A Little Pixel Heart Quilt Finished for Nora

We have been working behind the scenes on a heart shaped quilt for a little girl named Nora who lost her mother earlier this year.  Sue chose the Pixel Heart quilts tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman as a starting point.  The size squares Elizabeth used were either too big or too small for our project.  We slightly modified her pattern and used a 3.5″ square which finished at a 3″ block.

Making a Pixel Heart

This process was a lot like making the t-shirt quilt for our friend, Pat.  We received twoPixel 2 boxes of clothes that the mom had worn.  Sue washed and dried all of them, and then set about sorting.  Some of the pieces were crocheted or had sequins and would not be appropriate for a quilt.  Once she had a stack of items that would be used, she set about cutting them apart.  That is always a difficult time for us as you are at the point of no return.  Here is a shot of one piece being cut along the seams.  From here Sue started adding the interfacing.

Using a Pixel Layout

Pixel 1Since most of the fabrics were stretchy, we used the same interfacing that we did for the t-shirt quilt.  It’s by June Tailor, and it does a great job of keeping the fabrics from stretching.  Sue added the interfacing to the reverse side of the pieces, and then cut smaller 3.5″ squares.  While we didn’t match our size blocks to Elizabeth’s tutorial, we did use her basic layout.  The heart itself is 17 squares wide by 14 rows, which would equate to approximately 51″ x 42″.  Maybe we should add a thinner border on each side and a thicker one to the top and bottom?  Here is the initial layout on our design wall.

Pixel Heart layout

Pixel Next Steps

Once the quilt top was together, we decided that it definitely did need some additional borders.Pixel_backing  Once those were added, we layered it up with a pretty purple backing.  Many of the clothes were in different shades of purple, so we thought that would be a good choice.  Also, it is often a color that may be more for a girl than boy.  Lastly, it is a deep, rich jewel tone that most people – and hopefully one special little girl – would love.  Here is the backing laying next to several of the pixel squares.  The quilting design was to be orange peel – don’t you think this is just begging for that design to be used on it?!

Pixel thread

A little fun thread that we picked up at an estate sale earlier this summer matched the backing perfectly.  It only cost .35 cents when it was purchased.  Of course we didn’t have quite enough to finish the quilting!  Luckily Coats makes a very similar color today.  It no longer costs .35 cents, even when it is on sale at 50% off.

Pixel Quilt Love

The best laid plans do not often work out.  When I decided on the orange peel quilting design, I didn’t take into account the much thicker layers of clothing.  Most blocks were fairly thick with an occasional thinner one interspersed.  After three sides of one square were quilted, that plan had to be aborted.  I had the FMQ foot at its highest level and the fabric still could not move freely.  Plan B was implemented, using the walking foot and a diagonal crosshatch design.  Yes, our favorite and most often used, it is a worthy fallback design!


We hope that Nora enjoys this quilt and feels all the love her mother would want her to have.  Lots of love was stitched into it, along with prayers for her and her future.  We hope she can look upon this heart and see pieces of memories that she shared with her mom.  If that makes her heart happy and brings a smile to her face, we will have done our job.

Pixel Finished

By the way, this is what my bobbin holder looked like when I was finished quilting.  I didn’t think I needed to clean out any lint (I usually do every two bobbin changes).  Good thing I did clean it out though, huh?!  Even the feed dogs had purple lint stacked up in them.  I love my Q-tips! ~smile~

Bobbin cleaning


We are joining a new linky party on Fridays at Brag About Your Beauties.  Our other Linky Parties can be found by clicking the link or along the sidebar on our website for more quilting fun – check out what our friends are up to.  Like/follow us on our Facebook page and you can share your photos of what you’re working on.  We would love to see them!


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18 Responses

  1. dezertsuz says:

    It’s a beauty and for such a good cause. I’m so glad you were able to do this for Nora.

  2. Heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time. I ma sure Nora will treasure this quilt for as long as possible. and speaking of hearts, you have one of gold. Hugs to you.

  3. Danette says:

    I have sewn a t-shirt quilt before and it is challenging. You have done a lovely job with this pixelated heart quilt! I’m sure the little girl will love it!

  4. chrisknits says:

    What a wonderful memory for her. Thank you two for being such sweet people!!

  5. I have yet to make a memory quilt like this, so I appreciate your insight into the process, especially the challenges of quilting something with fabrics of different thickness. Thanks!

    If you saw my bobbin holder and the lint bunnies it houses, you would be horrified! I’m off to clean it now!

  6. Sarah Goer says:

    I hope this lovely quilt brings Nora comfort and happy memories.

  7. I heartily agreed with Barbara Esposito below!

  8. I heartily agree!!!

  9. Kate says:

    What a great memory quilt for a young girl. So sorry there was a need to make it though.

  10. Barbara Esposito, The Quilted B says:

    You two are just angels. What a gift for Nora to treasure her entire life. And I really like the quilting you ended up with. So much so that I stole it and did a much lazier version on my Jellyroll Race to the Finish Line quilt! Blessings to you ladies for the care and prayers that went into this sweet gift.

  11. It’s always amazing what builds up and how quickly! This makes my own heart ache with love that you did this and also with pain for a little girl to lose her mother… And I will be back when it comes time to sew the quilt for my nephew using some of my mum’s clothes… Good tips here, thank you! You two did a beautiful job.

  12. Tish says:

    I think Nora’s mother would be so proud of the quilt you pieced for Nora. She will always have this forever hug from her…it just makes my heart sing. You guys did an amazing job putting this quilt together!

  13. Shannon Fleming says:

    Very touching. I know she will love this heart quilt.

  14. Vicki in MN says:

    Bless both of your hearts for making this wonderful quilt for this little girl. It will surely bring her some comfort of seeing her mom’s clothing in it. It will feel as if her mom is hugging her.

  15. Elana says:

    What a gorgeous quilt and the story behind it is so beautiful. This is such a wonderful gift to give a young girl who will now have a special piece to remember her young mom. I love the pixel heart idea and you rose to the challenge and pushed through with success. So touching!!

  16. Her mom’s fabrics pieced into a heart — it makes me want to cry. Such a thoughtful quilt you two have made for her! I’m sure she will cherish it for years to come. Well done!

  17. sandradny says:

    What a lovely quilt! Nice work!

  18. Jan says:

    How thoughtful of you to make this quilt. I had never put memory quilt and pixelated heart together in my mind but it looks great.

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