Tutorial, The Valentine Quilt Top, Part One

Valentine Quilt Top

   Recently I was asked to do a tutorial.  I had never created a full tutorial on my quilting techique.  Let me tell you I thought my brain was going to explode!  There are so many details!  So, instead of giving up on tutorials I decided to practice creating them. 

The first thing I did was change how I attached my applique shapes to my quilt top.  I found a tutorial on Youtube (I can’t find the tutorial anymore on Youtube, sorry!) that was a break through for me.  Everyone that reads my blog knows that I like to hand sew.  I rejected the use of fusible webbing on quilts because it left a hard stiff feeling to the fabric.  The new method (at least for me)  that I discovered is using the fusible webbing  just along the edges of the applique shape.   Here is the basic idea of the techique:  instead of making the entire applique shape covered with webbing glue, you apply the webbing glue just around the edges. 

So here is my tutorial.  Please feel free to critique and edit. 

The fabric I chose for this quilt top is quilters cotton from my stash.  I thought the fabric prints I choose looked good for valentines day.  The fabric  kind of fit together but they also fight a bit too.   The design is based on folk art.  I like art that is a bit primitive.



Fabric for the applique –   The size should be at least a bit bigger than 8.5″x11″

Fabric for the quilt top –  Must be at least a bit bigger than your applique.  I used  a piece that was quite a bit larger that the applique because I wasn’t sure what I would like for a finished size.

Fusable Webbing  ( NOTE:  I just tried Steam-A-Seam 2 Double Stick fusible Web and I worked better for the the Steam-A-Seam Lite)


Sewing Needles


Embroidery Needles

Embroidery Hoop

Embroidery Floss

Valentine Quilt Top Pattern

 Click on pattern to get the full size image and to print out.

 The Applique Pattern:   I designed the applique pattern to print out easily on a 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper.

print out and webbing

 Fusible Webbing:  (The truth is I don’t know a lot about webbing.  I’ll tell you what I used but you may want to experiment on your own.)  The fusible webbing I used is Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 by The Warm Company.  I used it for the following reasons,

 1)  It comes in packages of 5 –  9″ x12″ sheets.  I didn’t want to buy a whole roll if I didn’t like the results     

  2) It said right on the package that it is used for applique   

 3) Also on the package it says that it is permanent   

  4) Lastly, the webbing I chose had a slightly tacky back so once you get it into place on your fabric you don’t have to pin it down before ironing.  It did create a small problem of being hard to place because of the sticky back sticking to it’s self and such.

Transferring the design onto the fusible webbing:  The Webbing I used was transparent.

1) I laid the webbing on top of the print out/ drawing and traced, with pencil, the design onto the webbing.

2) Now you are going to draw one more line.  This line will be following the design on the inside.  I drew this line about 1/4 inch from the design lines.

Drawing the line inside of the design.

 Cutting the Webbing:

1) Cut only the inside line of the webbing.

Cutting at the inside line of webbing.

 2)  Your webbing should look like this :

Webbing with the design cut out.

 NOTE:  Notice the flower at the bottom of the design.  Since the center of the flower wasn’t attached to the rest of the design I had to cut it out separately.

 Applying the Webbing to your applique fabric:

1)  Make sure that your fabric is ironed.

2)  The webbing I  used had a lite tackiness to it that when press onto the fabric by hand it stayed in place.  But, with a simple design you shouldn’t need anything to hold your webbing in place.  If you need to pin the webbing down, place just enough pins hold it in place.  Don’t iron on top your pins.  Remove the pins at the point right before you iron a specific area.  Leave whatever pins you need to hold the rest of the webbing down. 

Iron the webbing onto your fabric as per the manufacturers instructions.

Masking sitting on the Fabric

 Finish cutting the applique piece:

1) Cut to the outside edge of the appliqued shape.

Cut to the edge of the applique shape.

Fabric cut using the drawing on the webbing for a guide.

