Living a charmed life: fun charm-square quilt patterns (+ sale!)

Quilting 101: size of charm-pack squares

Charm squaresDon’t you love fanning your thumb down the corner of a charm pack at the quilt shop, just to see the rainbow of colors pop? Charm packs are petite, pretty, and oh-so patchwork friendly. So today we’re singing praises to those multicolored, multilayered sandwiches filled with fabric joy!

Charm squares can vary in size. These days, 5″ squares are a standard size of charm pack squares, while mini charms measure in at 2½" square. But it hasn’t always been that way. Charms have ranged from tiny 2″ squares to substantial 6″ squares. Who knows what future charm sizes are on the horizon?

Simply Charming quilt
“Simply Charming”: Do you have the 880 charm squares it takes to make this beauty from the book
Charmed? In this pattern, charm squares must measure at least 3 7/8″ square.

The good news is that charms are a cinch to cut from your stash. Simply select several coordinating fabrics, get that rotary cutter rolling, and produce your own designer charm pack in minutes!

Whether you collect charm packs or you cut them yourself, many “charming” adventures await you and your sewing machine when you have charm square quilt patterns at the ready. Take a look at the fun patterns below—they’re all from eBooks that are 40% off this week. Click on a photo below to see many more designs from each eBook.

Save 40% on select eBooks this week

Interlocking Squares quilt

Are your charms (or your stash) heavily weighted toward a single color? Go monochromatic with this “Interlocking Squares” quilt from Charmed. No complicated value choices here—simply separate fabrics into light and dark piles.

See more charm-square quilts that spotlight a scrappy look >

Merry Triple Tree quilt
This sweet “Merry Triple Tree” charm quilt from Charmed, I’m Sure is so easy to make, you can sew several at once and have a forest of festive gifts to give during the holidays. You’ll need 101 charm squares for the background and border, plus two green fat quarters for the (fusible) trees.

See more make-in-a-weekend quilts from Charmed, I’m Sure >

Ozark Maple Leaf quilt
Showcase color-drenched batik charms in “Ozark Maple Leaf” from Nickel Quilts. Choose jewel tones like the example above, or gather charms in autumn colors and stitch a gorgeous homage to the season of falling leaves. (Do you love that stunning pieced border as much as we do? It’s made of simple half-square triangles.)

This way to more traditional-style charm quilts >

Brave New World quilt
Got a hodge-podge of 5″ scraps? Transform them into a dazzling quilt with this wildly scrappy “Brave New World” design from More Nickel Quilts. Author Pat Speth mixed floral, geometric, tone-on-tone, and novelty prints in this beauty—what kind of prints would you add to the mix?

Twenty quilts each include directions for three different sizes >

The Big Book of Nickel QuiltsWant all the “nickel quilt” patterns? Buy The Big Book of Nickel Quilts and get all 40 in one charm-quilt-packed volume!

Print book (with free eBook): $27.99
eBook only: $19.99

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What size of charms do you own most of: 2½", 5″, bigger, smaller? Tell us in the comments!

Save 40% on select eBooks this week

13 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I’ve never owned any charm packs. I get most of my fabrics at thrift stores and garage sales. If I purchase at a store, I just buy yard goods, cut what I need, and put the rest in my stash. I have purchased 3 jelly rolls and have used part of one for a doll quilt. The other 2 have not been opened. I think they just look pretty sitting on my shelf. LOL

    —Lana Frazier on May 11, 2015
  • I own and use 2.5 and 5. charms with great delight. I love making miniature quilts. So I have quite a few of each size, and about 5 jelly rolls. I have both Nickel quilt books and have made several quilts.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on May 11, 2015
  • I took a class with Pat Speth and started a Nickel quilt long before my grandson James V was even engaged. He and his wife received the Nickel quilt as a wedding gift and we delighted. I have boxes full of charm squares ready to be sewed into marvelous quilts. A friend gave me a set of mini charms and I made a delightful pinwheel mini quilt.

    —Donna Olson on May 11, 2015
  • Personally I cut 6.5″ squares from all fabric that I purchase. The larger squares give me more options for play.

    Susie Rose on May 11, 2015
  • I have more 5-inch charms.

    —jane on May 11, 2015
  • I have 5″ precuts in my stash. I use a lot of 2 1/2″ squares but always cut from yardage.I don’t mind the cutting to get the colors I want.

    —Diane S on May 11, 2015
  • I’ve never actually used "charm packs" or "layer cakes" before. Recently, however, I have started stock piling charm packs and they are 5″ blocks. Still not sure how to begin since my options are many. Do believe that a crib quilt would be a perfect place to start and I love that "Interlocking Squares" looks inviting.

    —debra lee on May 11, 2015
  • I don’t use precuts. I prefer to buy yardage, choose my own colors, and I always wash and press everything before it gets stored in my fabric stash. Then I can choose from my stash and cut just what I need. Precuts seem to get a lot of fanfare these days, so I definitely feel a bit out of step.

    —Bette on May 11, 2015
  • I own more 5″ charmed packs, and with my stash of fabric, I can make a lot of 2 1/2 " charmed packs. I love the Nickel Quilt books and have 2 of them…I love traditional quilts and the charms quilts are great! Can choose so many different colors and use one pattern and each quilt looks different!

    —Jeanette S on May 11, 2015
  • I’m about to purchase my first set of charms–5 inch batik in similar shades. I prefer to pick my own fabrics and make my own charms. I like fabrics that are gently coordinated. Many charm packs cover a wide range of colors that are too busy for my taste.

    —Diana O. on May 11, 2015
  • I keep smaller (1.5 inch) squares sorted for charm projects.

    —Marty on May 11, 2015
  • I love a good charm pack, but they’re so expensive here in Australia that I tend to create my own.
    After reading the wonderful tips by Gayle Bong, right here on Stitch This!, my scrap stash has been transformed.

    Ok, perhaps it appeals to my (mildly) OCD need to sort and organise fabric as often as possible (oddly my OCD doesn’t kick in with other areas of my life?!)

    I’ve found that when I’m cutting fabric for a project, taking that extra time to cut my scraps into useable squares and strips becomes so simple that it’s just part of my routine these days.

    Finding that special piece of furniture that has multi-drawers to house the 1″ to 6″ squares and strips, all neatly packaged in zip-lock baggies was a challenge but, oh so rewarding.

    Ok, I’m beginning to see some issues here.
    Saving tiny scraps of fabric = Saving money by using what I have.
    But I’m buying expensive furniture to house the scraps…… Hmmmm, I may need some time to formulate a reasonable excuse for this behaviour….

    What am I saying? I’m a quilter! Enough said, LOL! 😀

    —Kayt Deans on May 11, 2015
  • I have hundreds and hundreds of 1-1/2″ charm squares to be made into a postage stamp quilt. Having already made one as a wedding quilt for my daughter I am just itching to make another for my own bed quilt. I do also have 5 inch charm squares that I have accumulated as well. I guess I never know when they might just come in handy for a spur of the moment weekend project.

    —Sue Fender on May 12, 2015

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