Choosing quilt patterns can be tricky. Even when you have a firm idea in mind for your theme and approach, you may still feel overwhelmed by all your options. When you do not have any unifying concept in mind, you may struggle to find one that will stimulate your creativity.
Charm packs can be a unique solution for either of these issues. Their grab-bag nature can make them interesting enough to tinker with and ultimately use for satisfying results. In this article, we will explain what any quilting enthusiast should know about these fabric bundles and even highlight some intriguing charm pack quilt patterns.
What are Charm Packs?
Quilts are often collages, collecting a variety of visual ideas in a single patchwork cloth. Those visual ideas may be shapes and colors, or they may be distinct images. Either way, the concept is to create an interesting design, with or without a pattern. Not everyone approaches every project this way, but we believe this description summarizes the majority of quilts.
Charm packs take that idea and apply it not just to visual ideas, but to the very fabric on which they are printed. These bundles feature many squares, almost always five inches in length and width. What makes them stand out is that no two squares are cut from the same fabric. Each one in the pack is completely distinct from the rest in its appearance.
Far from being a bother, they can present an intriguing challenge to quilting enthusiasts. What could one compose with these scraps that would still feel cohesive? When used together and/or combined with still other visually unique fabrics, charm packs can produce striking and satisfying quilts.
How to Get Charm Packs
The term “charm packs” comes from the charm quilt, also known as the beggar’s quilt. This additional name refers to the traditional practice of making such a quilt. Back in the 19th century, people would ask friends, neighbors, and acquaintances for scraps of cloth. Naturally, this process would leave the asker with a variety of fabrics, which could then be sewn together.
One could still do that now and potentially get some fun results. With that said, one can also just buy a bundle nowadays. Suppliers of quilting material are well aware that charm packs retain their charm. Many create their own sets, which follow the rule that every single square must be cut from a different fabric. If one chooses this option, they even receive the squares precut and are ready to sew.
Examples of Charm Pack Quilt Patterns
Many charm packs truly are grab bags full of unrelated scraps, randomly assembled into one curious package. Some take on the additional challenge of making every fabric unique, yet uniting them under one aesthetic or overarching idea. To show you what we mean, here are a few examples of charm pack quilt patterns worth considering.
Feline Good 5-Inch Charm Pack Squares Wilmington Prints
Wilmington Prints is a reliable supplier of fabrics with patterns and designs that can best be described as cute and cozy. This applies even to their charm packs, with emphasis on the charm, including the Feline Good 5 Inch Charm Pack Squares Wilmington Prints set. This collection features 42 five-inch squares that cat lovers will adore.
Here we have a solid example of how charm packs can maintain diversity while centering on a theme. Some squares feature cartoon cats in various shapes and colors, with different critters occupying different fabrics. Others feature text related to these little fuzzballs, but none have the same words. Paw prints, fish, splats of color, basic shapes — all get that distinct charm pack treatment in a single delightful package.
Holiday Halloween Charm Pack Stacy Hsu Moda
Anyone designing a Halloween quilt can choose from an assortment of images so vast that it can be scary. Should one use pumpkins, with or without carved jack-o’-lantern smiles? Silhouettes of cartoony bats? Spider webs in spooky little patterns? The Holiday Halloween Charm Pack Stacy Hsu Moda Fabrics set asks the question, “Why to choose at all?” It features all those iconic visuals and more.
Designed by textile artist Stacy Hsu for popular supplier Moda Fabrics, this charm pack’s 42 squares all scream Halloween. Not all of them are distinct. Several shares designs and differ only in their color schemes. One may primarily be orange, the other may be primarily black. While purists might have mixed feelings about this approach, people with a penchant for patterns may appreciate it.
Stonehenge Gradations Chips Dark Mixers Charm Pack Northcott
Northcott is well-known for its sterling selection of photorealistic fabric designs, particularly the ones concerning natural environments and animals. They play to this strength with eye-popping results in the Stonehenge Gradations Chips Dark Mixers Charm Pack Northcott bundle. Just one look at the images on these 42 squares may be enough to ignite the imagination and make one reach for their quilting equipment.
These designs are hyper-realistic close-ups of rocky material. Each one is completely distinct, just as each section of any stone found outdoors is completely distinct. This set uses the charm pack concept to pay tribute to nature in its beautiful chaos. Naturally, you can also use it to make a marvelous collage. It is hard to go wrong with Northcott’s high-quality cotton fabrics, especially with designs this strong.
Charm Pack Quilt Patterns at Hingeley Road Quilting Shop
However you wish to approach them, charm packs can make for a fun challenge and an interesting experience. We encourage both quilting novices and more experienced hobbyists to give them a try and see what they can make from them. They might be just what you need for your next masterpiece.
If you would like to see some high-quality charm pack quilt patterns, we have plenty of excellent options here at Hingeley Road Quilting Shop. That includes all the patterns included above as examples, plus dozens of others. Feel free to visit our online store today and browse our sizable selection of precut patterns.