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Thursday
Feb072013

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty Hot Pads

Perhaps it’s just my practical Virgo nature, but my ideal sewing project is first and foremost functional. I’m not one for decorative topstitching or ornamental buttons; I want my finished projects to work (and to look good doing it)!  Hot pads are a perfect utilitarian undertaking because they’re quick to make and oh, so useful!

To keep this particular set of hot pads from becoming too hard-nosed I used the stunning new Flora Eve print from Liberty of London. This very special floral pattern looks like something in between a watercolor and a photograph and is printed with the exquisite detail and color that only Liberty can deliver.  And when paired with a rich yarn dyed denim, the contrasts take on a drama of their own: casual and elegant, inky and ephemeral,  practical and charming.     

This project is very easy to sew but uses a lot of different skills so it’s never boring. Just quilt the fabrics together using specially insulated batting and then hand sew cotton twill tape around the edges, and you’ve got a truly unique, beautiful, and best of all, fully functional hot pad! -Molly

The Materials

To make two hot pads, one flat and one mit, each 8-inches square:

To make your hot pad even more heat resistant you might also want to add two layers of Request weight cotton batting in addition to the Insul-brite batting.

Flat Hot Pad 

Cut a 10-inch square from the Essex and the Batting. (If you are using the cotton batting in addition to the Insul-brite batting also cut two 10-inch squares from it. Then place the Insul-brite batting square inside the two cotton squares and hold them together, treating the three layers as one piece of batting.)

Cut an 8-inch square from the Tana Lawn.

Cut the twill tape to be 45-inches long.

Using a Hera Marker or other non-permanent fabric marker mark the Tana Lawn square every inch vertically.

Then mark lines 60-degrees from the vertical lines, every inch to create a diamond pattern. (Most rotary cutting rulers will have a 60-degree marking line.)

Place the batting on top of the Essex and the marked Tana lawn centered on top of that, right side up. Make sure that the three layers are flat and smooth. Pin the layers together at the corners and the center. This is your quilt sandwich.

Using your machine's walking foot quilt the three layers together along the marked lines.

Cut the batting and backing fabrics to match the Tana Lawn so the whole thing is an 8-inch square.

Press the twill tape in half width wise and pin it around the raw edge of the quilted hot pad as directed below:

Start in the middle of one of the sides and pin the folded twill tape over the raw edge of the quilted square. When you get to the first corner pull the twill tape up vertically...

... and then fold it down on itself to form a neat mitered corner as shown above. Do the same thing for the back side of the twill tape.

When you get to the second corner you will form the hot pad's loop. Pull the twill tape away from the corner horizontally so the tape folds over on itself.

Fold the tape back in the direction of the corner after 3-inches (to create a 3-inch long loop) and then continue pinning it along the next raw side as shown above.

Keep pinning in this manner, making mitered corners for the remaining corners, until you get back to the start of the twill tape. Cut the end of the twill tape so it overlaps the beginning by 2-inches. Finger press the end 1/2-inch inside itself and then pin it over the beginning.

This will hide the raw ends of the twill tape.

Make sure the back of the hot pad looks just as neat as the front before you start sewing the twill tape on.

Using the embroidery thread and a small running stitch sew the twill tape on just at its edge around all four sides. Make sure you're sewing at the edge of both the front and back of the tape. Sew the loop in place by sewing along the horizontal edge of the twill tape just until the loop begins.

Mit Hot Pad

Cut an 8-inch square, a 9-inch square, and a 10-inch square from the Essex.

Cut a 7-inch square from the Tana Lawn.

Cut a 9-inch square and a 10-inch square from the batting.

Cut two 12-inch lengths and one 45-inch length from the twill tape.

Mark the 7-inch square of Tana Lawn with 60 degree diamonds as instructed in the flat pad section.

Mark the 8-inch square of Essex in the same manner.

You will be making 2 quilt sandwiches, one for the flat part and one for the handles.

For the flat section: Start with the 10-inch Essex square, lay the 10-inch batting square on top of that, and then center the 8-inch Essex square on top of the previous two layers. Pin all three layers together at the corners and center. Make sure all of the layers are flat and smooth.

For the handle section: Start with the 9-inch Essex square, lay the 9-inch batting square on top of that, and then center the 7-inch Tana Lawn square right side up on top of the previous two layers. Pin all three layers together at the corners and center. Make sure all of the layers are flat and smooth.

Quilt both quilt sandwiches together along their marked lines. Cut the batting and backing fabric on each to match the smaller top pieces. You will have an 8-inch quilted square for the flat section and a 7-inch quilted square for the handle section.

