Heart Swag

Created By:

Valora Hammond

Skill Level: Intermediate

This clever project allows you to do ‘paper piecing in the hoop’. Each color change of the embroidery design used in this project will indicate the next step in your paper piecing (or stitch ‘n flip). Complete the heart as you would any paper piecing project according to the design. The machine will stitch down each piece of fabric and then add decorative effects for you. You won’t believe how easy this adorable heart swag is to complete!


Janome Supplies Required

Janome Supplies Required
Any Janome Embroidery machine
Any Janome sewing machine
Janome Cutaway stabilizer
Janome embroidery thread in color to match fabrics (Valora used red)
Janome embroidery thread in complementary color (Valora used purple)
Applique scissors

Fabric and Notions Required

Fabric and Notions Required
½ yd base fabric in white or neutral tone
Strips of three different fabrics in red or pink tones - 2”, 3” and 4” for both sizes
Two Pieces of ribbon or cording 12” long
Strips of fusible web (optional)


Before you Start

1. Download the embroidery files:

Large Heart
Small Heart

2. Load the file into your embroidery machine.


1. Place your base fabric in the hoop with the cutaway stabilizer and thread your machine with thread in color that matches your fabrics (Valora used red).
2. Stitch out the first color of the design – this will create the outline of the heart and indicate where you need to place your first fabric.
3. Lay your fabric face up over region 1.
4. Stitch out the next color of the embroidery design. This will stitch down the fabric over region 1, and place decorative stitching on top of that fabric.
5. Using appliqué scissors, trim the fabric along the outside edge of the heart as close to the stitching as possible. Trim the seam allowance of the fabric on the inside of the heart to ¼”.
6. Stitch out the next color of the design. This will indicate where your next fabric should be placed.
7. We will be using a stitch and flip method to complete the rest of the heart. Lay the next piece of fabric face down over top of piece 1, so that the edge of the fabric lies along the edge between piece 1 and piece 2, and overlaps by ¼” for the seam allowance.
8. Stitch out the next thread color to stitch down the fabric for piece 2.
9. Fold the fabric of piece 2 over, so that it covers region 2 of the design.
10. Stitch out the next thread color of the design to stitch this fabric in place.
11. Using appliqué scissors, trim the fabric along the outside edge of the heart as close to the stitching as possible. Trim the seam allowance of the fabric on the inside of the heart to ¼”.
12. Stitch out the next color of the design. This will indicate where your next fabric should be place.
13. Lay the fabric for piece 3 face down over the fabric for piece 1, with the fabric overlapping the common seam by ¼” for the seam allowance.
14. Stitch and flip in the same fashion as above.
15. Trim as indicated above.
16. Continue in this manner until you have completed all 6 regions of the heart design.
17. Change the thread color to the contrasting thread (purple in Valora’s sample).
18. Stitch the lace effects with the contrasting thread (This is built in to the design, and will be the next thread color in the progression of the embroidery design.)
19. Thread the machine with thread color that matches fabrics.
20. Make sure that the fabric along the outside of the design is trimmed as close as possible to the stitching and then stitch out the next thread color in the design. This will show where the tie will be attached.
21. Lay down the ribbon or cording and stitch the next thread color. This will stitch the ribbon or cording in place.
22. Repeat for the other side of the heart.
23. Collect the tails and tape to the center of the heart to ensure that they are not caught in the stitching for the backing of the heart.
24. Stitch the next thread color of the design. This will place a line of stitches ½” to the outside of the patched heart design.
25. Take a piece of the backing fabric, and press a ½” hem along the side of the fabric that will cross the width of the heart.
26. Lay this face down on the stitched heart so that it reaches half way up the heart (refer to photo for placement).
27. Lay another piece of fabric for the backing on top of this face down.
28. Stitch around the outside of the heart again. This will sew the back to the front.
29. Remove the heart from the hop and trim to ¼”, clipping the upper V for better turning. Turn ride side out and finger press along the seam.
30. Stuff.
31. Using fusible web strips, overlap the linking and fuse together or slip stitch closed.
32. Repeat, making both large and small hearts (see embroidery files for both) until you have created the desired number of ‘heart links’ for your pennant chain.
33. Using ribbon or cording, tie chain together, and hang.

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I'd like to express my gratitude for teaching me this appliqué method. I successfully applied it with small letters, and, so far, it's the most effective among all the methods I've seen and tried.

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