Gathering Threads

Valentine’s Heart Quilt Square tutorial

Posted by on Feb 12 2011, in Holidays, Quilting, Tutorial, Workshop

I recently taught “Introduction to Machine Quilting” at Mohawk College.  It was a fun bunch of women and we had a great time.  The class was designed to give novice quilters a basic handle on terminology, supplies, tools and techniques and give them the confidence to tackle quilting projects on their own.  I think everyone left feeling able to tackle a bigger project on their own.

Since we only had one day, I designed a simple mini-quilt that would let the students tackle piecing, quilting and finishing.  Given that Valentine’s Day was just around the corner, I thought a heart would be appropriate.  This would make an adorable bag, a pillow or even a quick and fast quilt or table runner, if you made more than one square and best of all, it’s super easy to sew, and doesn’t take a lot of fabric, making it quick and cheap to sew up.

Here’s what you’ll need for a single square.  The finished size is 14″:


6″ medium pink print

6″ cream print

6″ dark pink print

6″  light pink check/print

18″ square batting (I like a thin, cotton batting, but any good quality batting will work)

18″ square backing fabric

1 spool good quality sewing thread

1 spool machine quilting thread


Sewing machine (having a 1/4″ foot and a walking foot are both helpful but not essential)

#80 universal sewing machine needle

Sewing scissors


Rotary cutter

Rotary cutting mat

Clear quilting ruler (6 x 24 is a good size but smaller will work)

Pencil or fabric marker

Temporary fabric adhesive (optional)

Pins or hand sewing needle

Cutting Directions

Medium Pink Print

1 –  8 1/2″  x 2 1/2″ rectangle

2 – 2 7/8″ x 2 7/8″ squares

1 – 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ square

Cream Print

2 – 2 7/8″ x 2 7/8″ squares

1 – 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″ square

Dark Pink Print

2 – 2 1/4″ x WOF (width of fabric) strips for binding

1 – 1″ x WOF strip

Light Pink Check/Print

2 – 10″ x 3″ rectangles

2 – 20″ x 3″ rectangles

Here’s how to construct the square.  All seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise mentioned.

1.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner of the light coloured 4 7/8″ and 2 7/8″ squares.   Lay the squares RS together with the corresponding medium pink squares and chain stitch 1/4″ from each side of the marked line.

2.  Using a rotary cutter or scissors, cut along the marked line to make 2 large half square triangle blocks and 4 small ones.  Press open, with seam allowances towards the darker fabric.  Trim small triangles from the corners.

3.  RS together, sew the half square triangles together along one pink edge.  Press.  Sew the two small rectangles together along one cream edge to complete the upper strip.  Lay the pieces out as indicated in the photo, with the 8 1/2 x 2 1/2 medium pink strip between the pieced strips.   RS facing, sew the large triangle strip to the long side of the rectangle.  Press.  Sew the small triangle strip in the same way to the remaining long edge.  Press.  Trim any uneven edges to square the block.

4.  Cut the dark pink 1″ wide to fit the pieced heart square.  Cut two shorter lengths, approximately the length of two sides plus a little overhang for the vertical sides.   Then, cut two longer strips for the top and bottom.

5.  Here, the vertical sides have been sewn in place and trimmed.  Now, the longer top and bottom strips can be sewn to the block to complete the inner border.   Sew the strips RS together and then trim.

6.  Here is the square with the inner border completed.

7.  The outside border is sewn in the same order as the narrow one.  RS together, sew a 10×3 rectangle to the top and bottom of the pieced square.  Press and trim.  RS facing, sew the 20″x3″ rectangles down each side to complete the block.  Press and trim.

8.  Here is the completed, trimmed block.

9.This is the reverse of the quilt block.

10.  To complete the block, sandwich the batting between the quilt top and the backing square.  Secure all of the layers either with basting or safety pins.  Quilt in the design of your choice.

11.  Bind the quilt with your preferred method.  For a simple, 1/4″ binding, you can check out this youtube video.


  • Carole Cotton

    The one-day course was fun and instructional. Thank goodness for the video demonstrating the tips I thought I had remembered.