Contest closed. Winner: Karen Hutchings! Thank you to everyone who participated!

In February of 2022, EQ user, Shannon Arnstein was scrolling through Etsy and saw a panel that she couldn’t resist. That panel sparked an idea for a book so Shannon got to sewing. That fall, the book was picked up by Landauer/Fox Chapel publishing company and a year later, “Quilting with Panels and Patchwork” hit the shelves!

Shannon says, “This book is for anyone who enjoys making quilts with panels or would like to attempt it. Panels are amazing! They come in every subject and offer great visual impact, but they can be equally intimidating and frustrating. They can be difficult to work with. I help cover some of the pitfalls of panels. They do not come in standard sizes, so often, we don’t know what to do with them. I give fifteen different approaches to using panels in projects, the thoughts behind my approach and the math, and how to incorporate the math into your projects. Yes, it is math, but it’s quilty math, and I walk you through it.”

Continue reading to see some of the pretty quilts inside and enter to win a copy! You’ll also get to see the panel that started it all!

EQ: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into quilting.
Shannon: Creativity has always come easily for me. In fact, I thought everyone saw the world as I did; it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that wasn’t true. I have what my husband calls a “puzzle brain.” I am good at puzzles and figuring out how things go together. So, the creativity and puzzle brain are a perfect match for quilting. I am a first-generation quilter in my family, but as a little girl, I was given a quilt, and I was always fascinated by it and how the pieces went together.

EQ: How did the idea of writing a book come about? What was the process like?
Shannon: My husband would say to me, “You become the next Martha Stewart, and I will buy an RV and drive you around to all the quilt shows.” I thought and thought, what are my steps to becoming the next Martha Stewart? The book idea was born in February of 2022. I designed and pieced quilts for submission to publishing companies. My goal was to finish in time for Fall Market in October 2022. I had the quilts designed and pieced but did not have the words written yet. I went ahead and began the submission process. I was picked up by Fox Chapel/Landauer publishing in October 2022. Once I signed the contract, I realized I needed to remake the original twelve quilts for the book. When making the quilts for the submission, my focus was on making quilts for submitting, not on getting the pictures to go along with the steps for writing the book. For the book to be the kind of book I wanted to have my name attached to, I knew I must remake each quilt and take great photos to go with the words of how I went about my process. In addition to the original twelve quilts, we added three additional quilts I needed to design and make, but now I was approaching this from a book-writing perspective. I also had to write the words, do the math, double-check the math, and take the pictures as I made the quilts, and my deadline was mid-March. It was a busy couple of months, but it was necessary for the book to be published in October 2023.
Reflecting on and thinking about how I did all that is amazing. I had many early mornings. I would get up before the house got going, make my coffee, and sit at the counter and write. Then, during the day, I would piece quilts when the lighting was ideal and get the photos necessary.
I could come at it from a different perspective now, but “we just don’t know what we don’t know.”

EQ: Wow, you really made 15 quilts in 5 months?!
Shannon: Yes, I did, in fact, re-piece the 12 original quilts, plus design the final three, piece them, and do the writing. It was a whirlwind, but for the book to make the fall publication, that was necessary. I could have waited for a later deadline, but then I knew I would have coasted along until it was crunch time. Plus, I would have been crunched over the summer, and I preferred to be crunched over the winter when I did not have nice weather I was missing out on. Thankfully, a few are simpler, and I have a very, very supportive husband!!

EQ: Did EQ play a role in creating quilts for the book?
Shannon: I used EQ to design each quilt in the book. I could design the quilts and see a representation of what the quilt would look like on the screen. Some things were great in my mind, and then I could see it still needed to be tweaked on the screen. Others, I had an idea and could see that it, yes, in fact, could work just as I thought.

EQ: How long have you had EQ? How has it affected your quilting life?
Shannon: I began using EQ in February of 2018. I wanted to try my hand at designing quilts and jumped in. I have designed a few patterns for fabric manufacturers. I had about five designs I had designed, written, and pieced the quilts for Craftsy/Bluprint that were made into kits and were going to be sold on their site when they closed. That was a hard day; all the work that had gotten me to that point just vanished into thin air because they were closing.
I have had four magazine placements, all with quilts designed in EQ. I have been published in Quilts and More, American Patchwork and Quilting. Magazine cover for Fons and Porter Love of Quilting, and McCall’s Quilting. It’s such a wonderful world we quilters get to be a part of. I have met some of the most wonderful people, and consider myself privileged to be a part of this industry.

Shannon’s design in EQ and finished quilt

EQ: What’s your favorite quilt in the book and why?
Shannon: I love them all; as you know, our quilts become like our children. We have spent so much time making them, but also, for the quilts in the book, I have designed them, made them, remade them, written the pattern for them, and a few quilted them.
There are a few that are a little more special to me. Frank was the tipping point for me to write the book. I had been toying around with the idea of writing a book. One day, I was looking for something on Etsy that was not even quilt-related, and Frank, the panel, appeared in my advertising box on the side. The panel was so amazing I did not hesitate to purchase it right away; I did not check the dimensions; I was just so taken by the detail and how cool he was that I just had to have it. A few days later, the panel arrived, and as I took it out of the envelope, I was overwhelmed by the amazing detail and size of the panel. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it and knew I had to write the book. If Frank weren’t special enough on his own, my book was released on October 31, 2023.

Kismet is the concentric diamond quilt on the front. I had been toying with the idea of a concentric diamond pattern for the book but could not find a panel with dimensions that would work for the concept. I was on my way to a family function quite far away from home and had little time to kill before the event. and found a local quilt shop. Well, what was a girl to do but go see the local quilt shop, and that is where I found the perfect panel with the perfect dimensions and the perfect accompanying fabrics- so you see it was KISMET!!

Kismet design in EQ

EQ: Where can people find your book?
Shannon: I live in Indiana and will be at several local quilt guilds this year. I will be doing a trunk show and book signing with the quilts from my book and would love the chance to meet you in person.
I will be at the Venice, Florida, quilt show March 2-3rd 2024, vending my book and signing books. I would love to meet you there!
If you have a quilt guild you would like me to bring my quilts and do a trunk show, please reach out through Instagram or my website.

My book is also available at your local quilt shop, through Fox Chapel’s website, and wherever you like to buy books. Thank you for reading about my EQ journey, and I hope our journeys cross soon!

Follow me on Instagram @shannonarnstein, and check out my website


Shannon will ship a copy of her book to one lucky winner! To enter, leave a comment on this post answering the question below. Giveaway closes 11:59pm ET March 3. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. U.S. shipping only.

Tell us, what kind of panel quilt do you want to make?