Slice the quilted 7-inch handle section square in half diagonally.

Press the two 12-inch lengths of twill tape in width wise. Pin these pieces over each of the diagonal raw edges of the handle pieces. Sew the twill tape on with the matching embroidery thread and a small running stitch, just along the tape's edge. Make sure you're getting both sides of the tape as you sew. 

Pin the handle pieces to opposite sides of the flat section, lining up their raw edges.

Press the remaining twill tape in half width wise and pin it around the sides of the hot pad, creating mitered corners and a 3-inch loop as detailed in the flat hot pad section of this story. Make sure to position the loop at one of the corners that doesn't have a handle piece, as shown above.

Using the matching embroidery thread sew the twill tape in place and you're all done!

Reader Comments (19)

I have made these hotpads and recommended to Purl to get "The Liberty Book of Home Sewing"- wonder if the idea is from there?? They're very sweet. Lovely job!
February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
Hi Megan-

These are not from that book, I actually haven't seen it. We use Liberty all the time for our own original projects.

Thanks so much for writing in!

Molly
February 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love Tana Lawn Fabrics. This is such a wonderful/easy set of instructions to follow. I am saving it so that I can get the insulation batting. Thank you so VERY much. What wonderful gifts these would make too. My hot pads have definitely seen better days. This tutorial comes at just the right time.
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly Jane
The Mit Hot Pad looks so practical.

I can't wait to try it, but I just saw that the insulated lining is out of stock, any ideas on when it'll be back in again? Does anyone know how thick it is? I'm looking to make my own ironing board, and was told to use 12oz bump fabric on top of felt fabric, but if this is thick enough, then maybe this will work. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
Hi Irene-

I'm not sure what 12oz bump fabric is. Sorry! The batting is relatively thin, about the width of the medium cotton batting.

Maybe another reader can help you out?!

Thanks for writing in!

Molly
February 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello Again, I just finished my first "new" hot pad and used my left over quilting fabric and Tana Lawn fabric that I make children's dresses from. It is so pretty. Now, I will just keep going and make lots of them. The insulate is wonderful. Thanks again. I am a happy camper.
February 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly Jane
Hi. I am at the stage where I sew on the twill tape. Am I supposed to hand sew it? It seems like a lot of layers to go through for a small running stitch. Perhaps I am supposed to machine sew instead? Please advise. Thanks!
February 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentershirley
Hi Shirley-

You do hand sew it on. I found that to be much neater than trying to catch both sides with a machine. If you take one stitch at a time the multiple layers aren't an issue.

Thanks for writing in and please let us know if you have any more questions.

Moly
February 24, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Oh my......I LOVE the blue hot pad....You have come up with the perfect project to make as a gift for a dear friend who loves Liberty and actually needs some new hot pads...and the timing is perfect!
Julie
May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Tremain
Is there a right and a wrong side to the insul-brite batting?
May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
Hi Molly-

No, there is no right side or wrong side of the batting.

Thank you for your question!

Molly
May 9, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Lovely, practical project- just my thing. Is the coloured twill tape colour-fast? Does it need to be washed prior to use? Thanks.
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGail
Hi Gail-

The twill tape shouldn't bleed in the wash.

Thanks for your question!

Molly
May 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Be careful when using just one layer of Insul-brite. My package cautions that for pot holders and oven mitts you should use another layer of cotton batting. One layer of the Insul-brite is not protection enough for removing hot pans or skillets from the oven.
November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary Alice
Hi Mary Alice-

Thank you so much for getting in touch about this! Although I use hot pads similar to these all the time without a problem, to be extra safe it would be a good idea to add a layer or two of cotton batting. I have updated the pattern to add that information.

Thank you!

Molly
December 4, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi! Love the pattern...I'm planning on gifting a lot of these for Xmas! Just wondering if I should pre-wash the Essex fabric? I have never used this fabric or even seen it for that matter. I won't be using Liberty of London, but I will use high quality cotton fabric from my local quilting store. They have told me before that their fabrics generally do not need to be pre washed. What are your thoughts on pre washing for a project like this? Any advice is much appreciated! And thanks for providing such beautiful and useful projects....keep em comin!
December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrook
Hi Brook-

Yes, we would recommend that you pre-wash all the fabrics before you start.

Thanks for getting in touch!

Molly
December 9, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Do you have any patterns for oven mitts? I love these pads and will definitely make them, but I am also in the market for some beautiful oven mitts! Thanks
March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCait
Hi Cait-

Unfortunately we don't have a sewn pattern for an oven mit. But we will keep it in mind going forward.

Thank you!

Molly
March 16, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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