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.

Lifes_A_Picnic

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!

Option 1
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.

Option 2
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.

Charm_Snoball_Compare_Waste

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.

Charm_Snoball_Op3_04

 

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.

Charm_Snoball_Op4_03

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.

Charm_Snoball_Op5_01
– Result is two 4.5″ HST’s

Charm_Snoball_Op5_02
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.

Charm_Op6_03

 

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.

Charm_Op7_03

Arrange opposite colors, and sew it back together.
– Result is two 4.5″ 4 patch blocks

Charm_Op7_04

 

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.

Charm_Op9_03
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.

Option 10 Rectangular Snoball
Slice off 1 1/4 inch from 2 squares. I stacked mine.


Then slice that skinny strip 3 more times at 1 1/4″ so that you have four 1.25″ squares.
Switch the colors, and snoball all 4 corners of the remaining 3.75″x5″ pieces.

Charm_Snoball_Opt10_Sew

For best results, you may want to switch your stitch plate from the zig zag one that is probably on it, to the single hole one. I didn’t, and that’s why you see a wrinkly corners.
-Result is two 3 3/4″ by 5″ snoball blocks without a lot of waste.

Charm_Snoball_Opt10_Result

If you sew these together as shown, you’d get a 6 1/4″ by 5″ block.

 

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

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One thought on “What can you do with 2 Charms?

  1. Good Afternoon,
    This was fun to read . . . but you might have a slight bit too much time on your hands! HAHA! I think I like your option 1 for the snoballs for the pattern. I wonder what you are going to do with the two charm packs now? That’s kind a stack you have there! I can talk – I have one or twenty of my own that I’m saving. ~smile~ Roseanne P.S. I hope you get your fabric that you are patiently awaiting soon!

    Like

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