Tonight I’m teaching a class to some ladies in our Clubhouse. This is a group of ladies who can’t get to our daytime classes and guild meetings. Some are experienced stitchers; some are beginners. That means we try to select projects that can be done by all levels of ability and also we try to keep them to around 3 hours in length.
We’re making a Valentine Table Topper tonight. With just one more step, this could be a wall-hanging. With smaller dimensions, it could be mug rugs or candle mats. I’m doing a series of visuals and have chosen to make them much smaller than the table topper, to conserve space and fabric. These visuals will make great mug rugs or candle mats. So, let’s get on with the tutorial so you can join us and make a great table topper for the holiday ahead.
Hearts Table Topper
Basic Sewing kit – Scissors, thread, pins, seam ripper, rotary cutter and ruler, cutting mat
PDF included for heart
Fabrics, as follows:
Background Fabric – fat quarter or 1/2 yard quilting cotton, color of your choice
Hearts and Inner Border – 1/2 yard quilting cotton, coordinated color
Outer Border – 1/3 yard quilting cotton, color of choice
Backing fabric – 3/4 yard quilting cotton, or piece the back with leftovers from above fabrics
Batting – 25″x25″ low-loft
Other: 1/3 yard 2-sided fusible webbing
Preparing the strips:
Cut your inner border strips. Cut 2 strips 1″x18″”. Cut 2 strips 1″x 20″. You will trim these as you stitch.
Cut your outer border strips. Cut 2 strips 3″ x 20″. Cut 2 strips 3″ x 26″ . You will trim these as you stitch.
Cut the inner square, 17″x17″.
Cut your batting 25″ x 25″.
Part 1. Creating the Hearts Block
A. Trace the heart pattern on the paper side of the fusible eight (8) times. Iron this fusible onto the chosen fabric for the hearts. Let cool, then cut the hearts out and remove the paper from the back of the hearts.
B. Cut a 17″ square of background fabric. Fold the fabric square in half and half again. You will have a square folded in quarters like the pink at the top of this photo.
You have now quartered the fabric.
Fold it one more time, on the diagonal.
Finger press all sides. Open the square and look to make sure all the lines are visible. Hopefully you can see the lines in this photo. The lines are going to be a guide for placing the hearts so it is important to be sure you can see them.
C. Lay the hearts on the top of the fabric square, using the fold lines to determine placement of the hearts. The point at the bottom of the heart and the “v” at the top of the heart should line up with a pressed line on the background fabric. Start with three and line them up so that the edges of the hearts touch. Do not overlap the hearts.
Once you have three in place, press them with a hot iron. Place another heart on either side of the three fused hearts and once they are lined up and edges touch the fused hearts, you are ready to fuse them as well. Continue until all hearts are fused in place. The lovely star design in the center is a bonus!
E. Trim the background square to 15 1/2″ square. Lay the batting (25″x25″) down, then center the square in the center of the batting. (This is the first mini sample so there’s just one heart in the center rather than eight little ones. Hope it doesn’t confuse anyone!)
Now we are beginning our “Quilt As You Go”. Yes, I know, there’s no backing yet. Don’t worry!! You are going to stitch around the heart, either using a buttonhole stitch on your machine or just a straight stitch just inside the heart for a raw-edge finish. This is quilting the heart onto the batting.
F. Create the inner border. Using the same color fabric as the hearts, cut two strips, 1″ x 17″. Cut two strips 1″x18″. Starting with the two shorter strips, line up the raw edges on two opposite sides of the background, right sides together. Pin and stitch in place, using a 1/4″ seam. Stitch right through the batting.
Continue placing, pinning and stitching the other two longer strips in place. Trim all the strips that extend beyond hearts block, and press open.
G. Create the outer border. Cut two strips, 3″x 22″, of a coordinating fabric. Cut two strips, 3″ x 25″, of the same coordinating fabric.
Starting with the shorter strips, line up the raw edges on the two shorter sides of the 1″ border; pin and stich in place, again using a 1/4″ seam. Stitch right through the batting. Finger- press these seams open.
Continue placing, pinning and stitching the other two longer strips in place.
Trim all the strips beyond the block and finger-press open. If you using a cotton batting, you may press with your iron. Some of my samples have a thin polyester batting with a scrim on the back so no iron touches those!
You now have a heart block with two borders, one narrow inner border and one wide outer border.
H. Trim the batting to the edge of the border.
I. Measure your block and square up as necessary. Cut your backing fabric the same size as your block, including the borders.
J. Lay your backing fabric, right side facing the right side of your hearts block and pin in place.
Stitch around all four sides, leaving a 3″ opening.
Cut your corners.
After stitching all four sides, you can reach in and turn your piece right side out. Be sure to poke your corners out so they are sharp corners. Press. Finger-press the side where there’s no stitching, encouraging the raw edges inside. Press.
K. Now you will stitch 1/4″ to 1/2″ around the entire block. If you do a 1/4″ inch, your stitching should catch the fabric at the opening and keep in in place. If not, you can hand-stitch the opening closed.
Voila! Now you have a Hearts Table Topper.
If you should decide you want a wall-hanging you may add a hanging pocket on the back of the project. There are many tutorials on how to create a hanging pocket.
I hope you enjoy this block and it brings smiles to your Valentine Day!
If you wish to make matching mug rugs or candle mats, you can use a 6″ square to begin with and the smaller heart pattern given in the pdf. You can find the pdf HERE for both heart patterns. Simply adjust your strip lengths to approximately 3″ beyond the size of your block and continue as above.
This was shown on McCalls Quilting website years and years ago. I’ve made a few changes (quilt as you go) but I hope you enjoy this holiday project.