Sunday, April 12, 2020

Hands2Help 2020 - Smooches From Today's Guest Blogger Sandra!

Hi, all!

Guess what?  It's Sunday (if you're anything like me, that may come as news!) and that means it's time for another great guest blogger for this year's Hands2Help Challenge!  Today we are so fortunate to be hearing from my friend Sandra Walker, who is a blogger, quilter, quilt designer, and practicer of yoga.  In fact, she shared posts about yoga positions in the past and I learned that even I could do it - a great thing to know!  But she's got a great tutorial for us today, and can tell you about herself much better than I can, so I'll turn the blog over to her now. Enjoy!


Hello! My name is Sandra Walker and I have blogged at for going on seven years. The mmm is the acronym for my blog's original name, Musings of a Menopausal Melon, melon being my head, an expression my husband has used since I met him. Since I gravitated more to quilts after the first year or so, and less to books, yoga, food, and life after 50, I wanted to stress the quilts part of the blog more, so mmm quilts it became, both acronym and mmm! as in yum! This is my third year as an ambassador for Island Batik, and I also sew regularly for Benartex Fabrics. Island Batik has asked us ambassadors to be guest bloggers on two 'big name' blogs, so this is the first one, and I am grateful to Sarah for allowing me to be a guest!

I made the original Smooches quilt as my entry for Project Quilting 11.3 Put a Heart On It. All along, I planned for this quilt to go to the Windsor Sexual Assault Centre. For four years now, I have donated one or two quilts as part of my H2H commitment, specified for kids who, sadly, need to go there.

The quilt consists of twelve heart blocks that finish at 12", and four rectangles of background fabric. Sashing separates the blocks and rows, and there are just two borders, top and bottom. This is a great quilt to make use of scraps!

Fabric Requirements

Heart blocks
Heart fabric: For each of the 12 heart blocks you need (1) 7" square and (2) 6 1/2" squares
Background (BG) fabric: (4) 2 1/2" squares and (1) 7" square

Setting rectangles
(4) 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles

(6) strips 1 1/2" wide by width of fabric (WOF)
From these six strips, cut (8) 1 1/2" x 12 1/2" sashing rectangles. Set the remaining three strips aside for now.

Top and bottom borders
(3) strips 4" wide by WOF

Piecing a heart block

1. Mark a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on each of the 2 1/2" BG squares. Place a 2 1/2" square on each of the top two corners of a 6 1/2" heart fabric square. Stitch on the line; trim 1/4" away from the line, discarding the two small triangles you trimmed away. Press seams to the BG fabric. Repeat with the second 6 1/2" heart fabric square, but press the seams towards the heart square where the 'v' of the heart will be. This will help to nest your seams to give you crisp points. See photo beneath step 2.

2. Mark a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the 7" BG square.  Layer it right sides together with the heart fabric 7" square. Sew 1/4" on either side of the marked line. Cut apart on the marked line to yield two HSTs. Square both to 6 1/2". Press one set of seams to the BG and the other set of seams to the heart fabric. See below.

3. Sew the two squares from step 1 together, following the layout above, and pressing seams to one side in the same direction as the diagonal seams. Sew the two 6 1/2" HSTs together, pressing that seam in the same direction as those diagonal seams. Finally, join the two halves together, spinning this final seam so the heart centre is flat, or pressing seams to one side, or open. Here is a right and wrong side view of the block with seams spun.

Make a total of 12 hearts in this manner.

4. Arrange your 12 hearts in four columns of three, using the photo of the quilt above the tutorial or the diagram at the end of the tutorial as a guide. Sew a 1 1/2" x 12 1/2" sashing strip to the bottom of the first two hearts in columns one and three.

Then add a 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" BG rectangle to the bottom of columns one and three. Sew the column together. Each one should measure 12 1/2" x 44 1/2".

Sew a 1 1/2" x 12 1/2" sashing strip to the bottom of the first two hearts in columns two and four.

Then add a 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" BG rectangle to the top of columns two and four. Sew the column together. Each one should measure 12 1/2" x 44 1/2".

5. Take the three 1 1/2" x WOF sashing strips set aside and join them into one long strip. Cut apart in three 44 1/2" lengths, or whatever average length your columns are. Sew the sashing strips to the right side of columns one, two and three. Join all four columns together to form the quilt centre. It should measure 51 1/2" wide by 44 1/2" long.

Top and Bottom Borders
6. Join the three border strips into one continuous length. Cut the resulting long strip to measure 4" by 51 1/2" (or whatever width your quilt is). Sew one strip to the top and the other to the bottom of the quilt. Ta-da! Your Smooches quilt top is done. It should measure 51 1/2" square.

If you make my design, I would love to see it. You can send me a photo which I will feature on my blog. Email me at ephdra (at) gmail (dot) com or tag me on Instagram @mmmquilts. I am making another Smooches quilt, this one to go to a healthcare worker working tirelessly and risking so much of herself or himself to fight Covid-19. My heart goes out to each and every one of them, and I am heartbroken to hear of so many who have died trying to save others from the virus. This quilt will be a rainbow of hearts. I have half of them made so far.


Thank you so much for sharing this great tutorial, Sandra!  And now I have yet another great quilt design on my bucket list!  I think I need to dig through my scraps and see what's there - I bet I could make a lot of these pretty hearts.  And how perfect are they for quilts designed to bring comfort to others?

Keep working on those quilts - it's a great way to stay centered and focused in these strange times!  See you next week with another great guest blogger...




  1. This is wonderful, and I think I will make one heart blo0ck and have it on a bag pocket.Love the rainbow ones, super to have you as a guest blogger. XXX to you both.

  2. Thanks for inviting Sandra to share her awesome tutorial, Sarah!! I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

  3. Thank you, Sandra! This is a sweet quilt and a great tutorial. A lovely quilt to encourage and show some love.

  4. I follow Sandra's blog, so I was excited to see her post today. I am even more excited to see your lovely spot on the internet described as a "big name blog." That's exactly the way I have always thought of it.

  5. Beautiful quilt and fabric marriage!

  6. I love this quilt and fun to see Sandra hosting here!

  7. So fun to see a guest post from Sandra, and what a great quilt pattern!

  8. Yes - as Wendy said, what a treat to see Sandra pop up here with a tutorial. Looks like a lovely quilt too! Pinning for my to-do-someday list!

  9. Sandra is the Queen of Heart Quilts! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful pattern and tutorial :)

  10. This is a great tutorial/pattern. Time to get moving on my H2H quilt.


Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!