Charms Quilt II

Just finished – the second charms quilt. The goal here was to use up more of the leftover charms from the first charms quilt. I had to add some strong batik 5″ blocks to those I was able to select from the charms packs because I didn’t have enough strong coloured ones otherwise. The strips came from my scrap boxes I didn’t need a lot of fabric (I chose all darker colours) – 1″ x 5″ strips  (70 in all). The blocks were easy to assemble, deciding on an arrangement took a couple of days, first auditioning all 140 on the floor then tweaking the placement over a few days.IMG_7297

The big decision was whether to border the quilt in the off white fabric or to use the darker grey – I obviously chose the darker grey. Glad I did although the quilt would also be interesting with the background fabric as border – in which case, looking at the quilt now, I can see if I had done that I could have stuck one or two triangles in the border along with a couple of strips! Didn’t think of that at the time. Something to keep in mind for my next quilt.


The back uses some more charm pieces to make “flying geese” blocks. My pinterest feed had instructions for making the blocks – since I’d never tried them I thought this a good opportunity to have a go at some. In the photo you can’t really see the teal colour in the backing fabric but there is some. That was the reason I decided to border the strip with a strong turquoise. It does bring out blue in the backing.

My backing was wide enough that I was able to salvage almost enough fabric for 2 1/2″ binding strips (I had a bit of backing leftover which I also used and incorporated one orphan strip to complete the binding. It blends rather well with the whole).

That’s two completed quilts in four weeks. Now on to a quilted jacket/coat that I want to take to San Francisco in a couple of weeks.

14 thoughts on “Charms Quilt II

  1. Not only is your quilt beautiful and inspiring, but you are generous and inspiring. You offered so much detail on how to duplicate your quilt. What a generous, beautiful spirit you have as well as a very imaginative spirit. May you be blessed by God!

    • No pattern. I improvise without one. For this quilt I worked from an image I had come across. What I can tell you is I started with a charm pack (5″ squares), I cut 5″ strips from my background fabric, then cut the strips into 5″ squares. I paired each charm with a background square, marked one diagonal, stitched 1/4″ seam on each side of the diagonal, then cut on the diagonal line, and pressed to one side (a classic Half-Square Triangle). That should give you 80 Half-Square Triangle blocks (there are usually 40 charms in a pack).
      Next measure the side of those blocks. (That quilt was sold so I can’t measure those HST blocks for you – I’m guessing they’re either 4 3/4″ or 4 1/2″ on a side.) Whatever that measurement, cut background strips that width, then cut those strips into blocks. Go through your fabric stash, find some complementary fabrics, cut 1″ strips, then cut those strips to the length of the HST block. Cut the smaller background squares in half, stitch in the 1″ strip (it’ll be in the middle). You’ll want 80 of these blocks with strips.
      That gets you the blocks you need. Now lay them out in an array that pleases you. I ended up with a 10 x 14 array (140 blocks – the extras you’ve made you can use in some way on the back, or for something else). I extended the quilt with a 4″ border. You can add more borders with sashing; up to you.
      Hope this helps you out. Print out the photo and work from that.

      • No pattern. Drill down in the comments – quite a way down – and I give some construction information. If you need more help than that, just ask.

  2. Hi. Beautiful quilt!!! I love, love the geometric pattern. Do you have a pattern for the quilt? I’d love to make the quilt.

    • Paula, no pattern, I’m afraid. I’d seen a photo on Pinterest and decided to try out the idea. I could see the blocks were a combination of half-square triangles and blocks with a 1/2″ (finished size) strip (constructed from two background rectangles stitched with the coloured strip in the middle).

      I no longer own the quilt (it was sold) so I can’t give you precise measurements. I suspect the finished block size was something like 6″ (maybe 5 1/2″). I’d suggest you consider the final size of the quilt you want to make and set a block size to work with that. You could make your block size 7″ if you wanted to, it doesn’t make a difference.

      Also, looking at the quilt I’d say I must have made the HST by placing a square of strong fabric against a square of background fabric and stitching 1/4″ on either side of one diagonal. That yields two identical blocks. In some locations I put the matching blocks together to create a larger triangle, in other locations I used the HST on its own. A rough count is I created ~70 HST (I’d recommend making a few more – you can always use them on the back of your quilt).

      Looking at the quilt, I think I made a 10 x 14 block array which would mean I had to make 140 blocks – half of them HST, the other half blocks with the narrow strip. I also lined up some of the strip blocks so to get a longer strip effect; you’d need to make at least 4 matching blocks with strips so you can create a row of 3. This should give you enough information for you to figure out a version of this quilt for yourself – which is what I did.

      I used batiks. You could use strong coloured prints. If you had a bright charm pack you could use that (your final block size would end up 1/2″ smaller so something like 4 1/2″).

      Good luck with the quilt – it was fun to make it – it’s a happy, bright project.

      PS – click on the photo to see an enlargement. Print it out and you’ll be able to figure out how to create the quilt.

  3. Lovely – I started quilting again recently after an 8 year’s ‘holiday’ – packed away all my needles and sharp instruments when my daughter was born. Now I have a designated room, and somehow, can’t find enough hours in a day. Your quilt is a wonderful inspiration!

  4. Wow. That is really attractive! How big is the whole thing?

    I’m moving along with my “charm” quilt from your inspiration. Working on it with husband Jim. It will be a wedding quilt for a friend who has waited until the ripe old age of retirement to get married. We are working only from stash, and most of my stash is smallish pieces. All I had enough of for the “grout” lines was a patterned tan and a patterned aqua, both what would be considered “traditional” prints (and a few things that were much too strong.) While it doesn’t have the same clean look as yours, it will do quite well for its purpose. I think we’ll border the center in an acid green and then a rust. Sounds yucky, huh? Actually I think it will be pretty.

    Again, very cool for the quilt above.

    • The quilt is 46.5″ X 62″ – a lap quilt. Obviously you could make it larger either by starting with larger “charms” say, 6″, or increasing the number of blocks from 140 which my quilt is, to 192 (a 12 x 16 array). I chose to do this in multi-colour but it could also be very interesting in two colours.
      I’m sure your quilt will be bright and interesting when finished. Just naming the colours doesn’t give any sense of tone, density… I can’t imagine your sense of colour not working well in this quilt!
      Thanks for the complements on my quilt.

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