Squares with charm

I realized I had a pretty big assortment of charm squares, from numerous packets I’ve accumulated at fabric trades and give-aways here at C&T or bought at quilt shops and shows. These 5” squares are a great way to sample fabric lines.

Sorting out squares with similar colors or designs, and finding I had 220 of them, I tried to think of a creative way to combine them with something in my over-the-top stash.

I remembered a wonderful quilt on the wall, at least 10 years ago, at ThimbleCreek Quilt Shop, now located here in Concord. I had a vague memory of Trip Around the World or Irish Chain or some relatively simple design.  But the reason I went back several times just to see this one – a class sample probably? – was because, instead of muslin as the ‘neutral’ fabric, the maker had used a blue chambray, making it unique and charming.  Perfect for charm squares!

I cut chambray I’d purchased back then to make the quilt (aw come on, you have fabric you bought 10 years ago in your stash too) and gleaned about 120  5” squares. I decided to use C&T’s nifty new tool, fast2sew® Ultimate Seam Guide, to combine pairs of print with chambray without spending time marking the diagonal line, as you usually need to do when making half-square triangle units.

Even though the 5” square is bigger than the recommended 4” max, it was simple – you just place your diagonal-point (center line) on the guideline and your needle will stitch the correct ¼” seam, then turn the square around and come back with the opposite ¼” seam line.  Slice each square in half, between your stitching lines, press the perfect ¼” seams to the chambray side, and, voila!  Your unit is ready to trim and use.

What I love about the Half-Square Triangle is how versatile the unit is.  I let my 5 and 7 year old grandsons, Griffin and Sam, help me on the design wall, with “Trip Around the World” setting.

Then I reassembled as “Straight Furrows.”

Then “Streak of Lightening.”

But in the end, I let the intended recipient of this quilt choose his favorite setting. My friend John, a gracious and generous restaurateur at the Red Onion in Pinole, decided he liked “Squares on Point” the best.


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  1. Posted November 22, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Ruthmary, Isn’t it wonderful getting the grandkids involved. The boys really love arranging blocks, and are quite adventurous in design
    Well done

  2. Teresa Stroin
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    It’s beautiful, Ruthmary. And the quilting is fabulous, too. You are multi-talented!

  3. Mary Wruck
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Nicely done. So many options from one block pattern. Thanks for sharing the technique.

  4. Posted July 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Your quilt looks great. I like the choice that John made.

  5. Posted July 13, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Great fabric combo, I love the chambray.

  6. Peggy
    Posted July 12, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    fantastic-I loved seeing the boys working away. The pictures are great-made me want to rush home & sew half square triangles.

  7. kerry
    Posted July 12, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I love it, Ruthmary!

  8. Posted July 11, 2011 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I never thought chambray could be used in a quilt, but it looks great. Thank you for the demo.

  9. Posted July 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I do love playing with my half squares and trying different variations, it is fun.


  10. catlady
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I want that finished quilt!

  11. Armida
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Ruthmary must be about ready to receive the prize for the best “stash” ! The amazing thing to me is that she can remember not only buying the fabric but where it is!! Kudos to Ruthmary for another great quilt and for giving heart to those of us who hang on to fabric “just in case”.

  12. ann
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Wow, what a great way to use up those sqs and lot of ways to put them all back together. I bet the boys loved playing with the designs. Future quilters?

  13. kimberlee
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Very cool! I love the options, the lightning pattern the most. I guess because chevron is currently the trend. John still picked a great pattern, how could you not with all the wonderful options?
    The blue chambray is so cool, gives a denim or masculine touch.

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