Twisted Charm Quilt

I love a good plan. I don’t always follow my plans, but I love to have them. They give me a way to focus my energy on the step at hand. Otherwise, I’d be like a squirrel chasing leaves instead of gathering nuts.

My plan for this quilt was this…1 charm pack of 42 beautiful prints and solids each deserving of their own special place….Set in a grid of 6 x 7 squares with a 1″ sashing and two borders.


For an added bit of interest, I gave them a little twist. Every other block is twisted twice. Thus, the center of the quilt requires 2 sets of blocks…21 of each. These blocks finish at 6″ square, or 6 ½” before they are sewn into the top.

I also put tiny twisted blocks in the corners of the outer border. This is the third kind of block you will need to make. You make 4 of these. To make these blocks you need to hold onto your scraps. DO NOT CHUCK THEM when you trim the charms for the double twist blocks.

1 charm pack (42, 5″ squares)
1 ½ yds black solid
1 3/4 yds white solid
½ yd inner border
½ yd binding (cut 2.5″ with wof)
3 yds backing


 

  • Open the charm pack and put every other patch of fabric in a different pile. Go through the whole pack until you have 2 piles of 21 patches. This will put approximately half of each color way in each pile.
  • Cutting Directions:

 

  1. Block A – Single Twist
    1. From black
      1. cut 3 5″ width of fabric (wof) strips
      2. cut each wof strip into 14 3″ pieces
      3. you should have 42, 3″x5″ rectangles
      4. sub-cut each rectangle once on the diagonal for a total of 84 triangles.
      5. If you are using a patterned fabric for the background DO NOT LAYER YOUR RECTANGLES WITH LIKE SIDES TOGETHER WHEN YOU CUT THEM.  This will result in half of the triangles leaning the wrong direction. The resulting blocks will look like the icons on your i-phone when you start to move one.  Check out my sample blocks…The difference is subtle.  Look at the long and short edges of the triangles and how they relate to the center.  These blocks are NOT the same.  If put together in a quilt I believe they would seem to be jumping and turning all over the place. If both sides of your fabric are the same (like in a Bella solid) this isn’t an issue.
    2. From charm pack
      1. 21 5″x5″ patches
  2. Block B – Double Twist
    1. From white
      1. cut 3, 5″ wof strips
      2. cut each wof strip into 14 3″ pieces
      3. you should have 42, 3″x5″ rectangles
      4. sub-cut each rectangle once on the diagonal for a total of 84 triangles. *Mind the warning in block A
    2. From black
      1. cut 3, 4″ wof strips
      2. cut 2 wof strips into 17, 2 3/8″ x 4″ rectangles
      3. cut 8 more 2 3/8″ x 4″ rectangles from third strip. SAVE rest of strip.
      4. sub-cut each rectangle once on the diagonal for a total of 84 triangles. *Mind the warning in block A
    3. From charm squares
      1. trim 21 charms to 3 3/4″ squares
      2. SAVE TRIMMINGS
  3. Block C – Tiny Double Twists
    1. From black
      1. USE scrap from cutting of Block B (It should be around 23″ x 4″)
      2. cut 8, 2 1/4″ x 4″ rectangles
      3. sub-cut each rectangle once on the diagonal for a total of 16 triangles. *Mind the warning in block A
    2. From white
      1. cut 1, 1 3/4″ x wof strip
      2. cut 8, 3″ x 1 3/4″ rectangles from strip
      3. sub-cut each rectangle once on the diagonal for a total of 16 triangles. *Mind the warning in block A
    3. From charm trimmings saved when cutting Block B.
      1. You should have a pile of scraps measuring 1 1/2″ x 5″ and just as many measuring 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″  (You have way more than are in my picture….38 more pieces actually.)
      2. Select 13 pieces and sew them together along their longest edge.  Like the picture below, only way bigger.
      3. Iron seams open
      4. Trim this pieced scrap to 13 ½” x 2 3/4″
      5. cut 4, 2 3/4″ squares
      6. This works well for A Stitch in Color. If you are using a different fabric line it might not. In that case cut these 2 3/4″ squares from your inner border fabric.
  4. Sashing
    1. From black
      1. cut 3, 6 ½” x wof strips
      2. cut 41, 1 ½” x 6 ½” rectangles (28 from one wof strip and 13 from a second.)
      3. SAVE rest of second strip with the third strip.
    2. From white
      1. Cut 2, 1 ½” x wof strips
      2. Sew white strips to black strips in step 4.1.3. along long edge.
      3. Iron seams toward the black
      4. Cut 30, 1 ½” x 7 ½” rectangles from pieced strips. These will look like black match sticks with white heads.
      5. SAVE the rest of the black and black/white bits for use in the inner border corner stones.
  5. Inner Border
    1. From bits saved in step 4.2.5.
      1. cut 4, 1 ½” squares
    2. From inner border fabric
      1. cut 5, 1 ½” x wof strips
  6. Outer Border
    1. From white
      1. cut 5, 4 ½” x wof strips
  7. Binding
    1. Cut 6, 2 ½” wof strips

Time for a break. If you have completed all of this cutting and prepping, the rest of the quilt should go together easily. (I made mine at a retreat, in about 6 hours of dedicated sewing. )

 

Piecing Directions:

    • Block A – Single Twist

The goal is to make 21 blocks like this one.  They will each have a different center.

