Thursday 28 March 2013

How charming!

Yes I have signed up to another charm swap!

But actually I have piles of charms sitting, waiting for something to happen to them....are you the same!?  If so I may have an answer for you.

Struck by this dilemma and wondering what block to ask my bee mates for in Scrappy? Sew bee it!, I decided to use a block made from charms.

It is a variation from the book 5,500 Quilt Block Designs - no 39, p 45 if you want to look it up!  

I replaced the centre HST with a square.  That was tough wasn't it but it means I don't need a third charm square of each fabric just an extra small square from one!  I do cut charms from my own stash fabrics with the idea of actually using them - haha!  So I use a stash charm as the one that I need that extra square for.

So here is a tutorial - it is very easy though, I'm sure you could work it out yourselves!


You need four charms or 5" squares plus one 3 and a quarter inch square!  And that's it!  


Using  Jenny Doan's video on how to make 4 HSTs out of two charms I stacked my two charms right sides together - one light, one dark x 2!

I then stitched a quarter inch seam around the edge of both of my charm square pairs

Cut the squares first on one diagonal and then the other

Hey presto - 4 little HSTs from each charm pair!  Total of 8!

This comes with a warning
these HSTs are on the bias and will s-t-r-e-t-c-h if pulled so be careful sewing them together!  And if you use directional fabric you will get them going every which way but as you see here I don't mind that!

Now we need our extra square and here is the layout

And here they are sewn together

My HSTs came out at three and a quarter inches.  My block is eight and a half inches square or thereabouts!

I have tried these in prints with white, print and low volume - the centre square being the light colour!  But I have also made them with the middle square as the dark one!  I have used solid, text fabric, geometrics, dots and a large scale print, low contrast, high contrast - I love them all!  

Most of all I like trying out different combinations!   Some I have to say have been unpicked and re-assigned!  

It seems I like rainbow colours and two quite complimentary colours in the same block but with a different value!   Though there are exceptions - the lime and purple one for instance !

Here is my little ensemble so far!   15..... and counting!  

Think I may need at least 41 in total for my quilt!   Luckily I have my bee mates to help and lots of charm squares.... 

Actually I am having so much fun I am being kind to my bee mates letting them join in!!  I used to hate HSTs and now I love them....sigh!


  1. They look fabulous all together like that!

  2. oohh fun!! They look great! I shall be digging through my stash to find nice combinations :)

  3. Perhaps the Stingy bee should be adding to these too??? Di x

  4. I really really like your blocks together and the HST method is great - I use it when I know what its neighbour will be but sometimes I need to just cut them in half because I have to play with the layout - I'm always placing them in the wrong position as it is!

  5. Oh I like those blocks. Great idea with the charms. I have only ever done QSTs with layer cake squares.

  6. I love those blocks! I think the scrappy bees are going to have fun with it!

  7. Cool, and you know I love an HST or two xxx

  8. that is going to be a lovely quilt!

  9. These look great. I still hate HSTs thought lol. I'm saving my charms for my Brit Bee ladies, they don't know what they're in for...

  10. These look great and I've never thought of doing QST with charm squares!

  11. what a nifty way to make the hst, I am so going to try that!

  12. I was just wondering that to do with my large heap of charms :-)

  13. A great way of using up charms! Jxo

  14. Cute block Nicky. I plan to make your block tomorrow ; )

  15. These look great.should finished top should be fab

  16. Great tutorial Nicky! Thanks a lot. What an interesting way of making these HSTs. I think I can do that ;-)

  17. Looks like a fun block! Great idea for charm packs!

  18. These look great, Nicky, and looking at your tute maybe not too tricky (touch wood!) Hope to get started on some soon :)


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