Today I finished a baby quilt which was a cute panel I picked up. Cheap and cheerful as the saying goes. So I applied the same theory of abstract details and here is what I got. The giraffe smiled, the elephant become more lively, the teddies's cheeks became fatter and I just had fun doing what the panel suggested.
For someone just starting to quilt a panel is a good idea to just loosen up. A baby quilt is not a big investment and can be donated as this one will be to the local hospital obstetrics ward. It is a win win situation. I have done about 40 such baby quilts and the panels are the most fun of all. The panel suggests how it could be quilted and with all the busy pictures, stray wobbles are not noticeable. Of course they are not anyway but as you work you see THEM ALL. Ignore them. Step back and look at how the quilt is developing. You will be surprised at how a few details change everything.
Remember as a child following the lines was the way to learn? It applies here and is a good opportunity to develop your free motion skills, travelling skills and your eye for the detail that makes a quilt come alive. Eyes that are just a black printed dot with some outlining become eyes that see. The circle does not have to be perfect; what eye is a perfect circle? Quilting creates texture and that adds so much life to the fabric.
So try a panel; do a baby quilt; find a place to donate it but have fun.