Applique Hearts Pillow

 

Hi All! This is Jera from www.QuiltingintheRain.com bringing you this simple Applique Hearts Pillow tutorial just in time for Valentine’s day. Depending on what fabrics you use, the pillow can be used year round. This pillow has an easy envelope enclosure, making this a quick and fun weekend project that you can complete in a few hours.

Also, I wanted to share that I have a quilting book coming out this year, so come check out my blog for details (or for some great tutorials!), or follow me (and my corgi, Paige) at Quilting in the Rain’s Facebook to see my latest quilts and projects. Thank you so much for stopping by! Let your creativity rain!

  • 1 yard Moda Solids Prairie Cloth in Buff (this material is home decor weight but has a linen/canvas feel to it) 
  • 1 Bella Solids charm pack in Porcela, plus one scrap for the colored heart
  • Clear glue that works on fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • 20″ square pillow insert


1. From the prairie cloth, cut one 21″ square. For the back of the pillow, cut two 15″ x 21″ rectangles (these will be made into the envelope closure).

From the charm squares, cut hearts of varying shapes and sizes. I think the variety and imperfection of the heart shapes adds character to the pillow. To cut a big heart, simply fold a charm square in half and crease it with your finger so it stays folded. Then, use fabric scissors to cut the arch of ‘half of a heart’ along the folded edge. When you unfold it, you will have a heart shape.

To make smaller hearts,  repeat but cut two hearts from one charm square. 

I started by cutting approximately 8 big hearts, and then filled up the pillow with smaller and medium sized hearts. Also, from your scrap fabric cut one medium-size colored heart.
2. Next, arrange the hearts on the 21″ square.
3.Use clear glue that works on fabric to temporarily hold the hearts in place. Use very little glue as this is just an alternative to using pins and is meant to be temporary. For each heart I put the tiniest drop of glue and then spread it with my finger to make a very thin layer.
This is the glue I ended up using but i’m sure Elmers would work just as well. I just recommend getting a clear adhesive.
4. Sew the hearts in place using a regular presser foot. I simply guided the edge of my presser foot along the heart to sew a 1/4″ seam allowance, using a straight stitch setting.
If you’ve never done this before, to get around the curves of the heart you will need to stop and pivot the fabric quite often. To do this, simply stop sewing with the needle in down position, lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric underneath to follow the curve. You’ll get the hang of it. 🙂 
5. Along the length of a 15″ x 21″ rectangles,  turn the edge 1/4″ under, press, then turn under 1″, then press again. Stitch along the fold to keep in place as shown below. Repeat on the other rectangle as well.

6. With right sides facing together, take one rectangle and align it along the left side of the pillow cover. The finished seam you created from the previous step should be facing toward the right. Pin to keep in place, then sew a 1/2″ seam allowance along the perimeter as illustrated by the dashed line below. Start and end your stitch with a back-stitch.

Repeat with the other rectangle, but align it on the right side of the pillow.

Clip the corners to rid of bulk and then turn right side out through the envelope opening.

7. Lastly, rub your hands up and down the pillow to help ruffle-up the edges of the hearts. The semi-freyed and ruffled hearts adds texture to the pillow. The freying will not go beyond the stitch. 

And there you have it! A beautiful, applique heart pillow!


One fabulous 20″ x 20″ pillow

Thanks again for checking out my tutorial! Come visit me at www.QuiltingintheRain.com or follow me on Facebook at QuiltingintheRain. You can also find me on Instagram.

Let your creativity rain! 🙂

Jera Brandvig
{www.QuiltingintheRain.com}

Big Hearted Quilt


Hello again from Robin at Craft Sisters. It’s great to be back sharing a quick and easy project. This one could be fun for your February table or wall. And… adorable tucked around your littlest Valentines in the car or the stroller. I’ve made two so far in two different Moda lines but both in luscious pinks and reds. One from Sandy Gervais’, Table for Two and the other using Deb Strain’s, Surrounded By Love. The idea for this was to make a big, modern, Log Cabin-ish looking block. One Moda Candy or Charm Pack makes the heart and two half-yard pieces are used for the backgrounds.




1            Moda Candy or Charm Pack – Table For Two – heart
½ yd.     Diamond 1775611 – Table For Two – background 1
½ yd.     Rose 1775513 – Table For Two – background 2
⅜ yd.     Rose 1775613 – Table For Two – binding
1 yd.      Backing fabric
1 yd.      Low loft batting


Layout the heart
Place the 42 – 2.5″ squares from the Moda Candy or Charm Pack on a design wall or floor. 

If you are using a Charm Pack, cut 42, 2.5″ squares (obviously more color choice with charm pack). 

Audition color placement of squares until you get the color arrangement that you like. It’s fun to play with it. I ended up using darker squares to outline the heart so it would stand out in the photograph. Make the heart more subtle and pixelated looking, by mixing up the colors more.


