working with panels

There are three babies on the way whose mamas I'm fond of, so I'm busy working on one quilt and obsessively thinking about how to come up with two more quilts or blankets without spending money or dipping into my precious stash of CotLin in Kohlrabi, when the two people whose color preferences I've asked about have said "green."  Kohlrabi's discontinued!  I wanted a sweater!  Yes I haven't made myself a sweater out of Kohlrabi in the four or so years it's been in my stash but still!  

Now I am trying to distract you from my selfishness with a picture of a quilt top - did it work?  This is my first attempt at a quilt using a panel - this panel, which I got from Hawthorne Threads as part of my Birthday Fabric Extravaganza.  

To my surprise, the little animal squares did not measure any kind of standard measurement, at least not by imperial standards - it did not occur to me until this very second to have tried metric, although that might have worked.  So, to cut out blocks all the same size, I measured a standard amount (7/8", I think) from the edge of the middle square that the animal is in, rather than measuring the whole square or trying to measure out from the acorn or leaf borders.  

This worked pretty well, although there were a few squares where the fabric was pretty biased/distorted/not square, and you can see an example of this in the third row from the bottom, where a deer square loses a tiny bit of its border.  Whoops.  

I was also less than precise when putting the top together about lining up the rows exactly, so sewing the borders on the right and left side was a leeetle touch and go there, but God knows I'm not unpicking anything.  

I wasn't sure about brown as the background fabric - brown?  really?  - but the organic cotton is a kind of natural color and white would just not have worked and I thought about army green but ugh so brown it was.  Had to order more when the half-yard went really fast, but I like this print so much I might order even more. 

Here are some herringbone mittens (take that, Christmas 2015!!) for my SIL, pictured on the backing fabric.  This was taken before blocking, and after blocking they're so flat and even that I kind of want to wrap them up pressed between two pieces of cardboard.  That's probably weird.  

 And finally, in honor of my parents' trip to London, I'm knitting myself mittens with the gift they brought back for me from their last trip to London.  DK mittens go fast! 

Happy crafting!