How to: puffy felt heart garland

For the Pinterest Challenge I hosted last week, I made this puffy felt heart garland:
I had originally pinned this idea from this web site. Their tutorial was very good. I thought I’d make my own tutorial too, since I had taken some in-progress shots, and I have a couple of tips to share.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these puffy felt hearts:
* 6 or 8 sheets of felt depending on how many hearts you want to make and how long you want your garland to be. Get at least two sheets of each color. *
{You will be doubling up the felt sheets and cutting out two hearts at a time, a front and a back.}
* White cotton yarn *
* An air-erase tracing pen *
* White DMC floss – get the big roll *
* A stitching needle *
* A plastic needle *
* Fluff to stuff your hearts *
* A heart pattern *
* Scissors*
*
First, make your heart pattern.
{I made my own heart pattern – just draw a heart and cut it out – I cut my pattern out of a file folder. You could trace a heart cookie cutter too.}
*

Then, trace your heart pattern onto one piece of felt. Get as many hearts onto one piece of felt as you can, leaving yourself room to cut them out. My pen disappeared quickly on the felt, so I only traced one sheet at a time.
*
This is important!  Make sure to cut out two hearts at a time, the front and back, by cutting through two sheets of felt at a time. At first I was cutting out all of the hearts individually and then matching them up, but they weren’t matching up exactly right due to imperfections in my cutting. It’s easiest just to cut out the front and back of the hearts together!
*
I doubled up my floss and used a blanket stitch for the hearts. {for a great blanket stitch tutorial, watch this video
*
Hide your starting knot inside the heart and stitch all the way around, until you have about a one-inch gap – which is where you’ll stuff the heart.
*

*
Stuff your heart. Stuff it just so that it’s a little plump. My hearts were just a little squishy. Stitch up the remaining hole and tie off the floss. I hid the knot inside the heart when I was all finished.
*
*
Stitch and stuff those hearts! 
{I stored mine in a plastic bag}
*
Finished hearts!

Once they are all stitched up, figure out how long you want your garland to be, and cut a piece of the cotton yarn that length.
*
Figure out your pattern if you’ve made different colored hearts, then thread the cotton yarn through the plastic needle, then poke it through the top of the heart, through the heart, and out the other side. There is no need to tie knots around the hearts, they will stay put on the yarn.
{I ran my yarn through the top of the heart so that they would lay flat and not twist around.}
{Also, the great thing is that you can re-string the hearts if you want to make a new pattern or make the garland longer or shorter.}
*
String up all the hearts, then admire your garland!
*

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