V and Co: how to:reverse applique pleated heart


last year i made a reverse appliqued gathered heart pillow. so this year why the heck not do a reverse applique pleated heart pillow.

try saying that 10 times fast. i dare you.

this is a great idea for basically any holiday. (yup, already working on some other ones!)

so if you want to add a little bit of pleated flair to your holiday here’s a cute and kind of easy project.

materials needed:

-scissors, iron, red thread, pencil sewing machine

-if you are using left over jelly roll strips take out three coordinating strips.

-if you are cutting your own strips: cut with a pinking blade: 3 strips of fabric measuring at 2 1/2″ x 44″ (basically the width of the fabric bolt) 

– 1 square cut from muslin or left over layer cake square at 10″ x 10″.

-2 pink squares (or whatever outside fabric you want to use) cut to 14″ x 14″ 

cluster stuff

 now lets get started:

1. from each of your 3 strips you will get 4 small strips.

2.cut your strip in half length wise (where the crease is) with scissors.

3. fold again in half your two strips and cut with scissors again.

-you will now have a total of 12 strips.

-with an iron fold in half width wise your strips and press with an iron. make sure your two raw edges are nicely lined up.

– do this for all 12 strips.

-next grab your 10″ x 10″ square and with a pencil and ruler draw 3/4″ lines all down the block (draw 12 of them)

-now take the strip and place your raw edge right up to the very last drawn line.

-using around a 1/8 seam sew your raw edge side down onto the drawn line.

-once you are done with your first strip, place the second strip right above the first strip on the next drawn line, repeat!

-keep going with all 12 strips

-this is what your pleated block will look like now.

** notice how the finished pleats are facing towards me and the raw edges are on the top. the raw edge top is the top of the block and the finished pleat is the bottom part of the block.

**also notice how it’s all kind of wonky and not very straight…no worries!

-turn it over and cut off those excess pieces of pleats.

-now grab one of your 14″ x14″ squares and your pencil and ruler again.

-this time on the wrong side of your fabric measure in 2″ from the edges and draw lines.

-using your drawn square place your pleated square inside the drawn lines.

*when you place your pleated square make sure you place the raw edge of the pleats up and the finished edge closest towards you.

**i placed a pin on the top side of the block because i wanted to make sure that i knew which way the raw and the folded edge were facing. (raw on the top and folded pleat on the bottom)

-using a 1/4″ seam i sewed my first side…

-and stopped a 1/4″ from the first corner.

-then i rotated the block (with the needle still in the fabric) and continued to sew with my 1/4″ seam.

-repeat around all four sides. back stitch when you get to the beginning stitch.

-next get your 8″ x 11.5″ paper and fold it in half width wise and draw half a heart.

-cut it out and open it up. make sure the heart fits inside your sewn square.

-trace the heart around  on the wrong side of the pleated square (that was just sewn on)

-with your drawn line as your guide, sew right on top of your drawn line.

– turn it around and you are ready to start cutting away your extra fabric!

-carefully pull your top layer (right side of  fabric) away from your pleated layer sewn underneath.

-with scissors cut a slit into the middle of your heart area.

-cut close to the sewn heart line MAKING SURE YOU DO NOT CUT ANY OF THE PLEATS IN THE PROCESS!!!

-gently place your fingers under the fabric and tent it so you know you are just cutting the top layer and no pleats are harmed in the making of this pillow. 😛

-continue to cut around the whole heart leaving your pleated reverse applique showing!

to finish it as a pillow:

1. place the second 14″ x 14″ square right sides together with your appliqued heart.

2.sew using a 1/4″ seam around three sides of your pillow. the last side leave an opening of at least 3″ – 4″

3. if you want you can do a diagonal stitch on all four corners as i talk about it here, it helps with eliminating super pointy ears. 🙂 of course if you are into super pointy ears by all means leave it and don’t do the diagonal stitch. and i wont judge your freaky deaky dutchiness.;P

4.turn inside out, stuff like a thanksgiving turkey with my favorite stuffing that you can only get online

(or maybe some of you know where to get it elsewhere? cause i’d love to know if you’ve found it anywhere other than amazon.)

-hand stitch close.

and be festively valentine-y.

oh and hey: here’s the video 

i got together with MSQC to do a video of this tutorial! you need to check it and say hi!


i have another how to…hopefully soon. i think it’s turning out fantabulous. 🙂

we’ll talk soon!

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