5 November 2014

A Little Happy Patchy Heart Quilt Along ~ Week 2 Appliqued Hearts and Piecing the Quilt Front


Welcome to week 2 of the Patchy Heart QAL.  I hope after last week, that you all have a stack of pretty 4 patches! This week, we're going to make the heart appliqued blocks and piece together the quilt top.  

Appliqued Hearts

The first thing that you will need to do is to print this template.  To do so highlight the picture below, then 'Right' click on your mouse, then select 'open in a new window' and  then print using the keys  'CTLR' and 'P'.  (If you have any problems with this, let me know and I'll email it over to you!)


'A little happy' tip.....I transferred the heart onto a sturdy piece of card, this makes it so much quicker to draw around.  (It's also a lovely size for making little hanging hearts, so I'm sure that it will come in useful in the future!) 

It's Bondaweb time.  Bondaweb by Vilene is the most amazing product, it is a fusible, iron on, double sided adhesive sheet and makes your raw edge applique projects a doddle.   If you're not familiar with using it, here's a step by step guide.

Firstly, trace around the heart template in pencil on to the paper side of the Bondaweb, repeat a further 14 times, leaving a smallish gap in between each heart. (You should have 15 hearts in total)


 Roughly cut out the hearts as shown below, leaving a small border.
The next step is to fuse the rough cut Bondaweb hearts on to the fifteen mini pieces that you had left over from last weeks cutting out session.  Take one roughly cut Bondaweb heart and one of your fabric pieces, place the Bondaweb mesh side down (paper side facing upwards) and iron on to the wrong side of your fabric.  You'll need to iron for about 10 seconds, moving your iron around so as not to scorch the fabric. The heat of your iron melts the adhesive mesh and sticks the bondaweb to the fabric.  Mind your fingers as this stage the fabric will be hot!
Neatly cut out the heart along your traced pencil line and peel away the paper backing.  This job is made much easier by scratching the paperside of the Bondaweb with a needle or pin and then lifting the paper away.
Now take one of your 7 1/2" Kona Squares cut last week, position the heart at the centre of the square, take your time with this, you will not be able to move the heart once you have pressed it, when you're happy iron as before.
That's it, the heart is now bonded to the fabric.  Whilst it is very secure it would not stand up to prolonged use, so you will now need to be stitch it in place.  For this, I prefer to use my standard sewing machine foot and a small straight stitch.  I used white thread, but you could totally change the look of your quilt by using a contrasting colour, it's up to you!  


Try to get as close to the edge as possible (my stitching was aprox 1- 3mm from the edge) this will help prevent fraying in the future.  As a quilt will potentially get lots of washing in its life time, I stitched around each heart 3 times for added strength and durability.  Once you've done this, pull the ends of the threads through to the back, knot and carefully snip them away aprox 1/2" from the knot.



Repeat this process for the remaining 14 hearts.


Assembling the Quilt Top

Now its the fun part.......using the following sketch as a guide, lay out your fifteen 4 patch blocks and fifteen heart blocks.


When making my quilt top, I tried to get an even spread of colour and fabric designs.  I found squinting at it quite useful, take your time and keep playing until you get a layout that is pleasing to your eye.
When you are happy, put each row in to a little pile, making sure that you do not get the order mixed up.  I made myself some little alphabet cards to help me from getting my rows in a muddle.  (A being the top row..... F being the bottom row)
 You're now going to stitch the blocks together to form each row.  Remember if you switched machine foots for your applique to pop your 1/4" sewing machine foot back on!  If you're feeling confident, you could chain sew and work on all the rows at the same time, as I did when I made my little patchwork bag HERE.  Alternatively, work on one row at time.

::EDITED TO ADD::  If you didn't use a 1/4" foot to stitch your four patches, you will find that the Heart Blocks are slightly larger than your 4 Patch Blocks.  To rectify trim your Heart Blocks to the same size as your 4 Patch Blocks, ensuring that you trim evenly from all four sides, ensuring that your heart remains centred and the blocks remain square.

Once you have stitched your rows, you will need to press the seams to one side.  As we did last week, press the stitches first and then press the seams on each row in alternate directions, as indicated by the arrows on the picture below.
 Keep going, you're nearly there!!!!!


You're now going to join the rows.  Starting with the top two rows, as we did for the 4 patch blocks, nest the seams and pop pins in.  This will ensure that you get nice neat joins where you're blocks meet.


Sew together and then press. (The direction of pressing at this step does not matter). Repeat the process adding Row C and continue until all 6 rows are sewn together.
The final stage of the quilt top is to add the border on the outside.  Now hands up, it wasn't until I was editing all my pictures, that I realised that I forgot to take any pictures of this stage.....doh......I'm so sorry!!!!!

So albeit on a slightly smaller scale, in my best 'Blue Peter' voice, here's one I prepared earlier (well is a completely different quilt but the process is the same).....

Take a 2 1/4" x full width of fabric strips of Kona cotton cut last week and pin it to the right hand side of your quilt top, use lots of pins. (Pic 1)  Don't panic, the strip will be longer than the length of your quilt top.  Stitch in place and press. (Pic 2)  Finally trim away the excess at each end (Pic 3)



Repeat for the left hand side, then add the top strip, followed finally by the bottom strip.


That's it you're done, you should now have a beautiful Patchy Heart Quilt Top!!

 As always, if you have any questions, please do pop me an email or leave a comment below and I'll do all that I can to help.

Next week we'll be making a layering and quilting, so I look forward to seeing you then and don't forget so that I can take a peek, if you share any pictures on Instagram or Facebook, tag me or use the hashtag:

#alittlehappyqal

Happy Quilting!

4 comments:

  1. I am in total awe of the whole quilting process, hoping to do a quilting class in my local area next year. X

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  2. My quilting class has been stopped this year. I've only made one patchwork quilt so far! These instructions are very good.

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  3. Hi Sarah and thanks for the very clear instructions. Cannot start just yet ( have all day card workshop here at home on Saturday and busy prepping for that) but hope to do it in future. X

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  4. Your tips are all so great Sarah! Thank you so much for this. I finally bought some batting for the quilt top that I made earlier in the summer, so I will especially look forward to reading the next stage to see what I should be doing next! xx

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo