Stitched By Me

A place to share projects from my sewing room.

Playing with the Hearts Template Set on my Baby Lock Tiara


Last week, I was able to use a 50% coupon at my LQS to purchase this set of concentric hearts quilting templates. This was the last set they had on the wall.


They are by Creative Grids.  When I went to their website to look for design suggestions, I could not find any information on them. I don’t know if I got one of the last ones available or if they are just not widely available yet. Either way, I am very happy to have them.


This was my first sample on some scrap fabric. I quilted around the outside and/or the inside of a couple of the templates, depending on the size that I was going for. Then I free motion quilted inside the lines, I was pretty happy with the quilting with in the hearts. (Keep in mind, I am new at this!) There is no need to discuss the background filler outside of the hearts~ major fail!  But that is the great thing about scrap fabric samples, not a big deal if it turns out ugly, it is a learning piece.   🙂


Even with the overlay in place on my Tiara, I was having trouble keeping the templates from wobbling a bit on the “hump” caused by the slight height discrepancy between the machine and the table. I decided to slip a couple of thin catalogs on either side of the needle plate underneath the overlay.  This helped a lot, but there was still a bit of a dip in front of the machine between the catalogs.

I also had a smaller magazine that was the same thickness as the catalogs, but it was a bit too big to fit in front of the needle plate, so I used a rotary cutter to trim it down to fit the space.


To smooth things out a bit more, I added my Supreme Slider. I probably didn’t need to use this, but since I have it and it is just sitting in a drawer, I decided to leave it. This is the smaller of the 2 sizes available, but it seems to be enough to help. Now the table top feels much more even.


My second attempt with the Hearts templates was with white thread on white fabric.


After I was done quilting the hearts, I was nervous about filling in the background since my first sample turned out so bad.


This is my attempt at “McTavishing” to fill in the background. (Thank you, Leah Day, for introducing me to this idea!)  I think it turned out very pretty. At this point, I could have trimmed it and put the binding on it and called it done, but felt like it might be too much white for a mini wall quilt.


I decided to be adventuresome and add color with some Jacquard Lumiere paints that I had. I think I liked it better before painting it, but I think it is pretty both ways.


One major thing I learned from this particular project is that I should have put the binding on BEFORE I painted the quilt. The paint caused my machine to produce several skipped stitches, so I stitched 2-3 times around the binding to be sure that it was secure before painting it, too.

The colors that you see on the front were not my first attempt. You can see on the back side that the areas that were painted over twice had some bleed through to the back side. I did have a piece of freezer paper underneath, just in case this happened. I added the corner triangles for hanging the piece with a thin dowel. I am pretty sure this will be my March 2013 submission for the AAQI Quilt a Month Club.

Edited to add link:  Click Here for AAQI Listing for this mini quilt.

PS: I am tagging this post with HandiQuilter, HQ, Sweet 16 and Sweet Sixteen since the Baby Lock Tiara is an identical twin sister to the HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen.


  1. Your quilting looks great! I like it painted and unpainted. No way to go wrong really 🙂

  2. jayardi

    • • • Love the second heart with the painting. Just wanted to let you know, HQ makes the Tiara for Baby Lock. I found this out at the AQS show in Des Moines. I was leaning toward the Tiara until I learned this.

    • Thanks for the comment on the mini quilt.
      I am aware that HQ makes the Tiara. My dealer sells both for basically the same price, but I did not have to pay the shipping for the Tiara like I would have had to for the Sweet Sixteen. They also included more incentives for buying the Tiara. I always refer to the Tiara as the identical twin sister to the Sweet Sixteen.

  3. I love this quilt, both ways. As I was reading the post I thought it would be perfect for an AAQI quilt. Was delighted when you mentioned submitting it. I submitted one of my FMQ samples #12,317 and it sold rather quickly.

  4. Love how you brought us along for the ride as you went from purchased template, to whole cloth quilt and eventually to painted quilt.

