Create experiences that leave you in awe, for these will be the highlights of your life. ~Ryan Blair

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Chocolate Hearts

February 2015.... Heart Month

Here begins my new Pieced Strings Series for the New Year... After having fun creating these mini quilt blocks (last year) using pieced strings from my fabric stash; I am ready to embellish the blocks.

Instructions for preparing the blocks using narrow fabric strings, are also shown in these projects, available on my Craftsy page:
BLUE MOON
IS THERE COFFEE?
OH.. LOLLIPOP!

I will not be repeating that portion of the mini quilt, here on the blog, as these will be available for free download, to compliment this series.  (Find the links on the right-hand column of this blog.)

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1.) PINKS, REDS, WHITES

I have chosen my pink block to embellish for my first mini quilt project in this series. I felt this color theme fit perfectly with the month of FEBRUARY.

PINK BLOCK -- FRONT

PINK BLOCK -- BACK

To help hold the strings from shifting too much, I added the batting layer to the wrong side of the top fabric piece; and then, added some stitched lines. To add the lines on this pink block, I used an asterisk shape. Next step, is to prepare the templates for the applique design.


MAKING YOUR TEMPLATES
To make your heart templates, use a small piece of paper, and fold it in half. Then cut out your hearts in a variety of sizes. Trim them, until you have the shape and sizes, you desire.

In the following photo, the hearts shown are in three sizes:  Measurements are across the widest part (from side to side only). Large: (4.5"); Medium: (2.5"); Small: (2")

Make your hearts in the sizes you desire for your quilt block. Use as many or as few as desired.

PAPER TEMPLATES -- HEARTS

Now that your heart templates are made, you will need to decide what type of fabric you will use for each of them. As we are focused on using fabric scraps, why not try one of these options:

1.) FABRIC STRIPS: 
Sew together several strips of fabric until they are wide enough to use for your hearts.

2.) SCRAPPY FABRICS: 
Use fabric scraps and stitch together enough pieces to make unique scrappy hearts.

3.) WHITE FABRIC: 
Start with a square of fabric and cover it with fancy stitching, in two or more thread colors. Fuse or pin a piece of medium-weight interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric piece before starting to add the stitches. Then cut out your hearts from this embellished fabric.


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Now, what could be better then adding hearts to this mini quilt done in browns to remind us of yummy chocolate hearts that are everywhere as Valentine's Day approaches.

The BEST THING about these chocolate hearts is that they are CALORIE-FREE!! 

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MY VERSION:

I really wanted to experiment with embellishing a fabric square with fancy machine stitching to see what it looked like; and it was pretty. However, since my background block was not well suited to hearts made from these squares; I had to rethink my design.

EMBELLISHING WITH FANCY STITCHING

So if you need to use another color, why not chocolate brown? They really did pop when placed on the pink background; and I was happy to try out an optional layout.

MY CHOCOLATE HEARTS

Since, I had to rethink what applique design would really work on my chosen block, I thought adding another element would really bring out my new design. Thus, I constructed an envelope template to add to the block. Sew together several strips to make your envelope fabric and cut out when ready.


ENVELOPE TEMPLATE
To make the envelope template, find a paper envelope; and open it up to see the shape you'll need to draw out, if needed. My envelope is 4 1/4" wide from side to side; and from the bottom edge to top tip is: 4" high. (Make sure you add an extra allowance to the envelope flap, (bottom edge of flap) so it can be placed correctly underneath the bottom section of the envelope.)


PLACEMENT OF ENVELOPE FLAP


QUILT BLOCK CONSTRUCTION

Once the templates are prepared; trace shapes onto the paper-side of the fusible web. Then iron to your chosen fabrics and cut out around each template. Position them on the quilt block and when happy with the arrangement, fuse them in place.

Machine (or hand) stitch around each applique. I added a fancy stitch along the seam lines on the outside portion of the envelope for added embellishment. Thread colors used matched the fabric colors on this project.

To fasten the backing fabric layer to the batting/top fabric layer, stitch around the applique design, through all three layers. Add any other stitching, as desired. (You may use temporary spray or pins to hold the layers together, while you add the stitching.)

Prepare the binding and add to the quilt block. I will not be showing that step, at this time; as I wish to consider combining several of these blocks into larger projects. These will be determined later.

CHOCOLATE HEARTS QUILT BLOCK

A pattern will be placed on my Craftsy page, when it is ready. (Templates will be included in the pattern.)


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So what I have decided to do, is this:
2015 SERIES OBJECTIVES
  1. PROVIDE an instructions only tutorial (no templates) on this blog. 
  2. IF YOU would prefer to download a pattern that includes the applique templates, I plan to post a complete pattern on my Craftsy page. (Each pattern will be available for a FREE download once it is posted; and only for the duration of that month.)
  3. PATTERN will be available to purchase as a single pattern; once that month is over, for anyone that missed out. However, the blog post will remain available, if you choose to draw out your own templates for the project.
  4. ONCE this series has run its course, I plan to also provide a 'templates only pattern' available for purchase to include the complete series of templates.
  5. PLAN TO provide at least six new applique designs for this series, in this calendar year.
  6. BLOG entry will include photos and instructions to embellish the mini quilt block.  
  7. FINISHING of each of these blocks is up to you. I will be leaving the binding until later... (so as to explore other possibilities in using these blocks.) 


Happy Stitching!!




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