Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick
This is a fun and quick little project, perfect for Valentine's Day. This is a simple quilt block, easy enough for beginners. It is called a "mended heart" block because you make two blocks in different color combinations, cut both in half and patch them back together using one half from each block. The blocks are embellished with stitching before being cut apart so they are already quilted when they are sewn back together.
There are many ways to put them together once they are completed. One block makes a cute seasonal wall hanging. Two blocks can be sewn together to make a placemat. These blocks are also lots of fun to swap. Whatever your heart desires!
| ||This is how the Mended Heart quilt block will look when it is completed. These are made in pairs so the other block has a white background on the bottom (you can see the other below at the bottom of the article).|
Supply List (makes two finished 8 1/2 inch blocks)
- 2 9-inch squares of background fabric
- 2 9-inch squares of backing fabric
- 2 9-inch square pieces of cotton batting fabric
- 2 hearts cut from different fabrics (to make a template for your heart, fold a 6 inch square piece of fabric in half and trace half of a heart, starting from the folded edge. Cut out heart and unfold. You can make your heart skinny and long or short and round. You can even combine different styles of hearts in one project (just make sure you make each style in sets of two).
When selecting your block fabrics, think about how you want your finished project to look. Do you want all of the backing fabric to be the same so the squares all look similar on the back? If you want the backgrounds to all be light colored, try using different white-on-white prints or combine white and ecru prints. The variations are endless which is part of what makes this project so fun!
Sewing the Mended Heart Quilt Blocks
|Stack your blocks as follows:|
- Backing fabric right side down
- Batting square
- Background fabric right side up
- Heart cut out, right side up (the heart should be centered in the square)
- Pin through center of heart to hold it in place while you sew it.
|Take your stacked block to your sewing machine and applique the heart in place using a wide zig-zag stitch. Adjust the stitch length so that it is a close zig-zag, but not a satin stitch. Sewing machines vary, but on mine, I used a width of 4 and a stitch length of .8. It works best if you begin stitching on a straight section on the side of the heart. As you go around the curves, use your fingertips to gently guide the block through the machine. Lift the presser foot to release tension as you go around the sharper curves. |
When you approach the inside point of the heart, slow down your stitching and stitch until the edge of the zig-zag on the inside of the heart hits the middle of the point (the outside edge will look like it has gone past). Leave the needle down on the inside of the heart, lift the presser foot and turn the block to begin stitching in the new direction. The stitches should overlap the previous ones and make a perfect point.
|Here's the fun part! Using the various decorative stitches on your sewing machine, stitch across your block from one edge to another. This both embellishes and quilts your block. Repeat this process using different stitches and thread colors until the block is completely quilted.|
Go to the next step: Cutting and Reassembling the Mended Heart Quilt Blocks
Looking for more fun and easy quilting projects? Check out these books!
|This image shows the back view of the stitched block. I used a three step zig-zag to trace around the heart shape again.|