Pearl Tatted Valentine Heart - Copyright 2009 Ruth Perry
You may tat a heart around any 5 petal flower that has picots at the end of the petals. This heart has a beaded double core reverse ring in the middle, and hanging cluny leaves on a balanced double stitch stem.
You may begin with a completed 5 point motif by attaching thread in the desired color to the picot of one of the points and tatting BDS chain 3 stitches, then turn and make a cluny leaf, then turn and tat 5 BDS stitches, then a picot.
Add your second color of thread, or another thread of the same color if you wish. Just wrap the new thread around one of the two that you already have, and pearl tat with the other one first. The color possibilities are delightful! You will have three threads to work with plus the tail of the new thread is also in the center so that you can pearl tat alternately 2 ds with one thread then 2 ds with the other over the end to hide the end. Pearl tat over the end for at least 8 or 10 stitches to hold it securely, then leave the end hang out and continue pearl tatting over just the one center thread. Later you will need to cut this thread close to the work.
Pearl tat 2 ds with one color, then 2 ds with the other over the core thread and thread end for about 5 repeats to make a straight secion. Next tat three ds with the outside thread and just 2 with the inside thread to make a curved section for 5 repeats. Then make 5 repeats the same number of stitches inside and outside to make another straight section.
Join to the next point of the motif, then pearl tat another straight section the length needed to go to the next point, then join to this point.
Pearl tat a straight section for about 3 repeats, then with the inside color do just 2 or 3 ds, but with the outside thread tat 2 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 2. You may wish to do the first and last of these picots medium size, and the middle two larger. You could also change the stitch and picot counts to give your heart the point that you like, by making 3 or 5 picots instead of 4.
The second side of the heart is a mirror image of the first side, or make one side different to make a modern or stylized heart. Join to the picot before the pearl tatting, then tat the mirror image of the stem and leaf.
When you have finished the second side tie the ends at the beginning picot of the motif, and then hide them and cut.
Adapting this pattern to any small motif should be fairly easy to do. Add beads around the outside for sparkle if you wish. Enjoy!