This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
Five-inch squares are a popular cut of fabric in quilting. In fact, the squares are so popular that companies have created packs of 42 five-inch squares called charm packs. The individual five-inch squares are called charm squares.
The number of charm squares in a charm pack may vary, but 42 is the most popular amount in a charm pack.
Charm packs are popular because they feature all of the fabrics in a fabric line and the pre-cut fabric speeds up the process of making a quilt. It’s even faster to assemble a charm pack quilt if you don’t cut the charm squares and use them as-is to create a patchwork pattern.
Charm squares are great for creating a quilt that has a scrappy look and the fabrics always coordinate beautifully because they are part of the same fabric line. You’ll usually get a few duplicate fabric patterns in a charm pack because most fabric lines do not offer 42 individual designs.
But how do you determine how many five-inch squares you’ll need for your project? Let’s find out.
Before you can determine how many squares you’ll need for a project, you’ll need to figure out how large your quilt will be. If the quilt you’re making is meant for a bed, you can use the mattress size. Remember to add several inches if you want the quilt to hang off of the bed.
If your quilt is not meant for a bed, you can be more flexible with your measurements and use some of the suggested sizes that I have listed in my examples below!
Once you have your desired quilt size, you can calculate how many 5 inch squares you need for your quilt, or you can use my example calculations to get a general idea of how many squares you’ll need.
My example calculations are using full 5-inch squares (minus ¼” seam allowance on all sides). After removing 1/2″ for the seam allowances, the finished square size will be 4.5″.
My calculations do not account for pieced blocks, sashing, or borders. If you want to cut into your charm squares, add sashing, or add borders, you’ll need to adjust these calculations.
For my examples, I am assuming that a charm pack comes with 42 five-inch charm squares.
Please use my calculations for reference only, and be sure to double-check your quilt math before you go shopping for fabric!
Want to save this information for later? Download the free 5″ square cheat sheet!
How Many 5-Inch Squares Does it Take to Make a Baby Quilt?
In order to make a 31.5” x 40.5” baby quilt, you will need 63 five-inch squares.
You will need two charm packs or one charm pack and half a yard of coordinating fabric cut into 21 five-inch squares to complete a project of this size.
If you’re using more than one charm pack, you can purchase a duplicate charm pack, a coordinating charm pack, or a charm pack filled with solid colors to add interest to your quilt.
How Many 5-Inch Squares Does it Take to Make a Throw Size Quilt?
To make a 54” x 67.5” throw quilt, you will need 180 five-inch squares.
You will need 5 charm packs to make a quilt of this size.
For a larger throw quilt that is 63″ x 72″, you will need 224 5 inch squares arranged in a 14 square x 16 square grid.
A project this size will require 6 charm packs.
HELPFUL TIP: When you’re making a quilt larger than a throw size, it is much more cost-effective to purchase yardage rather than charm packs. ½ yard of fabric will get you 24 five-inch squares and 1 yard of fabric will get you 57 five-inch squares.
How Many 5-Inch Squares Does it Take to Make a Twin Size Quilt?
To make a 72” x 90” twin-size quilt, you will need 320 five-inch squares.
You will need 8 charm packs to make a quilt this size.
One possible option for this size of quilt would be to select 4 duplicate charm packs and 4 solid charm packs to get a fun checkerboard pattern.
How Many 5-Inch Squares Does it Take to Make a Full Size Quilt?
To make an 85.5” x 108” full-size quilt, you will need 456 five-inch squares.
You will need 11 charm packs to complete a project of this size.
How Many 5-Inch Squares Does it Take to Make a Queen Size Quilt?
To make a 90” x 108” throw quilt, you will need 480 five-inch squares.
You will need 12 charm packs to make a quilt this size.
How Many 5-Inch Squares Does it Take to Make a King Size Quilt?
To make a 112.5” x 108” throw quilt, you will need 600 five-inch squares.
You will need 15 charm packs to make a quilt this size.
What Size Quilt Can You Make With One Charm Pack?
The largest quilt you can make with one charm pack is a 27” x 31.5” quilt.
