Charm Squares

2023-2024 Charm Theme:

 August At the Beach/Lake
September Apples for the teacher
October Halloween/Fall
November Christmas/Holiday
December Cookies
January Snowflakes
February Love
March Easter
April Rain/Flowers
May Outer Space
June Flag Day

The Lebanon Quilters Guild has been exchanging 5” fabric squares for many years.  This is a voluntary activity and a fun way to quickly expand your fabric collection … especially if you want to make a “Charm Quilt.”

To participate:

  • Use good quality quilters cottons, no solids or batiks, please.
  • Gather (4) fabrics that fit into the theme of the month.
  • Carefully cut each fabric into (8) 5” squares (charms).
    Put (1) charm of each fabric into a self-closing sandwich bag. Place your name in the bag so that it can be reused (extra return address labels can be used).
  • Place your (8) sandwich bags into a self-closing gallon sized bag. Use a sharpie to write your name on the outside of the large bag.
  • Bring your bag to the charm exchange table at the guild meeting.
  • Pick up your set of exchanged charms during the guild break.

Here are some ideas:

When buying fabric for charms, buy enough in colors you like to create something with the extra fabric. For example: if you only want to purchase a quarter yard, why not use the remaining 3-4” to make strips for a log cabin or another quilt requiring you to start with strips. If you buy a third yard, the remaining 6-7” can be very productive if it is in colors and patterns you would actually use. If you buy a half yard, you can cut off a fat quarter for another project and still have enough left to get eight charms for exchange, one charm left over to use another month in the charm lottery or save for yourself, plus an 18” long 2-3” strip. A very productive way to use a half yard of fabric! Even though the charm colors change every month, you can gear your color choices to fabrics you can use or other projects—brights, pastels, jewels, muted, flowers, geometrics, etc.   You get the idea. Buy your fabric wisely and get the most out of every inch!

Want to make a charm quilt?

Just look at all the ‘scrappy’ patterns available and fit your favorite colors into the patterns. Not difficult.  Traditionally, charm quilts were just simple one-patch quilts but today…there are many shapes that can done as charm quilts—a scrappy hexagon quilt, an apple core, tumbler, spools, tumbling blocks, clamshell and a host of other patterns are all ideal for making charm quilts.  You are only limited by your own imagination.

Some patterns for you: /T/TumblingBlocksBlock.html

Interested in how charm quilts originated?

See below for some short histories of ‘Charm’ quilts:

Charm Quilt Books

There are quite a few ‘Charm’ quilt books* out on the market, all filled and brimming with photos and ideas of how to make charm quilts using the variety of collected 5” charms. I bet you had no idea there were this many devoted to the simple 5” charm square!! Read the details about the books at

1. CHARM QUILTS by Beth Donaldson Or too much fun with a stack of squares and one template! This about says it all.
2. CHARM QUILTS by Susan McNeill
3. THREE TIMES THE CHARM by Leisure Arts
5. CHEERFUL CHARM QUILTS by Martingale Press
6. COUNTRY THREADS GOES TOP CHARM SCHOOL: 19 little quilts from 5” squares by Mary Tetherington and Connie Tesene
7. BACK TO CHARM SCHOOL: More Fun Quilts from Country Threads (That Patchwork Place) by Mary Tetherington and Connie Tesene
8. CHARM QUILTS WITH STYLE by Bobbie Aug, Sharon Newman, Barbara Smith & N Kay Jesse
10. BEYOND CHARM QUILTS: The Ultimate Challenge by Catherine L. McIntee and Tammy L. Porath
11. NICKEL QUILTS Great Designs from 5-inch scraps By Pat Speth and Charlene Thode
12. MORE NICKEL QUILTS: 20 New Designs from 5-Inch Squares by Pat Speth
13. AMAZING NICKEL QUILTS: 11 New Designs from 5-Inch Squares by Pat Speth and Roxie Speth
14. NICKEL QUILTS & BORDERS: 7 Quilts & 260 Borders from 5-Inch Squares by Pat Speth and Roxie Speth
*all these books available at your local quilt shop or at