Secret Heart Pillow
by Jennifer Strauser of Dizzy Quilter
Create a secret heart pillow that has a zippered compartment for treats or notes. Use one fabric color for the secret heart or piece together coordinating Valentine-themed fabrics to create a 10 1/2″ panel for Piece A. This project is a great way to use a fun fat quarter bundle. Add some quilting using 50 wt. Cotton thread for texture and pops of color.
SECRET HEART PILLOW SUPPLIES
(1) 10 ½” square of heart fabric
(1) 10 ½” square of fabric (to back the quilted panel – it will not show, so use up a scrap!)
(1) Background fat quarter of fabric
(1) Fat quarter of fabric (pocket lining)
(2) Pillow back fat quarters of fabric
(1) 8” or longer zipper
(1) 11” square of batting
(1) 16” pillow form
All seam allowances are ¼”. Prewash and press all fabrics.
From the heart print, cut a 10 ½” square for Piece A.
From the background fabric, cut:
B: (1) 3” x 5 ½” rectangle
C: (2) 2 ½” squares
D: (2) 5” squares
From the panel backing fabric, cut two 10 ½” x 5 ¼” rectangles.
Place Piece B wrong side up on a flat work surface. Fold one long edge ¼” toward the wrong side; press. Fold the two short raw edges up toward the wrong side, forming a triangle with the folded edge at the point.
Press pieces C and D in half along the diagonal, wrong sides together.
SEWING PIECED HEART
Lay Piece B in place at the center of the heart panel upper edge. Mark the point using a removable marking pen. This is the zipper upper-edge placement. Set aside Piece B.
Cut the panel in half vertically.
Align the zipper right side down along one panel center cut edge, positioning the zipper teeth just below the mark. Align one piece of panel backing fabric along the zipper wrong side. Pin well, and then stitch a ¼” seam. Press the fabrics open. Unzip the zipper during sewing to keep the pull away from the presser foot.
Repeat to sew the opposite zipper edge to the remaining panel and panel backing piece.
Cut the batting piece in half. Place it in between the panel and panel backing along one zipper edge, abutting the long batting edge against the folded line of the panel fabric.
Topstitch ⅛” from the foldline, securing the batting.
Quilt the panel as desired using Sulky 50 wt. Cotton thread.
Trim away the excess batting and zipper tape from the panel perimeter. Make sure the zipper pull is zipped partially, contained within the panel body before trimming.
Measure the panel. It should measure 10 ½” square. If not, either cut it down or adjust the following cutting instructions to fit the panel dimensions.
Following the diagram, position the heart corner pieces. Pin all three layers together. Sew a line of stay stitches along the outside of the block with a ⅛” seam allowance.
ADDING BORDERS & QUILTING
Cut two pieces of border fabric measuring 10 ½” x 3 ½”. Align the borders with the heart panel side edges; pin. Stitch with a ¼” seam. Press the seam allowances toward the border. Topstitch along the pressed seam using a ⅛” seam allowance.
Next, cut two pieces of border fabric measuring 16 ½” x 3 ½”. Align the borders with the upper and lower heart-panel edges; pin. Stitch using a ¼” seam. Press the seam allowances toward the border. Topstitch along the pressed seam using a ⅛” seam allowance. The topstitching is a good place for decorative stitches!
Slip your finger into the flap created by the corner piece. Carefully fold the fabric over along the bias, creating a gentle curve.
Topstitch along the curved edge. If possible, stitch around the heart in one pass, stitching in the ditch between the curved pieces.
SECRET HEART PILLOW BACKING
Fold each backing fat quarter in half along the short side; press, and then cut each 16 ½” wide. The pieces should measure 16 ½” x 10”.
Place the lining fabric right side up. Then place pillow front right side up over the lining. Layer the pillow-back panels over the pillow front, with the folded edges toward the pillow center. Next, align the raw edges and the pillow-front raw edges. Stitch the perimeter using ¼” seam allowance.
Clip the corners, and then turn the pillow right side out through the envelope closure. Lastly, topstitch ¼” from the pillow perimeter.
To finish the pillow, insert the pillow form.