Win a Quilt – Photo Contest

On January 28th, Southern Charm Quilts turns 9 years old!! In celebration, we are having a little contest.

Yep, yep, we are giving away a quilt! Have a look…

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about the prize quilt:

The size of this quilt is a lap quilt. It measures approx. 55″ square.

The fabrics are called “When skies are gray”. They feature umbrellas, raindrops, and other sweet little lovelies.

The colors are palest blue, bright white, gold and black.

I’ve used two different fabrics for the back, a gingham and a turquoise fabric. It blends with the front beautifully.

Then I’ve quilted it with wavy lines both horizontally and vertically.

Then finished off with a black and white scallop print for the binding.

how can you win this quilt:

To enter the photo contest you just need to send a picture of one of my quilts in use or displayed like the pictures below.


I will be selecting my favorite picture from all the entries I receive, the more creative the photo the better. I love to see my quilts in YOUR life. I love to see people in the photos or around landscape or just a beautiful place spread out in a meadow. There is absolutely nothing you can do wrong with your picture so feel free to make it your own.


– any photograph is eligible as long as it features an item handmade by me. So if you have purchased from me before and are willing to take a picture of your item you can enter the photo contest.

– all entries must be received before January 27, midnight. That gives you 10 days to take your picture and send it to me.

– you may enter as many times as you like as long as each entry features a different photo.

– it doesnt matter if it is professionally taken or you take the photo yourself as long as you own all rights to it.

– by entering you are giving me the photo to use in my shop, blog, marketing, etc.

– I’m happy to allow my international customers to enter as well, but the shipping will not be included for the prized quilt and must be paid if the winner is from outside the US.


Please email me at, with your photo as an attachment. Please put in email subject “photo contest’. Please make sure all your contact details are in the body of the email OR tag me on instagram @southerncharmquilts and comment that this is your entry for the photo contest.

On January 28th, I will send out a newsletter announcing the winner. Good luck!

pictures from some of my customers:

15% off

Since we are turning 9 years old this month, I thought we’d finish off the month with a sale. Take 15% off all purchases for the remainder of January. Use code ‘happybirthday9’ at checkout on any purchases from today through January 31.

SHOP NOW.giveaway-quilt


Migration quilt

The  Migration quilt was my last quilt of 2016.

It was also a quilt I first made back in 2014, before I even had started free motion quilting.

Here is the original quilt:

and here is the block:

You can see that I turned it a different way from he original.  Same difference though.

This is a super easy quilt and made exactly the same way as those two scrapbuster quilts I made a few weeks ago.

The only difference is that in those two quilts the corner blocks were the same size 2″.  In the Migration quilt, the corner blocks are different sizes ranging from 2-4″

and altogether.  The look kinda like a hundred butterflies.

This is another great quilt for using up your scraps.  However, this particular quilt was for one of my quilt buyers.  She sent in her own fabrics, Fig Tree fabrics, and wanted everything on a solid white background.  The back of the quilt is white as well and so is the binding.  Please stay clean!

This one differs from the original migration quilt in another way by it having free motion quilting instead of the straight line quilting I was doing back in 2014.

Do you see my little heater pulled up close to my chair?  Thats because I’m in a basement and freezing to death.  I can’t get warm down here.  I live in Alabama and I like hot summers.  This 25 degree business needs to go back where it came from. 🙂

I really like this quilt.  It’s so fresh and clean looking.  I’ve gotten FAR away from using white backgrounds, but this quilt reminds me of how nice they do look.  And this particular quilt could probably fit seamlessly into any decor or color palette.

Last 2016 quilt label.  I’ve got new ones that I need to show off.  Soon.

white on white on white.  That’s a first for me.

The Block

Each background block measures 6.5″

Triangles on blocks started out as squares measuring 2-4″.  Anything in those sizes will do and the more different sizes the more varying your butterflies will look.

On each small square I drew a line diagonally.  Pinned it to two opposite corners diagonally and sewed directly on the drawn line.  Then cut 1/4″ on the outside of your line.  Press open.  I have a tutorial here, but note the changes that you will need for the Migration quilt.  The tutorial is for all four sides of the square.  Don’t let that confuse you.  You only need two corners for the Migration quilt.

