quilt shop to buy companion fabrics.
Simple child's quilts using the Funky Monkey soft book panels
A few years ago I came across a few dozen of these and other kids' panels in a thrift shop! I had to buy 15 sets at once (which it came to about $1 a panel). I grabbed two plastic bags worth of these and shared them with Jeannine. Then she went back in the next day or so and bought a few more. We have been swimming in these. I have since shared them with a few young moms and only have 3 or 4 left.

Let's see one of these up close:

Funky Monkey Quilt: 40" x 40" (approximately)
The panel only had 8 squares. Jeannine is very clever (I only pick clever friends) and cut out a square of a companion monkey fabric for the center. She bordered that block with some of the banana fabric that is her border. Way to go, Jeannine!

Here are what I have left of that collection (Sockey, by Windham Fabrics)
Sockey Fabrics by Windham
A little diversion here. This is what I made with my Sockey Collection. It's from my Twisted Hexagon pattern:
Twisted Hexagons using the Sockey Collection
Now on to a simple way to make a child's quilt from a soft book panel.

These are the panels from the Windham web site
Jeannine advised me to just cut each panel page in half. Yep! Gulp!

One of the 6 page panels cut in half
I discovered that the fat quarter bundle from Windham had the same red print as is bordering the pages. Whew! I cut strips as you can see in the above photo. I measured so that the strips would be the same width as those printed on the page panels. Then I stitched them on.

The book cover (the top left pages with the solid red vertical strip) were slightly larger than the others. I trimmed them down and fiddled with the sizes of strips to cut from the red print.

Notice how each page has a number. That's how I ordered them in my quilt. There was a neat 12 pages, including the cover pages.

Next, I cut horizontal and vertical sashing, again from the fat quarters. I used the blue snowman print and a green dot print for my sashing squares. I cut 3" wide sashings and 3" squares.

The panel pages with the added red print strips were 7-3/4" WIDE unfinished. Their height is 10" unfinished, so that is the length of sashings. Simple enough! The horizontal trees print is directional (as is the blue snowman print), so I had to pay attention. (I'll review these numbers below)

Here you can see my top and bottom borders before joining. Remember, I am working with ONLY fat quarters.

Storybook Christmas fat quarters
My border strips were easily cut from the fat quarters. Again, 3" x 7-3/4" for the top and bottom center strips; 3" x 12" for the side strips for the corners. The four corners I cut longer so they can over lap. I cut them oversized so I could trim them down: 3" x 11".

Soft book panels become a child's quilt. 32" x 51"
No more borders will be added. Will find some red stripe for a binding.

Here is a free pattern from the Windham site using this Storybook Christmas panel. I have to say I like it better than mine. Wendy Sheppard's is a digital rendition, 39" x 50" (we're close!)

Wendy Sheppard's Storybook Christmas quilt
Now for those details if you are interested in making your version of this quilt using the Storybook panels. If you like Wendy's, click on that link and it will take you to the free download page.

Debby's Storybook Christmas panel quilt. Be careful with directional prints!
Blocks (with red print) finish to 7-1/4" x 9-1/2"

  • One panel of Storybook Christmas
  • 8 vertical sashing strips cut 3" x 10" (light print #1, Santa and reindeer)
  • 9 horizontal sashing strips cut 3" x 10" (light print #2, Christmas trees)
  • 6 green sashing squares cut 3" x 3"
  • 8 various green prints 3" x 10" for vertical borders
  • 2 green prints 3" x 10" for horizontal (top and bottom) borders (center)
  • 10 blue print 3" squares for borders
  • 4 green print 3" x 11" border corner strips (top and bottom)
If you've done something creative with soft book panels, I'd love to see! Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I've never used the story book panels, but how cute are those!!

  2. I have some panels that were bought some time ago (?), but have been unsure of how to use them. Of course, now, the grands are a "little older." Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Pretty nice panels.Love them all!

  4. Thanks for doing the math. Although the one on the site is very cute, too, I like yours. I hope you'll show the finished quilt, too. I'm sure you will, you usually do! Your friend's monkey quilt is adorable. I did have a panel donated to American Hero quilts one time and turned it into a baby quilt. I'll have to see if I can find that post.

  5. The panels make very cute quilts. I have some story book panels that I cut apart several years ago, but didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with them. They will make sweet baby quilts. Thanks for sharing yours.

  6. Lovely, but (if you don't mind taking it apart just a bit) because the pages are longer than they are wide, I think you'd be happier with it if you had 3 rows or 4 blocks rather than 4 rows of 3 blocks. Give it a try, and see what you think . . . it shouldn't require too much work! (lynnstck[at]


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: