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Quick & Easy Hot Pad Tutorial

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Hi friends. I’m Amy from Diary of a Quilter. I write a blog about my quilting fetish, fabric addiction, and other sewing/crafty projects that I squeeze in around the regular family hoopla that accompanies 4 kids and a busy husband. Fortunately they are all extremely patient with me and my constant projects.
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I’m excited to participate in this year’s Holiday Bake, Craft, and Sew Along. Nothing like getting a jump start on Christmas.  As much as I enjoy all the cutesy stuff that arrives from friends at Christmas, I especially love gifts that don’t get stale and are useful everyday. A couple of years ago a friend gave me some new hot pads and I was so excited to have something new and attractive to use instead of the old hot pads hiding in the drawer next to my oven.
So today I thought I’d share three quick and easy variations for making hot pads for a useful Christmas gift.
The first version is the easiest.  Take two 9″ squares of fabric and a 9″ square of batting. (I used a thicker, low-loft batting like Warm & Natural.  You can buy it by the yard at most big-box sewing stores.)  You could also use some heavier decorator-weight fabric to make the pads more durable. A lot of times you can find great decorator-weight fabric remnants for really cheap. You can get 4-5 squares out of a 1/4 yard of fabric.
Now match fabric squares right-sides together and lay the batting square on top.
Line up the squares and pin together.

Sew a 3/8″ seam all the way around the square, leaving an opening about 4″ wide for turning right-side out. After sewing clip the corners off (but don’t clip the stitching.)

Turn fabrics right-sides out with batting in the center. Tuck open ends inside and pin. Press the fabrics to make sure that everything lies flat and then top stitch all the way around the outside edge. This will close up your opening and give a nice finished edge to the hot pad. I stitched one more square in the middle to keep the layers from slipping apart and Voila! You have a nifty hot pad.

Another quick method creates 5 hot pads at once (or more, depending on the size of the pieces of fabric you use.)  In this case I used 2 coordinating 1/4 yard pieces and a piece of batting that was 43″ x 9″.

Press both pieces of fabric and the batting before you start.  Take the backing piece and lay it face down on a clean surface.  Spray lightly with Basting Spray (available at most sewing supply stores).  You may want to do this outside to prevent sticky spots in your house.

Trim the batting so that it is slightly smaller than the backing fabric and lay it carefully on top of the backing, smoothing out wrinkles.

Carefully trim the front fabric to a width of 8 1/2″ (or slightly smaller than your backing fabric and batting – you want to be able to see the edges of both backing and batting fabric after you lay down the top fabric).  Lightly spray top of batting with Basting Spray and carefully place your front fabric on top, smoothing out any wrinkles.

Then I carefully quilted some parallel lines to hold all the layers together nicely. The stripes on this fabric worked great as a guide, but you could mark lines with a disappearing marking pen or just eyeball the quilting lines. Basically it’s nice if you have a few lines at least 2″ apart – but you could do more if you like. Or this is a great chance to practice your free-motion quilting skills.

(I bought this Cosmo Cricket “Early Bird” fabric last year.)

When fabrics and batting are nicely quilted use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut out the hot pads. I cut five 8 1/2″ square hot pads out of a 1/4 of a yard of fabric.

You will need to use some kind of binding to finish the edges of these hot pads.  A contrasting fabric looks really cute. You’ll need a 2 1/2″ x 42″ strip for the binding. Here is a simple machine-binding tutorial to help you with this part. This picture demonstrates pinning the binding fabric on. See top or bottom picture for finished look.
Finally, if you’re like me and you’ve got fabric scraps coming out of your ears (not literally) than you could make some really cute pieced hot pads.  Start with a 9″ backing square of heavier weight fabric and a 8.75″ square of batting.  Spray baste the batting to the back side of the backing fabric and sew your strips directly onto the batting and backing using the same method as this Table Runner Tutorial. (Which would be another fun Christmas gift!)
Trim the edges and bind like the previous version.
And there you go – three versions for making hot pads.  Tie one of these up with a couple of favorite recipes and you have a quick, useful gift.

Another idea: if you’ve got friends who like to sew themselves, you could make another fun, fast, and useful gift using this magnatized-pin dish tutorial.  They’d be great a great paper-clip holder for teachers too!

It’s been fun to hang-out at Skip to My Lou today. Come visit me anytime at Diary of a Quilter! Especially if you want to learn to make a quilt – I’d love to show you how!


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