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
To make two hot pads, one flat and one mit, each 8-inches square:
- 1/4 yard of Liberty of London tana lawn. I used Flora Eve in the color Coral for the flat pad and Midnight for the mit pad but you could make both one 1/4 yard if you like.
- 1/2 yard of either Yarn Dyed Essex in Denim or Kiyohara's Linen Blend Solids in Denim
- 3 yards total of 30-mm cotton twill tape. I used Ecru for the flat pad and Navy for the mit pad, but you could make both with the same 3 yards. If you want to make just one hot pad you will need 2-yards.
- Embroidery thread to match the twill tape. I used Valdani Pearl Cotton color 114 dark dusty blue, and DMC Pearl Cotton in color 712
- One package of Insul-brite batting
- 100% cotton thread in color 1040
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!