It’s official. I’m a published pattern designer. A blogging friend, Michelle of That Black Chic, reached out to me last year and asked if I would design a Valentine’s day quilt suitable for beginning quilters for her new magazine. I said yes.
With beginners in mind, I came up with a plan to make a heart block using pre-cuts. My mom is really into pre-cuts lately, and I can see the appeal. She also explored the fast cathedral windows technique, which I found intriguing. My first idea struck in the shower. I scribbled on the glass doors with my handy bathtub crayons. I wanted to use layer cakes, but my idea required them to be cut in half. I already had an appropriate Jolly Bar from Fat Quarter Shop, which is layer cakes cut in half, so I gave my heart block a try.
This is what I came up with. I was quite pleased. My mom liked it (not a big challenge – she is very supportive.) She showed it to my brother. His response? “It would look better without the seam up the middle.” I was outraged. How dare this non-quilter question ME, the all-knowing big sister?
Of course, his question was delivered right before I headed out the door to a sew-in. I was stewing for the first 10 minutes of the ride, and then my brain kind of went, “wait… what if…” And then it clicked. I figured out how to make the heart, without the middle seam while I was driving. I was VERY EXCITED. When I got to the sew-in, I blasted in, ran to the back room, snatched a ruler from a friend, and cut out some fabric. My quilting pals were a little surprised by my behavior, but they know I’m crazy and don’t seem to mind.
This is what the block looks like after my brainstorm. I made sure to call my little brother and thank him for his input, and made sure to let him know all questions will be welcome in the future. Different perspectives can lead to interesting advancements.
I was totally thrilled with my design, and sent it along to my magazine friend. She liked it, and we arranged our deal. The Clever Quilt Shoppe was kind enough to sponsor the project by sending fabric. It was 1/2 yard cuts, not layer cakes, so I had to redraft the pattern, as cutting 10″ squares from 1/2 yards would leave a lot of waste fabric. Not the end of the world but not as easy as I had anticipated. Part of our deal was that I hold off revealing my pattern until after the magazine was published. I finally know why my fellow designers moan about secret sewing. Not sharing sucks.
The quilt went live in the January/February issue of SEWN Magazine. It is sold out, so you can’t order your very own copy. You can purchase a copy of the pattern on Craftsy. There are two versions – you can decide if you would rather use yardage or a layer cake. The hearts made using yardage are smaller, so there are more of them.
I reached out to Moda with my original pattern, and they generously sent me a Layer Cake of Farmhouse Reds*, by Minick and Simpson, along with yardage for borders, backing and binding. They have even seen fit to publish my pattern on Moda Bakeshop! Can you believe it? My face is listed right alongside all of those other Moda Bakeshop Chefs. Unreal.
[This blog uses affiliate links, noted with an *. If you make a purchase using my link, I will earn a small commission. Your purchase price will not be affected. Thank you!]
I also recorded a video to help you understand how I put my heart blocks together.
The technique is really fast – if I wasn’t recording a video while putting the quilt together I could have finished it in one day. My biggest difficulty so far has been coming up with words to describe what I’m doing.
I tried to stage some artsy shots with romance in mind. Oscar decided to participate. Is there anything more romantic than wine in front of the fire with your favorite wiener?
If you decide to give the pattern a try, let me know what you think. I’ve had it tested by several experienced quilters, and they gave me plenty of input. I’ve tried to incorporate all of their insights to help clarify my ideas. Special thanks to Libby Schoenwolfe, Deb Hunter, T. Schireson, and Yolanda Barron for your help.