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I Found A Quilted Heart

by Beth Cooper

Have you heard about this movement?  It’s happening all over the world.  It spreads love and happiness to others and it is centered around sewing!  You guys!  You’re going to love this!  It’s called “I Found a Quilted Heart.”  Basically, you make a small heart out of fabric, stuff it, decorate it, and then attach the required tag.  Here comes the best part, then you hide it in a public place.  Someone else then comes along, finds it, and it totally brightens their day.  I love this idea!

How did this movement start? 

Well, according to the I Found a Quilted Heart website, three sisters and their husbands were hiking in the desert in Nevada and came across a small hidden heart with a tag that read “I need a home.”  They loved it and from there the idea for the movement grew into what it is today.

How do I make a heart? 

Ready to participate?  According to the website, hearts are made of fabric, generally the size of your palm, and can be any shape of heart you choose. Most have a layer of batting or fiberfill and you can embellish with buttons, sequins, ribbon, etc. They encourage you to have fun with your creative process!

There is not a pattern for these hearts. You are the designer! That being said, I tried two different methods when I made my first two hearts.

Method 1:

  1. Lay two pieces of fabric right sides together.
  2. Use a Sharpie and draw a palm-sized heart onto the fabric.
  3. Cut the heart out with scissors.
  4. Stitch 1/4″ (or close to that, perfection is not necessary) all the way around the heart, leaving about a 2″ space unstitched.
  5. Flip right-side out.
  6. Stuff with fiber-fill.
  7. Stitch your gap closed.

I will say that method #1 works fine but (in my opinion) is not as cute as method #2.

Method 2:

  1. Lay two pieces of fabric wrong sides together.
  2. Use a Sharpie and draw a palm-sized heart onto the fabric.
  3. Cut the heart out with scissors.
  4. Stitch 1/4″ (or close to that, perfection is not necessary) all the way around the heart, leaving about a 2″ space unstitched.
  5. Stuff with fiber-fill.
  6. Stitch your gap closed.

I have found that it is much easier to add embellishments before sewing the heart together. Buttons, ribbon, etc. can all be easily added before you ever stitch the heart. I used a bit of lace trim to add a top strap to it and I added this at the end, but I could’ve done it at the beginning, as well.

The purple lace heart was made with Method 1 and the red heart was made with method 2.
My 13-year-old daughter made this one. So cute!
How cute would this Valentine yardage from Riley Blake be on a heart? Find it here.

Here’s an important step:  each heart must have a tag.  There are rules for the tag.  This is a link to print the IFAQH tag.  Click here.  It’s free and you can print from home.  If you don’t have a printer, you can make a tag and write only the following information:
 I Need A Home
I Found A Quilted Heart
Do not add any other words to the tags or to the hearts. Embellishments should not have text. Tags should be plain text, without images. 

You’re almost ready to hide your heart!  But first check out this list of rules from the IFAQH website:

Important Rules

  •  Do not hand, give or gift hearts to people. (Hearts need to be “found.”)
  • Do not leave hearts on personal or private property, such as a front porch, vehicle, door, bicycle, mailbox, gate, little libraries, etc. (Not public)
  • Do not leave hearts in a cluster, like a giving tree. (Not random)
  • Do not leave hearts in places that are not public: hotel rooms, work desk, break rooms, office, private retreat, etc. (Not public )
  • Do not leave hearts inside any kind of retail store or on retail displays. (Can be mistaken for merchandise.)
  • Do not leave hearts in airports. (Homeland security does not approve!)
  • Do not leave hearts in National Parks, Wilderness, Forests, Monuments, Bureau of Land Managements, or other Federal Public Lands areas. (Federal Regulation Title 36, 2.22 (a))
  • Do not leave hearts in bathrooms, restrooms, washrooms, etc. (Unsanitary)
  • Do not leave in places where they may be thrown away by staff. (Super Sad)

Where to Plant or Sow Hearts

Examples of good places to sow hearts: A local park, hiking trail, highway rest stop, community center, outdoor shopping center, town square, foyer of public place, community bulletin board, beach, nature trail, museum, tourist attraction, trees, bushes and fences in downtown areas, etc.   Be imaginative and creative when looking for just the right public place to sow a heart and have fun!

What Do I Do If I Find A Heart?

If you are the lucky person to find a quilted heart, you should report it on their website!  You can share a picture of your heart and then tell where you found it.  This is my favorite part – reading all of the stories from people all over the world on how and where they found their heart.  The stories are so heartwarming!  And that is just what this world needs – more love and kindness.  (Big sigh as I look off into the distance and smile.)  If you have some free time, be sure to read some of the stories and also check out the map of where hearts have been found in the world.  It’s amazing!!

Reporting a heart also means that whoever planted that heart can find out if it was found. Knowing it was found by you, is likely to make their day!

Keep The Heart You Find

If you find a heart, it is meant for you to keep.  You should not re-hide it.  Hearts can be hand-sewn or machine-sewn. 

For more answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

This new Moana fabric by Camelot Fabrics makes me want to make some Disney-themed hearts and hide them at our local public park. I just love Moana.
Find the fabric here.

What do you think?  Ready to sew some hearts?  I feel like this may be slightly addictive.  I’ve already made a few and don’t see stopping any time soon.  It’s a fantastic way to use up scraps and it makes me so happy.  Giving is better than receiving any ol’ day!  Take part in this movement – you won’t regret it!

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Gaila Van Dee
Gaila Van Dee
1 year ago

A. S. G. neighborhood group introduced this idea, then mentioned again at monthly meeting. I got inspired and am in the process making them. I am enjoying designing different hearts. I am having fun with that!.

7 months ago

The stuffed puffy hearts above are really cute. I’ve seen many on the website that are quilted – those are easy to make as the fabric doesn’t have to be turned. If you don’t have any extra batting for the middle layer, you can use felt or fleece. The quilting is the fun part, especially if you have an embroidery machine.

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