Cut background squares, strips and complete quilt layout

Cut the squares and strips from background fabrics 1 and 2 as shown on the quilt layout map (it’s at the end of this post). 

Following quilt layout map, add background squares and strips to design wall around the heart. It always looks completely wrong to me when laid out like this, but feels great when it all comes together after sewing.


Sew squares and strips to form horizontal rows
Use a ¼” seam allowance throughout this project. It really helps in matching up squares if you sew a consistent seam width, ¼” or scant… 

Press seams in opposite direction. This avoids bulk and makes it easy to nest seams when sewing everything together.


Sew the rows together
Start sewing the rows together in the order you like, top to bottom, from center out, bottom to top. Whatever makes sense to you.

Press seams in one direction.


Make a quilt sandwich
Layer backing, batting and quilt top. Baste using pins, spray, or use fusible batting. Quilt simply or more dense, whichever you prefer. This is a good one to try your free motion quilting on because of the size.





One small but Big Hearted quilt for February or anytime. Mine finished at approx. 28.5″ x 29.5″. Hope you try this one and have fun doing it. And please stop by my blog over the weekend. www.craftsisters.com/robins-blog.html There’s a giveaway for some Table for Two background fabrics to use in this project. – Robin

Robin Nelson
{www.craftsisters.com}

Peacock Love Mini Quilt



I am so happy and excited to be able to share my latest project here on the Moda Bake Shop!  My name is Pamela Lincoln and I blog over at Mama Spark’s World. The inspiration for this quilt is my daughter.  She raises peafowl on her farm and I thought this might be a nice surprise for her in her new home.  I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did.  If you do make one please share it on my Flickr page, I would love to see your birds!

Let’s get started, shall we?

1 Charm Pack of Kissing Booth by Basic Grey 30310PP
1 Fat Quarter of Kissing Booth Candy Pink 30150 169
2 1/2 yards of Kissing Booth Creme Brulee 30150 166
1/2 yard of Kissing Booth Candy Pink 30310 11

1 1/2 yards Lite Steam-a-seam 2 18″ size 5418

1 1/2 yards batting (your choice)
1 Skein DMC 310 black embroidery floss  17 3371

The first thing you will need to do is print out the templates.  They are located at the end of the Printer Friendly Version at the bottom of this post.  I have drawn them in reverse so if you are using fusible they are all ready for you to use!  Tape the peacock together overlapping where indicated to make the complete bird.

You will need to trace one bird, one wing, one of the large hearts and at least 30 of the small hearts onto your fusible.  I used my light box but a window will work too.  Make sure you are on the correct side if you are using the Lite SAS2 (ask me how I know this!)  I drew one of the small hearts on to paper, cut it out and then traced it onto the cardboard that came with the charm pack.  I cut this cardboard heart out and drew around it onto the fusible so my hearts were more consistent.

You will need to roughly cut out around the shapes, don’t cut them out on the line!

Now comes the fun part!  Choose one of your charm squares for your wing, and approximately 15 other charms for your “feathers” (the small hearts).  Time to fuse the hearts and the wing to your chosen charm squares.  Place the right side of your fabric down on your ironing surface and place 2 hearts on the wrong side of the fabric.  Following manufacturer’s directions fuse the hearts to the charm square.  Do the same with the wing.

Using the plainer pink fabric that you have a FQ of you will repeat this process for the peacock’s body and the large heart.  Rough cut out the peacock, and fuse the body onto the wrong side of the pink fabric.  Repeat process for the large heart. 

Once all this fusing is completed you need to cut out all the hearts, the wing and the peacock on the line.  This will give you the components you need to make the wall hanging.

For the background you are using the Creme Brulee fabric.  Cut off 1 yard from the 2 1/2 yards you began with.  I left the selvedges on at this point and worked with the fabric horizontally, i.e. selvedges were on left and right rather than top an bottom.  I don’t know about you but I don’t have a large space to lay things out on yet.  My “design wall” is another wall hanging in my quilt room, or at least it is for now.  So the largest place I had to lay out the peacock and his tail was my bed!  Pay no attention to the two quilt inspectors!

This was NOT an exact science.  Remove the paper backing on your pieces before you begin and grab some pins.  Lay out the bird and his tail moving things around until you are happy with the placement.  I put my bird quite far to the left and approximately centered between the top and bottom of the background.  I then laid out the hearts until I was happy with the way they looked. Be sure to leave ~ 2 inches so you can remove selvedges and have room to move things if you are not happy.  At this point I put one pin through each of the hearts and a couple to hold the bird and his wing in place.  I did not put the large heart on yet, in case I wanted to be able to do some more trimming!

