Heart quilt blocks can be used in so many ways! The most obvious would be to make a valentine’s quilt, or just to show somebody that you love them! They are also a super way to welcome a new baby or to make a wedding quilt, or a wedding gift. There are a large number of ways to create different types and styles of hearts in quilting, but I am going to focus on the simplest and easiest versions.
Heart Quilt Blocks
Simple, Basic Heart Quilt Blocks
The quickest and easiest heart block of all is to make up the heart shape with 2 dark rectangles,(red or pink if you want to be traditional!), 2 large background squares, and 4 small background squares.
- Strong thread
- Removable marking pen
- Rotary cutter
- Self healing cutting board
- Quilting ruler
- Sewing machine
- Iron and ironing board
Fabric Cutting Guide
|Size||Finished Size||Dark fabric (cut 2)||Background - Large square (cut 2)||Background -Small square (cut 4)|
|Small||6” (15.2cm)||3½x6½ |
|3 ½” |
|1 ¼” |
(Please note that all metric measurements are rounded off and are approximate.)
How to Make a Heart Quilt Block - Simple Method
- Mark diagonal lines from corner to corner on all the background squares.
- Place large squares on top of dark rectangles, right sides together, at the bottom of the rectangles.
- Sew along the diagonal lines.
- Trim the corners off, leaving ¼ “ (6mm) seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowance towards the darker side.
- Now place the small background squares at the top of the dark rectangles, right sides together.
- Sew along the diagonal lines.
- Trim the corners, again leaving ¼ “(6mm) seam allowance.
- You will now have two halves of a heart.
- Sew these together and press the seam open to reduce bulk.
These hearts can be sewn together as they are, or separated with quilt sashing, or separated by plain blocks.
Foundation Paper Pieced Heart Quilt Blocks
There is a multitude of paper-pieced heart block patterns, some very elaborate and complicated. I am going to give you instructions for a fairly simple one, with not too many pieces! This one is a very simple, basic heart shape. If you are confident with foundation paper piecing, you may want to try a more elaborate block, which has more pieces and colors, such as Rail Fence hearts.
Here is a simple paper pieced heart: Copy the image and enlarge it to the required size.
- Decide which fabrics you want to use for which parts of the heart.
- Cut fabric pieces for each part of the template, making sure that each fabric piece is at least ¼ “ (6mm) larger all around than the shape on the template, for seam allowances.
- You will sew the pieces together in numerical order. So start with pieces 1 and 2. In my example, 1 is background fabric, 2 and 3 are heart fabric. Nos. 4-7 are all background fabric.
- *Have the right side of your paper template facing you. Place fabric for piece 1 on the wrong side of the template- with the wrong side of the fabric against the template. So right side of template will be facing you, right side of fabric will be facing away from you.
- Hold the template up to the light to make sure that your fabric coves the entire shape on the template, with seam allowance all the way around. Pin fabric into place onto the template.
- Place fabric 2 over fabric 1, right sides together. You need to place it so that when you sew along the line separating shapes 1 and 2, it will fold back over the shape of section 2 on the template. In other words, be sure that your seam will be enclosed!
- Check to be sure that your fabric covers the whole of section 2, as well as covering up the raw edge of section 1. Pin into place.
- Set your sewing machine onto shorter stitches that usual, turn over so that the paper is on top. Now sew along the line between sections 1 and 2.
- Fold back the template to expose the seam and trim it to ¼” (6mm) or less.
- Press seam towards section 2.
- Repeat from * to place each of the sections on the template, working in numerical order.
- Here we have sewn on pieces 1-4, and it still looks a hot mess! But don’t worry, all those uneven edges will be covered up and trimmed!
- When all your pieces have been placed, tear away your template. It should tear away easily because the paper is now perforated from your stitching.
- One final trim to get it into its square shape.
