Haul out that big bin, bag or box of scraps and start cutting your favorite size charms. Whether 2-1/2″, 2″ or 1-1/2″, this quilt will be a beautiful use of your bits and pieces of fabric. If you don’t have scraps, jelly rolls, 5″ charm packs, layer cakes or honey buns are a good starting point, too.
Don’t let the number of small pieces scare you off. If you sew together only 20 squares a day, you will finish the top in less than 2 months. So, gather up scraps. Beg them from friends and neighbors. Put them in a pile, and start sewing. You’ll have a “wow” quilt when you are done.
FADING CHARMS QUILT
72″x72″ (using 2-1/2″ squares)
54″ x 54″ (using 2″ squares)
36″ x 36″ (using 1-1/2″ squares)
NOTE: In the following directions the first dimension given is for 2-1/2″ squares. Those for 2″ and 1-1/2″ will be given in order in the parentheses following.
At least 846 charms squares cut to the size of your choice. My sample quilt used 2-1/2″ squares, but the pattern will accommodate 2″ or 1-1/2″ squares equally well.
2 yards (1-1/2 yards, 1 yard) Background Fabric
4-1/2 yards ( 3 yards, 1-1/4 yards) Backing Fabric
batting suitable for size of quilt
5/8 yard (1/2 yard, 1/4 yard) for Binding
1. Create your solid charm blocks. Each block is described in terms of blocks wide x blocks long. You will need the following:
1 block 10×10, 2 blocks 4×12, 2 blocks 4×20, 2 blocks 2×22, 2 blocks 2×26, 2 blocks 1×28, 2 blocks 1×30.
2. Create your alternating charm/background blocks. Cut 4 (4, 3) strips of background fabric Width Of Fabric (WOF) x 2-1/2″ (2″, 1-1/2″). Subcut these strips into 64 squares 2-1/2″ (2″, 1-1/2″). Piece two blocks 1×32 each using 16 background and 16 charms squares. Piece two blocks 1×34 each using 17 background and 17 charm squares.
3. Whew! All the hard part is done. You should have a total of 17 separate various size charm blocks.
4. Now for the background fabric. Cut the fabric into strips 2-1/2″ (2″, 1-1/2″) wide and WOF. Sew them together end to end so you can measure your background pieces off of the strip.
5. Start with your center 10×10 square. To surround this you need two pieces of background fabric 20-1/2″ (15-1/2″, 10-1/2″) long and two pieces 24-1/2″ (18-1/2″, 12-1/2″) long. Attached the shorter pieces to the top and bottom and the longer pieces to the sides.
6. Using your charm blocks that are 4×12 and 4×20, attach the shorter blocks to the top and bottom of your quilt and the larger blocks to the sides.
7. Now, another round of background strips. You will need two strips 40-1/2″ (30-1/2″, 20-1/2″ ) and two strips 44-1/2″ ( 33-1/2″, 22-1/2″). Attach the shorter ones to the top and bottom and the longer ones to the sides.
8. Back to colored blocks. Attach the two that are 2×22 to the top and bottom of the quilt and the two that are 2×26 to the sides.
9. Background again. This time two strips that are 52-1/2″ ( 39-1/2″, 26-1/2″) and two that are 56-1/2″ (42-1/2″, 28-1/2″). You’ve got it–top and bottom, then the sides.
10. Color pieces this time. Attach the two that are 1×28 to the top and bottom of the quilt and the two that are 1×30 to the sides.
11. You are getting there! Background strips again. Two that are 60-1/2″ (45-1/2″, 30-1/2″) and two that are 64-1/2″ (48-1/2″, 32-1/2″). Top and bottom. Sides.
12. OK, the “faded” colored round. You are now working with the strips that alternate background and colored charms. Check your layout and make sure that the corners will meet with a background square on one block matching a colored charm on the other block. It will appear to be continuous wrap. The two 1×32 blocks belong on the top and bottom and the two 1×34 blocks on the sides.
13. LAST ROUND! From background fabric, cut two strips that are 68-1/2″ ( 51-1/2″, 34-1/2″) and two strips that are 72-1/2″ (54-1/2″, 36-1/2″). Attach to top and bottom then the sides.
14. YAY! You have a beautiful, pieced charming scrap quilt. Well done!
15. Finish by creating your back, making your quilt sandwich, and prepping for quilting. I am planning on a simple straight line quilting pattern myself and will update with pictures once they are available. Last steps are binding and label.
Thank you for joining me on this quilting adventure! I welcome comments and suggestions and would love to see pictures of your quilt so they can be added to the Fading Charms gallery.
FADING CHARMS GALLERY
Susan’s finish, modified to American Hero standard size…
Chrissi made a beautiful variation that she is handquilting
Deborah did a beautiful hand quilted version, too. Don’t you just want to wrap up and sit outside?!
And Holly did one, too…
Renelle made this one from her boy’s shirts
Jenny made one, and said:
I just wanted to share a photo of a wall hanging I made using your Fading Charms tutorial. It all came about when I found myself with many poorly cut hexagons from a failed Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt. The largest salvageable piece I could consistently cut from the hexagons was 1 ½”. Several quilting buddies advised me to just toss the pieces and move on, but I couldn’t. I remembered your tutorials, took a look and realized I could make something from all my squares. After weeks of turning my hexagons into squares I began sewing and a wall hanging was born. I machine quilted it myself with a serpentine line in graduating squares from the middle four squares on out. I love how it turned out and am I look forward to making more postage stamp quilts and using more of your tutorials in the future. Thank you for sharing.
Cathy said she had the scraps and this was the perfect project for using up a bunch of them. I love her crosshatch quilting.
Marilyn shows her color sense in this bright and heart-happy version!
Miriam is seeing TRIPLE and made a Fading Charms quilt in each of the three sizes. Amazing!
YOUR quilt here…