I've been pretty charm-happy around here lately. With hosting both of the Mystery Charm Swaps, plus participating in a couple of other traditional swaps this last year, I am swimming in charms. Thankfully I'm also surrounded by some pretty talented ladies who have come up with some excellent ways to utlize those charms! They're awesome like that, taking all the guess-work out of what to do with those little 5" squares. : ) I have been taking notes and even doing a little sewing using these suggestions, so I thought I would share some of my favorite charm projects that I have bookmarked lately.
The first couple of projects that I would like to share are made with charms from the Orange, Aqua, Grey Mystery Swap. Man were they whipped up fast! While I have been sitting around wondering what I might make with my charms, Heather from Crafting... was busy piecing together these gorgeous, over-sized granny square blocks.
I love how colorful and spontaneous these blocks feel. Heather didn't want to chop up the charms themselves, so she decided to make her blocks slightly larger instead. She also added in some scrap charms from her stash to fill out the blocks and create the right balance of color and value. I think that these feel very summery, especially hanging on the clothes line!
|Photo courtesy of Heather at Crafting...|
Annabella at Life's Rich Pattern also participated in the Orange, Aqua, Grey Mystery Charm Swap and was quite speedy in starting a project with her's too. Just look at the beautiful range of cheerful hexie flowers she created! Annabella lives in Morocco, where the summers are just a tad hot (she was telling me that the temps have been in the highs around 49C (120F) lately). English paper piecing is a great way to beat the heat and is also very portable, making it an ideal project for the warmer months of the year. (P.S. I've posted a tutorial and some templates here in case you'd like to learn how to get started.)
I also really love the way that Annabella's hexies play with the fabric prints and transform them into even more interesting patterns (for example, look at the flower in the lower right-hand corner with the whale tale fabric).
|Photo courtesy of Annabella at Life's Rich Pattern|
Next I wanted to share a couple of fantastic tutorials that are perfect for charm pack projects. When I saw these lovely Gemstone Blocks created by Rachel of Stitched in Color, I immediately began plotting which fabrics I should use to make my own. Seriously, you have to hop over and check out the tutorial and the finished quilt to see just how clever these are. When paired together and set on point, these two blocks make a beautiful design that really plays with value and hue in a fun way. I'm thinking that my charms from the Indian Summer Charm Swap would look perfectly at home with this design. : )
These blocks would also be a great way to utilize any orphan charms or charm square-shaped scraps of fabric that you have in your stash. I love the idea of making these blocks super scrappy!
|Photo courtesy of Rachel at Stitched in Color|
Last, but not least, I wanted to share a great tutorial made by Jeni of In Color Order. I have been wanting to make a "Plus" quilt like this for a while now and when I came across Jeni's super clear instructions for how to do this, I immediately bookmarked it. She provides detailed cutting instructions for how to make this design using fat quarters (in case you don't have any charms just waiting to be sewn). You could also easily use charms to make this quilt either by trimming them to size (4.5" x 4.5") or keeping the 5" squares as is and making your blocks and quilt a little larger.
I love the woven look of this quilt top and the potential to use a lot of really fun colors and prints together. I'm actually working on a quilt right now using this pattern, but it unfortunately falls into the "keep it secret, keep it safe" category of my current projects. ; ) I'll hopefully be posting a teaser of it soon though.
|Photo courtesy of Jeni at In Color Order|