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25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects

Fabric collection “Precuts” are one of my favorite inventions of the fabric industry in the past 20 years.  These bundles of fabric come in three most common sizes. 5″ x 5″ squares – sometimes called Charm Squares or 5″ Stackers; 10 x 10″ Squares – sometimes called Layer Cakes or 10″ Stackers; and 2½”x Width of Fabric (42″) Strips – sometimes called Rolie Polie’s or Jelly Rolls. In this post I’ve put together a list of quilts and projects perfect for 5″ precut charm squares.

The benefits of using Charm Squares/5″ Stackers (and basically any collection of precuts) are:

A) you have a variety fabric that is “pre-cut” to an identical size and ready to work with. There are dozens of patterns written with the various precuts in mind.

B) All of the fabrics have a variety of coordinated colors, prints, scales etc. that work beautifully in a quilt. 

I just pulled out a 5″ stacker of my latest collection Notting Hill to put together one of my favorite quick baby quilts. Using precuts is a huge timesaver as opposed to having to cut all of the fabric from 24 different pieces of yardage.

I was working in a local quilt shop 15 years ago and vividly remember when the first set of pre-cut 5″ x 5″ squares arrived in the shop. We were cutting a lot of squares kits ourselves at the time and it was SO HANDY to have a pre-cut bundle of squares including every print in the collection show-up ready to go.

Here’s a little bit of the background on “Charm Squares” (as I understand it. Feel free to correct me where I need it!)

Moda was the first company that I remember doing this. They coined the phrase Charm Packs coming from the traditional definition of a Charm Quilt – which is a quilt that is made where no fabric is used more than one time in the quilt. This was usually accomplished by asking for scraps from friends or exchanging fabrics to get this wide variety of different pieces.

In this century, original Charm Packs from the fabric manufacturers included one 5″ x 5″ square of each of the prints in the collections. Now other fabric manufacturers also make these collections, but often have other names such as Riley Blake’s version, 5″ Stackers. In recent years these precut packs have become more standardized at 42 squares in the pack and include repeat prints if there are less than 42 prints in the collection.

You can find Notting Hill prectus available in shops now, including Etsy, Stitches N Giggles, Fort Worth Fabric Studio, and Simply Love Fabrics.

You can find Charm Packs in a whole range of collections, colors, and styles from Etsy, the Fat Quarter Shop, and Connecting Threads.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Precuts are still my favorite way to get a good variety of well-coordinated fabrics without having to buy yardage of all of the prints. It’s a great cost-saver and time-saver. Even if you don’t use the exact size (5″ x 5″ or 10″ x 10″, etc) and cut them down to smaller sizes, you’ll still save so much time compared to choosing and cutting fabric from yardage.

In this post I’ve updated a collection of my favorite Charm Square quilts. Some are free tutorials, some are paid patterns – there’s a great variety to choose from! I’ve written and created a bunch myself and will list them all here for a comprehensive list.

Top 25 Charm Square Quilts & Projects:

Easy beginner patchwork baby quilt using precut squares or charm packs

Here is the most basic, beginner friendly variation on how to make a Charm Pack Patchwork Quilt. Simple patchwork always looks good and using precut charm squares (or 5″ stackers) will save you lots of time on cutting as well as give you a perfectly coordinated fabric selection.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

It’s also sometimes fun to mix in some of your own stash with a pre-existing charm pack.  Here are some tips for making a basic patchwork quilt with 5″ x 5″ precut squares.

This simple checkerboard baby quilt was also made with 5″ x 5″ squares. These are pieces that were cut from my stash, but you could also alternate a scrappy charm-pack with white or a neutral color for a fun checkerboard look.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

This Fast Four Patch quilt tutorial is the most popular tutorial on my blog. It’s a great one for beginners too. It calls for 4 1/2″ squares, but slightly cutting down 5″ charms is still the easiest way to get a variety of coordinating fabrics.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Another variation on traditional patchwork squares (and very beginner-friendly) is this easy charm square baby quilt from Coral & Co.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Another variation of the Fast Four Patch Quilt is this version “on-point”.  It’s another step beyond the beginner version. You can find the Farmhouse Four Patch Quilt tutorial here. (Once again, squares will need to be trimmed down for this pattern.)

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

The Baby Lattice Quilt is the second most popular quilt tutorial on my blog. Again, the blocks set on point adds another skill layer as well as dynamic dimension to the finished quilt.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

This Patchwork on Point tutorial is another variation of using precut charm squares for traditional patchwork but setting them on point, gives them some added sweetness. (This version is made with my Gretel collection from a few years ago.)

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: Navy patchwork pixelated heart quilt

A pixelated quilt is another variation on simple patchwork squares while creating a visible image in the patchwork as with this Pixelated Heart. Any Pixelated quilt pattern would be the same concept. I’ve got a pinboard of Pixelated quilt patterns here.

