Pixelated Heart Patchwork Quilt

It’s been an eventful past few weeks around here. (Which everyone is probably so sick of hearing.) More on that in a minute.  First let’s look at this adorable pixelated patchwork heart quilt.

I’m always a sucker for classic patchwork squares and I love how those squares create this cute, graphic heart. I’ve had a few friends recently make pixelated heart quilts (like my friend Holly in this post.) Seeing that pink heart, really made me want to make one too. This coincided perfectly with a current events and milestones happening here. My daughter and her friends graduated from High School a week ago. One of those friends has had a particularly rough year and we decided she needed a quilt.

So a few weeks back I gathered all of my aqua/turquoises and a bunch of low-volume background fabrics and started cutting up 5″ x 5″ squares. (It definitely helped that said friend, Holly, had a bunch of adorable low-volume squares left over that I bought from her.) 😉

After I laid out the squares, my daughter sewed together all of the rows. (She had just finished all her finals and recently discovered the West Wing on Netflix and was looking for a reason to binge watch. Nothing like Netflix for motivation to sit and sew quilt squares together.)

I helped sew the pieced-rows together and we took it to Melissa/Sew Shabby Quilting to quilt it up for us. This Rainbow/Heart edge-to-edge pattern is new and was PERFECT! I love how it finished off the quilt and adds a little extra love.

Tips for making your own pixelated heart quilt:

Fabric requirements for this 67.5″ x 85.5″:

  • 215 assorted low-volume (aka – white background) fabrics 5″ x 5″ squares
  • 70 colored 5″ x 5″ squares
  • 5 yards backing fabric
  • 5/8 yard binding

This is a super fun quilt to put together and a great stash-buster. And bonus points for being beginner friendly. After all, it’s simple patchwork. You can find a detailed explanation for piecing patchwork squares together in my Beginning Quilting Series.

For pattern layout, I used this downloadable pattern by Blue Elephant Stitches and added a few extra rows at the top and bottom of the quilt to make it a rectangle. (5 rows of low-volume prints above the heart and 4 rows of low-volume squares below the heart.) I laid out my quilt 15 squares across by 19 rows down.

You could easily make the quilt/heart bigger or smaller depending on what size squares you use. Just use some graph paper and a calculator to help you graph out the size you need.

It was so fun to celebrate this girl’s graduation. It’s my first time from a parents’ perspective and it was even more celebratory than I expected. She has worked hard and had some great achievements that were visible to others, but I was most proud of her overcoming – or at least enduring through – some real obstacles and challenges that only a parent sees.

When my kids were little, it was easier to share more about the ups and downs and realities of living with little people. Parenting teenagers is definitely challenging in it’s own way. As kids get older, and want (and deserve) more privacy, we tend to only highlight the ups and not to share the tough parts – the realities of life. But we all know from our own teenage years what a dramatic and just downright hard time of life it is. Hence the celebration of achievements and surviving those years of teenager-ness. I’m pretty sure every one of them deserve pixelated heart quilts, at least.

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  • Reply
    Mary Van Kleeck
    June 4, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Congratulations to you and your daughter. I raised 2 daughters and I know what your talking about. I am now a grandmother and my daughter has a daughter who is almost 14 and will be in eighth grade next year. I think my daughter now sees what it was like for me and some of the choices I had to make that she didn’t agree with at the time. It has made us much closer.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Love the quilt. And oh, yes, the ups and downs of teens. But in the end they come out on the other side. Hopefully happier and ready to tackle the life before them 🙂

  • Reply
    June 4, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Beautiful graduate and great quilt! Yes I believe each one does deserve a pixelated heart quilt – if you are able hug and encourage a teenager.

  • Reply
    Beth LaMotte
    June 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    What a lovely quilt for such a beautiful young lady. That you and your daughter made the quilt together makes this story so very special. Thank you for sharing this touching story with us.

  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    June 4, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Congratulations to your graduate and to you! I love the aqua heart — a nice change from the traditional pink and red ones.

  • Reply
    Jodie Zollinger
    June 5, 2017 at 1:23 am

    What a lovely quilt and thoughtful gift! Well written post.

  • Reply
    Leslie K.
    June 5, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Congratulations on your first graduate! I have two daughters (now 29 and 27) and know exactly about the years you are talking about! What a lovely family photo. Tears came to my eyes as I looked at your photo because it reminded me of how proud I was of each of our daughters at each of their graduations. How I wish I had quilted at the time of their graduations….this quilt is a perfect graduation gift! Love the aqua colors!

