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How to Start Quilting the Dream Big Opal Panel

When you first look at that Opal Dream Big Panel, you have to decide where to start. So let's work through the basics first. You need to choose your backing and the batting first. So you have to know what your result you want to achieve.  If this is going to be a wall quilt, you will probably want to show off your quilting so you will need a double batting to accomplish this. I go over the batting after later in this post.  When you choose the backing if you are trying to achieve a whole cloth look you will need to find a backing that is a semi-solid to solid.  A print will not show off your beautiful stitching. Lastly, the thread is a significant consideration. I have had some matched to make it easier to choose and find the thread.

The Opal is a beautiful pastel panel, and it comes in three sizes. You can use these thread on any of them, but the 108” square panel will need cones of thread, not the spool size. The same colors will work on them in all three sizes. I have been asked if I have a thread and a matching backing for this beautiful panel. I have been working on getting this information together. So its a work in progress that takes time to do all the panels, so I have to jump in and get started. First off backing for this beautiful quilt.

Backing and Binding

Moda Grunge Sweetie

Style# 30150 72

This will be a good background to make it look like a whole cloth quilt on the back.

Moda Grunge Sky Light Blue

Style# 30150 218

This will be a good background to make it look like a whole cloth quilt on the back.

All Star Fuchsia Raccoon

Style# PWTP037-FUCH

This is a fun pattern, and the colors look great together.

Fluttering Butterfly Mariposa

Style# Q4425-656

This is a great complimentary fabric to the colors in the panel.

I have chosen four beautiful fabrics that match the colors in the opal panel.  Any would make it attractive.  It just depends on the look you are trying to achieve.  You can make it fun or like a whole cloth quilt on the back.  Any of these options will make your panel beautiful. You will need 1.5 yards for the backing and another half yard for binding on the 43” square panel.


I asked Superior Threads to match thread to the panels. Mother Superior had the panel to look at, so she was not matching colors with just the computer screen. So the colors she chose are very accurate and will be beautiful on the panel. She picked out colors from 5 of their lines so you can use your favorite thread. I like the so fine thread on my machine and to quilt with. But I love the King Tut thread with all the pretty color changes you get in one thread. It just depends on how you want it to look. The glitter selection is for highlights and maybe the center of the flower.  Its to give it some shine and dimension. Wow, it is pretty. This should get you started on your panel with matching colors.

So Fine Thread

50 wt. 3 ply Polyester

#518-Barely Green
#524-Lorenzo Lavender
#523- Avilyn
#521-Barely Apricot

King Tut

40 wt. 3 ply. Cotton
916-Mummy Dearest


Metalized Polyester

This would be used to highlight areas


40 wt. 2 ply Polyester


40 wt. 2 ply Polyester
2005-Pink Posey
2006-Flamingo Pink
2027-Inpatients Pink
2036-Summer Peach
120-Lilac Frost

I hope you find this information helpful in completing your Dream Big Panel.  I had just had so many questions as to what to use as backing and binding and if I had some threads that matched.


I have had many people tell me that they are using a double batting. The suggested way for double batting is using cotton or poly-cotton on the bottom and then wool on the top. The wool batting is what will give you the loft to your designs and give the quilt dimension. A couple of quilters I talked to use a double batting of wool. Wool is lightweight and holds its shape very well even hanging. But the downside - it is costly. I put poly down in one of mine at the top batting, and it quilted nicely and is lightweight but not as expensive as wool.

I hope you enjoy quilting this Dream Big Panel. It will be fun.

Happy Quilting,