The Quilt

This is a throw size quilt measuring 60×72″

You will need (120) 6.5″ background squares and (240) 2-4″ colorful squares to complete the quilt top.

Happy Sewing!

xo, Melanie

The scrapbuster quilts

The day before Christmas I gifted two quilts to my nieces, 11 & 13.  Sweet, thoughtful children these are and I am so pleased to get to give them quilts for Christmas.

Here is Emma with her quilt.

I blogged about working on these quilts here.

I have my scraps sorted several different ways.

One of my scrap baskets holds 7″ squares.  7″ squares sounds like a weird size, and it is.  When I first started quilting I discovered that I could (6) 7″ squares out of a 7″ strip of fabric perfectly, without any waste.  So this is the size I used in all my early quilts.

Still, I use them often.  I ended up with all of them because in my large throw rag quilt, I use 7″ blocks.  My wedding quilts use 7″ blocks.  They started piling up.

And now they still work out to be a great size for me.  When I need 6.5″ HSTs, what do you need?  7″ squares.

And they worked out perfectly for this quilt as well.  I pulled out (120) 7″ blocks from that basket and trimmed them down to 6.5″ for these two quilts.

They have 2″ squared corners that I pulled from a basket that just holds 2″ squares.

These were really great quilts to use up some of those squares.  For two quilts, I pulled 240 squares and looking at that basket you cannot even tell I did.  Why is it always that way?

How many squares could possibly be in that still overflowing basket?

I was careful to stay away from pink for this quilt, since it was not a loved color for Emma.

I could quite settle on a color palette for her, but I think it worked any way.

My husband, Wade, drew all the diagonal lines for stitching purposes on the 2″ squares.  He also trimmed the tails off of all the blocks after I sewed the corners on so technically he did help make these quilts.

For Alyssa’s quilt, I had a definite color palette chosen.  One that I have always wanted to use, seen several times in other quilter’s work and had plenty of the squares to pull off.

As always, I did an all over quilting design using a meander.  I find this step so therapeutic.

I recently heard someone ask why anyone would finish a quilt this way and I was a little surprised.

I know it’s simple quilting, but that’s one of the reasons I like it.  By the time I get to the quilting phase I’ve put in so many hours into this quilt.  I’m ready to zone out and just move that quilt here and there in twirly rounds until it’s done.

If I had a longarm machine I’d probably want to add even more creativity to the quilt.  I do understand that.  I wonder if it would give me that same relaxing feeling as the meander does on my standard sewing machine.

I love this simple quilt design.  It was easy to get done and it used up a lot of scraps.

I always feel like patting myself on the back for using my scraps, like I’ve done something frugal and good.  It also always feels like a burden has been lifted and I’m not wasting fabric or cluttering up my space with the continued holding on to them.

If you like my labels I sell them in my shop here.

They can be completely customized to fit you, down to the font, the words, and even the clipart.

Quilt Details

Blocks measure: 6.5″

There are 120 blocks. 10 rows across and 12 rows down.

Use your scraps OR cut (120) 6.5″ strips of fabric from yardage.  Subcut each strip into (6) 6.5″ squares.

The corners are 2″ squares.  There are 240 of those in this quilt.  2 per each 6.5″ square.

I drew a line down the diagonally of each 2″ squares then sewed them on two corners of each 6.5″ square diagonally.

Very similar to my snow ball pattern shown here except that instead of doing all 4 corners, I only did 2.

These are easy and quick quilts.

I’d like to do them again, but instead of using low volume corners, I use a bold color like black, or something that stands out more than the low volume does.

Hope your January is off to a good start!

xo, Melanie

A new tshirt quilt

I have mentioned previously that I have been making memory quilts out the wazoo.  See all my memory quilts here.

My happiest of customers are usually folks who has had me make them a memory quilt out of their child’s clothing.

Making them in the rag style way, makes things a little easier.  They are soft, cozy, and absolutely adorable.

I started making these around 2011 when I was already making rag quilts.  A lady emailed me and asked if I’d make a rag quilt with her daughters clothing.

I’ve been doing it every since.

They are THE most popular item in my shop by far.

I have had several ask me to make them a memory quilt, but not in the traditional quilt style and I’ve always turned them down.

