Hearts, Hearts and More Hearts

These Valentine Biscuits (cookies) caught my eye as I was walking around the supermarket the other day.

Then as usually happens, once my eyes have been alerted to something, that is all I can see where ever I look. The Valentine’s Day marketing machine was working over time in the shopping centre and even at home I couldn’t escape seeing hearts and more hearts.

It is amazing how many heart shaped things you can find with out really trying

I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day but it did get me thinking about how we use hearts in our patchwork. We piece heart blocks, applique, embroider & quilt them in all shapes and sizes for a variety of reasons

Judy's quilt features applique hearts cut from multi pieced fabrics

Judy’s heart blocks are a great stash buster …. you can use up a wide variety of fabrics to create a “new” pieced fabric to use for the applique hearts.

A very clever "stash buster" design

Heart blocks are the “go to” block when a group quilt is made as a gift quilt for a friend (or stranger) in need of simple hug. They are the perfect way to say “we are thinking of you in your time of need/sorrow/loss”.

Six inch heart blocks are just the right size block to use to make gift quilts

Being a symmetrical shape, the heart is not an easy shape to draw so it is handy to have a template to trace. You can purchase lots of plastic shapes  but don’t forget to look in the kitchen cupboard … the biscuit cutter & cake tin cake be very useful.

I've got a variety of heart templates for use with the quilting machine, but a cake tin, or biscuit cutter, will work just as well for drawing up a pattern

My favourite little biscuit cutter is particularly useful as the heart is small enough to be used to draw flower petals and heart wreaths.

Just draw up some registration lines to keep the placement even and start tracing the heart shape

If you don’t have a template shape handy, you can make one by folding a piece of paper in half and cutting the edge, parallel to fold, into a question mark shape. Open out the paper and re-shape the heart to suit.

Now, back to using a template to create patterns.  By adding a second round of heart shapes to the block design you can make a flower shape.

This shape can be used for applique or embroidery with the petals picked out in layers.

When it comes to quilting, I can happily freehand a “hanging heart” background meander but I have to think very carefully about the quilting directions when stitching a more formal feathered heart.

The hanging (weeping) heart shape can be very primitive and still make a neat background meander when quilting

I have been known to stitch the feathers in the wrong direction on a feathered heart.

The trick is to have the little feather heart shapes all travelling out from a centre point to the left and to the right with the tail running parallel, back up the spine, towards the top of the heart. I always have to do some practice drawings before stitching.

Unlike a circular feather wreath where thefeathers can be stitched in a continuous direction, the feather heart is directional and it is easy to make a mistake.

Enough rambling, it is time for stitching I hear you say.

If you want to make a heart gift for someone special this month I think you will still have time to make up the Heart Cushion designed by Linda De Bono for the February 2011 Aurifil Designer program. Even though the 2011 Flickr competition has closed, the pattern is still available for your use to make up this delightful cushion.

Linda De Bono's cushion for the 2011 Aurifil Designer program

But for me, the best hearts of all, for all year round consumption, are these delicious ones made of chocolate by my favourite neighborhood chocolatier, Sisko

Yummy chocolate hearts from Sisko

(PS:  The 2012 Aurifil Designer program has already started)

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2 Responses

  1. […] go past a good biscuit snack but re-visit our 2012 blog for some great ideas for drawing heart-shaped quilting designs. In that same month JudySewforth […]

  2. […] Jenny and I were discussing ideas for Hearts, Hearts and More Hearts, I shared my scrappy heart quilt top and decided it was an ideal top to use for honing my machine […]

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