Tuesday, August 11, 2015

TUTORIAL - "be still my beating patchwork heart"...

I'm always looking for ways to use my fabric scraps - things like leftovers from layer cakes, charm packs or jelly rolls. This pretty heart was inspired by a Tilda jelly roll which is also why I gave it the name "be still my beating patchwork heart'.
 Tilda kind of gets my heart going with deep love for those pretty pastel prints.

I've prepared the graph and cutting instructions for the fabrics as a free download.
You can head over HERE to my shop and grab it now before we start, okay?

There are seven feature fabrics, and one cream solid in my heart.

Reading from the pattern sheet you've just downloaded cut your fabrics and then we can make a start!

Row 1:

 You will need two, 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces of your solid cream fabric, and two, 1 1/2" squares of your C fabric.

Turn the 1 1/2" squares over to the wrong side and draw a diagonal pencil line across them..

Place each of them right side down on one end of your solid cream pieces so that the diagonal lines on each square are facing opposite directions...

Machine sew the two pieces of fabric together along the drawn pencil line. Do this with both sets...

Cut away below the sewn line leaving a 1/4" seam...

Press the seam open...

Sew the two sections together to create the first peak of your heart block, pressing the seams open.

Repeat these steps to make the second peak of your heart using the two 1 1/2" squares from your F fabric.

Sew the top row of your heart together by alternating these two heart peaks with the three 2 1/2" squares of cream solid fabric.

Rows 2 & 3:

You will need the two, 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces of F fabric, and two, 1 1/2" squares of cream solid.

Sew these together to create an inverted peak (as you did in row 1) using these photos for guidance...

Sew the 2 1/2" square of C fabric below this section.

Sew together your 2 1/2" squares of G and B fabrics as shown below...

Flip one in the opposite direction and sew them either side of your inverted peak...

Following the same steps as before take your two, 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces of Fabric E, and your two, 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces of Fabric D.
Sew 1 1/2" squares of cream solid to one end of each piece as we've done previously to create four pieces that look like this. 

NOTE: Fabric E pieces face the same way, not opposite. Fabric D pieces face the same way, not opposite...

Press your seams open...

Sew one of each fabric together to create two long rectangular side sections, and sew them at each end of the row. 
Sew a 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle of solid cream down both ends to complete rows 2 and 3...

Row 4:

For this row you'll need two, 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces of solid cream, and two, 2 1/2" squares of Fabric F.
Draw a diagonal line across the back of your Fabric F squares.

Lay them down onto the end of each piece of cream solid so that their diagonal lines are facing in opposite directions...

Sew the individual sets together along their pencil lines as you've done in previous steps. Trim away the excess leaving a 1/4" seam. Press the seams open...

Sew them either side of your Fabric A 2 1/2" square.

Row 5 and Assembly:

Take your two, 1 1/2" squares of Fabric B and after drawing a diagonal line across the back of them lay them right side down onto the corners of your 2 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangles of cream solid fabric as shown below...

Sew along the line as before, trim the excess, press the seam open...

Sew the two sections together to complete the fifth row...

Now sew all five rows together...

...and you've made your own "be still my beating patchwork heart" block!

This would be lovely repeated as a large quilt, or featured on a bag or pillow.
But do you want to see what I made with it?

I have a little side table by my sewing chair that I bought about five years ago when Mr E was teaching in a little country town, and it occurred to me that I'd never made a table runner to sit on it. I just use runners or linens of any size to cover it and never considered sewing one 'to size'. 
Until this week...

It's added some lovely softness to my living room and I can't believe I waited this long to make it...

But you know, I didn't stop there.

I don't use a hoop when I stitch, instead I rest the heel of my hands on a small pillow, my stitching pillow I call it. It's lovely and firm, kind of a 'half pillow' really as it's only meant for decoration, but it's the exact size for my needs.

I always slip a small pillowcase over it as I sew because I like my hands to rest on smooth cotton, but it's not secure and tends to flop around and slip off sometimes.

After I'd completed my heart project I still had quite a lot of jelly roll strips left, so I decided to use them to make a proper cover for my little pillow, one that could be tied on and also look beautiful!

It only took about an hour to make using the jelly roll fabrics and a piece of fusible Pellon, and sits snugly over my old stitching pillow.
The little ties hold it neatly in place...

You could make something similar as a full sized pillow, or line it and add handles for a bag. 
Not everything we make has to be time intensive, does it?!

Start looking through your scraps and see what lovely simple projects you can use them in.

(and if you've got more ideas leave them in the comments below so we can all be inspired!)

Hope you enjoy sewing a heart of your own!


  1. Beautiful projects Jenny and thank you very much for sharing a tutorial for them! Just have to find the time to make them now!! Christine x

  2. Simplesmente....MARAVILHOSO!!!!!

  3. Lovely heart runner Jenny - so pretty! And super cute covering your little cushion with tie ones.

  4. What a beautiful heart table runner. Love the soft pastel fabrics used. Thank You for this beautiful pattern and the tip on how you embroider your special projects.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing the great tutorial on the Heart Shaped Block. I love how you made the block into a small quilt to top your cabinet; it works perfectly. And all your other craft ideas were wonderful too. Always so nice to stop by and visit your blog.

  6. Two very sweet finished projects Jenny. Thank you so much for the gorgeous heart tutorial. Looks so lovely in the Tilda fabrics xx

  7. Tu mesa ha quedado preciosa. Gracias por el tutorial. Besos.

  8. Once again Jenny you have put together a fabulous tutorial! Your table runner just turned out beautiful. Did you know that Nancy Zeiman, on her blog, is doing a contest with people making table runners. Anyone who makes a fall table runner can enter. Your choice of soft pastels looks marvelous with your décor. I also really like your tied pillow case cover. I have never thought about tying it closed, but it is a brilliant solution that would work for any pillow! You are a wonderful creator of unique, individual ideas. Thank you so much for sharing. Have a wonderful creative day!

  9. That is a lovely table topper. The heart directions were completely differently from what I thought when I looked at it, but so simple. I will see what I can come up with tomorrow when I'm back in the sewing room. The rest of today is wrecked already. =)

  10. Your work is just so beautiful Jenny, from the choice of fabric, keeping in mind that you could never go wrong with Tilda; to the precision used in making the project. This would be ideal for the tops of bedside tables as well. Thanks for the tutorial and the inspiration. Your posts always put a smile on my heart. :)

  11. Gràcies pel tutorial. Un treball fantàstic!!! Petons.

  12. Thank you for the stunningly beautiful heart pattern and tutorial!

  13. Thank you Jenny, they are beautiful.Your head must be bursting with lovely ideas, you probably wish for more hours in your day.Hugs Shirley

  14. Wonderful design and tutorial Jenny. Thanks so much. Love the idea of your tied pillow. May try that with a cushion. Thanks heaps for all your lovely inspiration , time and energy.

  15. Perfect side table and I LOVE your Heart table topper you have created to custom fit it. Lovely pillow cover to match also. Your home must be so very comfortable and reflective of your Gentle Domestic design style. Stunning Creative Bliss...


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