Hot pads

I had another piece of fabric that I pieced at Quilting by the Lake 2015 in a class with Sherri Lynn Wood, but I didn’t feel like making another quilt. On the other hand, I need new hot pads. I like my hot pads to be the kind that’s a pocket, and I like it big enough for a man’s hand, not just mine. So, here’s my easy tutorial which you can adapt to suit yourself.

You are going to need:

  • 1 piece of fabric, about 9” by 35”
  • 1 piece of Insul-brite or similar about 9” by 17.5”
  • 1 piece of regular batting about 9” by 35”
  • 1 strip about 3” wide and long enough to bind the edges of the hot pad. You can piece this or cut across the width of regular fabric or use some left-over quilt binding.

Here’s the fabric I began with.

I cut a strip and made a trial hot pad since I didn’t bother to remember the measurements I had used some months back. You need a strip about 9” wide and 35” inches long. You can just cut a piece of fabric that size or you can piece scraps together. Obviously, what I am working with produces very scrappy looking blocks

Turn your fabric with the right side down and place the Insul-brite with the shiny side facing down. It’s OK if you have to cut pieces to make it the right size, but either baste them in place or make sure they don’t shift and leave a spot for the heat to get through to your hand. I usually put the pieced part towards the edge of the fabric that will be the top of the finished hot pad because the fingers aren’t going to be pressing down up there.

Now, layer the other batting on top of the Insul-brite. I like two layers of regular batting. I tried it once with one and it felt too thin when I pulled a cookie sheet out of a hot oven. It probably depends on the batting, too. Some may insulate better than others. I pieced the batting, too. It’s a great way to use up some left-overs.

Fold the other half of the cloth over the batting. Use some pins or basting to stabilize the whole thing and quilt it. I like to go around about half an inch from the edge then real close to the edge. (The stitching close to the edge may end up getting cut off, but it keeps the edge of the fabric in place.) After that, I quilt whatever I feel like, but not real dense. A zigzag or parallel lines or a meander or just whatever you feel like doing. Once I have everything quilted, I lay it out and trim the edges so that I have a rectangle, but don’t cut that side that is folded.

Fold the rectangle over to make a pocket. Use the fold as the top of the shorter piece and keep all the raw edges outside. Make sure the Insul-brite is towards the outside (towards the heat, when you use the hot pad.) At this point, I like to stitch my pocket in place, starting at the top and going to the bottom of the pocket. I have a machine that can handle all those layers, so this makes it easier to bind. If your machine can’t handle all those layers, you may want to baste the pocket in place and then hand-sew the binding and hanging strip onto the hot pad. 

Attach the binding and a hanging loop, if you want one. I take a strip of the binding fabric about 5” long, fold the raw edges to the middle and make a narrow strip, stitch the open edge, fold it over and attach to the bound hot pad. You may figure out a way you like better.  

Admire your work!

Having started with that scrappy piece at the top of the page and also some left-over binding from another project, I had enough material to make 4 hot pads.


© Janet 2013