Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why I Love Charm Packs

I love charm squares. What are charm squares? They are precut coordinating squares of fabric (usually 3-5” squares) that come in 20-80 piece packs. Why do I love them? There are several reasons. For one, they are convenient. They are the perfect size for smaller projects. Being precut also means that some of the prep work has already been done—mainly the measuring and cutting of fabric. They’re also all the exact same size. Which means better uniformity in projects.

I also like the fact that they come in such wonderful prints, from babies to florals. You can also find them in cottons, flannels, or even home d├ęcor fabrics. You can make anything from quilts to totes with them. I have used them for sachets, coasters, totes, purses, and baby toys (I’m not a quilter). I’m sure in the future I will find even more projects in which to use them.

I also like the value factor. They usually cost $5 per pack and up (my quilt shop usually sells them from $6-$8). It all depends how many charms are in the pack and the designer. Let’s say for example, you purchased a pack of 40 charms for $8 and you wanted to make coasters with them. You could make 20 coasters (since they are usually coordinating fabrics, you have a front and back piece). You have spent 40 cents per coaster (not counting your interfacing). Now is that a bargain or what!

So the next time you visit your local quilt shop, take a gander at what charm packs they may have. You may be surprised at the variety and what you can make with them. You don’t even have to be a quilter to love them!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Taggy Toys

So what do you think? This is my newest project: taggy pillows! Aren't they cute? I was inspired to make these because my great nephew has a tag fettish. He has to have his blanket when he goes to sleep but not for the blanket itself, it's the tag he wants. That left me wondering what I could make for him that he would like as much as his blanket? Maybe some kind of toy with silky ribbon on it? And that's why I decided to make these taggy pillows.

They're soft and squishy and the ribbons are silky and soft. They are 4 1/2" square so they're perfect for little hands to hold and squeeze. I've been making them out of bright fabrics that babies like. They also have two plastic rings attached to give teething babies something to chew on. These can be removed for washing. You can find these and others in my etsy or artfire stores. They would make a great gift basket item!