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Heartwarming Hot Pads

My daughter and her husband are in the process of buying their first home. I wanted to stitch up a quick gift for them so, of course, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration.

I found a beautiful collection of hot pads on a Japanese site called Fabrickaz+idees. It appears to be an abandoned website, but the inspiration was all I needed. And, lucky for me, I had the perfect vintage-looking Japanese fabric for the project!


The navy buffalo check and ticking are fabrics from Cosmo Textiles. And the light blue stripe is a gorgeous fabric from Kiyohara.

I chose fabrics that reminded me of the dresses and aprons my grandma wore. I also grabbed a bit of an old quilt I have been re-purposing, some batting and our lovely Valdani perle cotton. 

Since this was an easy, quick project I wasn’t too worried about measuring. Any squaring up can be done at the end before stitching the layers together. On some of the hot pads I added little bits of raw edged fabric and secured them with the quilting. On others, I pieced a little patchwork plus or a simple four patch. Any traditional block would be a perfect match for this homey project.


   Here is my little patchwork! I pieced some Carolina Yarn Dyed 1″ gingham, Lecien Retro 30's, Essex Linen and a top-stitched bit of ticking (this is a cosmo textiles fabric which will be back in stock soon).

Then, unlike in making a quilt, I cut my backing the same size as the front and, for this hot pad, I used a piece of old quilt for the backing. To absorb the heat, I used 3-4 layers of cotton batting. Cotton batting should be sufficient, but you can also use wool or even Insul-Bright. Insul-Bright is an insulated batting product that is intended to be used in hot pads. Follow the manufacturers instructions with Insul-Bright.


       I should note, I made each hot pad a different size. My intention was a pad to act as a trivet for a casserole dish, a warm bowl, or even a cup coffee. I don’t expect her to necessarily use them for grabbing dishes out of a hot oven, my suggestion would be to test how many layers of your batting is required to use as oven mitts.

Before stitching all of the layers together, I added a little handle to each pad. Not only is this functional, but it adds a charming touch! I simply made a strap using a 2″ wide piece of fabric and cut it to the length I wanted. An easy way to make a fabric handle is to fold the 2″ fabric in half lengthwise, press. Open and fold in each raw edge to meet the center crease, press all along the length. Now fold in half again sol the long edges are finished. Machine stitch to close the length of the strap. You could also use cotton webbing or a ribbon for a strap.


Place the handle with the short ends even with the raw edge of the front of the hot pad. Space the handle so it is centered and baste it in place.


Layer your pieces in this manner: batting, front of pad (right side up) and backing (wrong side up). The backing and the front should have right sides facing and the fabric handle is tucked in between. Mark a section of about 4 inches to leave open for turning right side out. **be sure your opening is not on the same side as the handle**

Using a generous 1/4 seam allowance and stitch around all four sides of the hot pad, remember to leave 4″ open for turning. Check to be sure you have caught all the layers in the stitching before turning right side out.

Turn right side out and stitch up the opening to close. Or you may choose to cut a piece of fabric slightly longer than the opening and wide enough to wrap from front to back. Stitch the extra piece over the opening to close.


Now quilt with size 8 perle cotton thread. Don’t worry about burying the knots! Leave the knots on top and take big stitches, pulling slightly to add in a few charming puckers!


Tip: if you are machine stitching straight lines increase the stitch length on your machine to about 3.0. I machine stitched straight lines on just the top with one piece of batting underneath. After completing the machine stitching, I added the other pieces of batting and layered the front with the handle and the backing (see above). Once my hot pad was turned right side out, I added big stitches with perle cotton.

I hope you enjoy making these Heartwarming Hot Pads!

What a fast fun make!