While the measurements and process I used in my Scrappy Heart Quilt top are still fresh in my mind, I thought I’d write up a quick tutorial. I know there are probably a lot of pixelated heart tutorials out there but since I preferred to create my own, I hope I’ll be forgiven for any repeat of content that surely exists somewhere. (Note: this tutorial is also available as a FREE downloadable PDF, found at the end of this post)
That said, this quilt was enjoyable, simple, fast and fun to make. Should you choose to make one, I hope you’ll enjoy the process as much as I did.
The quilt is made up of these scrappy heart blocks, so begin by raiding your fabric and pulling everything you can find in your color scheme. I chose variety in pattern and color, as it added to the pixelated look of my blocks and gave them dimension, so matching fabrics wasn’t a concern for me. I did choose to avoid most of my fabrics with a lot of white in them so the blocks would have good contrast with my white background. Let’s talk fabric and cutting requirements:
Fabric requirements for the hearts (red, pink, purple, orange):
Each pixelated heart block requires 42 – 2.5″ squares. If you want to make a quilt the same size I did, you will need enough squares to make twelve blocks, or 504 squares PLUS another 7 squares to complete the layout with a staggered row of hearts down the center of the quilt, making a total of 511. Most 2.5 inch x width of fabric strips will allow you to cut 16 – 2.5 inch squares. This means you will need at least 32 strips of fabric cut into 2.5 inch squares. I cut more than this, knowing I would have leftover squares for another project, because I wanted more variety in my fabrics.
If you want to make a quilt like mine, the photo above indicates how many of each piece to cut. You will need 2 yards of background fabric. For an entire quilt, cut:
14 – 18.5″ strips
24 – 8.5″ strips
36 – 6.5″ strips
48 – 4.5″ strips
62 – 2.5″ squares
To make just one block, you will need 2-3 strips of 2.5 inch wide x width of fabric strips.
For one block, cut:
2 – 18.5″ strips2 – 8.5″ strips
3 – 6.5″ strips
4 – 4.5″ strips
5 – 2.5″ squares
To make each block, begin by laying out your squares. I found it easiest to lay out the 3rd & 4th rows first (9 squares across) and used those rows as a reference point for placing the squares on the rows above and below. After arranging the squares as you like them, lay out the background pieces. See the photo below if you’re not sure where to place each piece.
Sew each row together, making eight rows total. At this point I ironed my rows with each row’s seams facing alternating directions. Doing this allowed me to nest all the seams in each row with precision.
Sew the rows together, and as the last step in a completed block, add an 18.5″ strip across the bottom of the block beneath the point of the heart. Adding that strip to the bottom of the heart brings the block to an 18.5″ square and also eliminates the need for any sashing between the blocks. To make an entire quilt, make eleven of these blocks. *Note: typically I like to iron my quilt blocks at this point, but I chose not to iron the horizontal seams of the blocks at this point. Waiting will make sense when putting the quilt together.
The final piecing for the quilt top will prepare the center column you see below, with the 12th heart cut in half.
After making 11 heart blocks, the final heart is made in two halves. In actuality, it is made with an extra row, which is why we added 7 additional 2.5″ squares to the beginning number, as well as 2 additional 2.5″ background squares. For the top half of the heart, piece the top 5 rows of a block together.
The 5th row also makes an appearance in the bottom half of the heart. Piece the bottom 5 rows of a block together to make this half of a heart.
Now it’s time to lay the blocks out! Arrange them in three columns, with four hearts on the outside columns and three hearts in the middle. At the top of the middle row, place the bottom half of a heart. At the bottom of the middle column, place the top half of a heart.
You will notice when you do this, that the middle column is one strip longer than the outside columns. Take the top left and top right blocks of these outer columns and sew your last two 18.5″ strips to the top of them, as you see below.
Having done this, sew the columns into strips. *At this point, I ironed the blocks, ironing each strip in the outer columns down, then ironing each strip in the middle column facing up. Doing this allowed me to nest every row together as I sewed the columns together, making the seams precise.
Carefully sew the three columns together. With those final two seams, you have a finished quilt top, measuring approximately 53″ x 74″.
There you have it! A simple scrappy heart quilt top. Approximately 3.5 yards of fabric will make a quilt back, cut in half and sewn together along the selvages. I’m working on quilting mine now and hope to share it soon. If you have questions please leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to answer them. Thanks for visiting!
*edited to add: We decided to make this tutorial available in PDF format for easy access and printing. You may download it here for free! It is also available (free!) in my Craftsy shop.
Scrappy Heart Quilt Top
Scrappy Pixelated Heart finished quilt + heart quilting
Scrappy Pixelated Heart mini quilt
Heart Mini Quilt