  • Reply
    kathy o
    June 5, 2017 at 5:57 am

    What a beautiful gift from the hearts of two beautiful ladies. And that quilting – perfect choice! Teenage years are tough – no matter who you are and where you come from. Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Aww, I expect to go through what all parents does once their own children hit their teenage year. My kids are in the pre-teen stage. Already they are exploring being independent. :0) It’s a beautiful simple loving quilt.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Love the quilt and how special that you and your daughter did it together. I recall some of those times with my daughter in the sewing room. Sweet memories! Our daughter now has a little one of her own and as you said, there are challenges at each step along the way. Children (no matter what age!) need parents desperately!! Thank you for your example to so many as you share in your blog. I look forward to reading your blog each day.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Congrats to your daughter, and yes, as a parent of 3 teenagers and older, I know exactly what you are talking about. The quilt for the friend is such a lovely gesture and will mean more than I guess you ( or your daughter) will ever know. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation and lovely quilt! My son left the East Coast for Utah to “find himself” after some tough teenage years. He eventually graduated from the University of Utah and still lives in Salt Lake City. The big move worked out for him because sometimes kids need a change of scenery (he loves the mountains) and a different group of (sober) friends.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      June 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      My husband came west from the East Coast for college as well. He never intended to stay past college, but he, too, fell in love with the mountains. And me. 😉 So glad it’s worked for your son.

  • Reply
    Carol M Cook
    June 5, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    What a treasure to receive for graduation!! What love your quilt brings to her life and her future- the quilt is GORGEOUS!!

  • Reply
    from the Bellfry
    June 7, 2017 at 6:23 am

    What a lovely, carefully written post, Amy. Your daughter and her friend are blessed to have you in their lives. As a grandmother with three children who have grown into caring, purpose driven adults, I empathize with teens and their parents! It is a difficult time in a quickly changing world and as almost-grown ups, they are often put in difficult positions by others that aren’t easily negotiated (and often, too quickly judged by others). Blessings to you, your beautiful daughter, and her friend! Such an exciting time in your lives! Thank you for sharing your quilts and your parenting joys with those who admire you through this blog. (And I must add, nice of your husband to support your love for gingham!)

  • Reply
    madalin stunt cars
    June 7, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Congratulations to you and your daughter. I raised 2 daughters and I know what your talking about. I am now a grandmother and my daughter has a daughter who is almost 14 and will be in eighth grade next year. I think my daughter now sees what it was like for me and some of the choices I had to make that she didn’t agree with at the time. It has made us much closer.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Congratulations to your daughter and her family! The pixelated heart quilt is a wonderful quilt way to share some love and support!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I love the aqua/turquoise heart quilt. It is absolutely beautiful. Your daughter did a great job sewing it and I knew the feeling of rejoicing in a daughter’s accomplishments. It’s difficult to pick one. Her dad and I have been divorced since 1998, the year she graduated from high school. Yet, I remember the delight when he learned in the delivery room that she was a girl. He didn’t get to be in the delivery room with me for his son. I remember driver’s license, all the times she made the cheerleading squad, went to national competition and just fell short of first place at nationals. I remember seeing her on tv on Christmas day from Hawaii cheering (we live in OK); pledging a sorority as freshman and moving into the Kappa house immediately; graduation from college; moving to NM to teach and be near her boyfriend; engagement; coming home for my first chemo; wedding; my being bald for her wedding; her first child was a preemie; national board certification for teaching; second child was a preemie and we just had a great vacation with her. The biggest events are probably over – I hope. Now, I want to make a heart quilt. I love that it’s not a more traditional red/pink quilt.

  • Reply
    Genevieve C
    January 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Congratulations Amy, you guys took a great picture too. Thank you too for the quilt pattern I have been looking for just the right pattern to make a heart for my husband for out 30th year anniversary. He’ll love this one!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2018 at 8:10 am

    I stopped teaching high school when I had my first daughter and have just settled into life with my second, now three-month old daughter… And it could be the resulting hormones or just so many memories of teaching kids at such a hard, hard stage of life that made me cry at this post. And then I read the replies, and you can imagine the resulting mess!

    Congratulations to your daughter and your family, and praying for all those kids who are still struggling through such difficulties with no idea how incredibly special and wonderful they are!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Bless you forever for being a High School teacher! I think HS teachers deserve sainthood. And bless you in your new stage of life with baby #2. Definitely challenging but rewarding times of their own. xo

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your absolutely beautiful quilt. I have to tell you, though, that I would love to know how you made that “candy lei” that your daughter had around her neck in your photo. lol

    • Reply
      April 6, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      I wish I could take credit for that! My neighbor gave it to her. lol But I think she just used saran wrap and rolled the candy inside and tied ribbons in between. There’s probably a tutorial somewhere. haha

  • Reply
    Annette Landry
    August 31, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Love this quilt, great job, I wonder if I could make a smaller quilt like for a crib size. Not sure what size the pattern should be, just a beginner quilter ! Thanks….

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