Update – thanks to folks over at Sew Mama Sew! for selecting this tutorial as a finalist! See the other awesome projects here!
When I was considering ideas for my wedding signature quilt (follow the link for that tutorial), I had thought about doing applique hearts, and having people sign the hearts. I decided that the hearts where a little bit too sweet for sarcastic old me, and also that I didn’t want to cut out 100+ hearts. And (Oh the humanity!!) since I STILL haven’t won an Accuquilt system to cut out my hearts for me, alack and alas, I went with squares.
However, my sketches of hearts quilts were still in my crafty sketchbook, and while I was procrastinating on some pretty monstrous quilts, I decided to make a little mini quilt. It took me a while because I chose to hand-quilt/embroider it, but if you machine quilted, it’s quite possible you could be done in a carefree afternoon.
Here are some basics on how to make it:
- Background fabric – mine was 23×16. There’s no reason you can’t use a fat quarter for this though.
- Binding fabric – I used about half a fat quarter to make the 2 1/4 inch binding out of the same fabric.
- Backing fabric – half an inch bigger than your background fabric.
- Assorted scraps for the hearts, clouds, umbrella
- Fusible webbing – I use pellon wonder under.
- Hand quilting frame if you’re hand quilting
- Template for your shapes
Here’s how I cut my umbrella and clouds out (template here):
- Transfer the image onto the back of my fusible webbing (I used a lightbox for this, aka my 12×12 quilting ruler over a lamp with an LED bulb so I didn’t melt my ruler)
- Cut the image out of the fusible webbing
- Iron it to the BACK of the fabric I am planning to use
- Cut it out of the fabric
- Peel off the backing paper
This method involves cutting twice. It is kind of annoying but in results in less fabric waste.
This is how I did the hearts:
- Take a scrap of pink fabric.
- Iron some fusible webbing go the back of it
- Peel off the paper (alternately, leave the paper on and draw on the paper, but it’s annoying to peel off the paper later)
- Draw a bunch of hearts on the fabric
- Cut out the hearts
Ok, so, the backing paper is off all your little fused pieces:
So now you lay out your pieces in a design that suits you, and iron them all down, using the ironing methods listed on your fusible webbing instructions. This will keep the edges of your pieces from fraying, but if you are going to wash this, ever, you will also need stitches to hold down the pieces or they can fall off in the wash.
So, now we layer up your quilt top with some batting and backing.
I didn’t pin this quilt top, but instead popped it directly into my mini-quilting embroidery frame (shown here dissembled):
And sew away if you are hand sewing. NOTE: It’s pretty difficult to hand-sew through the fusible webbing. You might want a thimble. It looks good,but just takes extra effort. I’m going to finish the hearts with machine stitches, and just did the loose stitches around them with hand sewing.
I think perle cotton would look best, but I couldn’t find my off-white perle cotton, so I used three strands of embroidery floss. I have done a bit of hand quilting but never these big ‘rustic’ stitches that are so in style. I really like how it looks on the front – and how fast it is!!!!
But the back of my quilt looks pretty rough; I’m thinking about making a panel to cover it up. I am pretty good at burying my thread and making neat stitches with quilting weight thread, but I couldn’t figure out how to make the back look very nice with this heavier embroidery thread.
If you are machine quilting, you’ll want to pin it up and sew however you want.
When you are done, you can add some fabric to the back so you can hang it however you like (I love these tutorials and also the project from the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative).
And bind it, and you’re done!
I’m happy to explain any step further. I breezed over stuff, so let me know if you have any questions!
Learn how to do more things here