The first project I came up with is a conversation heart felt pillow. How fun is that?
To make these little hearts, you will need your sewing machine, needle and matching thread, scissors, one 8x12 piece of felt, and stuffing.
The finished product is a heart that measures about 5 1/2", but it's sort of hard to figure out how to measure a heart. When I take my ruler from the top center V to the lower center V, it measures 4 1/4". You could make them any size you want, but this is the biggest that will fit using just one standard piece of felt. As I made my first one, I learned a few lessons along the way and will gladly share them in my tutorial.
I was also thinking they'd make adorable bean bags too, but I don't have any dried beans on hand. Plus, I'd probably make them about an inch smaller to keep them the appropriate size/weight for safe bean bag tossing.
Okay, so here's what I did, but first, let me apologize for the quality of the pictures. My DSLR camera died on me as I was starting this project. I'd press the button, and it acted like it was trying to "think" but refused to take the picture. My husband took it to get repaired, but I am left with only my phone, which takes decent pictures, but as you can see, they aren't the quality you deserve. However, with Valentine's Day in just a few weeks away, I didn't want to put off this tutorial.
1. Fold the piece of felt into fourths and draw half a heart on it. Drawing just half the heart will ensure both sides are identical while folding it in fourths shows you the space you have to work with. (I just eyeballed mine, but you could trace out the one I've created.) Unfold it and refold it in half so you can cut out both sides of one heart at a time. Then, use this first heart as a model for your second heart.
2. You will have just enough left over fabric to cut out two strips for the sides. You will need two strips 1 1/2" wide and 9" long.
3. What conversation will you have with your heart? Text me, kiss me, I love you... The possibilities are endless, but you might need to eat a box of conversation hearts for inspiration! (I chose LOVE for my first attempt because it was easy.) Set your sewing machine to do a tight zig zag stitch. (For mine, the zipper stitch works the best.)
4. Lightly write your lettering onto your heart. Then carefully sew them onto your pillow. (As you can see from mine, I still need to vastly improve upon this skill!)
5. Take the labeled heart and one strip of side fabric, face the two front sides together, and sew them together with no more than a 1/4" seam. Be sure to do a back stitch at the beginning and end to strengthen your stitching. Start at the upper V and work carefully around the curve. Once you are finished, you may have a little leftover fabric from your strip. That's okay.
6. Repeat step five with your second strip of fabric.
7. Now you need to sew your side strips together at the top and bottom V's. Just pinch and allow no more than a 1/4" seam. You now have what looks sort of like an open heart box. Remember, at this point, the pillow is inside out.
8. You are ready to sew on the back of your heart. You'll repeat steps five and six. However, you will need to leave 1 1/2 to 2 inches to allow you room to flip your pillow right-side-out. Be sure to back stitch when you get to the stopping point of your second strip. Otherwise, the seam will continue to pull open as you are turning your pillow the correct way.
9. Turn your pillow right-side-out and stuff it.
10. Carefully hand stitch the last 1 1/2"-2" to close it up. Tie off and toss to your loved one!
These pillows take very little time to make and are extremely inexpensive to make. They'd be a fun valentine for the students in your child's class if you are very industrious or if the class is very small perhaps! I think I'll just make a few this year. I'm really tempted to make some smaller ones for bean bag toss!
I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here.