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The Heart Block


Everyone loves hearts!  There are many ways to make them.  You can piece them together , or you can cut shapes and appliqué them to your quilt.

The heart we are going to make in this lesson is very simple.  It is made from rectangles and squares.  We are going to use the technique learned in the  Square in a Square quilt block lesson.

Small squares will be placed in the corners of the rectangle and squares,  and then sewn on the diagonal to make the lines of the heart.

The first picture shows the layout of the squares.   The darker fabric is the heart fabric, underneath the small squares.  The small squares are overlapping in the picture, but you will be placing them on the fabric and sewing them one at a time.

Each square needs to  be sewn on and pressed before the next square is added.  This will give you the 1/4 inch seam allowance so the points won't get cut off when the heart is sewn to another piece of fabric.

Begin with the bottom.  Cut a rectangle 6 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.  Cut 2 squares, each  3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the small squares.

Pin one of the small squares to one of the sides of the rectangle, making sure that when it is sewn and flipped back you will get the angle of the heart.

Sew, press, and then do the same with the other side.  The completes the bottom half.

Now do the same with the top half.  This time you will be pinning squares to squares, and the part cut off will be smaller, so the square is smaller.  This is more like the Snowball Square.

After the top two square are done, sew the vertical seam, making sure you match up the "V" shape of the heart.  You may want to baste this seam first to make sure it looks right.

Once you have done this a few times, you will know exactly where to put your pins.

When I did my heart for these pictures, I found the vertical seam between the two small sections was too bulky, so I pressed it open.  Again, some people think this weakens the quilt, but the difference in the quilt top is substantial.

To finish the heart, sew the horizontal seam between the top and the bottom.  Your heart is done.  You should have 1/4 inch between the three heart points and the outer edge of the fabric.

Again, if you don't have the 1/4 inch seam allowance, your points will be cut off when you sew another piece of fabric to your heart and your work will look sloppy.  Always check, each step of the way, to make sure you have the appropriate seam allowance.  If not, use your seam ripper, and try again. Check the measurement of your small squares, and make sure the diagonal lines were drawn correctly.

This block should now measure 6 1/2 inches. 

Once you learn the basic construction of the heart block, there are many ways to make it more special.  Instead of using just one fabric for the heart, you can use a blend of fabrics, like you see in the picture at the top of the page.

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