Log Cabin Heart Quilt Blocks
This uses the log cabin technique in an unusual way to create a lovely scrappy heart. It is great for using jelly roll fabrics, you will use the 2 ½ “ (6.4 cm) strips to piece together the heart. You will also need some background fabric. To make a heart suitable for jelly roll fabrics you will need to cut:
- 4 ½” ( 11.5 cm) square- cut 1
- 2 ½ “( 6.4 cm) squares- cut 4
Mark the small squares with diagonal lines from corner to corner.
- 2 ½ “ ( 6.4 cm)squares- cut 4
- 2 ½ “x 4 ½ “ (6.4 cm x 11.4 cm) rectangles- cut 4
- 2 ½ “ x 6 ½ “ ( 6.4 cm x 16.5 cm) rectangles- cut 2
- 2 ½ “ x 8 ½ “ (6.4 cm x 21.6 cm) rectangles- cut 2
- 2 ½ “x 12 ½” (6.4 cm x 32 cm) rectangle- cut 1.
Please note that all metric measurements are rounded off and may not be perfectly accurate!
When selecting your fabrics, I recommend that you use more fabrics than I did, for a better final effect!
Now to put them all together!
- Sew 2 of piece no. 3 together. Press after every seam!!
- Sew 1 of piece no. 4 to the bottom of those two pieces.
- Sew another piece no. 4 to the left of your previous pieces.
- Sew 1 of piece no. 5 to the top of your unit.
- Sew another of piece 5 to the right of the unit.
- Sew 1 of piece no. 6 to the bottom of the unit.
- Sew the other piece no. 6 to the left of the unit.
- This unit should now measure 8 ½ x 10 ½ “ (21.6 x 32 cm). We can call this unit A.
- We will start with a separate unit now- sew the last 2 no. 3 pieces together. This will be unit B.
- Sew 1 piece no. 4 to the top of these 2 pieces.
- Sew 1 piece no. 4 to the left of the unit.
- Place 1 background square (No. 2) onto the top left corner of this piece no 4. Sew on the diagonal line, trim to ¼ “ (6 mm ) and press up.
- Do the same with the top left corner of your first unit. (Sew it onto piece no. 6)
- Now repeat with another small background square on the bottom left of that unit, so onto that same piece no 6, but at the bottom.
- Take the large square (No. 1) of background fabric and sew it to the left side of unit B .
- Sew unit A to unit B to form a heart shape.
- Sew the final long strip to the right side of the heart.
- Take the last square of background fabric, sew along the diagonal line on the top right of that final strip. Trim to ¼ “ (6mm). Press open.
- Your heart is complete! This block looks best when placed on point.
Appliqué Heart Quilt Blocks
If you decide to use applique hearts, you can choose exactly what size you want your blocks to be! Just be certain your background block is larger than your heart, and don’t forget the seam allowance! You may like to make the block extra large and then trim it down to size.
- Trace the heart onto paper backed fusible web. This is also sometimes called applique paper.
- Press this applique paper onto the wrong side of the heart fabric. Use a dry iron for this.
- Cut out your heart shape, paper and fabric fused and combined.
- Peel the backing off the applique paper and place the heart centrally onto the background block.
- Press into place with your iron if necessary.
- Stitch around the heart using a close zigzag stitch or any other decorative stitch that you like, as long as it encloses the raw ends!
- If you prefer the look of hand stitching, blanket stitch the heart into place, or use needle turn applique.
- You could also ‘fussy cut’ your heart fabric to give a central motif in the heart (as I have done), or you could embellish the heart with embroidery, lace or ribbon.
Heart Quilt Blocks - In Conclusion
Now you have some ideas for those heart quilt blocks! You can use them in a number of ways. As a full quilt, one heart on a cushion or pillow, small hearts for pot holders or coasters, a few hearts joined together as a table topper. If you find these red and pink hearts all too corny, just use a heart as your quilting pattern in any other block. That is a really subtle way of saying "I love you." Whichever type of heart you decide upon, have fun creating these heart quilt blocks, and enjoy whatever you create!