Hearts on Quilts


heart collage gif (3154 bytes)There is one motif which appears over and over in quilts from all periods of quilt history - the heart! So, whether Valentine's Day is approaching or you are looking for a heart quilt to make for a loved one, here is a feature article dedicated to hearts on quilts.

Red hearts in a line (1079 bytes)

 Whether you appliqué your quilts or piece them there are heart designs and motif ideas on the Web and in many quilt books.

One of the loveliest collections of quilts in a Web gallery are those of Suzanne Marshall. Her exquisite quilts draw from many historical sources and many feature hearts in the designs. The wall quilt made for Mother's Day and for her parent's anniversary are especially "heart felt".

heartappl2.gif (2069 bytes)If you aren't ready to design your own appliqué motif images you can use Electric Quilt to help you. The 4 Heart design at the right shows a plain block from EQ3 and block I filled in with a fabric image. By combining and playing with images on your computer you can design your own appliqué hearts. There are other quilt design programs which will also allow you to design heart projects.

Mary Graham shows how to needle turn appliqué around the edge of a heart here.

heart2.gif (689 bytes)Are you a Paper Foundation Piecer? You can have some heart-fun with paper piecing, too.

One of my early paper piecing projects was a set of signature blocks for a group of us to give a friend who was getting married. I've reproduced two of the blocks for you to use. The wide diagonal band across the center is for the signatures. I used pale pink fabric, ironed freezer paper to the back to make it easier to write on and made a little cut-out "window" from a 3 x 5" card so each signature would be sure to fit in the strip when I sewed it. I put a bunch of strips in a baggie, added a Micron permanent pen and passed it around to collect signatures. I then paper pieced the hearts, using both regular and mirror images of two blocks for more variety. Fabrics were all red-white-pink and some had little heart images.

If you put a narrow plain sashing between the blocks the heart will show up the best.

This is Block 1,
click to see a larger, numbered paper foundation block image.heartpfp3.gif (2235 bytes)

heartpfp2.gif (2216 bytes)


This is Block 2,
click to see a larger, numbered paper foundation image


And here is a paper foundation pieced HEART Block to use for a Signature/Memory Quilt.

If you have a computerized sewing machine that uses a hoop, you can stitch a heart to applique or stitch on the surface of your fabric.

Kae Barron has invented K-Lace to make designs on hoop-type embroidery sewing machines that look hand-tatted or almost like bobbin lace. I have a Pfaff 7570 and have just bought her "Romantic" collection to play with on my machine. I think this idea has some exciting potential for quilters.heart applique image gif (934 bytes)

You can paint, block print, rubber stamp, stencil....

If you like to work with fabric paints or pigments you can put your hearts on with brushes, rubber stamps with heart designs , by carving potato stamps, linoleum blocks or any of the many ways to apply pigments and dyes to fabric. Here's a simple heart shape from EQ3, but you can draw your own freehand, too.

Some Web sites for you to visit for Heart Inspiration:

Heart Clip Art: (thanks to these sites for the clip art used here)

Some Gallery Images of Quilts with Hearts

Heart Inspired Quilt Patterns

Some History - and computer design

Red hearts in a line (1079 bytes)

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Susan Druding

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