To save you the time and trouble of cutting your own squares, different manufacturers have created the charm pack. You get enough fabric on one of these packs to do some serious quilting. But not all packs are the same and they may have different amounts of fabric in them.
How many yards of fabric are in a charm pack? One charm pack comes with 42 to 45- 5 by 5-inch squares inside. That number of squares equals about 3/4 of a yard. Since each pack may be different you will find that total number changing from pack to pack.
For different totals, 1/4 of a yard needs 8 charm squares; a fat quarter needs 12; 1/2 yard needs 24; the 3/4 yard uses between 40 to 45, and 1 yard needs 56 charm squares. What you save in cutting time you may lose in calculating time as you need to figure out how many charm packs you need in order to make your quilt.
Each size of quilt will take a different amount of squares and if you do not want that small of square you will have to look for alternative packages. Fat squares generally measure 18 by 21 inches in size.
Charm packs are one option that you can use to make your quilting project more enjoyable as well as quicker to do. These packs are usually made from 5 by inch pieces of fabric and placed into one pack for easy use.
Normally, you can get between 40 to 45 of these squares in a pack and those only provide enough material for about 3/4 of a yard. If your quilt is going to be large you will need to figure out how many packs you will need to buy for both sides of the quilt.
The beauty of these little packs is that they can come in different designs and colors so your quilt will look great once you are done. How many little squares you get in each pack is up to the manufacturer and some give 40, others give 42, and so on.
As we have reported the size of the fabric squares seems to be limited to just 5 by 5 inches. That size makes them easy to handle. Plus, they come in different colors so you can design your quilt your way.
Also, these packs are supposed to be the cheapest of all the specialty cuts offered to quilters. One store has them for about $10 while others may have a different price on their packs.
There is such a thing as a mini charm pack and its squares measure 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches in size. Its price may be even cheaper than the regular size charm packs. A layer cake is normally 10 by 10 inches in size while a Jelly roll is 2 1/2 inches wide by 44 inches long.
A Jelly bar is double the width of a Jelly roll but only 10 inches long and a fat 8th bundle is 9 by 21 inches in size.
A standard bundle would be about 3/4 of a yard of fabric. The standard bundle is 5 by 5 inches and contains between 40 to 45 squares. The material is generally made from cotton but other stores may sell charm packs made from other fabric types.
Other names for the charm pack are Charm Squares, 5 Karat Crystals, or 5" Stackers and your region of the country may have different labels than those just mentioned. No matter the name on the package, the amount of fabric inside should be 3/4 of a yard unless the company made them larger or smaller.
When it comes to fabric, just about everything is flexible so you may find packs that do not conform to these standards. What makes these packs popular is that they are easy to use, not that expensive and they are the standard size most quilters like to put on their quilts.
According to the chart we have seen, 1 charm pack filled with 42 5 inch squares will make a crib size quilt. That quilt size would be roughly 30 by 35 inches in size. To make a twin-size quilt measuring 40 by 75 inches overall you would need 3 charm packs and a full-size quilt measuring 55 by 75 inches would require 4.
A queen-sized quilt measuring 60 by 80 inches will need 5 charm packs. The specific number of squares for each of those quilts would be 42, 120, 165, and 192 respectively.
To make a king-size quilt you would have to decide which measurements you are going to use. One quilt measuring 80 by 80 inches in size would require 256 squares or 7 charm packs.
If you are going to make an 80 by 90 inches King size quilt, then you would need 288 squares. That means you will only need 7 charm packs as 7 times 42 equals 294 squares, giving you some left overs for mistakes, etc.
These are exact amounts so you need to plan ahead and make sure you have enough squares to make up for any mistakes, rips and so on that may occur during the making of your quilt. The same would go for the other sizes of quilts you intend to make.
10% extra is always a good figure to use when you want to make sure you have enough materials on hand. having more is always better than having too few.
A lap quilt is not that large and you can get away with using between 2 and 3 charm packs. A crib size may be too small for some laps so you have to guesstimate the exact amount of squares you would need.
A typical lap quilt will measure between 34 by 44 inches in size or 36 by 48 inches in size. So you are going to need between 50 and 120 squares give or take about 8 to 10. Some people put a lap quilt at 50 by 65 inches so that size would require 4 charm packs to complete.
As you can see different people measure lap quilts differently and these figures will give you a good idea of how many squares and charm packs you will need to buy. Don’t forget about the 10% rule to make sure your project is not delayed by extra trips to the fabric store.
Baby quilts are simple to make just because they are small and they require less work. A typical crib size or baby quilt runs about 6 squares by 7 and measures roughly 30 by 35 inches overall.
6 times 7 equals 42 squares so you would only need one charm pack to do a good baby quilt. Of course, if you want to go larger you shouldn’t need more than 1 1/2 charm packs to complete the bigger quilt.
That should also give you enough to meet the 10% rule and any seam allowances you may need to include in your figuring. Since charm packs come in different colors and designs you won’t have to worry about the baby quilt’s look.
All you need to do is focus on making sure you have enough squares to complete the task on time.
This is not mandatory but it is a good idea to do. If you do not want your quilt to shrink during its first wash, then it is best to pre-wash the charm packs before using them.
If they shrink, you will have the 10% rule to help you cover any volume loss. 2 mesh laundry bags will handle a 42 piece charm pack. That would be the safest way to wash them if you decide to take this step.
Wash on the gentle cycle and leave the squares in the mesh bags when you put them in the dryer. Also, it is a good idea to pre-wash as you never know what has touched those fabrics before they were put in their packaging.
Using charm packs to create your quilts certainly makes quilting more fun and easier to do. You save time on cutting different fabrics and you get the right size without worrying if you cut in a straight line or not.
With the hassle and the worry gone, you can concentrate on other vital areas of quilt making to ensure your end result is the best it can be.