What can you do with 2 Charms?

What can you do with 2 Charms?

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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Pre-Cut Yardage – How Charming!

Pre-Cut Yardage – How Charming!

Many people know that a jelly roll or strip pack contains about 3 yards of fabric. Even I know that I can cut 14 strips per yard, and that’s about it.

What if they don’t make a pre-cut in the collection you like? Or the collection you like is  sold out, or you only like some of the fabrics in the pre-cut collection? What if you are trying to reduce your stash, have a fabric you love already, and just want to cut your own to make that really cute pre-cut pattern? How much yardage do you need?

I have many, many precuts [all bought on sale of course] and many of them need background fabic. I know they make almost every Moda solid color in a layer Cake pack, but I happen to like my backgrounds to have a little bit of pattern to them. So because I hate doing that math more than once, here it is for everyone.

Pre-Cut Yardage Chart

Note: My calculations are based on 40″ of usable width.  Yardage inches are in [parentheses] so you can see how close you are – add more for uneven edges, mistakes and the occasional “clean up” edge cutting after several cuts.

Cake_Stack

Layer Cake pieces – 10″ Squares

4 pieces = 10″
8 pieces = 20″
12 pieces = 30″ – 1 yard [36″]
16 pieces = 40″
20 pieces = 50″
24 pieces = 60″
28 pieces = 70″ – 2 yards [72″]
32 pieces = 80″
36 pieces = 90″
40 pieces = 100″ – 3 yards [108″]
44 pieces = 110″
48 pieces = 120″
52 pieces = 130″
56 pieces = 140″ – 4 yards [144″]
60 pieces = 150″

Charm_Stack

Charm pieces – 5″ Squares

8 pieces = 5″
16 pieces = 10″
24 pieces = 15″
32 pieces = 20″
40 pieces = 25″
48 pieces = 30″
56 pieces = 35″ – 1 yard [36″]
64 pieces = 40″
72 pieces = 45″
80 pieces = 50″
88 pieces = 55″
96 pieces = 60″
104 pieces = 65″
112 pieces = 70″ – 2 yards [72″]
120 pieces = 75″
128 pieces = 80″
136 pieces = 85″
144 pieces = 90″
152 pieces = 95″
160 pieces = 100″
168 pieces = 105″ – 3 yards [108″]
176 pieces = 110″

Mini_Charms.jpg

Mini Charms or 2.5″ squares

17 pieces from 1 strip = 2.5″
34 pieces from 2 strips = 5″
51 pieces from 3 strips = 7.5″
68 pieces from 4 strips – 10″
85 pieces from 5 strips = 12.5″
102 pieces from 6 strips = 15″
119 pieces from 7 strips = 17.5″ – 1/2 yard [18″]
136 pieces from 8 strips – 20″
153 pieces from 9 strips = 22.5″
170 pieces from 10 strips = 25″
187 pieces from 11 strips = 27.5″
204 pieces from 12 strips – 30″
221 pieces from 13 strips = 32.5″
238 pieces from 14 strips = 35″ – 1 yard [36″]
I hope you never need more than 238 pieces, but if you do, you can use the Jelly roll chart below, and just know that you’ll get 17 pieces from each strip.

 

Jelly_Stacks

Jelly roll pieces or 2.5″ strips

1 strip = 2.5″
2 strips = 5″
3 strips = 7.5″
4 strips – 10″
5 strips = 12.5″
6 strips = 15″
7 strips = 17.5″ – 1/2 yard [18″]
8 strips – 20″
9 strips = 22.5″
10 strips = 25″
11 strips = 27.5″
12 strips – 30″
13 strips = 32.5″
14 strips = 35″ – 1 yard [36″]
15 strips = 37.5″
16 strips = 40″
17 strips = 42.5″
18 strips – 45″
19 strips = 47.5″
20 strips = 50″
21 strips = 52.5″ – 1 1/2 yards [54″]
22 strips – 55″
23 strips = 57.5″
24 strips = 60″
25 strips = 62.5″
26 strips – 65″
27 strips = 67.5″
28 strips = 70″ – 2 yards [72″]
29 strips = 72.5″
30 strips = 75″
31 strips = 77.5″
32 strips – 80″
33 strips = 82.5″
34 strips = 85″
35 strips = 87.5″
36 strips – 90″ – 2 1/2 yards [90″]
37 strips = 92.5″
38 strips = 95″
39 strips = 97.5″
40 strips – 100″
41 strips = 102.5″
42 strips = 105″ – 3 yards [108″]

 

Now, again I want to emphasize to buy a bit more than you need because you will have to clean up your edges first, and then again every so often, and we all make mistakes.

Yes, I dug out some of my stash for a photo op cuz it’s pretty, and after doing all that math, I needed something pretty to look at.

