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Sewing For Charity: How To Sew Flannel Hearts For Preemies

Sewing For Charity: How To Sew Flannel Hearts For Preemies

Have you heard of sewing flannel hearts for preemies?

When I started to research “sewing for charity” projects, there were a lot of blanket-related ideas, but nothing that was new-to-me, which is what I was hoping to find.

It wasn’t until I came across the inspirational hearts request from Preemies of the Carolinas that my interest was piqued.

It’s not that I don’t like to sew blankets, I do.

As part of the Create To Donate mission, however, I was set on finding things that are not only easy to do, but something new and fun.

It also had to be a project that could be done in a matter of hours on a single day, not over the course of several days or weeks.

And sewing inspirational flannel hearts seemed to be just the thing!

How Do Flannel Hearts Benefit Preemies?

As Preemies of the Carolinas explains,

“Inspirational Hearts are given to mothers whose newborn infants have been admitted to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. The fabric heart is worn against the mother’s skin so that the fabric might absorb the scent of the mother. The heart is placed with the baby in crib so the mother is always with her child.”

Sewing Flannel Hearts Is Simple

The project is simple: Use the pattern provided by Preemies of the Carolinas to cut 8″ x 8″ hearts out of flannel. Then, finish them with a sewing machine or serger.

It was so simple, I decided to test it out to see how long it would take and if there are any sewing quirks to note. Even better, I could create a tutorial from my experiences!

What I learned is this:

– Sewing these inspirational hearts is as simple as it appears to be.

– There are some small quirks when sewing the dip in the heart, so beware.

– I need to replace the rotary blade in my rotary cutter.

– Flannel is soft.

(I included the last two bullets because a friend told me one can’t go wrong stating the obvious and this is a full disclosure tutorial, after all.)

Sew flannel hearts for preemies in the NICU PIN

How To Sew Flannel Hearts

If you are ready to learn more about sewing inspirational flannel hearts, it’s best to start by downloading and reviewing the instructions from Preemies of the Carolinas here.

The gist of it is this:

Select your flannel fabric.

All fabric needs to be washed and dried before cutting. Use non-scented detergent and do not add fabric softener.

Print and cut out the pattern.

This pattern is printed at 100% and takes up most of one sheet of paper. Cutting out the pattern takes all of two minutes and that’s only because you have to locate the scissors.

Cut out 2x as many pieces as the total hearts you intend to sew.

A completed heart has the right side of the fabric on both sides of the heart.

Serge or sew the pieces to complete the hearts.

You can finish the edges with a serger (wrong sides together) or sew the hearts together with a sewing machine.

If you use a sewing machine, you’ll first sew them right sides together, leaving a small hole to turn it right side out. Then, finish the edges.

It took approximately two hours to complete 10 total hearts and I captured my sewing for charity highlights in the photo collage below.

Sewing for charity - inspirational hearts for Preemies of the Carolinas.

The beauty of this project is that you can sneak in sewing a handful of hearts, to build up a stash, when you’re working on other projects.

Not to mention, these are great to take out and sew on those days when you need a pick-me-up; sewing even one of these inspirational will make a difference in a family’s life.

Share The Goods

Do you know of other charities in need of hearts like these? If you do, please share their name and URL in the comments below so I can add them to a running list I’m creating.



Share ideas for good deeds!

Ruth Jett

Tuesday 13th of December 2016

I am working on my second batch if inspirational hearts now. It always makes me feel good to know that I can do something to help these families through these tough times.


Monday 6th of February 2017

Ruth - This is so wonderful to hear! Thank you for letting me know. It is a wonderful gift to give a family doing everything they can to keep their preemies healthy and connected to them.

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