Sort of quilted anyway. Also, this is one of those “get out all your supplies” times.
Having some great books helps as well. The Stitchopedia just tells you everything you need to know that you can do with threads, and my ribbon embroidery book is a great inspiration, with a fair amount of good examples and instructions. It’s called Bandbroderi På Patchwork, by Ann E Baird, Ea Fisker and Jette Höjgaard. I believe it’s scandinavian in origin (possibly even swedish) but even if you don’t speak the language, the image instructions should suffice.
So I don’t have a before picture of how I put this together. But essentially, I drew a heart on an A6 paper, covering it edge to edge. Then I cut that out.
I put a bunch of fabrics together, not worrying about alignment or anything, just crazy patchworking enough to cover a bit over two A6 papers worth. Cutting seam allowances after each seam, and pressing. (this picture below is the second half before-picture – I didn’t take one of the first half)
Then I put my paper heart on top, drew it, and cut out from my crazy patchwork. Now you should add seam allowance on top of that heart, but I didn’t, which you can tell from the end result.
Attached bigger pieces of white fabric in embroidery hoops, and just basted on the hearts. Then I embroidered whatever came to mind, starting with covering the smallest seam, the larger seam, the longest seam.. and then filling in the spaces. (Hot tip: Don’t use satin ribbons. They’re really firm, and don’t yield to… well… anything. Organza or silk are to be preferred.)
Then I cut the hearts out from the surrounding fabric. They’re wonderfully sturdy with two layers of fabric like that. They would’ve been fluffy enough to keep as is (almost) if I’d had a thin batting underneath!
I then removed the basting thread, and put them face to face, sewing around the curves and ONE long edge. Then I turned it (carefully!), and stuffed it with fiberfill.
I also made a tiny fabric pocket that I filled with bird sand, and put in it, which gave it a wonderfully comfortable weight. If it had been just fiberfill, it would have weighed too little, and felt insubstantial.
You can see how the curves of the heart are almost like a teddy bear arm, due to the lack of extra seam allowance.
Also, that wide wedge in the middle, because I’m really bad at (and too tired for…) turning those inwards curves well.
But all in all, it turned out very sweet. It’s been sent off across the ocean, and once the recipient gets it, I hope it gets some love at its destination.