Thursday, June 7, 2007


I find I'm easily distracted. And tempted.

There are soooooo many quilt projects I want to make, but no sooner do I resolve to do one thing, than I'm distracted by another. My latest ongoing distraction has been charm squares. How can a tiny packet of fabric joy be a bad thing? They're so cute and inexpensive. Or so I reasoned last fall. Then, before I knew it, I suddenly had piles of these cute little packets popping up all over the Sweat Shop. I know some of you haven't gotten sucked into this charm square addiction, but I obviously have. And those of you who haven't may wonder what the attraction is. Well, I'll tell you.

I like a challenge. And I like a puzzle. And charm squares provide both. The obvious use of charm squares is to just sew the squares together for a quick, simple tabletopper, but that's waaaaay too easy. That's what I did with the first packet I bought late last September. I was at a retreat with some friends who made a "supply run" to a neighborhood quilt shop and came back with these little bundles of joy, so I had to try one too. A week later, my husband was all set up in his recliner watching football, with a seam ripper in one hand and my plain square topper in the other. Just sewing the squares together was too simple and kind of boring. What to do? I had just purchased the new Kim Diehl book and she had a nice snowball quilt, so I thought maybe I'd make one of those--simple enough but a little more interesting than plain squares. Although I'm a huge fan of applique and had planned to put some in the borders, I decided I'd do a little fancy pine cone and pine needle quilting instead. Here's the result:

Of course, snowball quilts are also very simple, so I then I challenged myself to use charm squares to make other quilts, and I've since made several. It's fun to be creative and come up with scrappy quilt ideas and block patterns using limited size pieces and amounts of fabric. Here's another one I made for my nephew for Christmas. This is a photo of just the center blocks up on the design wall, but I think you can see the charm square part better than in the photo of the finished quilt:

For the last several months, manufacturers--primarily Moda--have been marketing jelly rolls. Check out Nicole's blog for a bit of an explanation about jelly rolls if you're not familiar with them. I have yet to make a quilt using jelly rolls, but I bought my first "roll" about two months ago at my local quilt shop. When I was there for Jo's Club last night, during a quiet moment, I asked the owner if she was going to carry more of them. As you can imagine, I was surprised to find that she has been ordering ten jelly rolls with each Moda collection! Where were they then? The one I bought was the first I had seen in her shop. As it turns out, her Moda University Club gets first crack at them, and they obviously don't leave much for the rest of us!

I've found that happening more and more in quilt shops. If there's a club or class that goes with a particular fabric line, those quilters get the first opportunity to buy. It's been to my advantage with Thimbleberries Club and Jo's Club--do I have to join Moda University now too?!

And if jelly rolls by themselves are not enough of a temptation, Moda is packaging jelly rolls in tins. How incredibly cute is that?! Take a look:

Yes, they will be getting those in at the Fat Quarter Shop, and I'm sure other places will be carrying them too. Can't you just see them all lined up on a shelf, looking cute and pretty? I can! I swear with all the distraction of new fabrics marketed in new ways, when will I ever have time to quilt?

Before Jo's Club last night, I talked to my husband on the telephone. "It's really windy tonight," he said. "You know what that means, don't you, honey?," I asked. After a pause in which I could practically hear the gears grinding but going nowhere, he said, "No, what does that mean?" "When it's windy, I have to buy fabric." He laughed and asked, "So when DON'T you have to buy fabric?" I guess he knows about my distractions and temptations all too well, darn it! But it's really not my fault. Really. And I'll tell you why.

Back several months ago, I read about it in Vicky's blog here. Take a look. It's good to know that I can't be held responsible for my buying habits--it's always someone else's fault! It seems I'm surrounded by Megs, especially here in Blogland! Everyone is working on tempting projects, and I just want to make them ALL! Is that too much to ask? I mean, really?

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EDITOR'S NOTE: In response to a couple comments, don't forget: "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good." HA!


Happy Valley Quilter said...

What?! How come nobody ever told me that I was supposed to buy fabric when it was windy. We had quite a wind storm the light before last! We even have fresh snow up on the mountains!

computerpeach said...

Shame on you for posting photos of such cute tins!! I guess I have to look for them now too!!

Pat *Enjoying life in Florida" said...

Wow, wonder what treasures you can end up with if you're in tornado country? And, how about hurricane winds..I knew I was saving up for something big! lol.

Little bits of fabric... hmmm...sounds like a "Back to the Future" episode. Our ancestors would smile on this new interesting habit we're discovering, wouldn't they?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Kim, who ever said you needed ill winds to buy fabric. You can find an excuse anytime.

Cute tins, Gee, you wouldn't dare use those jelly rolls.


Patti said...

Oh my golly - I think I'm in love - either that or going nuts. Look at those tins - how cute are those!!!!!! I'm already hooked on Jelly Rolls - I think I have 6 or 7 - and I've been hooked on the charm squares for ages and ages. An inexpensive way to satisfy my need for a piece of every fabric in a new Moda line. Have I done anything with any of them? Of course not! I do have the two nickel quilt books however, with a bunch of patterns flagged for the charms. Someday . . . after my UFO's are all finished . . . .

I think we are quilty sisters under the skin!!!!

May Britt said...

WOW those tins are just sooooo georgius. But they are not available before september. Do we manage to wait.
Love your snowball quilt. I have the book too and have marked her snowballquilt. Have you stitched the border on it???

Wendy said...

What a great idea to do the snowball quilt, it turned out really cute. I love the charm packs and jelly rolls, they are hard to find in my area, not because of clubs but instead the shops just don't get them. I think they are missing out. Hmmmm...I think the wind is blowing here :-)

Darlene said...

Charm packs and Jelly Rolls are definitely my undoing! I was on a charm pack journey recently and made several cute quilts (if I do say so myself). I love your snowball quilt - perfect pattern for a charm pack or two or three! LOL

Darlene said...

By the way, Kim, when I made my Garden Patch quilt from the Simple Traditions book I used Chocolat prints and plaids charms and yardage for the background. That was a fun one to do with charms!

Rosy said...

I too love Modas Charm Paks! The ultimate was yesterday! I was at our local shop and the FedEx delivered! Of course we all wanted to "see"! Guess what! Moda Christmas Charms arrived!!! How lucky was that!!

Quilting Kim said...

So far, I'm still in the collecting stage for Charm Squares and haven't jumped into the jelly rolls craze yet. Those cute tins may change my mind. Wouldn't those tins make a cute Christmas gift for a quilter on your list? If, you could part with them (he-he).

I just love your snowball quilt.

Vicky said...

Aha, I see you've scored a couple of megs here! You did good! LOL

And now that you're such an expert on megging, I'm going to start wearing my meg-proof suit around you!

I've resisted ordering those jelly tins. Until now -- I think ....... oh, doggone it, I feel a megging coming on!