Now carefully pick up your masterpiece and move it to your design wall, or the floor or somewhere you can get some distance for additional viewing.  Here is where my “design wall came in handy.  See the blue lines and flip flops showing through from the quilt this is pinned to?  I was pretty happy with the placement so it was time to fuse it all to the background.  I carried the bird to my ironing board and following the manufacturer’s directions carefully fused (removing the pins a few at a time before I did the fusing). 

It is now time to trim the selvedges off.  I folded the top and trimmed the selvedges and also a little off the top so that my finished size was 32″ x 42″.

I folded the top in half to determine where to place my large heart, removed the paper and fused it in place also.

I like to secure all my fusible.  You can do this using a ziz zag, blanket stitch or a straight stitch. I opted for a straight stitch and black thread to define everything.

I have a few tips about doing the stitching around if you are using the straight stitch.  I used my open toe, zig zag foot and moved my needle over such that I could use the inside edge of the foot as a stitching guide.

I did one stitch back and then kept stitching, about half way around.  Then I went under the top and gently tugged on the loose thread to bring up a loop on the back.

I pulled the top thread to the back.

Knot off the thread and trim the thread tails.  Return to the sewing down your applique on the top.  This does require a needle down position on your machine as you want to keep your place on the top.

Do the same with the threads when you finish your applique.  This is what it will look like on the back.

Now using a marking tool, I use a pencil, and my light box, position the pattern under your piece and draw on the legs, the head feathers and the eye.

At this point you may either use your sewing machine to make the straight lines and the eye or you can embroider them.  I chose to embroider them using 3 strands of black embroidery floss, a number 11 needle and a small hoop.  I outlined the legs and head feathers using a back stitch.  I did the circles on the head feathers with a French Knot.  For the eye I did a back stitch around the outside of the eye and filled it in with a satin stitch.

DMC has an excellent embroidery stitch guide that can be found here, in case you need more direction than I am giving.

Briefly, this is what I did: 
For the back stitch:  Come up at A, then take a small stitch (between 1/8 and 1/4″ish) and put your needle down at point B to make one stitch.  Then push your needle from behind and come up at C.

Then you will put the needle back down into the B hole.  You continue this stitching to form a line.
I don’t usually travel my thread a great distance as I don’t want it to show through.  As you can see from where I began stitching I would be able to stitch up to where the other toes join the leg and down one more side but then would have to either knot and restart or travel.  I don’t do either of those.  Instead, on the back of the piece, I weave the thread up the line I just stitched to the point I want to go to to continue stitching.  In this case I was able to continue to stitch the toe on the other side of the leg, and then on the back, wove my thread up to the leg, in the center, between the two toes I just stitched.  I then stitched down the center toe and threaded the floss up to it’s starting point and continued to stitch the rest of the leg.  I finished the leg with a small knot and threaded the floss down a few stitches on the back and clipped the floss off.

I outlined the eye using a back stitch as well.  I seem to do better with a thread guide to use for my satin stitching.

I filled in the eye using a satin stitch.

 I used the back stitch for the head feathers with a triple french knot at the end of each feather.  This means I wrapped the thread around the needle 3 times before finishing the knot.  I could not, for the life of me figure out how to photograph that, I would have needed another hand!  You can see it in the stitch guide though.

VOILA!  Your peacock is now complete and ready for you to baste, quilt and bind as desired.

 I chose a heart pattern with some simple stitching in between the feathers and some on my bird’s body.  Before you bind you may want to attach a hanging sleeve.

I used the beautiful Kissing Booth floral for the binding.  My binding was cut 2.5″.

You will have one amazing 32″ X 42″ Peacock Love wall hanging!

Pamela Lincoln
{mamaspark.blogspot.com}

Hugs Before Kisses Quilt


Melissa Corry here from Happy Quilting.  I’m so excited to be back here at the Moda Bake Shop and share this wonderful Valentines Day Quilt.  XOXO is big in our family!!  I shared a little bit of the story behind it in my last Valentine’s tutorial for MBS.  This quilt is a twist on the basic lattice quilt adding the O’s to create the perfect quilt  for you and your Valentine to snuggle up in.  Hope you enjoy!!

1 Honey Honey Jelly Roll
3 1/4 Yards of Bella Solid White

3/4 Yard for Binding
5 Yards for Backing

STEP 1 – CUTTING

Choose 36 jelly roll strips from your bundle.  (I set aside 4 of the double prints)  Lay them out as follow, keeping them folded in half.  You can cut about 6 rows at a time.  Using the lines on your mat as a guide, cut a sliver off the end to remove the fold.  Then cut a 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangle, a 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle, and a 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square.  Place the remaining bit in scrap.  You will have 2 of each cut.  Repeat with all 36 strips to have a total of (72) 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangles, (72) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles, and (72) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares.

Now from your white yardage cut the following.

