Hearts of Hope Sew-Along, Part Two!

I’m so glad so many of you have jumped in. I’ve loved seeing your shares through social media!

Be sure you are tagging your photos #heartsofhopequilt and #quiltersforukraine so we can all share in your progress!

For those just joining in: You will find the introductory post and Part One linked under the Hearts of Hope Sew-Along tab at the top of the blog.

I’ve heard from many of you who are liking the relaxing process of string piecing more than you thought you would.

Just be sure that you are keeping your stitch length SMALL (1.5 on a digital machine, and 14-16 stitches per inch on a vintage machine) so the paper isn’t hard to remove.

Larger stitches may be faster at first, but you will have to physically tear the paper between the stitch holes to remove it. It will pull on your stitches. If you keep those stitches small and close together the needle will do the work of perforating the paper closely for you.

Click HERE for PDF in English.
Click HERE for PDF in French.
Click HERE for PDF in German.

Today we are tackling the bottom of the hearts – a string pieced flying geese unit does the job!

You can make these one of two ways.

You can make string rectangles, and use a stitch-n-flip method to add the neutral wing triangles if this is your favorite method. Just know that this is going to take more fabric, and there is quite a bit of waste.

No matter which method you choose – we are going to start out the same, covering some paper foundations with yellow strings and strips.

This time we are not cutting the paper into columns first. We are going to cover the whole page and cut to 3 1/2” wide columns afterward.

I am using full size phone book pages. I can easily get 2 columns 3 1/2” wide from the 8” width of the page. If your papers are a different size, adjust accordingly to yield the 49 units needed to complete the heart blocks.

This time DO start in the center, placing the first two strips with right sides together toward the middle of the page. Notice we are sewing across the 8” direction, not the length of the page.

If your pages are barely too short – check out what I’m doing here. I generally add 1/2” margin at the beginning and ending of my string piecing just because shift happens. I like having a bit of margin in case I trim crooked or I fall short elsewhere.

Press the top strip to the side and continue adding more strips to cover the page completely, pressing after each strip is added.

Ukraine is well known for their wheat and for sunflowers, so my yellows ranged from grain-gold through the yellow spectrum to sunflower petal in color.

Remember you don’t want them all the same dye lot or things will read as flat. Many of my fabrics also have other colors playing on them. (The one with the blue tea pots is a favorite!)

Fill 9 pages with string piecing. If your pages are smaller, it will be easy to make more when you find what you can get out of the 9 you have done and how many more you need to get the 49 heart bottoms.

Trim one long side and two short sides of each page. The 4th side is margin. Cut 2 columns 3 1/2” by the length of the page from each page.

Some of mine!

Remove all of the paper from each column. Join the columns end-to-end in one long length. Press carefully.

Traditional Stich & Flip Method:

From the long length of yellow string piecing cut:

49 rectangles 3 1/2” X 6 1/2”.

From neutral fabric cut:

98 squares 3 1/2” X 3 1/2”.

Draw a line from corner to corner on the back side of each neutral square.

Things to remember – the drawn line is NOT your sewing line. It is your FOLD LINE. DO NOT SEW DIRECTLY ON THE LINE. If you do – your folded corner triangle will always be short and not reach where it needs to go.

Place your needle to the RIGHT of the line, into the seam allowance. The left side of the sewing machine needle is right up against the line, but now the fabric can fold up and over my thread and reach the edges of my unit.

Refer back to Part One if you need to see how close my needle is to that line. It’s right up against it.

Sew slowly, and carefully. Press.

*Pressing Tip!*

Instead of pressing blindly from the fold toward the corner, align the edges of the triangle you are pressing even with the edges of the base unit FIRST. Once these are even, press down on your unit. This will block your unit to help it keep its shape and size.

Once pressed correctly, fold triangle back and trim seam allowance 1/4” from stitching.

Repeat for the other side of the unit.

