Thursday, May 12, 2016

Making Chock Full O' Charms

Sharon and I made matching quilts this week. I think she would agree with me when I say that making Chock Full O' Charms was initially pretty daunting, then confusing, and eventually very, very satisfying. We would make another in a heartbeat, I do believe.

Sharon's Finished Top
My Finished Top
When we bought the fabric for the outer border, we knew we would make our borders very wide just to show off that lusciousness. The pattern calls for a 6.5-inch outer border; we went with 8.5 inches. The finished quilt top measures 58"x72". I have no immediate plans for quilting mine; I don't know what Sharon's plans are.

Here are some shots taken during the construction process. You really have to have the pattern for this. While the initial sewing of the squares is easy enough to do without instruction, the details provided for cutting it apart are absolutely essential. The pattern is available for download from the website.

Sharon and I were making a lap size quilt and used 3 charm packs of Moda/French General's Rue Indienne. The pattern calls for 96 squares, therefore we had 30 extra squares (42x3); it just so happened that there were 10 plain squares in each charm pack which I removed, leaving exactly enough. Because she wanted more red in her quilt, Sharon cut extra squares from her border yardage and removed squares accordingly to get her 96 required squares.

In the photo above, the 3 pieces of paper pinned to the quilt are marked A, B, and C, for the 3 sections this will be cut into. Yes, cut. This caused us some trepidation, but we did as the instructions said and had no trouble at all. Lines are drawn diagonally across the quilt at very exact locations. The photo below shows a closeup of the lines criss-crossing the quilt.

The next step is stay-stitching 1/8" on either side of the drawn lines. Now, ready to cut. Whew. This surely tests one's faith in the directions.

Sharon is lining up her ruler on the cutting line.

A zoomed-in shot of preparing to cut.
Next, we laid out the parts on the floor to see what we had. It turns out that all the stay-stitched pieces are the outer edge of the quilt center. Nice. That shouldn't have been a revelation to me, but it was.

Sew the parts back together, and you end up with a quilt center on point, and you didn't have to cut out a single triangle. It's pretty amazing; I wonder what sort of brain one needs to draft this all out and make it work. My brain is not so equipped. I considered it sufficiently challenging just to count the rows and cut accurately.

Above we have my quilt center on the left, and Sharon's on the right. Hers does have more red, which she desired. We added the 2.5"-wide inner border, and then the wide, gorgeous outer border. Mine is still spread out on the guest bed, and I love glancing in at it when I walk past.

Since Sharon and I sew together so often, we came up with the idea of doing occasional projects together. This is one, and it proved to be a huge success. The next one we are doing involves Kaffe Fassett fabric. You'll hear more about it as mid-June approaches.

Now, I need to get busy on commissions. I have been doing some "brain work" on them, but some actual sewing machine work must begin.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. It's just beautiful! And I love how the border fabric sets it off.

  2. What fun, and they both look good.

  3. Lovely choice of fabric! The only thing I disliked about this pattern is that the edge square points were cut off because there's not adequate (1/4!inch) room to sew the border on.


Feedback on my posts is always welcome!