By adding sashing between the charm squares and borders to the outside of the quilt you could easily make this quilt a bit larger so it could be a more practical size to use as a baby quilt.
What Size Quilt Can You Make With Two Charm Packs?
The largest quilt you can make with two charm packs is a 40.5” square quilt.
This is a great size for a baby quilt, and if you add some sashing and borders, you could easily get this quilt up to the size of a small throw.
How to Calculate How Many 5-Inch Squares You Need For a Quilt
If you want to do your own math, here’s how to do it.
Before we do any calculations we need to subtract the seam allowance from our fabric. The standard seam allowance for quilting is ¼ inch. Because there will be seams on every side of our 5-inch square, we need to subtract two seam allowances from our starting measurement of 5 inches. That leaves us with a finished square size of 4.5 inches.
Now that we have the size of our squares, we can divide our finished quilt dimensions by 4.5”.
Let’s do a quick example:
We want to make a baby quilt that is 40” by 45”. To determine the number of charm squares we need we’ll divide 40” / 4.5” to get 8.88. Because we don’t want a partial square, we’ll round that up to 9. We will need 9 4.5” squares to reach our quilt width of 40”. (The width will technically be 40.5″ (9 x 4.5), but you can trim the finished quilt top if you need the sizing to be exact).
Now let’s do the length. We’ll divide 45” x 4.5” to get 10. We will need 10 5” squares to give us a 45” quilt length.
Now we’ll multiply the number of squares together. 9 x 10 = 90 squares. For a 40″ x 45″ quilt we need 90 charm squares.
Divide this number by 42 to find out how many charm packs we need. 90 / 42 = 2.14. Round this number up. We will need 3 charm packs to complete a 40″ x 45″ quilt.
HELPFUL TIP: When calculating how many 5-inch squares you need for a quilt be sure to account for any sashing or borders you may want to add. For example, you want a 4-inch border around your quilt, subtract your desired quilt size by 8” to account for your borders BEFORE you calculate how many 5 inch squares that you need.
Charm Pack Quilt Size Chart
Below is a chart that shows the largest quilt you can make with full 42 piece charm packs (zero waste!).
The column on the left shows the number of charm packs and the column on the right shows the largest quilt you can make with that number of charm packs (using the full 5″ squares and accounting for 1/4″ seam allowance).
|Number of Charm Packs||Largest Quilt Size|
|1||27″ x 31.5″|
|2||40.5″ x 40.5″|
|3||45″ x 54″|
|4||54″ x 63″|
|5||63″ x 67.5″|
|6||63″ x 81″|
|7||63″ x 94.5″|
|8||72″ x 94.5″|
|9||81″ x 94.5″|
|10||90″ x 94.5″|
|11||94.5″ x 99″|
|12||94.5″ x 108″|
|13||94.5″ x 117″|
|14||94.5″ x 126″|
|15||94.5″ x 135″|
Charm Square Quilt Examples
While patchwork quilts are a classic style of quilt, there are many other options to get the best use out of your charm squares. Plenty of patterns are available that utilize charm squares. Quilting books that specifically feature quilts using charm squares are all over the market, too!
My very first quilt was made with charm squares!
This is the first quilt I made and I created it with a bunch of half-square triangles made from the charm squares. I laid them out in a chevron pattern. You’re not stuck with chevron, though. Half square triangles can make up a bunch of fun and unique patterns if you turn the triangles.
Check out these photos that I took when I was playing around with my design.
The next quilt I made is a gingham style quilt using three different fabrics. This style is great if you have yardage of fabric that you’re not sure what to do with. You can cut the yardage into five-inch squares and lay them out in this pattern for a super fun checkerboard look.
Now you know how to figure out exactly how many 5 inch squares you need to make your next quilt. Grab your charm packs and get started!
Don’t forget to download the FREE 5 Inch Square cheat sheet to save this information for later.
Other Blog Posts You May Like:
How Many 10″ Squares Do I Need to Make a Quilt?
Can You Make a Quilt Without Batting?
The Stress-Free Guide to Machine Washing Your Quilt
How to Square a Quilt Top
How to Fold a Quilt for a Quilt Ladder