Christa’s Quilt Along 3.2 – Marking and Sewing the Charm Squares

Welcome to week 2 of my do-it-yourself quilt along, Charming Chevrons. Last week we gathered our supplies. This week we will mark and sew our charm squares. Scroll down to the end of this post for a link to last week’s supply list and a schedule for the entire tutorial. Three versions below are available as quilt kits on my website; you can also make your own.

Solid ChevronsAmerican Jane ChevronsCoquette Chevrons

You can work at your own pace and I will start posting how long it takes me to complete each step. This will give you a general idea of how long my quilts will take to make. Today’s tutorial took me a total of one hour, 15 minutes to mark and sew.

Step 1 – Mark the Background Squares (15 minutes)

I chose 2 charm packs of Kona Ash grey and 2 packs of Kona Classics Solids (new palette). My pattern calls for 84 – 5″ squares of color and 84 – 5″ squares of background. The Kona color solids only came in 41 pieces per pack, so I had to add an extra charm to each set to ensure I had enough. (I made sure to add extra charms to the kits using this fabric, too!)

Straight Edge with Pen for MarkingMark all Backgrounds

Using a straight edge and marking pen of your choice, draw a diagonal line down the back of each background square. (Kona Solids don’t have a right or wrong side so just pick one. )

After several tries with different marking tools,  I had great success with the Frixion pen because it drew dark smooth lines on the fabric with no snagging or bleeding.

Step 2 – Sew the Seam Lines (1/2 hour each side, 1 hour total)

My favorite method for making half-square triangles is to sew 1/4 inch on either side of your marked lines. This goes really fast and you can sew for a few minutes at a time.

Sew 1/4 inch away from the line.

Grab one background charm and one color charm at random. Flip it over so that the background (grey) square is on top. Starting off of the sewing machine, sew 1/4″ in away from the marked line.

Chain Piece Your Blocks

Do not clip your threads at the end. Rather,  “chain piece” the next pair of charms. Continue sewing together pairs of charms (background/color) until you have sewn a total of 84 pairs, all on one side.

Pile of Colorful Blocks

Now, gather your long chain and this time sew on the other side of the line, again using 1/4″ seams. If they get tangled up, it’s ok to cut a few sections apart. If your seams are not exactly perfect, that’s ok, too. We will trim the blocks next week so they are all the same size.

Sew the other side.

Once all of your pairs are sewn, clip the threads between the blocks, stack them into a pile, and set aside for the next step. Now, give yourself a pat on the back! Wasn’t that fun??

Stacks of Colorful Blocks

If you are now just joining us, here is the complete schedule for making this quilt from start to finish, including quilting and binding. You’ll have a finished quilt in just a few weeks!

Sewing Schedule (All links will be active once each step has been completed.)

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10 Responses to Christa’s Quilt Along 3.2 – Marking and Sewing the Charm Squares

  1. Bekah Boys says:

    When you are sewing the 1/4″ by the diagonal, do you have to double stitch at each end of the square to be assured the stitching won’t come undone? I am doing that but it seems to be bunching my squares. It doesn’t look like you do that with yours. Thanks!

  2. Yvonne says:

    Can I print these tuteriols up so I can have the instructions and patterns at hand when I try it?????

  3. Susan says:

    Thanks Christa!
    I love all of your tips!
    Susan

  4. Denise Hawke says:

    I’m on board. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I’ve never tried a chevron before so thanks for the inspiration. Denise

  5. Carole Liebzeit says:

    The photos with the instructions are perfect — except your written directions should
    say draw “a diagonal” pencil line. Other than that, wonderful. Carole

    How do I get connected with Desert Quilters so I can teach for them? Thanks.

    • Christa says:

      Thanks Carole – that was a great suggestion and I’ve added that to the instructions. If you go to my guild’s website you can find the contact info for the programs chairwoman and send her an email.

  6. Kim says:

    Sweet!
    Happy Sewing

  7. Kim says:

    What a great QAL idea. Something to keep in mind for tackling chevrons! Thanks for sharing.
    -k

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