Until now.

These are a little more complicated.  My customer requested that all the blocks be different sizes.  I didn’t use a pattern, I more or less puzzle pieced it together.

I had to break out my math skills.  When I do math, I have to turn everything off including music.  I need my full brain concentration to add and subtract.  I’m not the bestest at it.

All tshirts were backed with interfacing to make them sturdy and not sag (I’m not a fan of all those tshirt quilts with the sagginess).  The interfacing was key for this.

I did my all over meander quilting stitch.  This makes the quilt more sturdier and will also keep and sagging from happening.

I’m very pleased to now be offering these in my shop.  You can find them here.

They are more pricier than the rag quilts, but they are much more involved.

I’ve already been asked which is better and I’m not sure how to answer that, but I’ll make a list to try.



can use large blocks to fit the whole shirt on the quilt

the shirts pop individually more

uses less clothing

more open to being creative and unique

gets bordered with a fabric that blends with your clothing


not as soft (though this might change after several washes)

more expensive

can’t use baby clothing (I actually can, but it would be a little pricier due to the amount of clothing I would need)

Can’t use as many clothes



much more versatile as far as any fabric goes

can use substantial amounts of clothing

can use baby clothing

less expensive

has a floppy soft feel to it, ready to snuggle out of the box


all the blocks are the same size

Uses set size blocks so some of your graphics might be cut and not shown on quilt

Needs a substantial amount of clothing or I’m forced to use fabrics as filler

So I’ll let you decide for  yourself which is better for you.  If you have ordered both my style memory quilts, then please feel free to help me out with the pros and cons of each.

If you are wanting to make one of these yourself, I will give a brief description of what I’ve done.

there were MANY patterns on pinterest,  but I wanted it to measure a certain size and I also wanted all my blocks to be different sizes AND i only had so many tshirts to work with.  For that reason, I felt it was best to wing it on my own.

I decided on a size first.  The quilt in the picture measures 60×70″ and 5″ borders, so I needed my tshirts to measure across 50″.

Here were my rules to keep things simple:

All tshirts need to be cut EVEN sizes and on the 1/2″.  For example, all my tshirts measured 24.5″ or 14.5″ or 8.5″ and so on.

I interfaced as I cut up clothing instead of all at once. Here is interfacing by the yard, and by the bolt.  I always buy by the bolt.

first I cut the shirt, to utilize the graphics on it.  I cut, interfaced, and then stuck to my design wall across for the top row until they equaled 50″ across when sewn.

I did this very same step, but going down to measure 70″.  This kinda gave me a frame.

After that, I just added tshirts to square everything up.  It sounds complicated, but it was actually pretty easy to do it this way.  Once I got the frame done, it was just filling in.  Adding my tshirts together to make sure everything was the correct measurements to fit in the frame.

I used tshirts without graphics to use as fillers when two tshirts didn’t quite meet up.  I also, kept little slips of paper with each blocks measurement pinned to each tshirt so that I wouldn’t have to constantly measure them to see how wide I need to cut the next tshirt.

I’m sure there may be easier ways to make these such as set size squares and predetermined measurements, BUT this way every tshirt was cut into a different sized block and determined what was best for that particular tshirt.

Also, it’s very important to have SECTIONS.


In the picture above, I’ve added borders around my sections.  This is important so that you never have to sew any Y~seams.  Everything will fit together easily.  After you have each section done, then you piece by piece put them together.

I hope I haven’t been too confusing.  I’m happy to help if you need me to.

xo, Melanie

Christmas Tree Forest Quilt

This was the first time I’ve been asked to a custom quilt for Christmas before.  And only my second time making a Christmas quilt. Here was the one I made last year.

Anyway, you will note my lack of Christmas-y fabrics.

I honesty don’t like to have themed fabrics in my stash.  It’s because they sit there and staring at me and I seldom have any reason to use them.

Like the football fabric sitting in my stash or the halloween fabric or the pink ribbon fabric or the camo.  You see?  They bother me.  It’s ridiculous, but that’s how I feel.

So I was asked to use some of these fabrics.

These are not like regular Christmas fabrics.  They are GORGEOUS!  So I didn’t mind buying them so much for this quilt.

