This simple, knife-edge fabric pillow appliquéd with felt hearts is a delightful project that will help bring a little Valentine’s Day decoration into your home.
Using a heart stencil or even a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, create a heart template on paper. Cut out the template. Trace with a pencil or marking pen around the template on to the first sheet of felt. Repeat the process to create 18 hearts. Carefully cut out the drawn hearts from the felt. Note: For my pillow, I traced 14 hearts on pink felt and 4 hearts on white felt. However, you may make your own unique pattern with different colored hearts!
With the heart shapes cut from the felt, prepare to measure the fabric. Lay out the fabric and fold with right sides together. Pillow fills measure 2 inches larger than the actual size of the pillow to fill out nicely. So, a 10-inch square fill will make an 8 inch square pillow. If you desire a larger pillow, select a larger fill, add 2 square inches to the overall measurement, and be sure to cut either larger hearts or more of the smaller ones.
Most importantly, when measuring to cut, add 1 inch to the top and side for ½-inch seam allowance on all sides of the pillow. Therefore, for an 10-inch fill, measure a 9 inch square and cut, preferably using a straight-edge ruler and roller cutter on a self-healing mat. If you do not have these implements, measure the fabric, mark a line, and cut with scissors as straight as possible. The cleaner the initial cut edge, the cleaner the finished knife edge seam will appear after sewing.
Using the right side of one of the cut squares, begin to place the hearts in 4 columns, staggering their placement with each repeating pattern. Be sure to measure their placement on the pillow to make sure the lines are straight. You may mark it lightly as a guide to follow when sewing. Remember that there is a ½ inch seam allowance all around the pillow, which may influence placement. Note: On my pillow, I allowed the top and bottom hearts to be sewn into the seam but not into the sides. Once they are spaced correctly, pin them to the fabric to keep them in place.
Now with the hearts pinned to the fabric, its time to start sewing! Using a straight running stitch, start at the bottom of the fabric at the point of the hearts. A lighter thread creates contrast on a dark fabric just as a dark thread contrasts with a lighter fabric. Since the stitch will be visible, sew very straight, working up through the center of each heart shape.
Once the hearts are attached to the fabric, place the other square of fabric on top, making sure that right sides are facing inside. Pin the edges of the fabric together, leaving about a 4-inch opening at the base of the pillow where the hearts are pointing downward. Using a straight running stitch, set the raw edges against the ½-inch mark on the sewing machine plate or use a measuring device as you sew to keep the needle at ½ inch from the edge. Start at the edge of the opening and begin to sew. Stop at each edge ½ inch from the end. Keeping the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric. Match up the edges with the ½-inch mark, lower the presser food, and continue up the new side of the pillow, stopping again ½ inch from the edge. Repeat the process until you arrive at the edge of the opening. Backstitch and end. Trim the fabric slightly at the pointed corners to encourage a straight knife edge.
Through the opening, turn the pillow right side out. With care, push out the corners from the inside of the pillow cover, using the point of the scissors, a pencil, or stick to encourage a pointed, crisp corner; however, don’t push through the seam or tear the fabric. Squishing the pillow form in, working the fill into the cover, pulling the corners of the fill into the corners of the cover. Once inside the pillowcase, fluff out the fill.
To close the base, grab the corners on each side of the opening and pull taut. The seam on either side of the opening will pull the open flaps inward and even with the seam’s fold. Pin this fold. Using a needle and thread, ladder stitch in the fold evenly and pull to create a closure. Secure with a knot.
Fluff the pillow again and enjoy your new Valentine’s decoration!
With love, Jenny Mock