With pixelated quilts, specific colors and values are important to the finished image, so using a set of precut 5″ squares from a single collection might not work as well, but you can always save leftover squares from projects, sort them by color, and they’re ready to go when you need specific colors for another project.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

The Quick Cornerstone Quilt has a great shortcut method for assembly. Charm Squares would make this a fun, curated scrappy quilt.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

A similar traditional design with a short-cut method is this Woodruff Quilt tutorial designed by Nicola Dodd.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

This sweet baby quilt pattern called Charming Lucy by A Bright Corner requires only one set of 5″ precuts + the background yardage. If you’d like a larger version of this quilt design you can find the pattern here.

Moda Love Charm Pack Quilt pattern

Free printable Moda Love Charm Pack quilt pattern – this one made by Sherri of A Quilting Life

Free Charm Pack quilt pattern PDF from the Fat Quarter Shop

Charm Pack Cherry is a free printable quilt pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

5″ squares don’t have to stay square! This color Half Square Triangle quilt was made with 5″ charms.

This is my favorite method for making and squaring up HST blocks.

(And there are SO many different ways to lay out Half Square Triangle (HST) blocks. Here are a few ways I played with this layout.  A Broken Dishes layout is another one of my favorites for HST blocks.)

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Here’s another Half Square Triangle variation using charms. This tutorial is called Fresh Diamonds by Anorina of Samelia’s Mum.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

And this pinwheel baby quilt tutorial by Jodi Nelson made with one set of charm squares (including the prairie points) + the white backing yardage.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

This Hour Glass block method was also created with 5″ charms. I love the scrappy feel.

Love this Splash Down quilt – a free pattern from Maywood Studio (here). You can see another version made by Zen Chic here.

Here are some Large Charm Square Quilts:

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Crossroads quilt tutorial by Melissa of Happy Quilting

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Chain Link is one of my patterns and it’s perfect for 5″ precut squares. Chain Link is available here in my shop.

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Charming Stars tutorial by Stephanie Roman

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Sweet Reflections quilt pattern by Color Girl Quilts

Of course, it’s not just quilts that can be made with the precut 5″ squares. Here are some other projects:

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Snowball Table Runner tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew (this would be so cute as a whole quilt!)

Another free table runner tutorial – this one by Lindsey Weight for Ft Worth Fabrics

This Vintage Houses Table Runner Tutorial by Bev McCullough of Flamingo Toes, featuring cute machine applique houses is also made with one charm pack + white background yardage.

Easy Charm Pack Quilted Back Tutorial

I love the finished texture on this quilted bag – and the tutorial instructions are doable and simple! 

25 Favorite Charm Square Quilts & Projects featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

Small Tote Bag tutorial from Logan Berry Handmade

Charm Pack Tote Tutorial from Melissa of Happy Quilting

Sewing Machine cover by Sew Delicious

Charm Pack Table Topper by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life

Patchwork Girl’s Skirt from the Polkadot Chair

There’s a lot of inspiration to get you to pull out those precut 5″ charms and put them to use!

Ideas for using Charm Packs - pre-cut 5" fabric squares

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    lee
    March 30, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Great inspirational quilting post!

  • Reply
    Quilt Crossing
    March 30, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for collecting all these charm patterns in one place and sharing them with your readers. Sometimes I cut my own 5″ squares and just plug them into a charm pattern. Lots of inspiration here, thanks!

    • Reply
      Amy
      March 30, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      I like to do that too! Or mix precuts with my own stash to make it scrappier. I love how flexible these patterns are.

  • Reply
    Shirley Clark
    March 30, 2019 at 10:08 am

    These are all wonderful projects! I’ve been saving some of my 5″ squares to do a quilt some day!

  • Reply
    Linda Douglas
    March 30, 2019 at 11:02 am

    THANKS FOR SHARING! WILL ALWAYS LOVE THE “ON POINT QUILT DESIGNS”!

  • Reply
    Patricia E Campbell
    March 30, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    A wonderful compilation of info all in one place!! Thank you! I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of beginning quilters out here that need creative help!! lol Thank you!! ?

  • Reply
    Janet
    March 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for all these together! I just recently make the pinwheel with prairie points quilt- my first time to do prairie points- and it turned out so darling – and only used one charm pack!! I always love your blog!

    • Reply
      Amy
      March 31, 2019 at 1:04 pm

      Yay! Good job, Janet! (And thank you. xo)

  • Reply
    The Joyful Quilter
    March 30, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    What a great collection of projects! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Nanna Liz
    March 30, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks so much for the charm pack suggestions. Sometimes, we all need to whip out a mindless easy project with 5″ squares. By the way, I must have loved your Summer Bunting pattern so much that I have it twice in my pattern binders! I used it to make a Quilt of Valor that turned out great.

    • Reply
      Amy
      March 31, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      Hah! I’m honored. Especially that it was used for a QOV quilt!

  • Reply
    Trish Palmer
    March 31, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Thanks for this collection. Good reference for quick quilt

  • Reply
    Little Quiltsong
    March 31, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Thank you for all these lovely ideas, Amy! I seldom buy pre-cuts because I like to wash my fabrics before using! Lately though I seem to be on a Layer Cake buying spree – that is like 4 charm packs – bonus :)! These are great pattern suggestions!

