Friday, January 11, 2013

Another Valentine (with Tutorial)

My first Valentine pillow wasn't enough - I needed another. And I decided, while I was at it, to put together a tutorial for those of you who might want to make one of your own. This pillow makes a great weekend project -- one afternoon to make the hexagons and another to put together the pillow, though those of you blessed with more free time than I have could probably finish it in one long stretch. With Valentine's Day coming up next month, I figured that I would share this with you now rather than later since there are still a good number of weekends to come before February 14th.

While I could write a tutorial on how to make hexagons, there are so many other great ones out there that I'm going to step aside and send you to the experts. My current favorite is at The Sometimes Crafter -- fantastic photographs and clear steps lead you through the entire process. For those of you who have never tried hexagons, this is your big chance...don't let them scare you! I was so intimidated by these little guys for months before I did my first hexagon project, and then I couldn't believe I had waited so long. Even if you end up deciding that hexagons aren't your thing, you can at least be proud of yourself that you tried them.

The pillow I made for my husband was slightly larger than the one I'm going to demonstrate for you here, which fits perfectly on a 12 x 12" pillow form. It's very easy to adjust the size of this pillow to make it larger or smaller by adjusting the number of hexagons as well as the size of the background fabric. You could even make it into a pincushion if your hexagons are small enough!

13 one-inch hexagons
13.5" square of fabric for the pillow front
13.5" square of batting
13.5" square of fabric for the backing on the pillow front sandwich
13.5 x 8.5" and 13.5 x 10.5" pieces of fabric for the pillow back
Fabric glue stick
Embroidery thread and needle

Lay out your hexagons in vertical rows of 2, 3, 3, 3, 2 (see photo above), balancing the colors and designs to suit your liking.

Stitch the vertical rows together first.

Then stitch the rows together to form the entire heart.

Remove the threads and papers from your hexagons and press carefully to preserve the shape of each piece. 

Place the hexagon heart on the square of fabric you're using for the pillow front. Be sure to center it horizontally. If you plan to embroider a message beneath the heart, leave enough room -- I made certain that the bottom hexagon was five inches above the bottom edge of the square. Use a fabric glue stick on the back of the outer edges of the heart to glue it in place so that it won't slip while you're attaching it to the square.

Using your sewing machine, stitch about an 1/8" inside the heart all the way around to secure it to the pillow top.

If you like, embroider a message beneath the heart, centering it as much as possible. When I embroider words, I usually write the words out on a piece of paper and copy it as closely as possible. Remember, this is a handmade project, so your letters don't need to be perfectly formed. Imperfections just add to the charm. Really.

Take your two backing fabrics for the envelope closure and fold one of the long sides in 5/8", press, fold again, and press again on both pieces. Top stitch along the folded end twice -- 1/4" and 1/2" from the edge.

Make a stack of your fabrics, carefully matching the edges and corners in the following order from bottom to top: square backing of sandwich for pillow top, batting, pillow top (right side up), larger piece of envelope closure (right side down and positioned on the top half of the pillow with folded edge toward the center), and the smaller piece of envelope closure (right side down and positioned on the bottom half of the pillow with folded edge toward the center).

Pin the corners and along the side where the envelope closure pieces overlap. Stitch 1/2" from the edge all the way around the pillow, removing the pins as you go. Trim the corners to cut down on bulk, turn the pillow inside out, and press out the corners and edges of the pillow with a chopstick. Give it a good pressing.

Top stitch 3/8" from the outer edge of the pillow, and you're done. If you make one of these, please do share a picture or two in the Inspired by Fabric Mutt flickr group. I would absolutely love to see your creations!

Is there anything better than a valentine that you can hug?

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday.


  1. That is so cute Heidi! Thanks for posting this.

  2. Im thinking this is clever and darling and I'm thinking I need one.

  3. Totally gorgeous Heidi! Great tutorial too :o)

  4. I loved your first pillow so much that it inspired me to make a "hexie heart" quilt for my daughter for Valentine's Day. I did the hexagons in a non-traditional way (no papers -- just 1 big template and an iron) but it's working out OK. I posted my progress so far on my blog today. In my first post about it, I told everyone you inspired me and to check out your pillow -- I'm glad you shared a tutorial for it, as well... I think now my daughter will be getting a matching pillow :-)

  5. I love the way you used the hexagons in this pillow. I got a hexagon quilt book for christmas and need to start playing with some of the hexagon ideas.

  6. Almost makes me overcome my bleurghy-ness about hexagons and want to have a go! It's lovely :-)

  7. Oh, they look so cute together! Thanks for writing such a great tutorial!

  8. Oh my word - I could make looks so great!
    Gaby x

  9. Saw you on Chalk Talk and this is super adorable. I've been getting acquainted with hexagons lately (after thinking I'd hate them for over a year), and of course, absolutely love them.

    I love that your heart isn't obnoxiously "Valentines" red and pink, but I might have to make one that is. :)

  10. Love heart-shapes, and this pillow is adorable. Love your modern spin - the fabrics are great, and I love the gray background too.


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