Heart of Hearts, designed by Barbara Richardson, from the Jan./Feb. 2008 issue of Needlepoint Now.
To finish it, I backed it with silk and sewed it on the machine (twice, for extra security). To get a neater finish and to avoid having to slip stitch the canvas closed, I sewed around the entire heart with no gap for turning. Instead, I cut a slit in the center of the silk back to turn the stitching right side out, and then glued on top of the slit an ultrasuede heart.
For the Beadboys' classes, rather than sitting with them to make individual valentines for each classmate, I made heart cookies inspired by this pin:
chocolate cut-out cookie recipe from Everyday Food, by far the best and easiest version. For the pink frosting (yes, it is very pink, the camera washed it out for some reason) I used store-bought and added red food coloring; it was rather bland (next time I'll add vanilla or something) but the kids won't care. For the piping -- this was the best part -- I used a frosting gun I bought ages ago. It was so easy! I've tried cheap pastry bags, good pastry bags, and ziploc bags before but I could never get the hang of it. This was awesome, almost as fun as my cookie gun.
I was compelled to make these: