For middle aged women the likelihood of receiving a Valentines card or gift is somewhat remote. So I searched through my sewing patterns to come up with something I could make and give as a gift for the members of my patchwork group. I decided to adapt another heart pattern that I had used before. Download VALENTINE
I have often used this heart shape as a method of teaching beginner sewers how to use a sewing machine, I used it here as a coaster pattern. It is a good exercise for stitching a curved line and you have something when you are finished. (For year 9 students I found that it could be finished in a 70 minute lesson.)
I have used scraps for my pieces. You will need one piece each of fabric for the front and back and some wadding to go between them. ( I used left over cotton batting and cotton patchwork fabric.)
Stack your pieces with the batting at the back and the backing with right side facing up and the top fabric right side facing down. Because I was making 20 coasters I cut a cardboard template of the pattern and drew the outline on the back of the top fabric.
You do not cut the fabric around the shape until you have finished sewing.
Because you are sewing a curved line this will be on the bias of the fabric and could easily stretch out of shape if the fabric is cut. The pattern has been sized so that 2 copies can be printed on 1 A4 piece of paper. Cut the paper pattern roughly around the outside and position over the outline mark and sew on the sewing line marked on the paper leaving a 2 inch gap on one side for turning the fabric through to the right side. Be careful when sewing the top curve. Slow the speed of your machine and walk the needle around.
Tear the paper away, first tearing it from the outside of the shape.
Now we trim back the seam allowance to about 1/4" with the exception of the opening which should be around 1/2" allowance. Again, you leave extra fabric here so that the bias doesn't stretch as you pull the fabric to the right side. Nick the seam at the top curve so that the seam turns though flat.
Turn through to the right side. ( Ease the fabric don't pull hard.) You will find that the extra fabric you left at the opening will turn into place easily.
Ladder stitch the opening closed.
Iron your coaster on the back first, this settles the seam and your front fabric will sit towards the back.
Now, a coaster on it's own is a bit ordinary. Add a tea bag and a chocolate.
If you are making this with kids you may find that the chocolate is just too big a temptation so wrap your gift in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.