Heart Tutorial

As promised here is the tutorial for the String Heart I designed recently.  I used the paper pieced method to construct the pieces for this block.  There is a wonderful tutorial over at Film in The Fridge check it out if you have never used this method before.

You will need 4 pieces of paper cut to the following dimensions. (I used newsprint because I it tears away easier.  However any paper will work.)
- 6 7/8" X 6 7/8" square - 5"x 5" square - 7"X7"square - 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" square
The 8 1/2" and 5" squares are used for the heart and the 6 7/8" and 7" squares are used for the background.

You will want to cut a variety of strips which vary in width.  I chose 1" -to 2 1/2" strips in red and white.

Take one square and run a strip diagonally from corner to corner.  Use one of your wider strips to do this step, eventually we will be cutting the square in half.  You can use a glue stick to secure the first strip or pin the strip to the paper.

After your first strip is secured place a second strip, right side down on first strip.  Make sure you choose a strip long enough to cover the edge of your paper when this strip is turned. Don't worry about the excess hanging over the edge of the paper, you will be trimming your blocks once they are complete. Align edge and sew 1/4 seam allowance.  Sew right through the paper. Make sure your machine is set on a short stitch length.  The perforations caused by the needle make removing the paper backing easier.  Once first strip is sewn press open seam with dry iron.  I'm a bit lazy with this step and usually just finger press.

Repeat this step with next strip, laying it right side down on top of the piece you just sewed.  Continue in this manner until all four sheets of paper are covered with fabric.  Like this.

Press entire block open with a dry iron.  This time you have to iron, (press! I mean press) :(

Once all of your pieces are pressed, turn blocks fabric side down.  Following paper square as a guide trim block with straight edge to the size of the paper.

Now you can remove the paper backing.  The needle makes a nice perforated edge for you to follow but you still may need to score the peroration with your finger nail before the paper will tear.

Now take each of your heart blocks (mine are red) and cut them in half on the diagonal going the same direction as the fabric. Set smaller triangles aside.

Now take smaller background square and cut in half diagonally as you did for the above. Align large heart triangles with background triangles on diagonal edge, right sides together.  NOTE: The background triangles are not going to be the same size as the large heart triangles!

Sew on diagonal with 1/4" seam and press open towards background.

Using a straight edge trim excess red, making a block width of 6 1/2".  Now sew lower half of heart together using 1/4" seam.  Press open and set aside.

Take larger background triangle and cut in half diagonally.  Then take first of these triangles and cut in half again.  Take second triangle and cut to 5 1/2"

Lay pieces out as follows. With 5 1/2" triangle in the center.

Sew outside background triangles to heart triangles first and press seam.  Then sew 5 1/2" triangle in between the two units you just made. Press seam.

 Trim off excess points, aligning ruler with top edge of background triangle.  

You will now have two pieces that look like the above.  Sew those pieces together.  This should give you a 12x 12 1/2" block. (If it does not it is entirely my fault--just ask my daughter!)

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