[Mended Heart Kits are available in our Etsy shop]
Suggestions, helpful thoughts, and troubleshooting while making your mended heart
Hide any knots under the lip of the cut opening. That’s why gluing the edges down, if you wish, is the last part of the mending
Try to find a way to sew down any elements. Maybe add a little glue to assure they stay in place once they are sewn.
For an element that has no obvious way to attach, create one. Maybe glue it down to the heart and then sew lines across to hold it in place. Wrap thread around the element and sew that part to the heart.
Lots of kinds of paper can be sewn through before you glue.
Create a composition then let go and see what happens. Its always rewarding – change elements – add – take some away. Sometimes my original design is gone and something even more wonderful is created.
IF you find that you have a knot that needs hiding, after the cut edges have been glued, maybe leave the knot under where the hanging loop will be attached.
When attaching the hanging loop – I leave a 3” unknotted tail on the thread once I have located the right balance.
Again, on the hanging loop, Take a few stitches to secure then cut the thread end on the needle side so that I can tie the two ends of the thread I’m using to attach the loop. I tie a knot, and hide it under. I trim the thread and use a bit of glue to hold down the hanging loop ends.
The idea is to mend the cut opening. I “bridge” the span of the cut with a primary element and supplement with added elements. After the heart is stuffed and lined I lay out my chosen mending elements and consider how it looks as a composition. It’s a thoughtful process. How it feels to me is important. When I’m happy with how it looks and feels I begin to attach the mending elements. Even at this point I may add to or subtract from what I have chosen. There are at least as many ways to mend a heart as there are persons doing the mending!
Embroidery floss (included) can be used in whole strands (you’ll need a needle with a bigger eye than what is included) or you can separate the separate individual strands of thread and use the needle in the kit.
When threading the needle make sure you have a clean cut edge – cutting it at a 45 degree angle also helps – dampen the end, slightly, press it flat and then through the eye of the needle.
You may wish to trim the fraying edges of the cut you made in the “broken” part of the heart. As you work, the cut edges may fray or you may wish to leave them as they are.
A chopstick or a ball point pen with the nib retracted might be helpful. I use a chopstick to shape the seams from the inside out after I turn the heart right side out. A finger will work as well. I also use the chopstick to smooth the liner fabric into place – once again your finger will work.
Placing a “bridge” element at an angle creates a dynamic different than a horizontal or vertical placing. See what suits you.
If a seam pops open, you can fix it! Take a tiny bit of glue on the tip of a toothpick and stick it into the frayed seam. Make sure the frayed edges are tucked in. Pinch the fabric around the toothpick with your free fingers on the other hand – snugly and gently pull out the toothpick – leaving the seams now closed and glued.