Introduction: Catnip Conversation Hearts

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Treat your kittens this Valentine's or any day with catnip conversation hearts.  Modeled after Valentine's Day candy hearts substituted with lolcats phrases, these hearts are the perfect way to show your feline friend you love them too.  It just takes some felt, catnip, batting, and rudimentarty sewing skills to make these sweet hearts for your furry sweethearts.  What kinds of conversations will your catnip hearts kick off? 

Step 1: Materials

For this project, I used felt, but fleece is another great choice.  The best fabrics will be soft, durable, and won't fray when you cut them.  

For the lettering, I used heavy duty fusible backing, and cut the letters out, turning them into iron-on patches.  


Craft felt in pastel colors
Heavy-duty Heat n' Bond Thermoweb
Polyfill batting


Pinking shears (these are my industrial bad boys, but you can definitely find them cheaper)
Sewing machine or hand sewing needle

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Step 2: Trace and Cut

Trace the shape of your heart onto the fabric.  

WIth the fabric doubled, cut out the heart with pinking shears.  

Step 3: Fuse Letters

I didn't grap snapshots of making the lettering, but here's the technique I used:

Again, using fabric that doesn't fray, cut a sheet of thermoweb the same size as your fabric (I used an 8"x10" sheet).  
Using an iron, fuse the thermoweb to the fabric. 
It is probably best to remove the backing before cutting out the letters, but I did not do that.  Instead I cut them out first, and peeled the backing off later.  If you like tiny detail peeling type work like that, you'll love this.  I, however, do not.
Cut out your letters!  

Once your letters are ready and your hearts are cut, space them on the front of the hearts and cover with paper or cotton fabric.

The heat required by the iron to fuse the letters will melt craft felt and seriously gunk up your iron!!!

Fuse the letters to the hearts really well or they will be the first things to be ripped apart by eager kittens.  

** if you don't want to go to the trouble of cutting and fusing letters, try rachaelwhitaker's technique and embroider them! 

Step 4: Sew the Hearts

Following the lines you traced for cutting, sew along the edge of the heart, leaving a space open large enough to stuff with the polyfill and catnip. 

If you don't have a sewing machine, or are not comfortable using one, you can definitely sew this all by hand using the backstitch demonstrated here by the lovely and talented jessyratfink! 

Step 5: The Good Stuff

I wasn't quite sure how much of anything to use, or how to get it all into the heart, so I just wadded up some batting, rolled some nip up in it, and shoved it all into the heart.  

I experimented with stuffing with some polyfill first, then adding the nip, and finishing with stuffing, but there was an obvious change in color where the nip was, so I think mashing it all together before shoving it in is really the best - and messiest - technique here.  And how do I know I've done something well if there isn't a huge mess afterwards?

Step 6: Alternate Method

Alternatively, you can draw the heart on the felt, and sew the two sides together before cutting along  the edges and adding the lettering.  This method is a little easier to control in terms of stitching clean lines if you're not super confident with a sewing machine.

Step 7: Gratuitous Cat Photos: Coco

Now it's time to introduce your catnip conversation hearts to your feline valentines!  Or, in my case, grab your camera as soon as they discover them on your sewing table and steal them right away.  Naughty Coco!

Step 8: Gratuitous Cat Photos: Button

Button was much more reserved in her approach to the new toys.  Not generally a fan of the catnip, I think this new treat was compelling enough to win her over.  Once she saw she Can Haz it, she knew it was ok to destroy.  
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