Time spent on finishing your hearts will make all the difference to the finished results.
First cut from white or matching felt, 2 hearts the same size as your original one. It is important to have a sharp edge when the fabric is turned in round the felt, so you need to trim these felt hearts slightly. Note some pulled thread stitches will alter the original size and if you are using a heavy fabric 26 -28 counts these will be slightly more bulky so again don't have the felt right up to the back stitched edge where you turn your linen over. Worth taking the time at this stage to get it just right.
Cut round your linen hearts about half cm out from your back stitching. then turn in along your back stitching to make a sharp edge press first with your fingers then if need be with an iron, this edge is very important to the next stage of construction. Open out the fabric again place the felt heart behind then fold edges in again and TACK TO HOLD IN PLACE. do the same for both the front and the back pieces. Note the one above has moved slightly in the scanner the felt should be just a fraction inside the stitching.
Next add any extra decorations. I often add small butterflies or dragonflies and as these are heavier than the beads it is a good idea to stitch them on once the felt has been put in place behind. Now stitch in place the cord or ribbon for the hanger stitch this to the inside of the back piece. If using ribbon I recommend a narrow satin ribbon as it will stand up to the test of time much better than a silk ribbon. Do you make your own cords ? these made with matching thread these are my preference.
sometimes I finish with a tassel at the bottom or a lovely pear shaped crystal bead add these now if you wish. If you plan to add a tiny bow at the point where the ribbon or cord comes out, leave this till you have finished putting it all together. I like to use narrow silk ribbon if I can as it will sit flatter then other types.
Next pin the two piece together and using the same thread that you back stitched round the edges whip through these stitches to join the pieces together. I then finish off with a buttonhole stitch edge . small stitches worked into the whipped back stitches and just catching the fabric as you stitch. There are different buttonhole stitches and the one I favour is the one I was taught many,many years ago for making buttonholes on garments, (also called looped edging stitch) it is worked from the back to the front and forms a very neat edge. Keep these stitches small and close together.
If you plan to edge your heart with a braid, add this to the front heart shape, stitching it on from the back., I like to show only the edge of the braid to keep the heart looking dainty. here are tow of my favourite braids, I wonder what you can find in your shops I'm sure you will probably have different choices.
Now continue by slip stitching the back in place and you may widh to add a finishing touch here. I Hope you have enjoyed making your little hearts and that your friends might be the lucky ones to receive them. I Thank you all for your comments specially the ones telling me of your progress.
Here is another idea how you can use a small heart, this one was stitched on fine linen, the edge buttonholed ( including the loops) then added on the centre front of a needlebook.