Monday, May 25, 2015

Made It: Hanging Heart Garland

Hello! While decluttering my studio recently, I unearthed a pile of fabric samples I'd purchased from an interior design store during Sidewalk Sales last summer. In the "use it rather than buy something more" spirit I've been trying to follow this year, I set aside a pile of blue and white prints to use in a project:

Aren't they just crying out to be used? Well, I thought so! These had been in a fabric sample book I'd paid a quarter for. The fabrics are sturdy, yet had an appealing softness to them; very nice quality. Who knows what they would have sold for per yard - I don't even want to think about it!

The women running the sale told me some people buy the fabric samples to use in quilting. Nothing wrong with that idea, but I had something simpler in mind - a hanging heart garland that would replicate something I'd seen in a magazine feature. 

Shortly after I'd decided to make this garland, I came across this in a thrift store:

You could say this violates my "don't buy something more" rule, as I already have heart templates in my studio. But hey, sometimes rules are made to be broken! This is a versatile pattern - three different sizes of hearts, with several different ways to change their look, such as using applique, embroidery or different fabrics per heart. 

I have to confess, I also bought the pattern out of a sense of nostalgia, as I once had a pattern set that was very similar. The above pattern dates from 1985, which is probably around the time I'd purchased mine. Ah, memories of my lost youth.

So yes, I lived through the country crafting craze of the 1980's. There was a cutesy cows/pigs/geese style, and then there was the more "refined" country-Victorian look, which I think is what the above pattern was shooting for. But when I see these patterns now, I just think how bland and boring the fabrics were, as seen here:

See what I mean by bland and boring? Nevertheless, I knew I could make something more pleasing (to me, at least), by using my blue and white fabric pieces. Since they weren't super big and I wanted to make several hearts for my garland, I used the smallest heart template. Thus, each fabric sample ended up yielding enough half-heart sections to make 12 - 3"high hearts. 

I had 12 fabric sample pieces, so to make each heart, I jumbled them up in a pile, closed my eyes, and randomly pulled out four fabrics  at a time (two each for the front and back of one heart). Such excitement, eh? It would have a been a quicker process if I'd made the fronts and backs the same, but I thought variety would be the spice of life here. 

Here's how some of the hearts turned out:

Not singing the blues over these fabrics, that's for sure! 

I strung my 12 hearts together on a gold cord, using whitish or clear beads as spacers in between them. I added a couple of pieces from a chandelier crystal (a gift from a departing friend) at the bottom of my hanging heart garland, and then it was ready to hang from our front porch:

Ta da! The garland is about three feet long. I liked how it turned out.

A close-up:

My hanging heart garland now joins my blue bird garland in hanging from our front porch. You can see that flock here.
Alas, I'm starting to run out of display room on the front porch, so if I feel the urge to craft some more hanging garlands, I'll have to put them up somewhere else!



  1. Your garland came out very pretty...great way to brighten up a corner of the porch!

  2. Thanks so much, Andria! It was fun to make the hearts out of such pretty fabrics!