Saturday, March 10, 2012

Prince Charming

So, just what exactly is a "Charm Pack?" I know, I've Googled it. But, really what's its purpose? Is it cheaper? Does it save you time? Is it convenient? Are the ones with the jagged edges really the size they say they are?

Coming from someone who has not been doing this long, I'm perplexed. I just don't get it. I saw some on Craftsy or Groupon or whatever that were on sale for now only. When I calculated the yardage, it was not a "real" deal. Even though they were like 40% off. Then I noticed they were advertised for 5.5 inch squares, but they had a shear cut (zig zag) so I was wondering: Is the 5.5 inches measured from the outer point or the inner point? And, how functional is it, if you just want to sew squares together? I can't imagine not having a straight line when I sew squares together. I would never be able to discern a quarter inch seam!!!

Anyway, leave me some insight into this in the comments. Remember, I'm just an amateur.

I web-lifted the photo, so please let me know if I have violated your copyright. (I'm not gonna buy one until I understand the reasoning behind it!)



Mike Pearson said...

Omg, I have 18 followers now! Just noticed that it went up. I hope I'm being super informational :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I believe Moda has liscence to the name 'charm pack' (forty - 5" squares)and I believe the start of the pre=cut phase. It really is a benifit to those who have difficulty cutting. And no, charms (or other pre-cuts) do not have a uniform size. The pinking is to prevent fray, but they don't! Those little nubs rub off in smidges of fabric everywhere and then you DO have a smaller cut. You measure from the tip of the pink as that was the true edge - so if it frays - you are short.

That being said - I have bought charms (and other precuts)but use them in 'charm' quilt patterns (easy piecing) and you get the whole range of the fabric line - If I really like a particular one(s), then I buy yardage.

Per Moda liscence of packaging of their pre-cuts:

Jelly Roll strips are 2-1/2 inches so every 10 strips is 2/3 yard (plus an inch). 30 strips is 2 yards plus 3 inches. 40 strips is 2-3/4 yards. 50 strips is 3-1/2 yards.

Honey buns are 1-1/2 inches so 10 strips is just slightly under 1/3 yard. 40 strips are 1-2/3 yards.

Turnovers are 80 (6 inch) triangles and is equal to slightly over 1 yard.

Desert rolls are 10 (5 x 45) strips or just slightly over 1-1/3 yard.

Charms are 5 inches square. 40 charms is equal to 2/3 of a yard.

Layer Cakes are 10 inches square. 40 layer cake square is equal to 2-3/4 yards.

danih03 said...

The only advantage that I know of is so you don't have to do any (or very little) cutting.I tried a jelly roll for the first time for the sliced competition. I used my 1/4 in foot, and they seemed to go together pretty accurately. They are rather expensive, though:( I guess time is money???

Mike Pearson said...

Thanks for the info! It is enlightening. I might buy one some day when they are on sale :)

S said...

Hi, I just found your blog via Leah Day :)
'Charm' packs are derived from the vintage 'charm' quilts, meaning that each fabric was used one time only thus creating the ultimate scrap quilt :)
Personally, I prefer to create my own 'precuts' since I prewash fabrics.

Mike Pearson said...

That's good to know. I didn't think about the prewashing. I prewash everything.

Wendy said...

I like charm packs and layer cakes as fabric is horrifically expensive in the UK and this is the only way I can get a piece of every fabric in a line I love.

Sew Sane Jane said...

I'm with Wendy. I don't have trouble cutting - but still buy pre-cuts as it is a fantastic way to get variety in fabrics without the cost. My LQS won't do a cut smaller than 1/3yard. So for me to get get a bit of each fabric in the line (which the LQS NEVER carriers), it would be like $143. granted, I would have a lot more fabric - but I'm not always interested in quantity as much as variety. Scope out sometime to get better feel for the "recipes" / patterns created with pre-cuts in mind. (okay, I have created a tutorial or two for Moda so maybe I can't be objective - but the Moda precuts really are better in terms of size consistency than the generics that i have seen at other places!!!)

Mike Pearson said...

Thanks for the advice! I won a charm pack (a couple) in a giveaway. Some squares are 5" and the others are 3". I will have to check out Moda to see what I can do with them!

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