Monday, October 25, 2010

Just One Charm Pack + The Triumphant Return of Menu Plan Monday

So today, I'm very excited to lay the groundwork for what I hope will be a great series of tutorials - Just One Charm Pack.

You all know how it goes, right? You're in your favorite fabric shop, picking up a border or backing fabric, just eeking by with your monthly allotment for fabric, and you spot a charm pack of a cute new collection, so you add it to the top of the stack to ooh and ah over the new prints, since you can't afford to buy a bigger pre-cut or yardage at this point. OR, you fall in love with a set of fabric about 3 weeks after everyone else does, and there is NONE to be found ANYWHERE, except for a lone charm pack in a shop in your grandparents' small town that you discover while you're still so bloated and disoriented from the carb overload that was Christmas dinner that you forget to check for any coordinating yardage while you're in the store. Can I get a witness?

Charms!
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/luladahl/4623389868/

You get the charm pack home with every intention of making a cuuuute table runner the next weekend, but you're quickly distracted by the avalanche of pine straw that seems to have suddenly materialized in your yard. So the charm pack sits, forgotten and neglected, in a drawer or maybe on your cutting table, along with all your other single charm packs. Once you work up the gumption to do something with the charm pack, you start cruisin' the Internet for some sa-weet tutorials. Unfortunately, almost everything larger than a tablerunner uses at least 2 charm packs, and even some tablerunners require a few extra squares than what comes in the standard charm pack (I love ya dearly, but I'm looking at you, Miss Rosie, with your Schnibbles patterns). Am I the only one who finds myself in this predicament? Maybe, but I hope not.

Because I'm about to tentatively step my toe into the already whirling, busy world of quilt blog tutorials, with what I hope is a useful series of (free!!) scrappy quilt patterns. All of the tutorials will use one and only one charm pack (or 40-42 (5") squares for those of you with a large stash of pre-cut scraps), plus some coordinating yardage for borders - because I love a few good borders - and a fair amount of background fabric, since I've been coming around to the idea of white/blank relief space at a fast and furious pace for the past year or so.

DSCN1480
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35981592@N04/5117568448/

The sizes of most of the quilts I'm envisioning will range from large baby quilts to lap-sized quilts, and as mentioned earlier, background fabric will play a heavy hand in stretching the charm squares into larger quilts. If you're up for the fun, get ready to become BFFs with your favorite Kona or Moda Bella provider.

Source: http://www.threadedmess.com/2010/08/i-heart-kona-solids.html

I'll warn you, these won't be stash-busting tutorials, per se. If you're looking to use 234,634 charm squares in one lap-sized quilt, um, well, as much as I would love to help you and then oooh! and ahh! over your final project, these tutorials probably won't be for you.

But before all this hoopla can happen, this tutorial newbie actually has to make the quilt AND write up the tutorial. So, in the meantime (and just in time for you folks who are all about making your own holiday gifts), here are a few of my favorite tutorials already out there that already use just one charm pack (+ some other stuff, usually).

source: http://www.cian-erc.org/tech-transfer.cfm

A quick disclaimer about my yet-to-be-created tutorials: Most of them are going to be based on pretty traditional patterns and won't be completely original (hellloooo, 9-patches). Especially since the web has become a much more social place, the quilting community is ginormous, grows a little every day, and exchanges information (via tutorials) like whoa. Odds are, I probably keep up with only a very small wedge of it. Over the next few months, if you notice that I've ripped off or hacked a pattern or tutorial that's already out there, puh-leeze let me know. Such a faux-pas certainly wouldn't be intentional, and the last thing I want is to steal someone else's creative thunder.


Finally after a 2 (3?) week hiatus, Menu Plan Monday is back. Here's what's on the dinner queue for this week:

Check out OrgJunkie to see what other folks are cooking up this fall!

4 comments:

  1. I have never bought a charm pack because I don't know what to do with them! I can't wait to see your ideas, maybe one day I'll pull the trigger.

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  2. Such a great idea! I'd love to see quilt tops, particularly lap size, since there is such a shortage of those patterns out there. The last one I did was adapted from a table runner pattern, and took two charm packs. But I could probably have done it with solids to replace one of the charm packs, as it was a disappearing 9-patch pattern. You might also talk about combining two charm packs of different but complementary fabric lines....

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  3. Such a great idea! I'd love to see quilt tops, particularly lap size, since there is such a shortage of those patterns out there. The last one I did was adapted from a table runner pattern, and took two charm packs. But I could probably have done it with solids to replace one of the charm packs, as it was a disappearing 9-patch pattern. You might also talk about combining two charm packs of different but complementary fabric lines....

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  4. Cool! I am looking forward to your ideas! The thing I don't like about CPs is, that you normally need more than one to make a project (yep, Schnibbles, of course...but I love them so much!) - so I often buy LCs... I still have many single CPs that I don't know how to use (squares? boring!)...although I've had some ideas about setting one tiny little square in the middle (or off centered) of a big, big solid block for a bigger quilt (I don't need that many small Schnibbles-sized quilts...).
    Hugs, Julia

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