Charm Squares Explained

Many of us who have sewn for a while sometimes forget there are folks out there who are not familiar with our lingo.  I had the pleasure of running into a former student and her mother today at Joann’s.  Little one was determined to start quilting TODAY.  In case they visit my blog, here’s an explanation of charm squares just for Miss B:

A charm square is simply a 5″x5″ cut of fabric – usually quilting weight cotton.

Single charm square laid out on cutting mat - size is 5"x5"
Single charm square laid out on cutting mat – size is 5″x5″

Charm squares are available as pre-cut sets (normally around 40 squares to a pack) and retail for $8-$10 per pack.  You can also cut your own charm squares using your favorite cutting method – scissors, rotary cutter & ruler or a die-cut machine such as an Accuquilt Go!

Examples of pre-cut charm squares
Examples of pre-cut charm squares

One of the easiest projects for a beginning quilter/sewer (especially a kid/teen) is to make a charm square quilt.  Here’s an example of one currently in progress:

Charm square top in progress - 6x5 rows
Charm square top in progress – 6×5 rows with 2-1/2″ inner borders added.

The finished size of this baby quilt will be about 35″x40″ once the outer borders and binding are added.  For a first time quilt project, I suggest doing an “envelope method” for finishing the quilt and tying the corners where the blocks meet with six-strand embroidery floss.

Beginning sewing classes are commonly taught at quilt shops, craft retailers and sewing machine dealers.  A small quilt project such as this one is typically completed in a couple of class sessions or during a kids’ sewing/quilt camp during school breaks.  If you don’t see a particular class listed on the current class roster, be sure to ask.  If enough students are interested, the shop and instructor will do their best to schedule a class time that is convenient for everyone.

For those of you who prefer to learn DIY-style, here’s a link you might find helpful:
How to make a basic charm square quilt video

Happy Stitching!