Separate your cut pieces into 2 groups as follows.  The first grouping will be used to create the O blocks and the second grouping will be used to create the X Blocks.

STEP 2 – O BLOCKS

We’ll start by making the O blocks.  Gather a 6 1/2″ square and (2) 6 1/2″ print strips and lay out as shown below.  Place the strips onto the square with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ along the edges, aligning as you sew.  Press towards the center square.  Repeat to make 18 center units total.  (Chain stitching saves time)

Gather a 6 1/2″ strip and (2) 2 1/2″ squares and lay out as shown below.  Place the squares onto the strip with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ along the edges, aligning as you sew.  Press towards the squares.  Repeat to make 36 top and bottom units total.  (Chain stitching will save lots of time 🙂

Lay (2) top and bottom units and one center unit out as follows.

Lay the top and bottom units onto the center with right sides together.  Nest the seams and pin.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along the pinned edge.  Press.  And now, you just have to add the sashing border.  Gather (2) 10 1/2″ white strips and (2) 12 1/2″ print strips and layout as shown.  Lay the top and bottom border onto the O with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam aligning as you go and press.  Repeat for the two side borders.

And the O Block is finished measuring 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″.  Repeat the last 2 sub-steps to make a total of 18 O Blocks.


STEP 3 – X BLOCKS

Gather a 10 1/2″ strip and 2 subcut white triangles and lay them out as shown.  Place the right hand square onto the strip with right sides together centering the triangle.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along the edge, aligning as you go.  Open and finger press the triangle.  Lay the second triangle onto the left hand side of the strip with right sides together and lining the tips of the triangles up.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along the edge, aligning as you go.  Press towards the triangles.  Repeat to make 72 lattice units.  (Chain stitching will save lots of time here 🙂

Print of the Squaring Up guide that is attached at the end of this post.  Lay any square ruler onto the guide.  (It is okay if your ruler is larger than the guide, it just means you will have to turn it while trimming.  If you have a 6 1/2″ square ruler it will save time 🙂 
Using masking tape, mark the edges of the diagonal lines creating a guide on your ruler for squaring up your units.
Place your marked ruler onto your unit, aligning the lines of the seams with the edges of the masking tape.  Trim the excess along the edge of your ruler.  If your ruler is larger, trim 2 sides, then spin your unit, realign and trim the remaining 2 sides.  
And you have a perfect lattice unit that measures 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″.  Repeat for all 72 lattice units.  
Lay 4 lattice units out as shown.  Lay the right hand side units onto the left hand sides with right sides together.  Align the diagonal seams and pin.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along the pinned edge and then press seams open.  Lay the top row onto the bottom row with right sides together.  Align the diagonal seams as well as the center seam and pin.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along the pinned edge and press the seam open.  

And the X Block is finished measuring 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″.  Repeat the last step to make a total of 18 O Blocks.

STEP 4- SEWING THE QUILT TOP 

Lay the X and O blocks alternating into 6 rows of 6.  Play with the layout until you get a look that is please to the eye.  I tried to separate the red and navy units most as they tend to pop.   Once you have a please layout you are ready to sew the blocks into row.

I find the easiest way to do this is to stack each row and place some sort of marker on the first block indicating what row it is.  This way you don’t lose the layout you just did.

Then just start sewing the blocks together, one block adding to the next, and the next until you have sewn all 6 in the row.  Then just repeat for all 6 rows.  I do not pin my blocks when sewing them into row as there are no seams to line up.  I just align as I go.

Press your seams in the rows towards the O blocks.  This will allow you to nest the seam and avoids bulk around the X corners.

Sewing the rows together is just like creating them.  Lay the first row onto the second with right sides together.  Nest the seams and pin them and then along the rest of the edge.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along the pinned edge.  Press open.  Then repeat adding the third row to the now sewn together first and second row and so on.

And before you know it, you have a beautiful Hugs before Kisses Quilt Top!!

STEP 5- FINISHING THE QUILT

Baste it, Quilt it, and Bind It.  I know, I make it sound so easy.  If you are new to finishing your quilt, I have created a video tutorial series that goes over the basics of each of these three steps.  You can find it at my blog 🙂   You will need 8 strips for the binding.  I choose to quilt mine in an all-over free motion design of traveling loops and hearts to fit the Valentines theme.  There is also a video tutorial of how to do this design on the same page of my blog.  Just look down the page a bit 🙂 


One adorable Hugs before Kisses quilt measuring 72″ x 72″ perfect for snuggling under.

