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Charmed, I'm Sure


Tips, Ideas, Patterns, and more by the crew at Bernina Sewing & Design


Charmed, I'm Sure

Marsha Cowan

Continuing our exploration of all the fabulous precuts available to quilters today, we’re going to talk about one of the best all-around sets available: 5” charm square packs.

Charm squares generally come in packs of 42 squares. (Check the pack for the exact number—some may differ.)  One of the great things about a charm pack is that it will contain all the fabrics in the line to which it belongs. Most stores can’t stock the 30-40 different bolts of fabric that make up an entire line, but they can carry charm packs to coordinate with their chosen bolts.

Charm squares arose out of the popularity of the Charm quilt, also known as the Oddfellow or Beggars quilt. Charm quilts are intended to be very scrappy quilts, made up of squares, triangles, hexagons, etc, all sewn together with no sashing between blocks, each piece made of a different fabric.

 This Chubby Charmer purse is designed on the same principle as a charm quilt.

This Chubby Charmer purse is designed on the same principle as a charm quilt.

We’ve said it already, but we’re going to say it again: we love charm packs because they’re pre-cut. Precut things are one of ourfavorites! You can use one to make a quick charm quilt, perfect for a baby gift. If you don’t want to use them as straight squares, there is a great selection of rulers and templates to get the most out of them. Some of our favorites are:

Creative Grids Template 2: The Charming 5 Square Snowball Template.  This template will create 5” pieced Snowball blocks, and the wonderful thing about these Creative Grids templates is that you can scan the QR codeon the package to see free demo videos. (QR codes are those little squares filled with dots that you find in magazines and on packaging. An app on your smartphone allows you to scan these codes for more information about products, video demos, etc.)

 Here is an example of what a QR code looks like

Here is an example of what a QR code looks like

Creative Grids Template 4: The Charming 5 Square Whirligig Template.

Elisa’s Backporch Designs 3-1/2” Small Paths Template.  This makes a variation of a drunkard’s path block.

Creative Grids Non-Slip 18 Degree Dresden Plate Ruler can be used to cut fan blades from a charm square.

Primitive Gatherings 1-1/2” Triangle Paper is made to cut half-square triangles out of 5” charm squares.

 Charm Pack-friendly patterns and books.

Charm Pack-friendly patterns and books.

Patterns and Books we like that use charm squares:

The Chubby Charmer purse pattern by Quilts Illustrated.

Mini Star Crossed quilt pattern by Fig Tree & Co.

Candy Dish pillow pattern by Little Jaybird Quilts

Quilter’s Precut Companion, by C&T Publishing. This wonderful reference book has so much useful information about all types of precuts, plus patterns for 25 precut-friendly blocks.

Precut Primer by Me and My Sister Designs

We hope that you’ll be as charmed by the versatility of charm packs as we are–and that we’ve inspired you to give them a try if you’ve never used them before.

Happy Stitching!

Visit the following link for some fun free patterns using charm packs:  Moda Bake Shop