I’d Be Charmed

My first finish of the year.  And it was not my original plan.  Actually, I didn’t remember my original plan until I found the pattern after I had pieced the quilt together.  That being said it probably would not have worked out the way I wanted.


This beauty started out in 2006 for a retreat I helped coordinate with the Fauquier County Quilters.  My co-coordinator was Karen Goula, who was instrumental in my getting anything done.  The retreat went without a hitch without this particular quilt.

The initial charm quilt was this one.  It’s a little long and not very wide as the apartment I was living in at the time had too much stuff for the space I inhabited so anywhere I laid it out was narrow.  Truth be told, I probably got bored and decided it was finished before it was supposed to be.  Terry Burris Quilting took on the job of quilting this beast.


There are a whopping 1274 pieces in this quilt.  It measures 81″ x 121″  which is awkward and doesn’t really fit a queen size bed (or any bed for that matter).  I’m considering cutting it in half and just binding the edges providing I can find the fabric I used originally.  Each half would still be over 600 pieces and the quilts would be more manageable and useful.

Charm quilts were popular during the 1870’s when factories were putting out a generous amount of fabric.  The quilts were also known as Odd Feller quilts referring to the idea that no two pieces of fabric would be identical.  The  quilts are a one patch quilt composed of only one template.  The other name for these quilts was Beggar Quilts because the women would ask their friends, neighbors and family members for bits of fabric to collect enough scraps to complete their quilt.

These delightful “Charmers” were constructed with a minimum of 999 pieces of fabric and no two pieces of cloth were identical.  A story evolved where mothers would make coverlets and quilts of different fabrics with the exception of two.  When the children would be recuperating from illness they would be kept busy trying to find the matching fabrics.  Another reason that one might find a duplicate would be that the quilter lost track of the material she already used, or received the same fabric from two different friends.

More recently, during the Millennium, many quilters celebrated by constructing quilts containing 2000 different fabrics.  After doing this one, I can’t imagine doing one with twice as many pieces.

During the end of October into November I kept tripping over and moving the box with this project in it.  Although I had plenty of other projects to complete, this was the one yelling the loudest and constantly tripping me up, so on the design wall it went.  I worked vigilantly and there were times I really would have preferred to work on something else (REALLY)  but I kept with it.  If I had put it away I probably would have never got back to it.

The quilt was inspired by the book The Classic American Quilt Collection One Patch put out by Rodale Press in 1995.  The pattern is called Natural Balance.  Construction is simple but you need to pay attention to color placement in order to make the pinwheels.  I’d Be Charmed has 1024 pieces.  I’m pretty certain you won’t find any two exactly alike.  She measures a generous 80″ square.  Quilters Corner in Midlothian did the quilting.  The backing came from AQS.


Although I had signed up for this to be my finishalong 4th quarter finish, it just didn’t make the deadline.  Still late to the party is better than no party at all!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’d love to hear about your “Charming” experiences!


About divadiversion

Creative procrastinator. Cock eyed optimist. Family historian - with the story being the important part. Quilt coach, lecturer and creator. Scrapbooker, card maker. Modern vintage. Wine lover. Explore new places, let's travel - let's go!
This entry was posted in Accomplishments, Charm Quilts, Finish-A-Long, Retreat, Terry Burris Quilting, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to I’d Be Charmed

  1. Evelyn Gillotti says:

    I am so inspired by you! How many quilt tops have you made?is that what you do, is make up a quilt top and then start a new one? I can see how easy that would be to do. That’s what I am most excited about, too. The whole 10 I have made, I had to finish because they were baby gifts! Got to get started on another soon.

    • Thank you Evie! Many of these “finishes” are tops that I started while working, and now, because I have more time to sew I am able to finish them. I have finished at least 2 dozen quilts over the years, but started a ridiculous amount. My UFO list is over 50 projects, however some of those are wall hangings, aprons, and table runners. Although, I will admit, the piecing and excitement of making the top inspires me most. I love choosing the fabrics and making the blocks. By the time, I’m sewing the blocks into rows I’m looking around the sewing room for something else to do, and believe me there is plenty to keep me busy. It’s nice to see some of these finish up after nearly 25 years or so. And be still my heart every time I walk into a fabric shop. Baby quilts are fun. I love working with the bright colors or even just the fun fabrics that are out to play with. I can’t wait to see your new baby quilt! Please share.

  2. rl2b2017 says:

    Good morning! This is definitely a beauty and a fabulous finish. Who cares if you didn’t meet an arbitrary deadline?! It just fab, and I have been meaning to make a tumbler quilt but haven’t yet. It’s on the list! ~smile~ Roseanne

    • Thank you Roseanne. I agree that a finish is a finish, and I’m delighted to be finished with Charmed. Funny thing is I don’t remember being “over” the Tumbler quilt. I’m guessing after 20 years one forgets the feeling – sort of like labor – I’m laughing – sometimes I crack myself up. Let me know when you start yours, I’ll send some charms! – Diane

  3. Marilyn Engelking says:

    Hi Diane! Oh My! All those pieces and keeping the colors straight. No wonder it took so long to finish but I love the end result.

    Just returned from a trip to Road2ca in Ontario. We stayed with Cathy and Bob and Cathy and I added a couple more gals and it was a girls day out. I loved the layout this year. One whole building of displayed quilts without the vendors. So great!

    You are inspiring. My quilts are more and more scrappy! Marilyn

    Sent from my iPad


    • Marilyn! My sister went last year to Road2Ca. She had a wonderful time. What a different way to layout the show. I kind of like the idea. I suspect vendors were in another building? I’m so happy you had a great time. So what inspired you most at the show?

      So many of my quilts are scrappy too. I call them “selective” scrap. Having worked in fabric stores and “coached” quilting projects I have amassed a ridiculous amount of fabric, but I’m finding that I love working with everything I’ve collected. It’s just focus that I lack.

      Wait til you see what’s next! Inspiration is EVERYWHERE!

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