Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tutorial: The Single Charm Pack Quilt

I like the idea of charm packs. I like the instant scrappy-yet-coordinated look. Unfortunately, it's hard to find charm packs in the quilt stores closest to me and when I do, it's either not my style or there is only one of each fabric. What on earth can you do with one charm pack? Well, that got me to thinking and that led to taking a quilt I had already done and translating it into charm pack size. Don't like using charm packs? You can just use 5" squares (substitute 1/2 yard of 2 prints each for the charm pack and you will have a cute quilt like this with only 2 fabrics (pics below of this option).

Your players:
1 charm pack (Moda Origins)
2 yards solid (Kona Stone for this quilt)
1/2 yard binding (something I found at Hobby Lobby because I totally forgot to purchase binding with the charm pack)
Backing: 3 3/8 yd (I pieced from stash vs. buy new)

What you do:

Separate your charm pack into 2 categories: Busy prints and subtle prints.  You will be using your busy prints in the center of your blocks and the small prints will be cut up for your "chain".

 Remove selvages from your solid and cut 21 9" squares from your solid.  You have just finished half your blocks...don't you feel accomplished?

 From the rest of your solid, cut 21 5"x5" squares and 42 2.5"x5" strips.

Cut your 21 "less busy" charms in half...these will become your chain.
You can go scrappy like me or you can match up your charm halves if you like.
 Sew 2.5"x5" solid strips on both sides of the "busy" charms.  Sew "less busy" charm halves into either side of the 5" solid square.

 Cut your pieces of solid bordered by charm halves in half to give you two pieces like above.
 Attach the strips you just made to either side of your "busy charm" section.  This is a Puss-in-Corner block...actually it's one of the many blocks named "Puss-in-Corner", and probably the easiest version of the block.  Alternate your Puss-in-Corner blocks with your solid 9" squares. 
 Voila, a 51.5" x 60" lap quilt (and it's sooo soft because I didn't stipple but I don't like the look as much).  It has an argyle look to it.  Don't like it with all the patterns?  Try this making it with 2 coordinating prints (quilt on the right):
The quilt on the right is one of my all time favorites.

And then my youngest asked me to take a pic of his shoes with the quilt...and I did.  His shoes are awesome and it distracted him from asking me to drag out the power wheels.  Woo-hoo!

And this quilt has a special purpose.  I see my quilting as a ministry where I can spread the love of Christ because God can use EVERY talent we have for His Glory...something I realized after seeing my son's Bible study sheet about Dorcas, the seamstress in the Bible.  I picked out these fabrics that are really not "me" but then I started thinking "well who am I gonna give this to."  A thought popped into my head of someone who (to be honest) doesn't care for me.  At one time I did not care for them either, but I'm older now and I'm just indifferent about that and wish them the best in life.  I really wrestled with God because while I don't dislike them there are many many people who DO love me that haven't received a Mary quilt yet because the time is just not right.  I sat in church that Sunday and heard this coming from the pulpit:

Matthew 5: 46-47 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

And it hit me like a ton of bricks that this personal ministry of mine is for helping ME learn to be more Christ like and not just helping others feel the love of Christ.  It hit me that I have just been loving those who love me...and what's so special about that?  And then I said "Ok, God...I get it."  After I decided to follow what He had laid on my heart I looked at the fabrics again and realized it was the color of the person's alma mater.  God works in mysterious ways and it is always a blessing to me when I catch a glimpse of that mystery.   I hope they like the quilt but my goal was to do what God led me to do and I know He will manage the back end. 


  1. I cannot seem to get away from people giving quilts away and doing prayer quilt ministry, etc. I really feel God is telling me to do something about giving quilts away.
    I am certainly in prayer about it.
    Isn't it neat when all falls in place when we follow His lead?

    1. I found while on line looking for free quilt patterns.....God put me where He wanted me that day, as I had never even heard of the Linus group until then............I do a lot of work there now, and all of my close friends are doing it with me,; we have all become dedicated members to this wonderful group.........

  2. Dorcas is my FAVORITE woman in the bible! I'm convinced she had other talents, but THIS is the one God's Word focused on. I want to be just like her! I'm also convinced she didn't just make clothing for the widows...she just HAD to be a quilter too. The "Proverbs" woman "made coverings for her bed" (Prov 31:22) I wanna hang out with her in Heaven someday. I just know we could be BFFs ;)

  3. I absolutely love straight line quilting. I bet it would look good on the diagonal too. Great job! :)

  4. I have a similar story with a quilt;

    Who knew God cared about quilts. ;)

  5. I knew God cared about knitting because He knit us in the womb but I never gave thought to Dorcas and her fabrics, which just makes so much sense. I don't, however, believe I will find anything to validate crocheting, LOL.

  6. Thank you for sharing your creativity with me. I really appreciate your beautiful quilts and tutorials. I had to copy the Owls block, because I collect owls. I'd like to know if you have the pattern for the quilt right in front of your favorite quilt. The one in red/black/grey. I'd love to know how I can get that pattern. It seems easy but I need the measurements. Thanks again and may G'd bless you.

  7. Evita: Your email isn't listed as you are a "no reply" commenter. If you are talking about the large shoo-fly quilt on this post, that is a free pattern on sew mama sew called "supersize shoo fly". Email me (address at "contact me") if you need more information. Thanks!

  8. Hi Mary, I'm so glad I found your blog. I also 'quilt for the Kingdom'. A group in our church makes baby quilts for every newborn (sometimes they are presented when they are toddlers because there have been so many!!) and we LOVE our ministry!!

    The Lord has also spoken to me about giving quilts to others besides babies and it give me such joy! Isn't it wonderful?

    Thanks for sharing so honestly. It is an encouragement to other quilters. Bless the work of your hands!


  9. Thanks for sharing! I am still trying to find my ministry with quilting. I sometimes feel quilty thinking i could do something more useful with my time than sewing/quilting. I have given 2 baby quilts away for kids in need and that was great. I will be praying and thinking about this more. Thanks for helping think about it!

  10. i love the story behind your quilt and how God directed you to give it to someone that you wouldn't have thought to on your own. good for you for being obedient! i know it's not easy!

  11. Just came across your quilt tutorial and making one now. Thanks for sharing the way God speaks to your heart. It would be great to hear how this other person liked their quilt gift.

  12. I LOVED your tutorial and have completed my first quilt! Whoop!!!! Thank you VERY much for making this easy! I did add a border, but otherwise did everything just the way you said to do it.

  13. Hi, I love this quilt and would love to try it. I am very much a beginner, and was wondering if you could share in which directions you pressed the seams.


Thank you for taking the time to comment!


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