I was working as a software consultant for a client in Macon, Georgia and everyone kept asking me, “Have you been to Savannah? It’s only a few hours away!” So, I stayed over one weekend and drove to Savannah.
The first thing I look for in a new city is a quilt store. I like visiting stores to get inspiration and discover new fabrics. So, I stopped at Colonial Quilts on my way into town. (Sadly, the store is now permanently closed). This is the story of how two charm packs turned into an easy nine patch quilt.
The fabric in this quilt is what I purchased at Colonial Quilts. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. The fabric collection is ZaZa by Erin Michael. I think the colors are unique. Red, gold, purple, and green, but not your normal bright or soft shades of those colors. Instead each of the colors has a gray tone to it giving the fabric a muted yet modern look at the same time. Not my normal go-to colors, but the combination of modern designs and unique colors appealed to me. I bought two charm packs.
The Quilt Design
I must tell you that this fabric stayed on my design wall for a long time. Seriously, I know it was there for 6 months while I happily completed other projects. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Put all like colors in rows? Mix the colors up over the entire top? Cut the charms and insert some light solid fabric to make a block? Maybe I could add sashing?
I finally landed on the easy nine patch quilt design in the picture. Each ZaZa fabric charm pack contained 9 fabric designs in 4 different colors. So, I decided to group by color. Not all fabric lines will be so easily split into three or four colors. You can use any design you like though and end up with a beautiful quilt!
Two charm packs made a nice lap-size quilt, but an extra charm pack would have been nice. The quilt needed one more row of Nine Patch blocks to be the size I wanted. Unfortunately, I could not find another charm pack in this fabric line. Believe me, I searched every fabric store nearby and even online stores.
I did find a bit of yardage. The yardage was only available in two patterns though. I purchased it anyway hoping I could make it work. But, I never found a way to work it into the design in a way I liked. So, I used the yardage fabrics for the binding. I decided that I could alternate the two prints and make a scrappy binding for this quilt. In the end, I think the scrappy binding fit with the overall feel of the quilt.
Nine Patch Assembly
Each of the blocks in my Savannah Charms quilt is made of 8 printed charm squares. The charm square in the middle of each nine-patch is from a neutral solid charm pack. I like to keep a few neutral solid charm packs in my fabric stash. White, ecru, and a couple of shades of gray have come in very handy in the past. If you don’t have a solid charm pack, you can use a fat quarter cut into 5-inch squares. You could also use 1/3 yard of a solid fabric cut into 5-inch squares.
Each charm square measures 5 inches. When you sew them together using a 1/4-inch seam, the finished Nine Patch block is 4.5 inches X 3 or 13.5 inches square. A layout of 3 blocks X 4 blocks as shown below makes a quilt that is approximately 40.5 X 54 inches. That was a little short in my estimation, so as you have probably noticed, I added borders to the top and bottom of the quilt.
Making the Quilt Bigger with Borders
After my fruitless search for more charm packs, I finally decided that I could extend the length of the quilt with a couple of borders. Usually, I’m not a fan of borders on every side of the quilt. But, I needed something at both ends to make it a little longer. So, I chose a solid fabric in a coordinating color to use for the backing and purchased a little extra. Each of the borders is 5 X 40.5 inches. I’m not sure you would call them borders. Bookend borders maybe? At any rate, I like the result.
Make Your Own Easy Nine Patch Charm Quilt
If you are looking for an easy design using pre-cuts, this quilt works nicely. All of the fabric requirements are below. You can mix the fabrics in your charm pack anyway you choose.
- 2 Charm Packs
- 12 Charm squares in a solid color OR 1 fat quarter OR 1/3 yard solid fabric
- 3 1/3 yards of solid fabric for borders & backing
- 1/2 yard of fabric for binding
Looking for Charm Pack Options?
The charm packs pictured below would work nicely in an Easy Nine Patch quilt like the one in this post. Click the names for more details.