Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Making of a "Hope" Heart

After last week's post, "Hearts and Hope for Amanda", several of you have let me know that you are busy making small hearts with the word "hope" on them to send to this fellow-crafter who's husband has been diagnosed with advanced cancer.  Since I asked you to have them in the mail by November 15th, I thought I should get going and make mine!  I made these two for Amanda:

Since I'm big on tutorials, this is a good chance to demonstrate a couple of things I've been asked about.  I'll walk you through how I made the blue heart (it's a really basic step-by-step tutorial for beginner sewists, so you advanced people, just skim right through it!)

Make a heart-shaped template any size you want.  Mine is 3 3/4" wide.  (You can find the gridded template plastic at most fabric stores; or just use cardboard.).  I cut two blue fabric strips 3" wide and about 10" long (that's for two hearts--I'm making one for my own jar of hearts!), and one strip of  plain muslin 1" wide and 10" long.  I sewed them together as you see in the picture, using a 1/4" seam.  Cut out one heart from the pieced fabric for the front of the "hope" heart.

Here's my light box.  To transfer the word "hope" to the front of the heart, I printed out the word on my computer; I made a lot of different sizes so I could choose the one that fit best when I was at the light box. These are the marking pens I use:  micron, and Staedtler.  I prefer the Staedtler because on some fabrics the micron pens will bleed and ruin the word.  I have assorted sizes, and I used the largest size (0.7) to trace "hope" onto the heart.

I cut a heart-shaped piece of iron-on interfacing and ironed it to the back of the heart, so the finished product with be smooth and firm--not lumpy and bumpy.  (Stay tuned, anyone with questions about interfacing, I will do a separate post about it soon!)  Here's my heart front all done:

I used a different, coordinating fabric for the back of the heart.  I ironed interfacing onto it, and cut it larger than the front, so I don't have to worry about the two sides shifting when I sew them together.

 Sew all around the perimeter, using a 1/4" seam.  Trim the excess fabric, and BE SURE to make a cut at the top of the heart, right to the stitching line, or it will pucker terribly when you turn it right-side-out.  (Yes, I've forgotten to do it before!)

This picture shows a pair of hemostats, like doctors use in surgery!  They are the best thing EVER for turning things right-side-out.  Do yourself a favor and get a pair (or 6, like I have!)--and then go ahead and turn your heart right-side-out. (Or use a chop stick or knitting needle.)  Press it flat.

Stuff the heart with fiberfill, sew the opening closed by hand, and you are done!  This would be a great Christmas tree ornament, using holiday colors and a Christmas message.  You would want to sew a loop of ribbon into the seam right at the top of the heart when you sew the two sides together.

For the pink and green heart, I wrote "hope" on a separate piece of fabric and machine-sewed it to the front of a pieced heart.  I left the edges raw and exposed, and pulled out some threads to make a fringe around the sides of the word. 

I'll give another update next week--hopefully I will have some of YOUR hearts to show off!


katie@stvital said...

Cute! I just bought a pair of hemostats yesterday!

Unknown said...

I love these so thank you for the tutorial. Next I need a tutorial on how to get penmanship and a steady hand like yours! I think you'll be receiving my hearts for Amanda today--hope so! Thanks for doing this for her!

waggonswest said...

These are so pretty. What a great way to support a friend.