Okay, so this will likely be the last of my preliminary posts leading up to the launch of my first ever quilt along: You're a Charm Quilt-Along! If those ideas aren't swimming yet, hopefully this will help kick them into gear so you have a plan for beginning in just a couple of weeks.
And if you haven't already, add this blog to your reading list so you don't miss the launch or any of the installments once we get going! I'll also try to post notices via instagram on @surroundedbyscraps and on my Surrounded by Scraps Facebook page (this will definitely be a social-media learning experience for me!)
So far I've offered a little bit on the background and concept behind charm quilts, and today I'll be presenting a list and examples of some of the most common shapes to be found in one-patch charm quilts. Let's start with defining a one-patch quilt: A patchwork quilt where each piece is a uniform shape and size. Pretty straight forward. Now, for it to work properly, those shapes need to fit together into an overall pattern that maintains a flat plane. There are LOTS of shapes from which to choose.
We'll start simple. We can all picture quilts made up of the same sized squares or same sized rectangles all over, from postage stamp quilts (traditionally 1"-2" max. squares throughout), to brickwork patterns with larger rectangles to showcase bold prints. And of course, the contemporary use of the term charm quilt fits into this category, using commercially manufactured 5" charm pack squares pieced together.
Another common one-patch category. This is where we have the 1,000 Pyramid quilts, 60° diamonds, and more complex arrangements such as Seven Sisters and Tumbling Blocks (not to be confused with Tumblers, which come up in our next category). As with all of these quilts, the scale you choose for your shape will have a huge effect on how the finished quilt looks and feels. Larger patches are appealing for those with less of a stash to work with (or less time for piecing), but generally will look much more contemporary, not to say you can't get a very contemporary look with smaller pieces, as you'll see below.
Trapezoids (a.k.a. Tumblers)
And here we start getting into some of the traditional one-patch shapes that are harder to get without making (or buying) a template. The previous categories I tend to prefer using my rotary ruler and tools, but with the less common angles and sides that are no longer parallel, having a template to work from will save you much time and frustration. Take my word for that ;)
We've all seen the hexie craze take over, and sure enough this is a natural fit for a one-patch quilt. And there are many methods for getting those hexes made, whether pieced using Y-seams, English Paper Pieced (EPP), or as a combo of smaller triangles (which is effective, but one has to be careful when combining with a charm quilt). There are also several different scales and "shapes" of hexagons that work as a one-patch.
Apple Cores/Clam Shells
Now we enter into curves, curves that nestle together just so. There's no doubt some mathematical formula for getting these just right, but again, I would go with finding a template for one of these guys. Piecing curves is not my strong-suit, but they can be so beautiful and effective all together!
There are others much less common, and with a good internet search you can find them, but I thought this gave a good selection of shapes from which to get inspired. I found Pinterest to be an invaluable resource for finding all kinds of samples, and have compiled a selection into a board called One-Patch Quilt Ideas. And in case there is any question, you are invited to work with any shape you like... you don't even need to do a one-patch to join the YACQAL, but my demos will focus on one-patch, while I try to show a couple of different techniques for marking, cutting and piecing shapes as we go.
Oh, and have I mentioned that there will be a sweet little giveaway when all is said and done?? More details on that will be revealed at the launch , but let's just say I'm looking forward to connecting with more of you and seeing what we can create in our own styles from the same prompts. Again, follow my blog, instagram and/or FB page to keep up to date on this fun adventure we're about to have!