I’m working on a series of protest quilts/banners – I’ve designed them all and have gathered the fabrics, mostly, I think, and am working on two of them at once. The first will include a dozen heart blocks. My original design was for 24 heart blocks. Then I realized I’d need 96 of the little 2″ blocks for the tops of the hearts, and redesigned it to include only 12 blocks.

In order to make these, I had to starch all of the white pieces, buy yet more marking on fabric tools, until I found something sharp enough, but also removable, and this ruler. Actually, the ruler is a loaner, and it’s a lifesaver.

A stack of 5.5" white fabric squares are topped by a triangular ruler.

A triangular ruler, ready to use to mark a triangular line across these white squares.

Of all the ways to put hearts on fabric, I thought this would be the easiest. (Ha!) I thought cutting out and appliquéing a bunch of hearts would be tricky. These are a bit blocky, but look nice and heart like once they’re sewn up into rows. But I didn’t know how tricky it is to sew on a diagonal across a piece of fabric! I’ve apparently never done that before. I’ve gotten the hang of it, but in this photo, below, on the right, that’s the stack waiting to be ripped out and redone.

Making heart blocks, by Elaine Luther

Heart blocks in process, on the left, sad little owl eyes, on the right, a stack ready to be ripped out and redone.

These small squares at the top, with the diagonal lines drawn, look like sad (or sleepy) little owl eyes, so as I laid them out and pinned them, I kept saying, sad little owl eyes, sad little owl eyes.

Almost done heart quilt block made by Elaine Luther

Just one more seam to complete this almost done heart quilt block.

Almost done heart quilt block made by Elaine Luther, this one showing what can go wrong.

Here’s an example of one of the many ways this quilt block can go wrong, and why I’ve ripped out and resewn something more than four of these – I stopped counting.

This is some tricky sewing! I’ve finally gotten the hang of it and have 10 very good (or at least good) half hearts, ready to sew up today. By the end of today, I hope to have 12 heart blocks ready to go!

I didn’t make this block up, of course, it’s a classic. I’m following directions from Cluck, Cluck, Sew.

If you try this block, definitely use starch, the triangular rule, and good marking pencils. I’m using the waxy chalk pencils by Clover.

Wish me luck! And I’ll be back when it’s all done to show you the completed quilt!