Units will measure 3 1/2” X 6 1/2” unfinished and finish at 3” X 6” in the quilt.

Simple Folded Corners Method:

Start as with the basic Stitch & Flip method above, but instead of drawing a diagonal line, place the 1/4” line on the ruler (Mini shown) on the diagonal of the corner square and trim leaving 1/4” seam allowance.

Remember to sew just shy of 1/4” because the FOLD has to happen on the diagonal of the unit for the triangle to reach where it needs to go. Press seam toward the neutral triangle.

A couple of tests should help you adjust where you need to sew to achieve unit size.

Trimming for second side.

As stated – there is quite a bit of trim-off with the size of these units, but perhaps you can make them into something??

Because of this waste – you will need to make more than the 9 pages of yellow strings. Simply piece more when you need more to get the 49 3 1/2” X 6 1’2” rectangles needed for this method.

We are using the green lines for quarter-square triangles on the ruler. This is a 6” finished unit, so we are using the 6th green line down from the top (It says 3 1/2” down the center – our strip width) for this unit.

Place the line ON the fabric, not on the mat or your units will end up “just that much” too small.

Trim along both sides of the ruler for the first unit. Pivot the ruler as shown to cut the second unit.

Units will have blunt tips!

Continue cutting units down the strip to cut the 49 yellow string triangles needed.

If your string strip runs short, go piece some more until you have enough to cut the 49.

Cutting Wing Triangles:

From neutral fabrics cut a good variety of 3 1/2” strips.

Place 2 different strips with right sides together. One strip will yield the right hand wing triangle and the other the left hand, trimmed corners will meet each other at the top point of the flying geese unit.

Square off one end of the strip set. Place the 3” finished red line (5th line from the top) at the top edge of the strip set as shown, with the line ON the fabric, not above it sitting on the mat. Make one cut.

Pivot the ruler and align that same 3” finished red line at the bottom of the strip set. Make another cut.

Repeat the process, cutting as many sets of this desired pairing as you wish before moving on to another pairing, making the backgrounds as scrappy as you want them to be.

I generally cut 4 sets from each pairing to give me some repeat, but left plenty of room for variety.

Right hand wing triangles being stitched into position – align the pointy ends of the wing triangles right sides together with a string pieced base triangle. The end with the trimmed dog ear is at the top.

Stitch. Press seam toward the wing triangles and trim dog ears – both at the bottom corner of the unit, and that little tippy top triangle you see extending beyond the string pieced base triangle. Just trim it even with the yellow triangle.

Align the left wing triangles with right sides together to the unit and stitch. Press and remove those dog ears.

Units will measure 3 1/2” X 6 1/2” at this point.

Make 49.

Join heart bottoms to heart tops!

Oh, Happy Day!

Place heart tops and heart bottoms with right sides together. Sew center seam, controlling seam allowances on the upper and underside as you go so they don’t flip while sewing.

Press seas toward the heart tops.

Blocks will measure 6 1/2” X 6 1/2” and finish at 6” in the quilt. Make 49.

I just love how these turned out –

So many fun fabrics and great scraps being put to good use.

Next week – Part Three – sewing the top together and adding some borders. I’ll see you back here then!

Thank you for your continued efforts in donating to our Quilters For Ukraine GoFundMe.

In lieu of purchasing a pattern for Hearts of Hope from me – my own hope is that you will donate as little as $10.00 to Quilters For Ukraine simply because you are participating in this Sew-Along.

If your guild or group makes our Hearts of Hope quilt – perhaps they can do it as a “donation” quilt (otherwise known as raffle but renamed for those whose laws state they can’t say raffle.) with all funds going to our GoFundMe , Quilters For Ukraine.
Every little bit is helping. ALL of this will be going directly to Together Rising in their continued efforts to provide real support – boots on the ground support – for the people of Ukraine.

Quiltville Quote of the Day –

Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

It just means you should try harder!

Some results just take longer, but it’s worth it!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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