I hope you enjoyed and if you make your own Hugs Before Kisses quilt I would love to see it.  You can add it to my Inspired by Happy Quilting Flickr group here 🙂

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

Melissa Corry
{happyquiltingmelissa.blogspot.com}

Flirtatious Hearts Table Topper & Pincushions



Hey, there!  I’m so glad you’ve popped in to see what’s cookin’ at the Moda Bake Shop today!  This is my first time here, so let me introduce myself.  My name is Julie Cefalu and I share my quilting and crafting ideas at my blog, The Crafty Quilter.  I have been quilting for 14 years, plus I get to work and teach at my favorite local quilt shop, The Granary, in Northern California.

I love working with Moda pre-cuts and today I am going to share a tutorial for an adorable table topper and pincushions that will be perfect for the month of February!  You might decide that you want to hang your quilt on the wall instead, but it’s small enough to place on a table (with a vase of flowers on top)!  And the pincushions are actually what started this project for me.  They were so cute, I thought why not make a table topper to go with them? And so it goes…

One Charm Pack of Flirt by Sandy Gervais for Moda
1/2 yard of Flirt 17705-23 White Tonal Lacy Hearts
1/8 yard of Flirt 17705-14 Blue Bird Lacy Hearts
1/4 yard of Flirt 17707-12 Red Wavy Plaid
1 yard backing fabric
34″ x 34″ batting

Paper backed fusible web (I used Heat ‘n Bond Lite)
Lightweight fusible interfacing
Craft felt in pink and/or red (for pincushions)
Polyester stuffing and/or crushed walnut shells (for pincushions)
Buttons (for pincushions)

Table Topper Instructions:
First, you will want to separate the charm pack into color families.  Set aside four of each color family for the four-patch blocks used in the table topper.

Next, pick out 4 squares of white and 4 squares of red to use for the heart appliques.

The rest of the charm squares can be used for the pincushions.

Cutting Instructions for the Table Topper:
White Tonal:
Cut (4) 2″ strips and sub cut into:

  • (4) 2″ x 9 1/2″ rectangles for sashing
  • (2) 2″ x 20″ rectangles for first inner border
  • (2) 2″ x 23″ rectangles for first inner border

Cut (4) 3″ strips for outside border.  I prefer to measure my quilt top first before sub-cutting these into the correct length.  But here is what they should measure for your reference:

  • (2) 3″ x 24 1/2″
  • (2) 3″ x 29 1/2″

Blue Bird:
Cut (4) 1 1/4″ strips and subcut into:

  • (2) 1 1/4″ x 23″ rectangles for middle border
  • (2) 1 1/4″ x 24 1/2″ rectangles for middle border

Contrasting charm square:
Cut (1) 2″ square for sashing corner stone

Red Plaid:
Cut (3) 2 1/4″ strips for binding

Assembly Instructions for Table Topper:  (All seams are 1/4″ wide)

A.  Make 4-patch blocks:  Sew together the four charm squares of each color family into a 4-patch unit as shown.  The block should measure 9 1/2″ square (unfinished).  Press seams so that they oppose and the final row seam can be pressed as shown:

Make a total of (four) 4-patch blocks.

B.  Prepare Appliques

1.  Fuse a 4 3/4″ square of lightweight interfacing to each of the white 5″ charm squares to prevent the background fabric of the four-patches from shadowing through.

2.  Print out the heart shape (available in the printer friendly version at the end of this post) and trace 16 of the large hearts onto the paper side of the fusible webbing.  Cut out shapes roughly about 1/4″ around each heart. 

3.  Press fusible heart shapes onto wrong side of each white and red charm square.  You will be able to fit 2 hearts per square if you’re careful.

4.  Cut out hearts on drawn line carefully.  Remove paper layer from fused hearts. I use a pin to score the paper and then it’s easier to tear away.

5.  Arrange four hearts on each 4-patch block with center of hearts on the 4-patch seams as shown.  Fuse into place following manufacturer’s instructions.

6.  Stitch around raw edges of hearts using a blanket stitch or zig zag stitch. I used a small zig zag stitch and a red/coral variegated thread.

C.  Assembly:

1.  Lay out the 4-patch applique blocks, sashing strips and 2″ square as shown below.  Sew together into rows, pressing toward the sashing strip.

2.  Sew rows together.  Press toward sashing row.  This should now measure 20″ square.

3.  Add first border.  Sew a 2″ x 20″ rectangle to top and bottom of quilt top.  Press towards border.  Sew a 2″ x 23″ rectangle to both sides.  Press towards border.

4.  Add middle border.  Sew a 1 1/4″ x 23″ rectangle of blue bird fabric to the top and bottom of the quilt top as described above, pressing towards the blue bird border strips.  Repeat for both sides using the 1 1/4″ x 24 1/2″ strips.

5.  Add outside borders.  I have given cutting dimensions for the last four borders, but it’s a good idea to measure your quilt top first before cutting your 3″ strips to the correct length.  If you live in a perfect world, your first two outside border strips would be 3″ x 24 1/2″.  Stitch those to the top and bottom of your quilt, pressing towards the outside borders.
Repeat for both sides borders using 3″ x 29 1/2″ (if perfect) strips.

