I was originally planning to call my block "Heart of the Home", because isn't that really what all wives & mothers are? (Whether they're desperate or not!) But as I was turning my block from a concept into a reality, my inherent thriftiness came to the fore and I decided that I was going to call my block "The Thrifty Housewife"!
So what do you need to make this block?
* 4-5 charm squares in a range of prints (4 if you want the 1/2 hearts the same, 5 if they're different/part of a multiple block layout)
* 1 fat quarter of background fabric
(I turned mine into a 4 block layout that used a total of 16 charms and less than 1m of back ground fabric including backing.)
Step 1. Cut a 3" square from each charm square.
Step 2. With the remaining piece of the charm square, cut diagonally to create a 4" HST. (You will end up with two "chisel" shaped pieces left over - don't throw these out!)
Step 3: From your back ground fabric, cut 8-10x 3" squares (8 if you're using 4 charm squares, 10 if you're using 5 charms) and 2-3x 4" squares (2 for 4 charms, 3 for 5). Subcut the 4" squares diagonally into 4" HSTs.
Step 4: Place the 3" print square right sides together with the 3" background square, and draw a line diagonally as shown above.
Step 5: Sew 1/4" from the line on each side.
Step 6: Using your rotary cutter, cut along the drawn line.
Step 7: Place 4" print HST and a 4" background HST right sides together and sew using 1/4" seam allowance. (not shown)
Step 8: Press all HSTs open.
Step 9: Trim the two smaller blocks down to 2.5" square, matching the diagonal line to the 45 degree mark on your ruler.
Step 10: Trim the larger block to 3" square, matching the diagonal line to the 45 degree mark on your ruler.
Step 11: Place the 3" block and the remaining 3" background square right sides together, and mark a line diagonally as shown.
Step 12: Sew 1/4" on either side of the line and then cut along marked line. Press open.
Step 13: Trim blocks down to 2.5" square, aligning 45 degree line, and tip of triangle at approx 1.25" (as shown).
Step 14: Lay out your pieces as shown. This creates 1x heart which is 1/4 of the total block.
Step 15: Sew pieces as shown to create two halves of the heart. Press.
Step 16: Lay out your hearts, you should have a total of 3 full hearts (1 top row, 2 bottom row) and 2 half hearts (top row). Join as shown so that you have 4x squares. Press.
Step 17: Join the two top blocks, and the two bottom blocks to form two strips. Press.
Step 18: Sew the top row and the bottom row together, press. Your block is now complete!
Join two or more blocks together horizontally to create a chain of hearts (would make a lovely border! Or a mug rug, or a table runner..)