Each month of this year I will be introducing a new block as well as the history behind the block. You may take this as an opportunity to build your own skills. Additionally, I encourage you to post your block creations either on our ACQ Community Facebook page or on Instagram using #ACQPresidentBlock2021. Each block you post will be entered into a monthly drawing for a fat quarter bundle. If you aren’t on social media – no problem, just send me an email with your photo (email@example.com). We will draw the winner at the next guild meeting, and you don’t need to be present to win (although we hope you will because we have a great line-up this year!). The winner of January’s block will be announced at the February meeting, February’s block at the March meeting, and so on.
February’s block is a series of hearts. I am using up a variety of pink and red scraps to create a scrappy love quilt. The patterns I chose create 6 inch and 12 inch hearts, so I am going to mix them all together and hopefully end up with something beautiful.
The heart has come to be the universal symbol of romantic love, which is why it is often associated with St. Valentine’s Day. Though widely recognized, there is no clear evidence of how the symbol originated. One theory suggests that the origin of the heart symbol can be traced back to an ancient plan called silphium, a now extinct species of giant fennel grown in North Africa. The seed of this plan supposedly resembled the heart symbol we use today.
The first known depiction of a heart shape as a symbol of love was produced in the 1250s in a French manuscript, the Roman de la Poire. The heart symbol may have also been influenced by the writings of Galen and Aristotle, describing the human heart as an organ with three chambers and a dent in the middle, and connecting the human heart with emotion and pleasure, transforming it into a symbol of medieval love.
Up until the late 14th century, the heart was typically shown upside down. During this time, the dent on the base started to expand and, by the late 15th century, the dented red heart symbol was a common sight, even used on playing cards. As it was already established as a symbol of love, the heart began to appear on St. Valentine’s Day card, candy boxes and other objects in the 19th century, securing the heart as a symbol of love and affection.
A free pattern for the heart blocks I am making may be found at https://cluckclucksew.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Heart-Blocks-Pattern.pdf and https://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2012/10/be-good-to-your-heart-quilt-block.html