Free Quilt Pattern · Gridsters · Quilt Bee · This-and-That

Wonky Hearts Aflutter

Wonky Hearts_7

How do I make nearly 60 wonky, improv-y hearts and not go crazy? Now there’s a challenge.

Wonky Heart Illustration

I started here, with a rough pattern of how big I wanted my “improv” wonky heart to be. The free PDF file is available for download.  It finishes roughly at 5 1/2″ wide by 7 1/2″ tall.

Click here: Unfussy Wonky Heart

Wonky Hearts_2

I started with the heart pieces. I layered up seven pieces of different pink and red fabrics, pinned on the heart pieces and placing my ruler along their outer edge, I cut around them with a rotary cutter: it wouldn’t really matter if I was hyper-accurate…close enough would do.  I repeated this nine times.

Wonky Hearts_2a

Then I did the same thing with the background pieces, but was careful with my directional fabrics: I kept the pieces oriented as they would sew into the heart block.

Wonky Hearts_1

Everything’s stacked up.

Word Quilt in Process
These photos were taken over two weeks’ time, as I tried to fit all the words together. Words were made in The Spelling Bee, from 2016.

I shuffled the fabrics so no two fabrics would be together, and made a sample heart (at the top of the post). I pinned it next to the quilt of words I’d been working on, closed up the machine, turned off the iron, and enjoyed the sunset:

Sunset July 2019

Word Quilt Mock-up

When I woke up in the morning, I decided to try a digital mock-up of the quilt with the hearts as a border, as I wondered if the hearts were too big.  I sent the photo to my two of my quilting buddies and they gave me two thumbs’ up.  I’ll probably try to sneak in a narrow red/pink border between the quilt center and the outer border of hearts.


I’ve become braver about being wonky and improv-like, skewing seams, overlapping, cutting off points, generally going at it easy, instead of pristine.

Wonky Hearts_5

I have a few more hearts, now, and while the widths vary from 5 1/4″ to 5 1/2″ (I just trim them where it feels right), I’m forcing them to 7 1/2″ tall (that’s before seaming).  Because I am tired of cutting off the points, I’ll now be cutting about 1/2″ off the bottom heart section before I seam it to the top part.

This is one of two long-term UFOs that haunt me in my dreams.  The other one is Small World, which I keep in parts in a basket in my shelves.  I do have hopes on finishing that one, too.  I signed up for a Jen Kingwell class at Road to California in January; I suppose one goal would be to have it finished so she could sign it?  Right.

July Gridsters Block 2019

In other sewing news, I finished July’s Gridster Bee blocks for my beemate Linda and sent them off.


And I’m trying this new type of tomato, developed for scorching temperatures.  This year we were almost chilly and foggy until June, then the temps shot up high.  I haven’t had good luck with my garden in three years, after a stunning first year of beginner’s luck.  But hope is a thing with feathers, said Emily Dickensen, or my case, tomatoes.


I’ve also started quilting City Streets, a quilt of my own design.

Quilting City Streets_5

I’d picked up this Magnifico-cousin (same type of thread) when I visited Superior Threads last time.  It’s color 101, and it looks like a gold thread, but isn’t a metallic thread:

Quilting City Streets_4

I hope I don’t run out before I finish this quilt.

Random Quilter

Finally, in my discussion about how the internet irritated me, I read a ton of blogs, some of which I can’t quite remember.  But I did take a screen shot of this gem, a featured quilter on a truly dedicated quilter’s blog. (Given what he says about his favorite fabric color, I don’t think he would like my gold thread.)  However, I leave you with the hope that you, too, have started quilting several times, as well as the ability to make the quilts in your head.



8 thoughts on “Wonky Hearts Aflutter

  1. Apart from the fact I love the gold thread, you quilting is so even and perfect! Love those hearts too! You are really on a roll, Elizabeth!

  2. The word quilt looks so good I’m wanting one of my own. “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.” I like how you have embraced improv, I’m trying I’m really trying

    I gave up vegetable gardening because of the Unpredictable nature of it. I feel like my grandfather got his abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers consistently every year. Madeleine did bring me a giant zucchini from their garden plot with the command “Bread!”

  3. Love the hearts and words! I’m with you with the tomatos. A few years ago, we had the most amazing, delicious tomatos. The cherry tomato plant was more than 6 foot tall. I had so many cherry toms that I was roasting them for pasta. The big ones were wonderful and plentiful. Last year, the chipmunks ate ALL our tomatos. They would climb up the plant and nibble the top stem end. The green tomato would fall the vine- no stem to hold it. Very frustrating. There is a fence to keep the deer out but the chipmunks always get in. I’m looking at my plants every day and hoping that I get a few this year. We use raised beds and fence them in. So much work for so little reward but we try and try again. Good luck!

  4. I like the wonky heart border on your words. It finishes it off beautifully.

    Your quilting looks so nice. Have you used Superior’s metallic threads? They quilt like regular thread without breaking or tension issues. I can even use them in my embroidery machine with no problems. I hope you have enough thread to finish it.

    Of course we would have a cool summer after buying those special tomatoes. Are you planting the vegetables in different beds each year? These look like they are getting really close to eating.

  5. Love the wonky hearts and the words! Unlike Herb, I think you have the skill to make all the quilts in your head. The non metallic gold thread looks perfect for the City Streets quilt. 🙂

  6. I enjoy how you place your quilting into your life, with the post including not just quilt-y things, but also sunsets and tomatoes, two of my favorite summer-y things. 🙂

  7. Love your assembly line approach to all those sweet hearts. Your word quilt is going to be so so fabulous. It will certainly be one of my favs of all you’ve made.

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