The other day I ran across an interesting fact in an old book I bought at a thrift store.
The author was saying that during the late 1800’s “Charm Quilts” were very popular. Charm Quilts were simple quilts constructed from square blocks….however…no two blocks in the entire quilt were made from the same fabric. Which may not sound very impressive unless you consider the fact that most of these quilts have over 100 different squares in them!!!
As I continued reading and then began searching for more information about these quilts I also discovered that Charm Quilts were commonly called “Beggar Quilts” because of the trading that went on between the women for different pieces of fabric. And that some women would purposely “hide” in a second square of the same fabric…almost like a game for children to find the only two matching squares in the entire quilt. (So fun!)
Although Charm quilts were popular during the late 1800’s they had run their course by the turn of the century…however they made a huge comeback during the Great Depression years (1930-40’s) which totally makes sense….especially if you think of the women who were sewing and using only the resources they had available to them.
Today “charm packs” are widely popular. Including several cuts of all the different prints in an entire fabric line one can pick up a pack for a reasonable price and easily sew a small quilt top from the pack. They are huge time savers and are what helped me to fall in love with quilting but until recently I had only regarded them as a “charming” set of fabrics marketed in a genius fashion.
So there you have it…a super brief history of the charm pack.
(I’m such a nerd for random facts like this…but I promise I will keep limiting myself to only ones that apply to sewing, or quilting, or homemaking. or nachos.)