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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

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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

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!