  • Align a black triangle with the stubby angle 1/4″ over the edge of  a 5″ charm and the pointy angle 1/2″ over the parallel edge.
  • Sew 1/4″ seam along the long black edge.  If you are careful not to stretch the fabric, you don’t have to pin.
  • I’ve noticed that when using a machine with a 1/4″ foot, I can align my needle at the intersection of the two pieces and edge of the fabric right next to the flange of the foot and everything comes out where it should.  The seam will start and stop at where the edges of the fabric intersect.
  • Iron the seam toward the black.
  • Repeat on next side, 3 times until all four sides are added.
  • Trim to 6 1/2″ square.  Really.  Do this.  I sized the pieces so that they would be big – to make the piecing easier.  If you don’t trim them it won’t work right.
  • If you have a 6 1/2″ trimming square center the center so that as close to 1/4″ of black is between the points and the edge.
  • It is fine if it isn’t perfect.  Even if you sew a corner into the seam allowance when you piece the blocks together it will still look square.  The blocks are set in black – your eyes will fill in any corners that are missing.
  • Make 21.

 

    • Block B – Double Twist
      • The goal, again, is 21 blocks.
      • These will each have a different center and two twists.
      • Add the black triangle to the trimmed charm in the same manner that you added them to the whole charm for Block A.
      • Trim blocks to 5″ squares.
      • Add the white triangles just like you did the black ones in Block A.
      • Iron towards the white.
      • Trim to 6 1/2″ squares.
      • Make 21.
    • Block C – Tiny Double Twists
      • This block is  the corner stone for the outer most border.
      • Yeah, you make these just like you made blocks A and B…only the pieces are smaller and you start with the white triangles next to the center block.
      • After adding the first twist (white) trim the block to 3 1/2″ square.
      • After adding the second twist (black) trim the block to 4 1/2″ square.
      • Make 4.
    • Center
      • Arrange blocks in a  grid 6 blocks by 7 blocks alternating every other block.
      • NOTE: to my OCD friends this quilt does not come out even.  If you are really OCD you have already noticed this, and probably chosen not to make it…or you have altered the pattern.  If you aren’t then you are doing it right if only the corner blocks on one  side  match.
      • Step away from your arrangement and see if you still like it.  If you can’t get very far from it try taking a quick photograph of it with your cell phone.  Look at the picture to see if the distribution of colors pleases you.
      • If you have a design wall this is a good time to use it.  If you don’t there are other options.  You can put them on the floor or lay them on a bed.  You can close the drapes and pin your blocks to them.  Or use the shower curtain. Use your imagination.
      • You can also just wing it.  Random is good – but I haven’t met many people who are actually happy with random.
    • Vertical Sashing
      • Once you are happy with the layout sew a black “stick” to the right side of the first 5 blocks in each row.
      • Sew the rows together:
      • (block, stick)(block, stick)(block, stick)(block, stick)(block, stick)block
      • Iron seams toward the black sashing.
    • Next make the horizontal sashing.
      • You need to make 6 rows of horizontal sashing.
      • Sew 6 matchsticks together along the skinny side with the white block pointing toward the right.
      • Sew one plane stick on the end of the last match head.
      • Iron seams toward the black sticks.
      • Place one matchstick row between each row of blocks.
    • Attach horizontal sashing.
      • Snuggle sashing seams and pin in place
      • Iron seams toward horizontal sashing.
  • Borders
    • Inner border
      • Measure your quilt’s length and width.  Write it down.
      • It should be something like 41 1/2″ x 48 1/2″, give or take.
      • Sew one 1 1/2″ border strip to each of the skinny ends.
      • Iron seams toward the border.
      • Trim excess.
      • Sew the remaining three skinny strips together, end for end.
      • Cut two strips from this that are the length of your quilt as it was when you wrote it down.  (It should be 2″ shorter than the top is now.)
      • Sew a 1 1/2″ black square to the ends of each of these strips.  Iron seams toward the border strips.
      • Snuggle corner seams together.  Pin in place.
      • Pin remaining length of borders in place.
      • Sew on long borders.
      • Iron seams toward border fabric.
    • Outer border
      • Measure your quilt’s length and width. Write it down.
      • It should be something like 43 1/2″ x 50 1/2″, give or take.
      • Sew 4 1/2″ border strips together end for end….making one very long and skinny strip.
      • Cut 4 lengths from this strip that are equal to the measurements you just wrote down. (2 that are the length of the top and 2 that equal the width.)
      • Sew short edges of the border on first.
      • Iron seams toward the border.
      • Sew a tiny double twist square to each end of each of the long strips. Iron seams toward the border strips.
      • Snuggle corner seams together. Pin in place.
      • Pin remaining length of borders in place.
      • Sew on long borders.
      • Iron seams toward border fabric.
  • Layer and Quilt as desired.
1 crib or throw sized quilt, finished size: 51 x 58
 
 
Cindy Sharp

Cindy Sharp

Longarm Quilter at Tops to Treasures
My brief bio -A transplanted Yankee, and happy Texan Cindy works from her home in North Texas where she lives with her family.She started piecing quilts over 20 years ago and opened her long arm business, Tops to Treasures, in 2006.Since then she has quilted over 1,000 quilts.As a pattern designer, Cindy's goal is to write directions that encourage quilters to grow in their skills, and have fun. Her patterns are based on traditional designs, often with a modern twist.

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