An All PINK Exploding Heart Quilt!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Just a few weeks ago, a young mom in the local homeschool co-op that my kids attend was diagnosed with breast cancer. I'm teaching a quilting class for the kids at the co-op (we meet once a week for an hour), so I decided it would be a wonderful life lesson for the kids to make a quilt for the mom!

An Exploding Heart quilt sewn as a group project with kids during a homeschool co-op class

Knowing we just had one week to make the blocks before the mom was going to have surgery, I wanted to make a quick and easy quilt. But my husband reminded me that the Exploding Heart quilt was really the best choice, and I knew he was right.

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All solid pink fabrics for an Exploding Heart quilt for a mom with breast cancer

The mom's favorite color is pink - and that was fitting for her breast cancer diagnosis too. I grabbed ALL the solid pink fabrics from my stash (many leftover from this quilt), and got some solid Kona White from my local JoAnn store for the background.

A kid using an AccuQuilt cutter to cut the pieces for an Exploding Heart quilt

To prepare for the class, I used my AccuQuilt to cut the pieces for about 24 blocks. This way some kids could start sewing as soon as the class started.

I also took some foam core boards and glued batting to one side. These homemade design boards would be used to hold the pieces for the blocks when they were waiting to be sewn.

Kids arranging blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

When the class started, we became an amazing team! One boy volunteered to cut ALL of the remaining pieces needed with the AccuQuilt

Three kids took those cut pieces and arranged them into blocks onto the design boards. They did a wonderful job keeping track of exactly how many of each block was needed according to the pattern.

We have ten sewing machines in the class, so ten kids started sewing the blocks. (I have them all using Aurifil 50wt thread!)

And we had two kids that were the official pressers. They ironed the blocks as they were sewn and added them to the design wall (a flannel backed table cloth I had taped on the wall). I have my ironing board and Oliso iron, as well as a mini Steamfast iron and a mini Oliso iron that they used on wool pressing mats.

Kids sewing blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

In the class, the kids are all in 5th through 8th grade, and I have both boys and girls. There are about 20 kids in the class, but this day we only had 16.

Kids sewing blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

I was so impressed by the kids! They were eager to work on the project, and completed SO many blocks! 

Kids sewing blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

All the sewing machines are mine or ones that other families bring in for us to use in this class. We have Singers, Berninas, Brothers, a Janome, and my Juki.

Kids sewing blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

I love that the kids get experience seeing different types of machines. They have all learned that while they all sew, the more expensive machines do in fact sew better.

Kids sewing blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

They have also learned how to thread the sewing machines and use a seam ripper. They've used an AccuQuilt cutter, learned how to sew a 1/4" seam, learned how to nest seams, and many of them have learned what happens when they don't follow the "rules" too.

Kids sewing blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

After the class ended, I left all the sewing machines up for lunch and the afternoon. Several moms came in to help sew the remaining blocks!

Moms sewing blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

Here are just a few of the blocks sewn by the kids. You can see that they did a fabulous job!

A few of the quarter square triangle blocks sewn by kids for an Exploding Heart quilt

The kids and moms sewed ALL the blocks for the whole quilt in just that one day!!

Arranging blocks for an Exploding Heart quilt

A friend came over and helped me sew the blocks into the quilt top. Not all of the blocks were perfectly sewn, so the seams didn't all line up perfectly. I felt like that was just part of the sentiment of this project, so I left them just as they were!

An all pink Exploding Heart quilt

I loaded the quilt on my Innova longarm with pink minky from JoAnn for the back, and Warm & White batting.

Meander quilting on an Exploding Heart quilt

Then I used a medium sized meander and light pink thread to free-motion quilt it. This is my favorite design to quilt. It's quick and easy, and also is pretty forgiving when the quilt top might not be sewn perfectly.

Meander quilting on an Exploding Heart quilt

You can see how the blocks don't all have perfect points here. But yet the overall design still works great!

Meander quilting on an Exploding Heart quilt

An all pink quilt deserves pink binding too! (I machine sewed it on using this tutorial.)

Pink binding for an all pink Exploding Heart quilt

Here's a peak at the back, and I did decide to add one of my labels too. Although I really don't want to take credit for the quilt, my website is listed on the back of the label, so it will serve as a way for her to look back on this project for years to come.

A satin quilt label sewn into the quilt binding

Here's a final look at the quilt! This is me with the recipient of the quilt. The sun is shining through the quilt, so the pink minky makes the white fabric on the front look light pink.

An Exploding Heart quilt sewn for a mom with breast cancer

And here's a photo with some of the kids that helped sew the blocks. 

An Exploding Heart quilt sewn as a group project with kids during a homeschool co-op class

There's so much to love about this project. All the kids and moms coming together to sew the quilt is such a great symbol of how our homeschooling community really supports each other. It's a lesson that I hope the kids remember for their whole lives! And I hope that I've turned a few kids into lifelong quilters too!


  1. Wow, that's an amazing story! The kids really pitched in and worked on the project as a group.

  2. Just wonderful, a group project with the best motivation, and fabulous result!!!

  3. Beautiful story from every direction!

  4. A wonderful way to encourage the recipient. I admire the whole group for their willingness to work on this project and figure out their individual work assignments, from cutting the fabric, to sewing, pressing, placing the squares on the wall and finishing the quilt. Kudos to all.

  5. Fantastic! Kudos to you for organizing such a worthwhile event for the group of kids to experience. I'm sure they're beaming with pride for their contribution in helping make the beautiful quilt for this mom in their community. What a wonderful life lesson indeed! {Best Wishes for the Mom}

  6. Wow that is a wonderful story and very special design for her quilt. I
    made one last month in reds and I absolutely loved sewing it. Praying for the mom.

  7. 💗💗💗💗💗💗LOVE everything about this project 💗


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