What can you do with 2 charms, or 5″ squares of fabric?
In my Feb sew sampler box, I got 2 cute charm packs and a pattern that instructed me to cut one charm into four 2″ squares and use them to snoball all four corners of a 2nd charm, then press open. Basically they are telling me to use 2 charms to make one 5″ block.
This seemed wasteful to me, since I know a 2.5″ snoball done with 2 seams can give me a 1.5″ bonus HST and I am not ready to mess with anything smaller than that.
Sew, while waiting impatiently for the delivery service to bring my fabric for the quilt I am suposed to be doing, I had to experiment. As usual, no pretty fabric was in peril at any time during this event.
RST= Right Sides Together [not that it matters here, but for when you use pretty fabric]
What the pattern wants:
Cut Background charm into four 2″ squares, place RST on each of the four corners of the 2nd charm, sew all four corners diagonally, then trim 1/4″ away and press open.
– Result is one 5″ block called a snoball with a bit of fuss and a lot of waste.
Since I don’t like wasting either my charm or my pretty fabric, let’s play!
Cut Background charm into four 2.5″ squares, place RST on each of the four corners of the 2nd charm, sew all four corners diagonally, then trim 1/4″ away and press open. Before trimming the corners off, you can sew 1/2″ away from the 1st seam, and get four bonus tiny HST’s that will trim to 1.5″.
– Result is one 5″ block simular to a snoball plus four 1.5″ HST’s – a bit less fuss since the pieces are bigger, and a lot less waste. The “points” on the 5″ block will be sewn into a seam, and therefore lost, making it look more simular to the block that the pattern features.
RST – sew around all four sides, then cut ONLY the background 2x diagonally, and press open. Trick: You will want to draw your 2 diagonal lines before sewing, and place a bit of batting in the middle to make it easier to pull apart and cut the background layer.
– Result is a 6″ block called “Exploding” that looks like a square in a square, but without the points, and virtually no waste. I actually made a Exploding Block [Head] quilt using this techique.
Granted the pattern is for a table runner, but if you were making a quilt, you’d probably want that extra inch per block. 2 charm packs done this way, would get you 42 6″ pices making a 6 row, 7 column quilt that is 33″ by 38.5″ as opposed to the 27″ by 31.5″ you’d get with the 5″ blocks.
Above is the waste without making the tiny HST’s in option 1.
Now, armed with a little bit of knowledge, a rotary cutter and some more unquiltworthy fabric . . .
I’m going to title this next segment “Just because we wanna know what else 2 charms can do”
Option 3 – just because
RST – sew around all four sides, then cut 2x diagonally.
– Result is four 3″ [trimmed] blocks that can be sewn into a 5.5″ block.
Option 4 – just because
RST – sew down two opposite sides, then cut once diagonally.
– Result is two Quarter Square Triangles exactly the same that can be turned and sewn into a 6″ hour glass block.
You can also use this to make A Quarter Square Triangle Block.
Option 5 – just because
RST – sew on both sides of one diagonal line, then cut on the diagonal line.
– Result is two 4.5″ HST’s
Do it twice, and sew four together to get 8.5″ block from 4 charms.
By the way, I pinned my notes to my samples so I don’t have to do this again.
Option 6 – just because
RST – sew down two opposite sides, then cut once down the center, between the seams.
– Result is two 4.5″x5″ blocks that could be trimmed to 4.5″ square and used for rail fence.
Option 7 – just because
RST – sew down two opposite sides, cut once down the center, like above.
Then turn each piece, cut down the center again.
Arrange opposite colors, and sew it back together.
– Result is two 4.5″ 4 patch blocks
Option 8 – just because
Draw 2 diagonal lines in each direction on the back of the lighter piece, then sew 1/4″ away from the lines on each side. Then cut between the lines Plus in the center in both directions – called Magic 8
– Result is eight 2″ HST’s that can be sewn into two 3.5″ blocks.
Option 9 – just because
Draw 1 diagonal line on the back of the lighter piece, then sew on this line and then sew another line 1/2″ away.
– Result is one 5″ HST block and one 4″ HST block.
Not sure why you’d want two different sized blocks, but this does show that when you snoball a corner, you can get a bonus HST that is one inch smaller than the snoball square you used.
So there ya go. You can now rest easy having some clue of just how far a charm pack or two will get you.
Have a charming day~!
#TheyDontCallMePrettyCuriousForNothing #CharmPackHack #TooCharming