  • Reply
    kaywelch
    March 31, 2019 at 8:20 am

    So many cute, fun, scrappy quilts to make. I’m planning to enlarge some for QOV quilts. These are perfect for community service quilts, so no adjustments needed. Thank you

  • Reply
    Mardell
    March 31, 2019 at 8:54 am

    I love charm packs and have collected a few…alas, I have not used them yet so when I get around to it I will have to look for coordinating fabrics. The projects you’ve shared inspire me. Thanks for a delightful post.

  • Reply
    Peggy
    March 31, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Nice list Amy, thanks ! Some new ones I have not seen, very inspirational, yay
    I personally have to force myself to not buy Charm Packs, having “imbibed” some (ok, alot) when
    they first came out. I now cut down my scraps into certain sizes, ala Bonnie K Hunter and go from
    there in using them. I have a tendency to hoard my Charm Packs so have been working on
    letting go a bit and actually using them with my stash fabrics.
    There is just something about how awesome, useful, easy and coordinated they are 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy
      March 31, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      I totally get it. I’m trying to empower people to use those Charm Packs! (And so smart to cut your own too! I love Bonnie Hunter.)

  • Reply
    Clara
    April 2, 2019 at 10:05 am

    I truly appreciate the review you did of so many creative ways to use the 5″ squares. Several of those ideas will be used to make baby quilts. Thank you, Amy.

  • Reply
    Missy
    April 7, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Thanks Amy for putting this all together. I made a new Charm Pack Quilt folder in Pinterest! I love charm packs and have some of yours actually so now I’m inspired with new ideas! I LOVE your fabrics, your one of my favorite designers : )

  • Reply
    inspiredquiltingbylealouise
    July 12, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Amy, This varied collection of charm square quilt ideas is greatly appreciated. What a fun collection to look through. Precuts are so popular and make quilt prep time so much quicker. My favorite in your list is the HST made with bright orange and yellow fabric. The color just pops out and looks fabulous! I think I’ll be adding it to my list of ‘must do’s’! Thanks,
    Lea

  • Reply
    Cheryl Nesbit
    April 7, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Amy. On your blog you showed a magazine that have half square triangles on the cover. There was quilt in it that I was interested in. Where can I purchase this magazine?. Thanks

  • Reply
    Valerie
    July 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Hi Amy! I love the charm square colors on the chain link quilt. Any suggestions on where I can find a similar set?

    • Reply
      Amy
      July 22, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      Those colors were hand picked a few years ago from a variety of favorite fabrics, rather than a specific collection. I can’t think of a similar set off the top of my head, but I’ll keep my eyes pealed!

  • Reply
    Kim
    October 14, 2020 at 12:34 am

    Hi. I am new to this charm quilt love/hobby/obsession I was of the understanding that each square should be a different pattern/fabric. I notice your beautiful quilts repeat the same material. Can you advise and put me straight. It’s causing me a nightmare trying to get 1,000 diff fabrics for my ‘scrappy charm’ granddaughters quilt !!?? Love Kim xx

    • Reply
      Amy
      October 16, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Really good question! Traditionally “Charm Quilts” were made with no repeating fabrics. Friends, guilds, etc. would swap fabrics to get that big of a variety. About 15 years ago when fabric companies started manufacturing Charm Packs, each pack included a 5″ x 5″ square – one of each print from a coordinating fabric collection. Eventually the packs became standardized to contain 42 5″ x 5″ squares, which meant there would be print repeats as most fabric collections don’t have 42 different prints. Along the way “charm square quilts” has come to mean quilts made with these precut 5″ squares.

      Your quilt is totally up to you! You can keep collecting the variety of fabrics to make it a traditional ‘charm quilt’, or not. Your granddaughter is going to love the quilt no matter what – and probably won’t care if there’s repeats, so I say do whatever makes the project most enjoyable. 😉

  • Reply
    Donna M
    April 21, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Last year I made your Patchwork On Point quilt from random 5 inch squares. I loved it! Gave it to an admirer. Then, I made one with a blue and white print charm pack and a solid white charm pack. It’s beautiful, but I still like the scrappy one best. I really, really enjoyed making this quilt. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Amy
      April 21, 2021 at 10:43 am

      Oh, that’s so awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed making those quilts. Patchwork will always be one of my go-to favorites!

  • Reply
    GuitarSix
    April 24, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Pleasant and eye catching. Good collection.

  • Reply
    Lou Ann Myers
    April 29, 2021 at 7:06 am

    I too am a person who loves the simple quilt with squares or rectangles. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • Reply
    Sandi K Lofton
    July 13, 2021 at 11:22 am

    I did your lLattice Baby Quilt and am planning to Four Patch on point. Great instructions and patterns. This is the most useful post I’ve seen on quilting, maybe ever. Thanks sew much!

    • Reply
      Amy
      July 14, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      I’m so glad – thank you, Sandi!

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