As quilters, we try to express love through fabric. Adding some free motion quilting hearts to your next project puts another layer of love into the quilt. When a customer brought me a red and white quilt with raw edge applique, I came up with three variations of quilting hearts to blend with the overall look of the quilt.
She did not want heavy custom quilting, so I used a row of hearts in the top and bottom borders, changed to heart beads for the side borders, and filled the raw edge applique blocks with loopy meandering and echo hearts.
Row of Hearts
Free motion quilting with simple shapes across a row has two benefits. 1) It is easy to quilt since you are using basic elements that you have probably doodled hundreds of times, and 2) It is a faster process to simply move straight across your quilt.
When I thought about quilting hearts, I broke the shape down into two parts, the upper bumps and the lower V. I quilted the bumps first, then broke my thread and started again in the same spot to quilt the Vs.
This is mainly due to the temperament of my longarm quilting machine – I have alot of thread breaks when I try to quilt straight lines from right to left. My machine prefers to move from left to right, so I plan my quilting designs with that quirk in mind.
HINT: For this design, you could stitch the entire heart, then echo along your stitching line to the right side and branch off to the next heart.
This design for quilting hearts moves in a vertical rather than horizontal direction. I start with a straight line (1), stitch a heart (2), echo halfway around (3), and continue the straight line for another inch or so then repeat (4) with another heart.
The blocks in this quilt are scrappy patchwork hearts featuring raw edge applique. The applique gave me an outline for me free motion quilting. I simply followed the edge of the applique heart and echoed inside of the lines three times.
The overall effect is light and happy, perfect for wrapping someone in a quilted hug.
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