Updated: Jan 29
Use up your fabric scraps with a fun paper piecing quilt project without a pattern!
Dig out that scrap bin and let's make some scrappy hearts! I've even created a free heart template for you to print out to make more uniformed shapes!
Whether you're wanting to make handmade class Valentine cards for your entire class, just some special ones for teachers, or as a sweet surprise for your quilt guild "galentines", you can use up scraps and whip this up in no time! This works extra great for strip pieces and selvage edges, but I'll show you how to piece smaller bits in my tutorial. If you've made a string quilt before, this will be a great project for applying those skills and will give you lots of room for improvisation!
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Gather your supplies
Aside from your basic sewing supplies (scissors, a sewing machine, iron and ironing board or wool pressing mat), all you need to make these Valentines, are a piece of tracing paper (I order this paper for my kids to draw on and it happens to be great for foundation paper piecing!), a sheet of letter cardstock and those cute little scraps you've been saving.
If you're new to paper piecing, try starting with larger and longer scraps (1in.-2in. wide strips are perfect to getting the process) to help yourself get the hang of placement and then move to smaller ones as you become more confident.
Starting is the trickiest part
If you have done a foundation paper piecing project before, you know that sewing the first seam always feels so wrong, but once you get it down, the puzzle makes sense and is much easier to build on!
To start, you'll need your tracing paper and one strip of fabric.
Place the fabric right side down on the paper with just 1/2 inch overlapping and the rest of the fabric hanging off the edge.
You're going to sew a 1/4 inch seam along the length of the fabric, stitching through the one fabric layer and the paper.
Flip and press
Once stitched, you can flip it over to right side up and press in place.
Add the next strip
Just like with the first strip, the next strip will be placed right side down but will now overlap the first strip. Align the right edge of the fabric on top with the right edge of the strip that has already been sewn on. Using the raw edges as your guide, stitch a 1/4 inch seam down the length, stitching through both layers of fabric and the paper.
Flip the piece over and press into place. Do you see how it's growing!?
You can repeat this process all across the sheet of paper to cover the area, or...
If you're using smaller scraps
If you have shorter fabric pieces, you may need to be more creative in your placement. If you end up having to fill in a gap, you can simply tuck the raw edge under and press it to conceal - just like a little hem!
Cutting into heart shapes
Cut out the heart shapes from the cardstock. You can download and print this free PDF to use or create your own more organic shapes!
Once they're cut, you'll sew each on one at a time, right side up to the back side of your pieced fabrics.
Stitch around the outside of the heart as close to the edge as you feel comfortable.
Once all of the paper hearts are attached, you can cut around their edges to release them from the sheet.
Give them away!
Complete your message or simply fill out the blank to: and from: spaces on the free PDF download
I would love to see your versions of these scrappy little hearts! Be sure to tag me in your makes on Instagram @UrbanDwellStudio