No-fray felted wool makes this appliqué project quick to stitch. Glass beads and hand-embroidery further embellish the heart.
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Project designer: Robin Kingsley

From American Patchwork & Quilting, February 2005


  • 9x15" piece of cream felted wool for applique foundation and heart backing
  • 2 -- 1/4x10" strips of teal felted wool for heart applique
  • 4" square of mint green felted wool for leaf appliques
  • Scraps of gold, periwinkle, dark periwinkle, burgundy, and rose felted wool for flower appliques
  • Perle cotton No. 8: green, periwinkle, rose, gold, and cream
  • 10" of cream 1/8"-diameter cording
  • Glass beads: three 1/4"-diameter and one 5/8"-diameter
  • Freezer paper
  • Glue stick
  • Polyester fiberfill

Cut the Fabrics

To felt wool, machine-wash it in a hot-water-wash, cool-rinse cycle with a small amount of detergent; machine-dry it on high heat and steam-press. It is not necessary to add seam allowances when cutting out the applique pieces. Since felted wool doesn't ravel, there are no edges to turn under. Cut the edges cleanly, keeping them as smooth as possible.

Click on "Download this Project" to download the full-size patterns. To use freezer paper for cutting out the pieces, as was done in this project, complete the following steps.

1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over the patterns. With a pencil, trace each pattern the number of times indicated. Roughly cut out the freezer-paper shapes.

2. Using a hot, dry iron, press the freezer-paper shapes, shiny side down, onto the right side of the designated fabrics; let cool. Cut out the fabric shapes on the drawn lines. Peel off the freezer paper.

From cream wool, cut:

  • 2 of Pattern A

From mint green wool, cut:

  • 4 each of patterns B and B reversed
  • 2 of Pattern C
  • 1 of Pattern C reversed

From gold, periwinkle, dark periwinkle, burgundy, and rose wool scraps, cut:

  • 6 of Pattern D
  • 5 of Pattern E

Applique the Heart

Use one ply of perle cotton for applique stitches unless otherwise stated.

1. Referring to the Applique Placement Diagram, position the two teal 1/4x10" strips in a heart shape on a cream A heart. Steam the wool strips, if necessary, to ease in extra fabric along the curves, and trim the strip ends at an angle so they abut. Use a glue stick to hold the strips in place.


2. Using green perle cotton and running stitches, stitch the long edges of each teal strip to the cream heart. To make a running stitch, pull your needle up at A and insert it back into the fabric at B, 1/8" away from A. Pull your needle up at C, 1/8" away from B, and continue in the same manner.


3. Using green perle cotton, stem-stitch three tendrils extending into the center of the heart.

To stem-stitch, pull your needle up at A, then insert it back into the fabric at B, about 1/4" away from A. Holding the thread out of the way, bring your needle back up at C and pull the thread through so it lies flat against the fabric. The distances between points A, B, and C should be equal. Pull gently with equal tautness after each stitch. Continue in the same manner, holding the thread out of the way on the same side of the stitch every time.


4. Referring to the Applique Placement Diagram, position the mint green B and B reversed leaves around the top of the teal appliqued heart; glue in place. Position the mint green C and C reversed leaves along the center stem-stitched tendril; glue. Using green perle cotton, backstitch down the center of each leaf. To backstitch, pull your needle up at A. Insert it back into the fabric at B, and bring it up at C. Push your needle down at D, and bring it up at E. Continue in the same manner.


5. Referring to the Applique Placement Diagram, arrange the gold, periwinkle, dark periwinkle, burgundy, and rose D and E flowers atop the teal appliqued heart; glue in place.

6. Using two plies of gold, periwinkle, or rose perle cotton, make three French knots in the center of each flower. To make a French knot, pull the thread through at the point where the knot is desired. Wrap the thread around your needle once without twisting it. Insert the tip of your needle into the fabric at B, 1/16" away from A. Gently push the wrap down the needle to meet the fabric. Pull your needle and trailing thread through the fabric slowly and smoothly.


Complete the Heart Ornament

1. To make the hanger, fold the 10" length of cording in half and knot the ends together. Referring to Diagram 1, place the knotted ends on the back of the remaining cream A heart; baste in place.


2. To make the beaded dangle at the bottom of the heart, cut a 15" length of cream perle cotton. Securely tape one end of the perle cotton to your work surface. Holding the perle cotton taut, twist it until it doubles back on itself. Bring the two ends together and let the perle cotton twist back on itself to form twisted cording. Tie the ends together in an overhand knot 2" from the folded end, then trim the ends 1/2" from the knot. Slip two 1/4"-diameter glass beads and the one 5/8"-diameter glass bead on the cord and tie the folded end in a knot. Position the knot near the raw ends on the back of the remaining cream A heart so the beaded portion dangles below; baste in place (see Diagram 2).


3. Layer the two cream A hearts with wrong sides together, sandwiching the ends of the hanger and dangle; pin. Using one strand of cream perle cotton and a running stitch, stitch the cream hearts together, leaving a 3" opening along one side (see Diagram 2). Stuff the heart firmly with fiberfill, using the eraser end of a pencil to stuff the heart's point. Sew the opening closed. Sew the remaining 1/4"-diameter glass bead to the heart center to complete the ornament.