Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have two Valentine's Mini Quilts to share with you. 

The first one I started around 4 years ago.  I started with a pack of die-cut hearts that I bought from Keepsake Quilting more than 20 years ago!  I picked out my favorite of the red hearts in the pack and embroidered them to 6-inch squares of muslin using black embroidery floss.  Unfortunately, I obviously forgot how to do a blanket stitch and had 4 of them completed before I realized I did the blanket stitch backwards. 

Two years later, I found the blocks in one of my storage ottomans, figured my family would never know the embroidery was backwards and finished the remaining 2 blocks the same way.  I hand quilted just outside each of the hearts, added black sashing and a black tone-on-tone fabric for the back and binding. 

I've been using this mini quilt for a few years.  For the months where I still don't have any mini quilts yet, I alternate between this one with hearts and my 4th of July Flag mini quilt.

I started the second Valentine mini quilt in January.  I don't have very many red fabrics in my stash or scraps (a situation I intend to remedy), so I auditioned pink and purple strips from my scrap baskets.  None of the purple strips made the final cut.

I made one string foundation block using a scrap of muslin. 

To get the heart shape, I traced around a foam heart decoration from A.C. Moore, then traced that heart onto a square of Kona White.  Next I cut away 1/4" inside the traced heart then basted the string foundation block so it fit in the heart shape. 

I originally wanted the strips to run diagonally across the heart, but decided I liked the vertical strips instead.  I have never done any reverse applique  before this project, but I enjoyed it.  I will probably do it again (maybe for an Easter egg block).

My original plan was to do big stitch hand quilting using pretty pink perle cotton, but after just a few stitches, I thought it looked awful so I ripped it all out.  I think the needle I used was too large because it  was puckering the fabric and the stitching just generally looked B-A-D.  Then I decided to hand quilt the block using regular thread - this was during the 2-week period I was without my sewing machine.  I did hand quilt the inside of the heart using pink thread and stitching in the ditch between all the strips.  I started to hand quilt the background and got about 1/4 of the way finished before deciding I really would like to use this mini quilt this month, so I ripped out all the white thread and machine quilted the background grid.

The backing fabric is a tone-on-tone pink heart fabric from Joann's Fabrics and the binding is the remnants of a fucshia fat quarter (also from Joann's).  The whole mini quilt was made with stash fabrics - nothing purchased for this project!  The finished product is gracing my cubicle wall at work now.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your special someone!

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