Sunday, January 18, 2009
My Heart is Filled with Joy
I'm in Chicago with my hubby and both of my boys. It's rare the four of us are together for 3 whole days. Lots of spirited conversation, time together and all four of us just got back from the gym after working out together. My heart is filled with joy. Back home tonight and we'll all go our separate ways. I will hold this feeling until the next opportunity to be together.
Got a lot of requests to explain how I made this block. So, in the spirit of doing things for others today, here is the 'Be still my heart' block tutorial, just in time for some Valentine's Day crafting. I used this block to make the quilt in the picture above as well as a pink version without the sashing.
Step 1: Pull a set of fabrics. Small scale prints work great for this block. Don't be afraid to throw in a solid or two. For each block you will need ten 1" x 22" strips. Fat quarters work perfectly for these strips.
Step 2: With right sides together sew strips together using a 1/4" seam allowance.
I like to sew my strips in sets of two or three and then join the smaller sets together. I press after each seam. Make sure that you press your seams in the same direction. You may want to alternate sewing strips from the top and then from the bottom. This will prevent your strip set from getting wavy.
Step 3: Continue joining sets until you have a strip set of 10 one inch strips. The width of my strip set measured 4.75". (this measurement may vary depending on whether you are sewing a scant 1/4" seam or not.) This measurement is important because it will determine the size of the background squares. Measure the width of your strip set and remember that number.
Step 4: Use your rotary cutter and ruler and straighten one edge of the strip set.
Step 5: Now cut four 4.75" squares (or use the width measurement of your strip set) from your strip set.
Step 6: Cut two squares from background fabric the same measurement as your strip set squares. Mine are 4.75" squares. You will also need to cut four two inch squares from the background fabric.
Step 7: Use a quilter's pencil or other marking tool and draw diagonal lines on all of the background squares that you cut in step 6.
Step 8: Arrange your strip set squares like the picture below so that the strips alternate between a vertical and horizontal orientation.
Step 9: Lay the two large squares on the bottom strip set squares so that the diagonal lines you drew form the bottom point of the heart. Pin so that you will be able to sew ON the marked lines.
Step 10: Sew ON the drawn lines. Do this for each of the squares.
Step 11: Press so that the squares look like this. Notice at this point that you have two layers of the background fabric.
Step 12: Take each square and flip back one layer of the white fabric. Line up your quarter inch mark on your ruler on your stitching and trim.
The triangles on the right will go into your scrap box.
Flip down the single layer of background fabric and you will have your completed square.
Two of these form the bottom of the heart. They should look like this.
Step 13: The same process is used to complete the top of the heart. Place the four 2" squares like this. Make sure the drawn lines are in the correct position to form the heart shape.
Step 14: Sew ON the drawn lines just like you did for the bottom squares. Flip and press and trim, again just as you did for the bottom squares.
They should look like this...well, not quite like this. I didn't pin my squares and look what happened. Instead of the strips being rotated horizontal/ vertical...mine ended up like this. I did it again, and guess what? I made the same mistake TWICE.
Third time is the charm! They should look like this.
Step 15: Now it's time to put the block together. Put the bottom squares right sides together , pin, lining up the center edges and sew with a quarter inch seam. Press that seam to the left.
Now you have the bottom section of the heart. Repeat this process with the two top pieces and press that seam to the right. You'll want seams opposite to nest the seams when you sew the final two sections together.
See how the center seams lay in opposite directions.
Step 16: Pin the top and bottom sections together and sew with a 1/4" seam.
Then your heart is complete. I added 2" border strips to all sides of the heart to frame it. Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with this heart. I think a bunch of these would make a spectacular quilt. One or two might be perfect for a table topper or wall hanging for Valentine's Day. If you make one or more, I'd love to see them.