Monday, November 12, 2012

Quiltlet #3: Hearts Rising


 
(For my introduction to the Quiltlet project, click here.)

This quiltlet makes an especially good Valentine's day bookmark/wall hanging/bracelet. Use six fabrics that contrast against each other. Do a rainbow. Or how about a gradation?


For this tutorial, we're going to make the quiltlet that's at the top/left side of this post.

1. From each of your six fabrics, cut a strip 1 1/2" wide by 4" long.

2. Subcut each strip into two pieces, one a  1 1/2" square (= "the square"). The remaining piece will be 2 1/2" (=" the long piece").

3. Decide what order you want to arrange your fabric in. The fabric that you want for the top heart we will call fabric A.

4. Place fabric A square good side up, and the long fabric A piece good side down on it, so the bottom edges align. Stitch them together. (Tips: Stitch with the back of the square facing up, not the long piece, to avoid unstitching later. Make sure you pull a long lead - at least 8" - of bobbin and top thread, and hold those tails back for your first few stitches, or else your machine may swallow your fabric.)

Open it up.  Press seam allowance toward the #2 piece.  It looks something like this:


5. Place the fabric B square even with the bottom edge of  piece #2.
Stitch piece #3 in place.

6. Add the next piece, the long Fabric B piece. Its bottom edge should be even with piece 3.


(6a. Unlike the drawings, each new heart piece will slightly overlap the heart before it. Here's how it's really going to look: 

7. Next comes the square from fabric C. 




8. Now you've hopefully got the idea: 




Keep on going til you've finished six hearts. Now it should look like the drawing in step 6a., above.

9. Trim away any threads that show.

10. Optional: For easier handling, press this strip onto a slightly larger piece of fusible interfacing, or paper-backed fusible web (Use a teflon press sheet or scrap paper to keep the iron clean, and press from both sides.) 

11. Using sharp scissors, trim the strip  into curves, as shown by the dotted lines.  

Once it's cut, it looks something like this: 


12. Place that strip onto a coordinating piece of felt, at least 1/2" larger than the strip all the way around.

13. If you put fusible web on the back of the hearts, now fuse the strip onto the felt. (Use a press cloth and lower the temperature slightly from the recommendation, if the felt contains polyester).  If you put a fusible interfacing on the back, use a glue stick around the edges of the piece and press in to place on the felt backing. In the diagram below, the felt is red.




14. Trim the outer to within 1/4" of the strip edges.



15. On top, use an invisible thread, or thread that matches each heart color. On bottom use thread that is invisible, or matches the felt color. Check on a scrap that the tension is right and doesn't show from the back to the front. Do a straight-stitch around each heart, just about 1/8" inside each.

16. Load the machine with a constrasting or matching thread (I used a variegated rainbow thread, which has dark blue, red, yellow, and green). Zig-zag stitch all the way around the outside edges of the hearts.



17. Add sew in snaps, stitching the "innie half" just above the bottom point point  of the bottom heart, and the "outie" the back side of the top heart. A small loop at the top back will make it suitable for hanging!


VARIATIONS
For this plaid/homespun version, I  trimmed the backing felt even with the raw edges of the hearts, and then did a corded edging all the way around. I also did a slightly different trimming job than appears in step 11 - I only trimmed the outermost corners, as shown in the dotted lines in the diagram on the right.

 

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