Monday, November 6, 2017

How to make a "believe" heart...

For a number of years I would often create special gifts for family and friends from bits and pieces of fabric, lace, ribbon, beads, buttons, old brooches and other pretty things. They were gifts which employed a touch of creativity but really weren't as difficult to make as they looked.

One of those gifts was a "Believe" heart and I wondered if you'd like to make it as a Christmas gift for someone who may need a little 'believe' reminder of their own? 

I first shared this tutorial about four years ago but as it's such a pretty project it seemed a good idea to offer it once more.

Gather your favourite scraps of fabric, aged lace, glass and pearl beads, old brooches or even broken vintage earrings, a tassel, embroidery thread and a piece of leftover quilt wadding or fusible Pellon. 

I'll walk you through it step by step, ok?

What you'll need:

One, 4½ x 12 inch strip of a solid beige fabric (linen is good if you have some)
Two, 1½ x 12 inch strips of a blue background floral print
Two, 3 x 12 inch strips of a cream background floral print
3 x 9 inch strip red background floral fabric
A 12 inch length of 1 inch wide scalloped cream nylon lace
A 14 inch length of ¼ inch wide cream braid
An 8 inch length of 1 to 1 ¼ inch wide cream cotton lace
A 7 inch length of cream organza ribbon (at least ¾ inch wide)
A 1 inch diameter button, brooch, or decorative earring
A 2 inch long tassel (I tea dyed mine for an aged look)
One 6mm pearl bead
Four, 4mm pearl beads
A packet of small pearl seed beads
DMC Embroidery threads, 1 skein each of Ecru and 347
6 tea bags
12 inch square thin fusible Pellon
12 inch square backing fabric
Piece of Vliesofix or bonding paper for applique

Let's begin:

Download the free heart and wording templates here in my shop.

Trace the reverse wording onto the smooth side of your Vliesofix.
Fuse the rough side of the Vliesofix to the back of your 3 x 9 inch strip red background floral fabric.

Cut out all the letters along the traced lines.

Place the 4½ x 12 inch strip of a solid beige fabric in front of you and make a pencil mark along the bottom raw edge, 2 inches in from each end.

Peel the Vliesofix off each letter, and fuse the word ‘believe’ along the middle of the beige fabric, in the 8” space between the two pencil marks. 

Using 3 strands of the red (347) thread, chainstitch through each of the letters.

(OPTION - if you're good at machine applique you might like to satin stitch around each letter instead of hand embroidering)


Trim the block to 4 x 12 inches.

Sew a 1½ x 12” strip of blue background floral print to the top and bottom of the appliqu├ęd block.

Sew a 3 x 12 inch strip of cream background floral print to the top and bottom. 

Fuse the quilt wadding (or Pellon) to the back of the block.

Place the scalloped cream nylon lace above the top blue fabric section, leaving ¼ inch between the bottom of the lace and the blue fabric. Machine stitch in place.

Cut out the heart shape from the pattern sheet. Lay it across the block, remembering you want the wording to be on a slight angle.

Draw a pencil line around the heart but do NOT cut your fabric yet.

Cut the braid into two sections – a 6” and an 8” length. Stitch the braid in place along the top of the scalloped cream lace, and ¼ inch under the ditch between the bottom blue and cream floral sections.

Sew the cotton lace ¼ inch under the braid at the bottom of the block.

Using the Ecru thread and your pearl beads, backstitch them across the ditch between the blue floral strip and the beige wording panel. 

Lay the organza ribbon across the top right of the heart shape you’ve traced on the block, and sew down at each end, just inside the traced pencil line.


Make a gather in the middle of the ribbon by tying a thread around it and pulling through to the back before tying off.

From just under the gathered section of the ribbon bring a double thread of Ecru through to the front and thread on 8 seed beads, a 4mm pearl bead, and 2 more seed beads. 
Pull the thread through to the back of the block and secure.

Repeat this beading process, but this time with 14 seed beads, a 4mm pearl bead, and 2 more seed beads.

Sew a decorative button over the gather in the ribbon, or add a brooch or vintage earring as I have done.

Backstitch seed beads across the scallop of the cream nylon lace.

 Make little bouquets of lazy daisies in the ditch between the worded block and the blue floral strip.

Use your heart template to cut out the backing heart.

Place the tea-dyed tassel on the heart block in this manner. You need the tassel to be in line with the middle of the rounded heart peaks at the top of the block. 

Stitch in place with a scant 1/8th inch seam.

Lay the backing heart face down on the block. Keep it in line with the traced heart pencil line, and pin in place. (you could remove the brooch or earring at this point if it's easier, and put it back on after the heart is completed)

 Sew the block and the backing together with a ¼ inch seam, leaving a 3 inch opening for turning out later. Cut around the completed heart shape, and clip the corners. 

 Turn right side out, and use a rounded tool such as a large knitting needle to gently push out the edges.

 Ladder stitch the opening closed.

 I made two 'Believe' hearts, very alike, but also different.

This would be a nice project for a craft group, don't you think?
An afternoon sharing trims, fabrics, cake and tea - memories are made that way.
And how lovely that everyone would go home with a heart.

You could even organise a heart swap with sewing friends far away or what about  making one for your own sweet self?

However you make your 'Believe' heart, be sure to enjoy the process. Let your creativity come out to play and don't be afraid to finally snip off a length of your treasured vintage lace or cut into that piece of fabric you've been holding back for a special purpose. 

Go forth and make something beautiful. 
I know you can. 


Looking for new embroidery designs?
Visit The Stitchery Club HERE!


Tania said...

Jenny, this is so beautiful, thank you very much for the tutorial. I am going to attempt to make one (or more if successful) of these.

I am organising my craft room as we speak. It has been quite a while since I have done some creating, and I feel the time is right to rekindle my love of craft :)


Maria Luisa- scrap said...

This is so beautiful!!!

Jackie said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

Unknown said...

thank you vey much for this tutoril,just for Christmas but also perhaps for an another gift....

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jenny. It's a wonderful idea, for any gift-giving or encouragement one might want to do for a friend. I might even have some floral fabric around here somewhere. This was a good Monday idea and project.

Kathleen said...

Hearts are my favorite shape! Love your embellishments. Thanks for the tutorial.

Rosa said...

So beautiful.Thanks for the tutorial!!

Ondrea said...

Absolutely beautiful! I love how you have added chain stitch on top of the letters. So unique. Your ideas are endless.

Debby said...

Thank you Jenny! Your projects are always so beautiful. And a real bonus when you include the pattern and a tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Ha! I went to JoAnn's yesterday on the way to an appointment, and I found the perfect jewelish thing to put on these! I've had them on my mind since you posted this. =) It had four jewel things on it, and I had a 40% off coupon, so it was about $1 each to use with the scraps I already have. I also found larger pearl beads for $1/strand, and so I'm happy dancing because for about $2 and a bunch of scraps, I can make some nifty things for my friends!

ShirleyC said...

I still have mine that you gave away on a blog post a few years ago! That word will always be special to me! Thank you again!