You’re almost done!  You get to baste, quilt and bind your table topper next.  I stitched in the ditch along the main seam lines (blocks and borders) and then had some fun with free motion quilting.


 One table topper measuring 29” x 29″.



Pincushion Instructions:

Use the left over charm squares from the table topper and the “garnishes” listed at the beginning of this post.

Cutting Instructions for two pincushions:

  • Using two charm squares for the top, cut them in half to make 4 rectangles, 2 1/2″ x 5″.
  • Using two charm squares for the bottom, cut them into 4 1/2″ squares.
  • Cut fusible interfacing into (4) 4 1/4″ squares.

 Make 4-patch units.

1.  Sew together (2) 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangles, and press towards the darker piece.  Repeat to make two sets.

2.  Cut each set into 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ units.

3.  Sew the units together to form a 4-patch.  Press.  Unit should measure 4 1/2″ square.

Fuse Interfacing:

I like to add a lightweight interfacing to my pincushion at this point. Using the 4 1/4″ squares of interfacing, fuse one to the wrong side of each of the 4-patch units and to each of the 4 1/2″ square bottoms.

Prepare hearts from craft felt:

Print out the pdf file (available in the printer friendly version) for the heart templates.  Using the small hearts, you can create a template out of freezer paper or template plastic and trace shape onto felt.  Cut out 4 hearts for each pincushion.

Place hearts on the four-patch units so that they are centered on the seam lines.  Stitch in place.  I used “Sliver” thread which is an iridescent thread by Sulky and stitched down the center only of each heart.

Sew together the four-patch top and the 4 1/2″ square bottom using a shorter stitch length (1.5 – 2.0) and leaving a  1 1/2″ opening on one side for turning.  Trim corners.  Turn right side out.

Stuff the pincushion with either walnut shells, polyester stuffing or a combination of both.

Hand or machine stitch opening closed.

Add button to the center of the hearts by using two strands of embroidery floss and starting at the bottom of the pincushion, bring your needle up to the center top and through the button.  Bring back down to the bottom and repeat.  Cinch it down on the bottom and knot thread.  Finished!


Two pincushions measuring 4 1/2″ square.

And if you have left over fabric, make a bow for your favorite vase!

Thanks for joining me today and I hope you visit my blog, The Crafty Quilter, for more tips, techniques and inspiration for your creative side!

Julie Cefalu
{thecraftyquilter.com}

My Improv Valentine Wall Quilt

My name is Erica Jackman and I blog over at Kitchen Table Quilting.  I am so happy to be sharing this project with you and I hope that you enjoy this fun little project that brings lots of pretty Valentine colors into your home!

1 red Bella Solid layer cake
1/4-1/2 yard Bella solids in various shades of white, pink, and purple.  I used 30’s Pink, Shocking Pink, Azalea, Orchid, and White.
1/2 yard cuts of 4 neutral Bella solids.  I used Steel, Silver, Graphite, and Pewter.
Batting at least 40 inches square
1.5 yards red Bella solid for the backing and binding

For each heart we are going to need to make 4 blocks: two curved pieces for the top of the heart and two angled pieces for the bottom of the heart (one in each direction).  The more exaggerated you make your cuts, the more heart-like your finished project will be.  But remember that steeper curves are more difficult to sew, so don’t get too carried away 🙂  You want there to be some variation between your blocks, but you still want it to look like a heart. 
Curved top-of-the-heart pieces

For each heart you will need 1-2 layer cake squares depending on how big and how exaggerated your heart shape is (I was able to cut one curve from the top of the square and one curve from the bottom).  I am not much of an artist, so I roughly drew the curved shape onto my fabric with a chalk pencil.  
Starting 2-3 inches from the bottom, draw an arc across the length of the square.  It doesn’t have to be symmetrical.
Cut along the arc.  I like to use a small ruler to help guide my rotary cutter as I cut the fabric.  It helps keep everything from sliding around.  
Your fabric should now look something like this.
Choose another fabric and lay it on your cutting mat.  Put your heart shape on top of it.  Make sure you have at least a quarter inch of fabric to the right, left, and bottom of where you overlap your heart shape.  You need to account for the seam allowance.
Using your rotary cutter, cut the white fabric using your heart shape as a guide.
I like to use a washable fabric pen to put a dot at the same spot on each fabric so I can line them up easily when I piece them together.
I am not a fan on pinning improv curves, especially when the curve is this shallow.  Just line up the top of each piece.
And then use one hand on each fabric to guide them under the presser foot.  It takes a little practice, but it much faster and easier than pinning.
Your pieces should now look something like this.  If you think it would help, you can clip the seam allowance a little bit to help the curve sit flat.  I didn’t think it was necessary.
Very, very carefully press the seam allowance toward the outer (non-red) piece.  You don’t want your fabric to stretch.