  5. 2ne

    Love your tecnik

  6. Thanks for sharing the whole process. So interesting.

  7. sue

    What a beautiful job you have done. Your fmq is beautiful

  8. Jennifer

    Loved how the pieces turned out! I recently purchased the Tiara and have been scouring the web for any and all tips. Thanks for the leveling tip – I will most likely be trying that myself. One question – would you consider a tut on how to use the heart template? I’m not clear as to whether you mark the fabric or stitch around the template. My newbee-ness is showing! LOL

    • Jennifer, These particular templates have a rough texture to the underside to help hold them in place on the fabric. I just held them down, lightly, with my hand and moved the fabric/template around the hopping foot. I prefer to stitch fairly slow, especially with the templates. Pay close attention that you don’t wander away from the template, it is easy to do when you are focused on holding the template and moving the fabric at the same time.
      For templates that are smooth on the underside, applying small sandpaper discs can be very helpful. I purchased a package from Joann’s but in the future will probably just cut & adhere my own.
      I am still pretty much a newbie, too. I do like you are, scour the web for any tips. I post on HQ and Baby Lock Facebook pages asking for more videos on using the sit down quilting machines.
      Due to what I feel is a lack of info for beginners like us, I do try to blog what I learn.

      • Jennifer

        Morning, June! Thank you so much for your response. Do the templates come apart to give several sizes of hearts? Oh – there is a yahoo group for he sweet sixteen. Someone there shared some video for tension issues that I found helpful.
        HQ_Sit_down_Model · HQ 16 Handi-Quilter Sit-Down Table Model is the name of that group.

  9. How do you like your Tiara? I am thinking of getting one, but was concerned about the raised needle plate that doesn’t line up with the table

    • Hi Laura! I am enjoying owning my Tiara even though I am still only playing on it at this time. I love that the visual field is SO much better than trying to FMQ on a regular sewing machine, and the throat space is great. As far as the un-eveness of the needle plate and the table top, the only time that the discrepency in height would be a concern is when you would be quilting around templates, it is much easier if they don’t rock on the hump. My “fix” has made the hump completely un-noticable.
      Keep in mind that the Tiara and the Sweet Sixteen are the same machine, so go with which ever gives you the best deal and/or access to dealer. I was fortunate that my dealer sells both, so it was a matter of going with the brand that did not charge for shipping (plus the dealer threw in some nice goodies with the sale of the machine, don’t be afraid to ask for a few accessories that you might like).
      Let me know which one you get!

  10. what I just realized is that without feed dogs you cant do straight line quilting. or can you. help. i dont want to make this expensive a mistake

    • You are right, there are no feed dogs, but you can straight line quilt using straight template. I would suggest that when you go to your dealer, have them provide a straight template and try it out. I played on the store demo machine 5 or 6 different times before making the decision to buy.

  11. I just found your blog about using the heart shaped templates. I am glad you were able to get your table top flat – using thin magazines was brilliant! I am the designer of the templates – so glad the templates worked for you. Creative Grids has discontinued the line, and the design rights reverted back to me, and I am trying to market them myself – starting with the circles and squares. I would love to share your blog entry with others – Is that OK with you? Pat Barry

    • Pat,
      I am so glad to hear from you. I have posted photos and comments about these, and the nested circles templates, on this yahoo group:

      I have had several group members ask where they could buy these. If you are not a member of this yahoo group, please let me know when you are ready to market the templates and I will let the members know.

      I would love for you to share my blog post. I am getting ready to post one using the circles templates.

      Thank you for letting me know the status of these templates. I look forward to hearing back from you.

      • Hi June,
        I recently joined the HQ_Sit_down_Model group, and some info about my Sweet Set templates has been posted. In addition, I put a couple documents up (files section) that give some info / helpful tips about using any templates. The Sweet Set templates that I sell are smaller (max size is 6 1/2″) and half the cost. The larger templates (>7″) are harder to hold on to. At this time I am offerring the circles and squares. There is a stipple stitcher also available but it won’t work on a sitdown machine….. just a stand up machine. I look forward to seeing what you post ! Keep in touch !
        Pat Barry

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