Linus Heart, My Scrappy Heart,
My Scrappy Heart II, Broken Heart
click on image for pattern
What is it about hearts?
I doodle them on the edges of notes and the back of envelopes and just as often as not, they show up in my artwork and my quilts.
When I sign my name, I sign with a heart. It’s “with love, from Jennifer.”
For a not-very-girly-girl, it’s certainly a very girly thing to do. I don’t care, I like it. It shares a little of me, a little of my heart.
My paper piecing adventure began some years ago with Carol Doak’s Show Me How To Paper Piece. I read through the book, then tried the heart pattern. It took several tries and several more reads through the instructions before I got the hang of the technique.
That light bulb moment was the brightest I’ve ever had.
I decided that first effort would end in being a gift for my friend Alison. I searched out other blocks that represented our friendship. That was my first experience of not being able to find exactly what I wanted, but I used what I could find and my very next project, I started designing my own patterns.
Alison’s Wall Hanging
It was not long after this that The Linus Connection was looking to give thank you gifts to the sponsors of our first Annual Challenge. I was on the Board of Directors at the time and was closely involved with organizing that first challenge. Being the webmistress for Linus, as well as for Sewhooked, I see the Linus heart regularly. It’s on every page of the website and every paper label we attach to the quilts before giving them to the children.
It occurred to me then what a wonderful gift the Linus Heart in fabric would be, and what better than to use my new favorite technique, paper piecing? While it was not my very first pattern, it was one of the first, designed within a couple of months of my learning to paper piece. It’s still one of my favorites.
The Linus Connection Heart & it’s doppelganger in fabric
click on image for pattern
That same pattern eventually became part of my design for The Linus Connection banner, a project that I designed and organized in early 2006 with the blessing of the Board of Directors and help from many Linus volunteers.
The Linus Connection banner can be seen hanging by the sign-in table at every monthly meeting.
alphabet blocks from Carol Doak’s 300 Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks
In 2007, I was asked to demonstrate paper piecing for The Linus Connection’s volunteers during one of the monthly demos. This was my second paper piecing demonstration for Linus and I was really excited to have another opportunity to share my favorite quilting technique and some of the short cuts I’ve discovered.
I had not yet written my own paper piecing tutorial but I did have many patterns available on Sewhooked. What I did not have were many beginner’s patterns. A friend suggested the Hearts For Linus pattern as a starting place. It was a good suggestion and I designed two new hearts, each of increased difficulty, based on the original.
The demo was a success and from that came the writing of my paper piecing tutorial.
Heart Block Demo Quilt – November 2007
donated to The Linus Connection, January 2008
Where there are hearts, there will also be hearts that are broken. Though I am not sure why I decided to draw a broken heart, I do believe it had something to do with my love of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, my favorite of which is New Moon. I’d previously designed a wolf and a lamb, both inspired by Twilight, for my friend Alison to use in a wall hanging, which you can see here.
The broken heart represents the state that the main character, Bella, finds herself in for the majority of New Moon.
Whatever the block is that I have designed, it’s part of my story. They remind me of where I was and what I was thinking when I made the original sketch. I know what prompted the design of every single one, and I think that is a very special gift.
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