Low Volume Charm Swap

Over on Instagram Marianne McCarley recently ran a low volume charm swap. I did one about 4?6? years ago and thought it would be fun to add to my collection to be used “some day.”


It’s a weird feeling to open a package from someone else and find your printing inside!

It wasn’t worth it to do one or two sets of 56 charms and there was a big difference between three and four sets so I decided to do three, which would yield 168 hopefully unique low volume squares. Postage there and back was $38.03 (ouch!) and the fabric was $20.90 (plus a metre from old stash.)

Total cost was $58.93, which breaks down to $19.64/yard, which is nearly full price per metre around here. So I kind of lost my shirt a bit. BUT, *but* I did get some super awesome fabrics that are fun, adorable, interesting, or trendy. And I’ll use them some day.


And for the nerdy folks like me:

168 fabrics – 8 duplicates = 160 unique fabrics

29% – greyish

16% – black

12% – tone on tone white/cream

8% – turquoise

6% – green, yellow/gold, brownish

5% – SHOUTING low volume

4% – blue

2% – pink

<2% – red, orange, purple, multi-coloured

Day 462

The no-sew trend continues which is unfortunate but the charm squares keep trickling in. I had two envelopes arrive and one was great but the other was fantastic!

I knew this one would be exciting to open, and I was right.


Since the fabrics were so fantastic, I decided to repeat (and take more time doing) the colour/value exercise from Mighty Lucky club that I did a couple of days ago.

To recap! Arrange the squares 10×10 in random order, so as they came out of the package.


Then random order again but with veto power to re-arrange.


Then in the order of personal preference. I wanted to try a value progression again so this…


yielded THIS!


Here’s a side by side comparison:

Lots of fun. I’ve never been given an all modern batch of charms before so that was very nice.

Linking up with the Needle and Thread Network, My Quilt Infatuation, and Sew Fresh Quilts. I don’t have time to sew this week but I still have time to look at other peoples’ awesome quilts.

Day 458

Doing something small is better than nothing at all, especially when scrappy charms are involved.

Today’s mail brought a lovely batch of 100 charms to me all the way from Lyn in Wales! And since I’ve been backsliding something terrible about the Mighty Lucky Club I decided to take advantage of the mail. November’s able leader was Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts and the lesson was “Effective Fabric Selection.” Here is what the exercise was:

Choose 100 21⁄2″ squares (or any size squares you wish to use).

Hey, guess what came in the mail today!

Now, throw them in a basket or a bag, shake them up and pull them out, one at a time, and place them on the design wall in the order that they were pulled. Work from left to right to make a 10 x 10 array. Take a photo to document your results. How did you like the results?


This was as they came out of the envelope.

Position them according to your personal preference in a 10 × 10 grid on a design wall. (A fun side activity can be to time yourself, just to see how long it takes you!) Take a photo to document your results.


I went for a sort of value exercise, sort of colour wash effect. But was done hurriedly.

Remember, these were all someone else’s fabric; I was just playing around. But lots of fun.

Also lots of fun is sharing with others, so I’m linking up with My Quilt Infatuation and Busy Hands Quilts. Happy weekend everyone!

Day 450

Remember way back when I was all jazzed about a fabulous swap of 2.5″ charm squares? I finally got the names and addresses of the people I’m swapping with. And an exotic list it is too: two Canadians, one close-ish and one very far away, three Americans, one Brit (maybe Welsh?), a Swiss, and a Swede living in Mauritius.

That adds up to $36 in postage folks. I didn’t know you can buy a $5 stamp in Canada.


And I bought three of them today. That’s my hand for scale.

I first freaked out about the cost (but I do that for anything over eight dollars) and then I broke it down. Here’s how I calculated it:

I’m mailing 800 2.5″ charm squares and receiving the same. A WOF yields 17 squares, so 800 ÷ 17 = 47 WOF strips. At 2.5″ per strip, that is 2.5″ x 47 = 117.5″ of fabric. Convert to metres: 117.5″ ÷ 40 = 2.9m of fabric. Round up to 3m.

36$ on stamps ÷ 3m fabric = 12$/m Certainly cheaper than what I pay at the store and every single square is unique. Can’t put a price on that! And since most of my fabric has been around forever, came from a giant bag costing 5$, or was free from a friend, I think of my fabric as being free. Extra awesome.

Now to wait for them to come, and then to sew them all together. I like what Cheryl Arkison is doing with her charm squares these days. Let’s hope I’m faster than seventeen years.