What better way to share your love than with a project you’ve put your heart and soul in to? With several embroidery designs, you can either choose your favourite or mix and match to create your own variation. The stitches used on the hearts are satin, chain and split stitch, all of which are quick and easy to do. Embroidery is a timeless art, meaning these hearts can be treasured for years to come. Use scraps from your work basket, and make a beautiful gift without breaking the bank.
- Fabric, cotton, assorted plain and prints, scraps
- Linen napkins and traycloths, vintage, scraps 25cm square
- Thread, embroidery, Anchor, Lavender;
- Wineberry; Thistle; Denim; Peony; Beauty Rose; Surf Blue, 8m skein of each; sewing, white
- Ribbon, embroidery, dark pink; light pink, 4mm wide; green, 2mm wide Embroidery hoop
- Erasable pen or pencil Needle, crewel; sewing
- Fibre filling
- Dried lavender (optional)
- Rose heart: 16cm x 19cm
- Moustache heart: 16cm x 19cm
- Personal heart: 15cm x 17cm
- Key heart: 13cm square
Make a rose heart
Download the templates and print out. Trace the large heart shape and wording ‘To my Valentine’ onto a vintage napkin or similar piece of linen, trying to incorporate any existing embroidery on the fabric within the boundaries of the design.
Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop and fill in all the lettering in satin stitch, using three strands of thread: use Lavender for the words ‘To my’ and the small diamond on the ‘V’, and use Wineberry for the word ‘Valentine’. To make the lettering really sumptuous, use padded satin stitch.
Create ribbon roses following the panel opposite in dark pink for the lower two flowers and lighter pink for the remaining one. For the stems and leaves, use stitch below the largest rose, to form a short stem, then sew two more straight stitches, joining this rose to each of the other two. Add detached chain, also known as lazy daisy, stitches to form leaves, using the photograph of the finished heart as a guide.
Remove the fabric from the hoop, place face down, and press lightly on the reverse with a hot iron, taking care not to flatten the embroidery stitches. Cut out the heart shape, following the line you transferred in step 1.
Place the embroidered heart shape face down on a piece of plain or patterned fabric, pin and stitch the two fabrics together 1cm from the cut edge using back stitch (or a sewing machine). Cut away the excess backing fabric and snip into the seam allowance on all curved edges. Turn right side out and stuff using fibre filling, dried lavender, or a mixture of both. Turn in the raw edges by 1cm on the opening, and slip stitch the folded edges together.
Stitch a moustache heart
Trace the wording ‘Love me, love my’ and the moustache motif from the template onto a piece of plain white linen. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop and fill in all the lettering in split stitch, using two strands of Thistle thread, then fill in the moustache shape using two strands of Denim. Remove the fabric from the hoop and press lightly on the reverse.
Trim the fabric to within 2.5cm of the lower edge of the moustache and the same distance above the lettering. Cut two strips of patterned fabric, each measuring 5cm x 18cm. With right sides facing, join one strip to the upper edge of the embroidered fabric and one strip to the lower edge, with a seam allowance of 1cm. Press the seams to one side, towards the patterned fabric.
Place the joined fabric face down. Trace the large heart shape onto a piece of card, cut out and use as a template. Place it on your embroidery, draw around the edge and cut out, making sure the writing and moustache are central. Add a fabric back to the heart as before.
Embroider a personal heart
Trace the wording ‘Your eart is mine’ and the small heart motif onto a vintage napkin or similar piece of linen, trying to incorporate any existing embroidery on the fabric. It doesn’t matter if the piece of linen is smaller than the medium-sized heart template, as it will be mounted onto a backing fabric.
Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop and fill in all the lettering in satin stitch or padded satin stitch, using three strands of Peony thread. Complete the heart shape using two strands of Beauty Rose and split stitch. Remove the fabric from the hoop and press lightly on the reverse. Place the embroidered piece face up on top of a piece of plain, coloured fabric measuring at least 18cm x 20cm and pin the two pieces together.
Trace the medium heart shape onto a piece of card, cut out and use as a template. Place it on your embroidery and draw around the edge, making sure the writing and heart are central. With white sewing thread, work a tacking stitch just within the line you have drawn, through both fabrics.
As decoration and still using white thread, use running stitch around the heart shape, again through both fabrics. Add further lines of running stitch along any embroidered areas already on the fabric and the edges. Cut out along the outline of the heart shape, add the back and complete as before.
Create a key heart
Trace the small heart template, the wording ‘The key to my’, the flowers, and the heart motif onto the centre of a piece of plain, coloured cotton or linen fabric. Place the material in an embroidery hoop and fill in all the lettering in split stitch, using two strands of Beauty Rose thread.
Outline the heart shape with chain stitch using three strands of Lavender. Change to Peony and embroider the flower petals in detached chain stitch and the flower centres in satin stitch, or use French knots if you prefer. Switch to Surf Blue and embroider the stems in stem stitch and leaves in lazy daisy stitch.
Remove the fabric from the hoop, place face down and press lightly on the reverse with a hot iron, taking care not to flatten the embroidery stitches. Then cut out the heart shape, following the line you made in step 1. Add the back and complete as before.
Make a plait using six lengths of embroidery thread (two each of three colours), knotting each end of the plait, to prevent unraveling. Fold in half, then push the loop through the ring at the top of a key, and stitch the two knotted ends to the back of the heart, at the top. Add a small ribbon bow, sewn in place at the front of the heart.