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This basic heart quilt block starts with a free pattern (tutorial)

by Jean Boyd

Now that I’ve introduced you to the new Brother Innov-is BQ3100, itʼs time to start using some of the great features on this machine. This week, I’ll show you how to use a basic heart pattern in different ways to create your own special design. This is a great project as we’re close to Valentine’s Day, but heart shapes are popular at any time of the year.

Finished red and white heart block on the bed of the Brother BQ3100

Finished heart block



  • (2) 5” x 7” pieces of fabric in two different colors (or use scraps)
  • 14” x 18” piece of background fabric


  • sewing thread in a neutral color to your fabrics


  • 7” square of template plastic
  • cutting mat
  • rotary cutter
  • 6½” x 6½” ruler
  • temporary marking tools
  • fabric marker
  • fabric stabilizer
  • paper
  • glue stick

feet/machine accessories suggestions

  • ¼” foot with guide or ¼” foot without guide


  • iron
  • ironing board
  • sewing machine
  • computer
  • printer

Here’s the pattern for the heart shape. Print the pattern on paper. Cut out the paper shapes, leaving about ¼” around each shape. Lightly glue each paper shape to the template plastic.

2 paper heart shapes are lightly glued to template plastic.

Glue paper heart shapes to template plastic.

Cut out the shapes on the printed lines, and your templates are ready to use.

cutting instructions for one 6” heart block

Place the templates on the fabric of your choice, trace around each template, then cut out the heart shapes on the drawn lines.

Plastic templates are placed on fabric and traced.

Place templates on fabric and trace around them.

From the background fabric, cut the following:

  • 4¼” square; re-cut to make 4 quarter-square triangles (you just need 1 triangle for the block)
  • 4½” square; re-cut to make 2 large half-square triangles
  • 2¾” square; re-cut to make 2 small half-square triangles

TIP It’s a good idea to label the half-square and quarter-square triangles.

Note: The half-square triangles are cut larger than required and will be trimmed later. This helps to make a perfectly accurate block.

  • (4) 3″ x 9″ strips for the border around the block

2 fabric pieces for the heart block and 2 quarter-square triangles, 2 small half-square triangles and 2 large half-square triangles.

Pieces for the heart block are cut out

Making the block

  • Sew a quarter-square triangle to the smaller heart shape.

A quarter-square triangle sewn to the small heart shape.

Sew a quarter-square triangle to the small heart shape.

Sew the large heart shape to this piece. I used the ¼” foot with guide for this step, but you can also use the ¼” foot without a guide or the J foot on the Brother BQ3100.

The two heart shapes are sewn together using the ¼" foot with guide; Brother BQ3100

Sew the two heart shapes together.

  • Sew a small half-square triangle to each side of the top of the heart shape.
  • Sew a large half-square triangle to each side of the bottom of the heart shape.
  • Using a 6½” square ruler, trim the block so it measures 6½” x 6½”.

A 6½" square ruler is placed on the pieced heart block so the block can be trimmed to 6½" x 6½".

Trim the block to a 6½” square.

Sewing on the borders

  • Starting at the top of the block, sew on a 3″ x 9″ border using a partial seam as shown in the picture.

A 3" x 9” strip is sewn to the top of the heart block with a partial seam.

Using a partial seam, sew a 3″ x 9″ strip to the top.

  • Sew on the remaining 3 border strips.
  • Complete the partial seam you used for the first border strip.

A red and pink pieced heart on a white background with a partial seam on the top border.

Finish sewing the partial seam.

This simple block can be arranged in many ways, but here’s just one way you might like to try.

Quilt design using 12 heart blocks and a border in red, pink and white colors.

Quilt design using the heart block

Please join me again tomorrow as I use the new Brother BQ3100 machine to make another version of the heart block, this time using some of the new decorative stitches on the borders.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Find out why the new Brother BQ3100 is a must-have for quilters

Go to part 3: 100+ decorative stitches on the new Brother BQ3100: how do you choose?


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