Repeat this step with another color of fabric, making sure again to allow for the same allowance on the right, left, and bottom of the fabric.

Using the light pink fabric as a guide, I cut the darker pink fabric and then cut another improv curve a couple inches higher on the pink fabric.
Sew the pieces together just like before. Continue adding more colors as desired.  I found that I liked the look of 3 added colors on top of the red layer cake fabric.
Choose a neutral fabric to make you heart a square and put your heart piece on top of it (remembering to leave room for the seam allowance). To make sure that you have a large enough piece, place a square ruler (if you have one) on top of the fabrics.  My squares finished up at 9.5″ square and I like to make sure that I am not short on fabric, so I lined my fabric on the bottom with the 11″ mark and then centered the square ruler over the fabric.
Use your rotary cutter to cut along the right, left, and top of the square ruler.
Now use your ruler and rotary cutter to cut along the outer curve of the heart shape.
You should end up with something like this.
Sew the gray piece to your heart shape just like you did with the other improv curves.  
Use a ruler to square it up.  My blocks finished at 9.5″ but you can use whatever size you want.

Once they are trimmed up, you should have something that looks like this:

Curved bottom-of-the-heart pieces

I found it helpful to make these in pairs so that I made sure I was making them angled in the right direction.
Take two layer cake squares and place them next to each other on your cutting mat.  Using a chalk pencil or other water soluble marking instrument, draw the bottom half of a heart across your squares.
Cut along these lines with your rotary cutter.
Now that you are a pro at piecing improv curves, this next part should be nice and easy.  Place your heart piece on top of another color of fabric.  Remember to make sure that you overlap more than 1/4″ on the right, left, and bottom from the edges of your heart shape (where the arrows are pointing).
Cut the new fabric with your rotary cutter using your red fabric as your guide.
Echo the curve shape a couple of inches up on the pink fabric.
Line up the raw edges of each fabric (where the arrow is pointing) and sew together.
Carefully press your seam allowance toward your new fabric.  Continue adding new fabrics until you are happy with how your heart looks.
Place your heart piece over a neutral fabric.  Once again, I like to place my square ruler over the fabric to make sure that I have enough.  Things can get a little wonky when you sew these together, so err on the side of too much.  I lined up my ruler around the 11-12″ mark.  Remove your ruler, but don’t pick up your heart shape yet since you still need to cut your improv curve

Cut along the top and the side of your ruler that is opposite your improv curves (in this photo that side in the upper left of the photo).  Remove your square ruler and cut the neutral fabric using your heart piece as your guide.

Sew the neutral piece to your curve  You should now have something that looks like this.
Trim to your desired size (I used 9.5″).  If you end up with one or two squares that are more improv-y and wonky than the other, I think it helps to pair them with squares that are more normal looking.  I would not put these two together because the bottoms meet at such different levels.
Once you have made enough blocks for 4 total hearts (that means 8 top-of-the-heart pieces and 8 bottom-of-the-heart pieces) arrange the blocks in a way that you are happy with.  Sew them into pairs.
And then sew the completed the hearts.
Sew the hearts together in a 2×2 grid.
If you would like to use this as a wall hanging, here is a quick way to make some pockets for hanging.  
1.  Take two left over layer cake squares.
2.  Fold the squares in half diagonally and press.  They should now be right triangles.
3.  Align the raw edges of the triangles with the raw edges of the quilt along the top right and left corners on the back of the quilt.  
4.  Stitch into place using a 1/4″ seam.
This creates a pocket along each side.  Just place a dowel in the pockets and hang on the wall.
Baste, quilt, and bind as desired.

Finished size: about 36″ square

Erica Jackman
{kitchentablequilting.blogspot.com}

L.O.V.E. Mini Quilt Sampler


You gotta love leftovers in a bake shop, especially the kind that have no calories! 

When I was testing out different types of reverse applique for a recent project I trotted out some slices of my Marmalade layer cake that hadn’t been used in Marmalade Circles.  They were perfect for this sweet Valentine sampler.

The sampler measures 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″  – a perfect Valentine for yourself or a quilty friend.

4, 10″ x 10″ squares of coordinating fabric
Pearl cotton
Fray Check
Sharpie Marker (for paper)
Fabric Marker
Short Pointy Sharp scissors
Applique pins

Cutting Instructions:

  • Choose fabrics for letters and backgrounds.  Cut 4, 5″x5″ squares of each
  • Choose fabric for binding.  Cut 5, 2″ x 10″ strips
  • Use remaining 10″ x 10″ square for backing.