Here are my blocks and my toes.

I followed Amy Smart’s pattern at Diary of a quilter.  It is a GREAT pattern.  Well written and easy to follow.

and look at my forest!  I’m crazy thrilled with this one.

I pulled quite of bit of stash fabrics as well to go in with the Brambleberry fabrics.  Quite a bit of low volumes and some more greens.

I added a big chunky white border to the quilt and backed it with red polka dots and green solid.

I’m thinking next year I want to make this again, but in pink and red and white.

You can look at many other quilter’s versions of this same quilt here.

If you are interested in me making you a Christmas tree forest quilt, read all the details here.

I finished my great grandmothers quilt

I’ve been excited about this for a while about this project.

If you remember this was my great grandmother’s quilt top gifted to me by my grandmother.  Read the whole story here.

Her work was just exquisite to me.  All her hand stitches were incredibly well done.  I could tell the great care she took with this quilt.

It was made completely with polyester clothing, so it’s heavy.  Like really heave.  Like I basted on the wall twice cause the first time it fell off while I was half way through the process.  I had to spray baste pretty generously to make this work.

I was torn on the edges of this quilt.  I wanted to preserve them, notice in my first, TOP picture that they are hexagon shaped on the edges.

I debated and debated and eventually I straightened everything up.

I knew this was going to be hard to quilt, polyester is thick and it doesn’t iron well so I had some bulk in my seams.

And last time I had to make bias binding, it was not a work of art.  And this was my great grandmother’s quilt.  I didn’t want anything to be wrong with it, so that was my reasoning for straightening up the edges.

I backed it with my favorite Tanya Whelan print of all time.  Plus, the fabric has a vintage-ish feel to it.  And it has roses on it, which I know my grandmother loves.

I quilted in a meander.  Probably not the very best choice for polyester, but I was kinda stuck on what to do.  It couldn’t have had dense quilting no matter what.  There was just too much bulk, so I did a meander that was very large and spacious.

And this is where it lives now.  Brightening up my living room with it’s bright happiness.

It was made in my great grandparent’s house and after they passed away, it lived in a bag in my grandmother’s closet and now it lives here with me.

A cheerful reminder of loved ones.

I will cherish it like no other quilt I have.

And I am completely smitten and madly in love with it.

If you have a quilt top by one of your family members or maybe you just found a quilt top in a thrift store or flea market and are in need of having it finished, I would be happy to do that for you.  You can read the details of it here.

A yellow and mint orange peel quilt

I feel like I make orange peel quilts on a pretty regular basis.  But this one…

…hurts to part with.

This quilt was a custom order from a very lovely lady who asked for her ‘peels’ to be low volume fabrics and her background to me mint or yellow.

I decided to do both.

Technically, it was because I did not have enough mint 6.5″ squares, BUT as soon as I started sliding the yellow in as well I got all googly eyed.

See all my other orange peel quilts here.

The last several orange peel quilts I’ve made, I have used prints for the backgrounds instead of solids.  I find it makes the quilts SO much more interesting.  Not to mention as vast amount of different fabrics being used in a single quilt.

I am not completely out of mint green fabrics (except for scraps).

This quilt also cut my low volume scrap basket by 2/3s.  I was pretty happy about that since it was toppling over and I had been giving it the stank eye for over a month wondering what I was going to do with those scraps.

I tend to complain mostly when I make this style quilt.  There is a LOT of cutting in preparation, those peels do not cut quickly.  And that’s with me using a rotary cutter and folding my interfaced fabric over, cutting multiple peels at once (I usually cut 6 at once).

Also, it’s a ton of applique work.  SO this time I did it a little differently.

I cut all my squares beforehand.  Then cut about 50 peels, then sat down and appliqued them.  Got up and cut 50 more and then sat down and so on and so on until all 224 of them were done.

This way my feet didn’t hurt too much and neither did my rear from sitting.  Not sure why I’ve only just thought of this, it seems pretty obvious to me now.

But this made the whole process so much more enjoyable.

Also, working with these soft whispery colored fabrics didn’t hurt matters either.

If you might be interested in having me make you a custom orange peel quilt for yourself or someone you love, please have a look at all the details here.