On to the blog hop:
We present to you the Spread the Love Blog Hop: a week's worth of tutorials and giveaways I know you'll love.
In addition to the tutorials, there are two giveaways each day from small businesses. Gotta spread some small shop love too!
Here's the line-up:
Now for the specimen heart pillow tutorial. I have always wanted to do some kind of specimen art since I first spotted the first shadowbox filled with paper punched butterflies online, and I thought this was the perfect time for it.
Here's what you need to make an 18" pillow cover:
1/2 yard of fabric (I used Essex linen in Ivory)
25 small scraps
2" heart cookie cutter, die cutter, stencil
heat'n bond or other fusible adhesive
36 x 2.5" strip of contrasting fabric (optional, leftover quilt binding is perfect)
1. Begin by cutting your 1/2 yard of main fabric into one 18" square and two 18" x 12" rectangles. If your fabric is only 42" wide, you can make these panels a little smaller, even 18x10." Now mark a 12" square in the center of your 18" square by marking a line 3" from the edge on all four sides with some type of non-permanent marking device (I used the Pilot Frixon pen).
2. If you have 25 hearts about 2" in size they will fit perfectly in this square. Any way you make the hearts, you will want to find 25 fabric scraps (I did reds and pinks, but thought hard about a rainbow spectrum) and fuse your heat'n bond to the back of them. You can go ahead and peel off the paper backing.
3. There are a few ways to make your hearts. You can cut a 2" heart shape from cardstock and trace around it on each scrap, you can use a stencil or cookie cutter. I used the hearts die cutter for my Sizzix which made really quick work of this project. The picture here shows a larger scrap that got a few partial heart shapes, but I really only wanted the smallest heart on this die plate, the one at the top.
4. Once you have 25 hearts you will want to arrange them on your 12" marked grid in five rows of five. Adding a vertical line down the center and a horizontal line across the center might make it easier to line them all up, but I just played with it for a few minutes until it looked even. Once you have it how you like it press your hearts into place.
5. There are several ways you can finish your hearts. If you use no sew, heavy duty heat n' bond and you don't plan to wash this pillow cover much you could be finished. Or you could secure them a little better by sewing them with a straight line or zig zag stitch. I chose a straight line stitch. Just go slow and keep your needle about 1/8" from the edge. Once you finish you will want to press the front panel again. All that turn will make it wrinkle a bit.
6. Now we need to address the back panel of the pillow which I decided to do as a simple envelope closure. You can one 18" side of each panel by folding the fabric under 1/4" twice or you can finish the raw edge by using binding tape. Since this is a straight line, you do not need bias tape, although that will work too. I just happened to have a nice long 2.5" strip left over from a binding a strip this week that was already pressed in half. Cut two pieces 18" x 2.5."
7. You will need to press your strip in half, wrong sides together, first. Then unfold it and press the raw edges in towards the center, wrong sides together. Fold it in half again so that your raw edges are in the middle.
8. Clip or pin the binding strip around 1 18" edge of each back panel.
9. Sew in place. This is a perfect place to use a topstich foot if you have one. If not just stitch about 1.8" from the edge of the binding tape, making sure to capture all of the layers.
10. Add an extra heart to the back if you must. A great spot to embroider or stamp a little note if this pillow is a gift : )
11. Assemble your pillow for final construction by placing the front panel, right side up, on your mat. Layer your two back pieces, overlapping, with the right side down on top of the front and pin it all in place. If you did add a heart to one side, you will want to put that piece down first to make sure it isn't hidden once you make the pillow.
12. Now sew all the way around your square, a generous 1/4" from the edge. Clip your corners and turn it right side out. Use a chopstick or something blunt to poke the corners out. Press again!
All finished! If you make one I would love to see it in my flickr group, thanks!
Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the GIVEAWAY for a $40 credit toward long arm quilting services from Stitch by Stitch. What a great prize! You can check out some of Kathy's amazing work here. This giveaway will stay open until February 5.
Thanks for stopping by today, make sure to check in with the blog hop for the remainder of the week to see the great tutorials and enter the giveaways!