Lettering Instructions:   The point of this project, at least for me, was to try out different types of applique, specifically reverse applique.  Reverse applique is a method by which layers of fabric are used to create designs as bits are secured and cut away.  Kind of like the ancient sculptors who “found” their masterpieces hidden in the stones that they chiseled…only this is fabric…and I’ve never found a handsome hunk hidden in the layers of fiber.  

You  are more than welcome to use a different method of applique.  My templates would work for either fusible or traditional techniques.  Go for it.

The following instructions tell you how I did what I did.   I tried two methods, one done by hand, and one by machine.  There are two samples of each method in this tiny quilt.

L.O.V.E.
Made using 4, slices of layer cake from Marmalade by Bonnie & Camille
By hand…
O.
The letters O and V were drawn on to the striped fabric. I then layered that patch a top the floral. I snipped the top fabric about 1/4″ from the drawn line (starting with the center, else it would fall away.) flipped the edge under and hand sewed along the tracing line (now at the edge of the patch.) I continued that process until the whole letter had been revealed.
By machine….
L.
The letters L and E  were drawn onto the floral fabric. I then layered the patch atop a striped charm and machine sewed a scant 1/4″ to the outside of my traced line. Once the L was completely traced with stitches I carefully trimmed away the top layer (leaving about 1/8″ raw edge) and applied Fray Check to the loose edges.

As a long arm quilter, I have found that loose edges can cause problems. To minimize the floppiness I went back and hand embellished the edges with pearl cotton.  (Another option would be to use your machine and do some decorative stitching to hold the edges down.)

As I mentioned earlier, it is perfectly acceptable, and probably a lot easier to fuse the letters. If you choose to do it this way, the templates can do double duty. Use the box around each letter to help center the letters on each charm.
Getting down to business

  • Print letter templates.
    • At the bottom of this post is a “Printer Friendly Version” button that looks like the picture above….only it will actually take you somewhere.
    • Clicking on it will take you to a place where you can print it all out.
    • There are 4 different letters.
    • You will need to make one of each.
    Reverse Applique
    • Each template is drawn in 5″ square. When you print them, make sure that the square measures 5″.
    • You need to be able to see the outlines of the letters/shape through the fabric. I found the lines printer by my printer to be insufficient to this task.
    • To fix the problem I drew on them with a sharpie marker.
    • WARNING – be careful of your writing surface, you don’t want to ruin your cutting mat with Sharpie bleed through.
  • Using light box, or masking tape and a window, trace letters onto the right side of each 5″ x 5″ square that you intend to use as the background fabric. 
  • Reverse Applique
  • Layer each charm square atop one letter fabric square.
Reverse Applique
    • Layer them so that both right sides are up….like pages in a note pad.
    Reverse Applique
    • Using large basting stitches, sew 1/8″ from each edge.
      • This will hold your pieces together while you are working with the fabric in the middle to reveal the letters.
      • The smaller than normal “seam allowance” will ensure that the stitching doesn’t show when you put all of the blocks together.
  • Applique letters onto blocks.
    • For L and O
    • Reverse Applique
      • Snip the top fabric about 1/4″ from the drawn line (starting with the center if you are working on something with a floating piece like center of  O)   Make your cut only about an inch or two long so that you are only cutting what you are working on at the moment. Clip curves, and corners to make flipping under the edge easier.
      • Flip the edge under
      • Pin in place as needed.
      • Sew along the tracing line (now at the edge of the patch.) with a hidden stitch like you would use if you were binding your quilt or hemming something. Continued that process until the whole letter is revealed.
    • For V and E
      • Sew a scant 1/4″ to the outside of the tracing lines.
      • Trim the fabric on the tracing lines
      • Apply a thin coating of Fray Check to the exposed raw edges
      • Secure edges as desired.
  • Assemble the top.
    •  NOTE your blocks will be thicker than normal.  That is to be expected.  It is a result of the double layers used in reverse applique.  As you sew your top together iron the seam allowances OPEN.  This will spread out the bulk.  I know it makes aligning the corners more difficult, but you will thank me when you go to quilt it. 
    • Sew the L block to the O block
    • Sew the V block to the E block
    • Sew two rows together to make top
  • Layer, quilt, and bind as desired.

It was once common practice for children to make samplers of their needle work.  It provided a record of stitches, helped them with their tecnique, and taught them various important lessons as they stitched out the words.  (Imagine stitching out “I will not talk in class!”  he, he, he.  That sampler didn’t make it down to us.  I wonder why.)  This recipe yields one sweet lesson in LOVE, and two in reverse applique.  It would be perfect to hang on a wall, in a quiet corner or your home or office.  If you have a little girl in your life it might also be used to cover Barbie’s bed.

I’d love to see your finished project.  Please add it to the Flickr group Tops to Treasures.

Cindy Sharp
{topstotreasures.blogspot.com}