Block of the Issue:
January 2010

Maureen Greeson © 2010

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This "Block of the Issue" is taken from a little vintage heart pillow I bought and disassembled in order to get the dimensions and pattern pieces correct. What I liked about this pillow when I first saw it is that the ruffle did not appear to be "stuffed" into the top of the heart. When I took it apart, the reason was clear. The ends of the ruffle are gradually made smaller so that the completed pillow looks neat and well finished.

The original pillow is made from organza and has a delicate rose simply stitched on one side. I wanted to adapt it to crazy quilt, and I decided that curved piecing was the best to use to maintain a soft look. Choose at least one delicate fabric such as a lightweight silk to incorporate into your piecing. This will be the fabric you use for the ruffle, and thin fabric will be the easiest to gather and outline your heart. I've done the entire heart using one color silk. I used machine stitching to set the pieces apart from each other. Velvets, printed fancies, etc. will look great.

Click here to download a PDF of the BOI

Be sure to start with a larger piece of fabric backing than the heart pattern and piece beyond the heart shape. I draw out the piecing I want on most of my projects and use the freezer paper technique when I have curved or other odd shaped piecing to do. Many of you may know this technique, but for those of you who are new, here is a simple run through it. Make a reverse copy of the piecing in the drawing. Trace this out onto freezer paper, number, and cut out your pieces. Iron these to the wrong side of the fabrics you've chosen and cut out, leaving 3/8" all around. Clip odd shapes such as curves almost to the edge of the freezer paper, use the iron to press the fabric to the freezer paper side, remove the paper and stitch the pieces down. Some people top stitch these areas by machine with the idea they will cover the stitching with seam treatments. I never want to take the chance it will work out, so I like to appliqué the pieces into place.

After you have finished your embellishment, lay the paper pattern for the heart on the back and trace around it including 1/4"seam as on pattern. This will allow for any pulling your stitching has made. Cut the heart out. Use a handkerchief hem, or you can also add a very narrow lace along the hem edge of the ruffle. Gather where indicated on the ruffle either by hand or machine, and with right sides together, baste it to the edge of the pieced heart. Be sure to start with the narrow portion of the ruffle in the center top of the heart.

The backing is made up of two rectangles of fabric (each 6 1/2" x 10"). Using a basting stitch, sew these two rectangles together along one 10" edge using a 1/2" seam. Press open. With right sides together (the ruffle will be in the middle) center the seam you've just made down the center of the heart. Using the newly drawn heart described in the above paragraph as your stitching guide, sew around the heart completely (don't leave an opening for turning). Trim backing, clip curves, remove the 1/2" basted seam in the backing, turn, press if desired, stuff with preferred filling, and hand whip the seam in the back. Done!

Note: When I make any crazy quilting project, I almost always do my backing in two pieces. Should an embellishment be damaged or a bead or button come loose, I can reopen the hand stitched backing and easily do repairs and restitch the opening.

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