Amy is the author of Badskirt, where she blogs about craft, quilting and travel around Australia. A long-time contributor to Sew Mama Sew, Amy’s popular tutorials include the Super-Size Castle Block. She’s inspired us through the years and we always love to learn more about her design process.
One of Amy’s popular designs, the Roundabouts pattern.
Amy has had a variety of roles in the craft industry, most recently working as a freelance pattern writer and technical editor. In addition to the free resources at Badskirt, Amy sells digital patterns in her Craftsy shop.
The Supreme Court ruling in June recognized same-sex marriages throughout the United States, and inspired #lovewins happiness throughout social media. We’re still smiling! Amy designed the #lovewinshearts block to celebrate this victory for equality. We have a free pattern and tutorial, and we hope you make a block (or an entire quilt) to celebrate with us!
#lovewinshearts is a 12” finished (12 1/2” unfinished) foundation-pieced quilt block.
- Scrap fabrics in rainbow colors: one each in red, orange, yellow, lime, green, aqua, blue + violet
- One fat quarter of background fabric*
*Newcomers to foundation piecing should allow an additional fat quarter of back group fabric while learning the technique.
Tools + Notions:
- Sewing machine
- Printer for templates
- Machine-sewing thread
- Iron and ironing board
- Quilting ruler, rotary cut + cutting mat
- Sewing pins
- Removable fabric glue stick (optional)
Printing the Pattern Templates:
Download the #lovewinshearts Pattern Templates.
Print the pattern pages using the 100% scaling option. This is called “No Scaling” on some printers. The pattern pieces have been reversed for foundation piecing. There is no need to mirror the templates before printing.
Use a ruler to verify the size of the printed pages using the 1 1/2” print test square on each pattern page.
Carefully cut out each pattern piece including the 1/4” seam allowance indicated by the dashed line around the pieces.
Join pieces B, C, D, and H together with tape as indicated on the pattern pieces. The red tape lines are only for joining the pieces together and will not be used as sewing lines in future steps.
The templates are labelled in numerical order for piecing. The labels include the recommended color for each section.
Tip: If you are creating the block in another color scheme, use colored pencils or markers to label each piece before you begin sewing.
Foundation Piecing Method:
This pattern utilizes the foundation piecing method and is suitable for beginners. Foundation piecing is done by using the printed paper templates as a sewing guide. Sewing will be done on the printed side of each template. Fabric will be placed against the unprinted side. There are a few variations of the foundation piecing technique. If you are new to foundation piecing, Kelly of KelbySews outlines the process in the True Love Mini Quilt tutorial at Sew Mama Sew, or you can follow along here.
For demonstration purposes, I’m using printed fabrics and contrasting thread. The block looks terrific in both solids and prints.
Set your sewing machine to a very short stitch length. I use the 1.2 setting on my machine. The short stitch will perforate the paper while you sew making it easier to remove your foundation paper templates when your block is complete. If you machine isn’t numerically labelled, you can test the stitch length on a piece of scratch paper. You want the stitch length to be short enough that the perforated paper easily separates when you pull at it, but not so short that it falls apart without force.
Begin with Template A, Section 1. Center the template section over the red fabric with the wrong side of the red fabric against the unprinted side of the template. Ensure the red fabric scrap completely covers Section 1 with at least 1/4” of fabric around the section for the seam allowance. Holding the template and fabric up to a light source or window is helpful to check that the section is fully covered. You can also secure the fabric to the template using a dab of temporary fabric glue or a sewing pin if you’d like.
With foundation piecing, you can trim seams before or after stitching. I prefer to trim seams before. To do so, fold the paper template along the line between Sections 1 and 2; a small portion of the red fabric will be revealed below. Align the 1/4” line on your quilting ruler to the fold and neatly trim the red fabric 1/4” beyond the fold.
Cut a piece of background fabric for Section 2. With practice, you will get a feel for what size fabric is required for each section. When you are starting out, I recommend using a large piece of fabric which will be trimmed in later steps.
Place the background fabric against the red fabric with right sides face and an edge of the background fabric even with the trimmed edge of the red fabric.
To test the size and placement of your fabric, place a pin on the sewing line between Sections 1 and 2, simulating your sewn seam.
Flip the white fabric piece over the seam line pin to ensure that it will full cover Section 2 including at least 1/4” surround for seam allowance. If Section 2 isn’t covered, then reposition the white fabric or use a larger piece of white fabric.
Flip the white fabric back in place so the white and red fabrics are together again with right sides facing. If you choose, you can also pin the white fabric in place away from the seam line to keep the fabrics from shifting as you sew.
Remove the test pin on the seam line, so that you can sew along the line.
Carefully sew along the line between Sections 1 and 2, extending your stitches into the seam allowance indicated by the dashed line on the template.
Neatly press the white fabric open over Section 2. Trim the threads and use a quilting ruler to trim around the outside of the template along the dashed line.
Repeat the process, sewing along the line between Sections 1 and 3.
Add Section 4 to Sections 1, 2 and 3 in the same way. This time, you will be trimming Sections 1, 2 and 3 along the seam line.
Tip: For long seams use multiple pins on the seam line to check fabric placement.
Using the dashed line as a guide, neatly trim the template including the 1/4” seam allowance. Congrats on finishing your first section.
Foundation piece each of the eight foundation templates using the specified fabric colors.
The templates will be joined in two sets of four – ABCD and EFGH. Each set of four makes up one heart in the design. Begin by joining the pieced templates A and B. The templates have been notched in the seam allowance to help with alignment. If you’d like you can pin the pieces together to prevent shifting as you sew.
Still using a small stitch, sew A and B together. A 1/4” quilting foot can be helpful at this stage, but is not necessary.
Carefully tear away the paper in the seam allowance between pieces A and B. Pull gently so you do not break or stretch the stitches.
Trim any remaining threads and press the seam. I’ve chosen to press my seam open to minimize color bleed in this block, but it is also acceptable to press the seam to one side.
Referring to the finished block photograph, add pieces C and D to AB. Join EFGH, then sew the two pieced hearts together. Trim away excess threads and carefully remove the paper templates from your block.
Remember we’re better together. #lovewinshearts