I went on a Christmas decoration making blitz yesterday. They have been selling really well at the stall and I want to make sure I have enough for the next two weekends. Yesterday I was making hearts, today I'll be making trees and mini stockings, I'll try to blog about them later in the week.
I got the lovely fabric hearts last year in the Limerick Quilt Centre, getting them pre-cut saves me a few extra minutes as all I have to do is cut out the back panel. I use felt as it's sturdier than using cotton. I prefer to use the cheap stuff from Silkes as it's thicker than the felt I buy from Lupin. I also cut out a small circle to add to the front with a contrasting coloured button. Hand stitching on all all these bits was nearly the most time consuming part of my day.
I sort out the hearts into batches of colour, all the ones I want sewed with green, and red and so forth. I use a wide zigzag applique stitch with helps seal in the cotton and also makes a pretty border. Be warned though this stitch eats thread. You get about 5/6 hearts per bobbin of thread.
Don't forget to pop in your loop of ribbon when you are at the top of the heart, there has been many a time when I've let my mind wander and I've forgotten....after which the was much obscene cursing to be heard in the studio.
When I first started making these a few years ago I used to take the heart off the machine to stuff them. But if you are up for a little bit of tricky fiddly stuffing then you don't have to bother. Once you make sure you drop your needle into the heart to make sure it stays in position you can can then stuff them and continue sewing.
It was a long day but I got 28 of them made in total. I won't be listing them in my Etsy shop as it's too near to Christmas, but you can get them at my stall at the Milk Market for €5 each. I also add little tags to them saying I heart Christmas with a to and from section so you can give them as a small token gift.