#PreCutYardageChart #HowManyYardsDoINeed?

 

 

Quarter Square Triangle from Layer Cake Alternative

Quarter Square Triangle from Layer Cake Alternative

Today, lets play with two 10 in squares sliced 4 times to get 8 Quarter Square Triangles, or QST’s.

I am a Jenny fan, and I do buy precuts, but many times I want to make additional blocks to make the quilt bigger, or I run into a piece in a pack that I don’t want to use for the quilt I am making.
This will require hitting my stash for co-ordinating fabric, and knowing what size that block is and how much fabric I need, would be helpful.
So if you want to know just what size block you get when you slice and dice a 10 inch square 4 times, like in Jenny’s  Checkered Lattice Quilt, here you go:

I grabbed some crappy scraps and sewed them right, or as I like to say “pretty” sides together with a 1/4″ seam on all 4 sides. In reality, I sewed these wrong sides together, but I didn’t rip the stiches out, because A: No side of this fabric was very pretty, and B: this was only an experiment.
PRETTY sides together folks!
I sliced my sandwich in half using Missouri Star’s wonderful 5×15 ruler in each direction.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_01

Then I sliced the sandwich corner to corner in each direction, making 8 pieces.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_02

Each piece will be a 2 color triangle measuring 4 3/4″ tall and about 9 1/2″ long.

The backside is shown here

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_03

It is important to note that you get 4 with blue on the left and 4 with blue on the right.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_01

I sewed them together, matching up the opposite colors.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_03

If you do this, you will get almost 6 1/2″ block.

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_04

If you trim sparingly, you will get 6 1/8 which is odd, so I recommend trimming to an even 6″ which I did not do here. It’s difficult to trim to 6 1/8, so I won’t do that again!

Make sure you get your corners better than I did below! See the top two? You’ll see them later in the finished block as cut off points!

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_05

#WhyWeExperimentWithCrappyFabric

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_06

and here’s our cut off points, right smack in the middle!

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_07

Sewing those four 6 1/8 blocks gets you one 11 3/4 block, but if you trim to 6″, count on getting 11 1/2″

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_08

Here’s the “pretty” side.  Ooops!

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_Makes8QSTs_09

 

 Alternative for additional blocks or Stash busting instructions:
I measured the results of the 8 piece cutting method, and discovered you can get the same cut with two 5″ squares!
Can you say “Charm Pack Hack”?

 

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_04

Yes, two charms will make 2 of the same size QST’s as Jenny’s method above.
Note that these are not Half Square Triangles [HST’s] so you can’t sew them corner to corner.
You have 2 options.
1. Sew down opposite sides which will give you two of the same QSTs.
Cutting from the bottom left to the top right as shown, will give you two with the top color [blue] on the right, and the bottom neutral color on the left.
If you cut from the bottom right to the top left [not shown], you will get two pieces with your top color [blue] on the left.

However, once you turn one upside down to sew it to the other, they will line up perfectly for the checkered lattice quilt.
OR
2. sew down one side plus around the corner like an L shape. Cutting diagonally through the point where the stitch lines meet, will give you two opposite QST’s, one with blue on the right, and one with blue on the left. [shown with red number 3]

Now if you take these two opposites [red #3] and face them together, they won’t be opposite anymore. The two blues will be next to each other!  I only included this option  in case you need to replace a block or two. Misstakes happen!

Two_Ten_Inch_Square_Cut_8Pcs_05b

Lets take example number 1 and play a bit . . .

When you cut it, go ahead and cut it corner to corner, and remove those few stitches.

You will get 2 of the same pieces which will line up as opposites.

Now lets sew them together, and here is our square again. See the pretty side up? I can learn!

Charm_Pack_Hack_04

Even though this block cries out for prettier fabric, I have 2 quilts going on right now, and  I’m not getting out more fabric, so here is the Checkered Lattice block made with 2 crappy charms. It trims to 7 1/2 inches.

That means one charm pack [of 40 pieces] will get you 20 blocks, which if placed 4 across and 5 down, will get you a 28×35 quilt before borders.

2 charm packs +4 extra pieces makes 42 blocks to get 6 across and 7 down for a 42×49 quilt before borders.

When trimming/squaring up this block, make sure you get the 3 3/4″ mark in the center, and your corners on the fabric color change for the best results when assembling.

Charm_Pack_Hack_05

 

There you have it. A charmpack Hack by Yours truly,

PrettyCurious, author of WhatWerks

 

#CheckeredLatticeQuilt #10inchSquaresSliced4Times #PrecutAlternative #LayerCakeHacks #CharmPackHack #TheydontCallMePrettyCuriousForNothing #MistakesHappen