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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Surrounded by Scraps

Filtering by Tag: charm quilts

Step by Step, Inch by Inch

Linda Nussbaum

For those of you who have been following along so far on the You're A Charm Quilt Along, it may seem like things have been quiet... and well, they have been. BUT, I've been cutting more and more triangles, have YOU been getting some fabrics cut?? If so, we'd love to see them! I'm looking forward to the day when the #YACQAL hashtag on IG has more photos by other participants than by me (just sayin')! Thank you Cherie and Anne for working toward that goal so far :)

I have said that we'll be taking a leisurely pace on this QAL. My hope is that this will give participants a chance to take part and share while still acknowledging that we all have other obligations in our days and weeks. 

However, that doesn't mean we're at a stand-still. I am hoping to see a collection of fabric patches accumulate in the next couple of weeks, with a push to start some layout pics and maybe even begin piecing by mid May. 

I haven't counted these up, but I am sure I have many more to cut before I get anywhere near enough for a decent sized quilt top.

I haven't counted these up, but I am sure I have many more to cut before I get anywhere near enough for a decent sized quilt top.

Now, for what's been going on in MY days and weeks... It starts with transitioning my "sewing room" back into a semi-functional guest bedroom. That mattress design wall that seemed to spark such interest — well it's just a mattress again. ;) The not-in-laws were here for just a couple of nights last weekend for a too-quick visit which included a trip to Portland Art Museum to see the Rodin exhibit before it closed.

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And in just a few days from now we are expecting my brother and BIL for a couple of nights, so the guest room remains a guest room. And we're glad to be getting guests, so I am NOT complaining! I'll share more on that visit after the fact, but I will just say that their visit is tied in with a new event for horror film fans and industry folks happening at Timberline Lodge at the end of April, The Overlook Film Festival... and a new presentation of 2 live Tales from Beyond the Pale.

Found a card for the festival at a NE Portland neighborhood bar a couple of weeks ago. Happy to help promote!

Found a card for the festival at a NE Portland neighborhood bar a couple of weeks ago. Happy to help promote!

Oh, and not a week after this visit I will be heading back to my old hometown of St. Louis for my 25th (yikes!!) high school reunion. Psyched and freaked out at the same time. So much time has passed and yet I just don't feel like I've got my adulting down properly. Ever been there??

In my spring cleaning, wardrobe edition I cannot bring myself to get rid of this OLD t-shirt for the boys' HS lacrosse team (I let go of our girls' team shirt many, many years ago, as is appropriate).

In my spring cleaning, wardrobe edition I cannot bring myself to get rid of this OLD t-shirt for the boys' HS lacrosse team (I let go of our girls' team shirt many, many years ago, as is appropriate).

So yes, things are happening, and I hope that no one feels like the YACQAL is suffering for it. Would love to see more input and hope to get more photos going from those of you interested in participating! So bring on the questions, comments and suggestions!

A Little Charm Talk — YACQAL #2

Linda Nussbaum

I promised an entry giving a little more information about charm quilts, so here we go. I am not an historian and claim no expertise or special knowledge on this subject, but am more than happy to share what I have learned.

As I said in my previous post, the idea behind the charm quilt is that each piece used to make the quilt top is from a different fabric. Every single one (though there are anecdotes of quilts made from all different fabrics except 2 patches that are the same). Often they were collected over time, or traded with friends or penpals. Some are done using very specific color families in the prints, while others are a total hodge-podge of fabrics, and many use light and dark values to create an overall pattern.

A quilt top found by a volunteer at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. Click on image to learn more.

A quilt top found by a volunteer at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. Click on image to learn more.

Found in Step-by-Step Quilting... Click image for source.

Found in Step-by-Step Quilting... Click image for source.

Since most of the information I have on the subject I've gleaned from casual allusions over the years and looking up sources online, I am going to just list a couple of links to information I found helpful and interesting regarding charm quilts, and hope that you do too:

Re-posting the link to a couple of Barbara Brackman's entries on charm quilts: http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2016/04/charm-quilts-and-odd-fellows.html  http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2015/06/hattie-spragues-charm-quilt.html

Credited to collection of Pat Nickols.

Credited to collection of Pat Nickols.

Another good description I found of the background of charm quilts is this post on Womenfolk.com by Judy Anne Breneman: http://www.womenfolk.com/quilting_history/charm.htm

And one more, from Laurette Carroll on Antiquequilthistory.com: http://www.antiquequilthistory.com/a-history-of-charm-quilts.html

One of many gorgeous quilts found in the link above.

One of many gorgeous quilts found in the link above.

There is quite a bit of more information out there, but a lot of the material I found online when searching "charm quilts," especially looking for images, were merely contemporary quilts made using charm squares, and often do not actually follow the "rules" of the Odd-Fellows charm quilts. But I encourage you all to do your own searches and see what you find and what inspiration it sparks!

My next YACQAL post will talk about one-patch designs and common shapes used in charm quilts. I hope you all are getting as excited about this quilt along as I am!

You're a Charm Quilt-Along — an Intro

Linda Nussbaum

Last week I made an off-the-cuff comment on an instagram photo which seems to have resulted in the suggestion to start a quilt along (QAL). And I'm kind of jazzed about that!

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It's no secret that I have WAY more fabric in my possession than I will ever be able to utilize in projects. And I've also shared that recently I have not been terribly inspired creatively. Now, goodness knows I have plenty of WIPs, UFOs, abandoned class projects and quilt tops galore that need to be quilted, but none of those reignites a creative flame for me (though I have been chipping away at quilting some long overdue charity quilts!).

So when Jessica left a comment suggesting a QAL in response to my charm quilt idea, it gave me pause... and then I kind of got excited thinking about it. So I am hoping that this idea will excite many of you to join us starting in mid to late March for a charm quilt quilt-along, You're a Charm QAL (#YACQAL)

The idea is to use your own stash (or swap pieces if you need to broaden the basket... we might set up a way to facilitate that for those who would like) to make a charm quilt in the traditional sense of the term: a quilt (generally a one-patch) that only uses one piece of any one fabric - no repeats! This pre-dates fabric manufacturers putting together 5" charm square packs and other precuts from their fabric lines. This is the true sense of scrap quilting. Here is a link to a brief, yet informative, blog post on charm quilts by quilt historian Barbara Brackman.

Please excuse the lack of credit here... I thought I had saved the source, but can't seem to relocate it now. :( However, this appears to be an example of a late 19th C. tumbling block charm quilt.

Please excuse the lack of credit here... I thought I had saved the source, but can't seem to relocate it now. :( However, this appears to be an example of a late 19th C. tumbling block charm quilt.

In the coming week I'll put up a post with some examples of various charm quilts, ideas to get the juices flowing, but in the mean time check out this collection of charm quilts found on Pinterest, most of which seem to follow the original meaning of the term. Following that I'll work on outlining the general schedule for the quilt-along. Bear in mind I have never led a QAL before, so things may shift as we go, but I welcome feedback always. And more than anything else, I look forward to trying something new, having fun and seeing what you all come up with!

Stay tuned for #YACQAL!