 Peeling the webbing backing paper off:

1) Peel the webbing backing paper off.  You should be able to see the ring of webbing adhesive) right along the edge of the applique.

Peeling the webbing off of the fabric reveals the webbing adhesive.

 Iron on the applique:

 1) Lay applique shape onto quilt top. 

2) Pin your applique shape to the quilt top.  Don’t put your pins where there is adhesive. 

3) Using the webbing manufacturers instructions iron your applique shape onto the quilt top.

4) Your applique and quilt top should be one*.

*My iron is really old and doesn’t get very hot.  Some of the applique corners came up at the tips.  Just a little though.  Let me know if you corners stayed adhered to your quilt top.

To be Continued in Part Two.

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11 Responses to “Tutorial, The Valentine Quilt Top, Part One”

  1. kat says:

    oh, thanks for this. I’m just learning hand quilting techniques myself because I love quilts like yours.

  2. Rachel says:

    That’s so pretty. I really love your design. Hand sewing is so much fun. It’s one of my favorite things to do in front of a movie and I can usually get my cat to settle in on my lap UNDER my project. Good kitty! I’ll be linking.

  3. Ginger DeValue says:

    I am wondering if you are doing the blanket stitch and running/quilting stitch on the fabric only or if you have batting and/or batting at this point. I have embelished prior to quilting and I have used pearl cotton and embroidery thread to quiilt/embelish.
    I was wondering what technique you are using in this example.
    Also, how do you quilt the top after you have embelished with all of the beautiful embroidery ?

    • Andrea says:

      Hi, excellent question! I do all my embroidery embellishment before I start quilting(quilting the quilt top, batting and quilt- back together.). . This includes the blanket stitch or the running stitch. In this tutorial all you are dealing with is the quilt top, no batting and no actual quilting.

      I pretty much do all embroidery before I put all three layers of a quilt together. Once I put all 3 layers together and the quilting begins I work around the embroidery. I don’t quilt on top of the embroidery. Often my appliqued pieces aren’t quilted at all. Only the background is quilted.

      The valentine quilt is just a top. Historically, it’s actually common to make just a quilt top. Many of the ancestor quilters enjoyed the piecing and applique, but not the quilting. I actually have a friend that went through some of her grandmothers stuff and found a bunch of quilt tops. When I told her about it being not that uncommon to ;eave a quilt top unquilted her Grandmothers quilts made since to her. All of her grandmothers quilt tops had finished edges.

      Lastly, there are times that I need to embroider after the quilt is quilted. Usually I missed something or I think that something else might be needed. You can embroider , without a hoop, through the quilt top layer only by not letting your needle go to deep. I have done this before, it’s actually not that hard.

      Check out my other quilts. You can see in detail what I do.




      • Ginger DeValue says:

        Thanks so much. I often wonder, when I am quilting a top that I have embroidered, “What would other quilters do?” I am NOT a fan of quilting OVER the embroidery. I appreciate your answer since it is always good to get someone else’s input.

        Currently, I am quilting a lattice design everywhere BUT the embroidered flowers on a smallish quilt (60 x 60). I had a wonderful machine quilter quilt “feathers” in the fabric only area.

        I love your blog and am so glad that I discovered it a few weeks ago. Thanks for the links to the other quilts.

  4. Giddy says:

    I really like those fabrics together, too. Awesome that they both “Fit” and “Fight” (just like a marriage). 😉

  5. Angela says:

    Love this!

    I have a quick question – will the webbing and the blanket stitch prevent fraying of the applique if this quilt were to be machine washed?

    Lovelove your work! Thanks!

    • Andrea says:

      This is a very good question. In truth, I don’t know. I believe it is suppose to prevent fraying when the quilt is washed. Since all my quilts are to hang on the wall I haven’t needed to wash any of them. I use air-in-a-can to blow dust off of them.

      I think I might do an experiment and see what happens.

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