Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

Log Cabin Hot Pad

I wanted to whip up some quick hot pads for our local quilt show sale that starts tomorrow, so I pulled out some Christmas fabric to make a prototype before using the hand-dyed fabric I set aside for this project.

I wanted to make a hot pad similar to one that a friend made for me a few years ago:


While I was at it, I decided to make up a tutorial.

First, cut a 10″ square of backing fabric.


Then cut two squares of good quality cotton batting (leftover from another project).  I wanted the hotpad to have a nice weight.  If you have it (I don’t), you could add some special insulating fabric, but I don’t think it’s necessary with good batting.  Cotton is definitely better than polyester, though.

The batting is placed on top of the base square with the right side of facing down.

Next cut a 1-1/2″ center square.  In this case I was able to center a Christmas wreath right in the middle.


Then cut 1-1/2″ strips of six other fabrics — three green, and three red, graduating light to dark in value.


Now the fun begins.  Center the little square in the middle of the batting (with base fabric on the bottom).  That makes for about 4-1/4″ on each side.  Pin in place.

With the lightest of the green fabrics lay a strip down on the square and cut it to match exactly.


Lay the second square on top, right sides together and stitch with a scant 1/4″ seam.  On my prototype I stitched from end to end, but discovered that it makes for a nicer look on the back if you begin 1/4″ in and stop stitching 1/4″ before the end of the seam.  Be sure to anchor with backstitching or tiny stitches at beginning and ends of seams.  Trim threads. Finger press open.


Using the same fabric, lay the strip this time on the two squares and cut to that size.  Stitch.  I found it was much easier to cut the strips correctly to size if you cut before stitching.  Fold the strip back on itself evenly and finger press to get a fold, and cut on that line.  Then stitch.


Next, using the lightest of the red strips, cut to size, stitch. Repeat for the next row.



Alternate two strips of each color back and forth until you have completed the Log Cabin.


Did I mention how much better this works if you have a walking foot on your machine?  Mine worked great, but it can be done without it if you don’t have one.  You just have to use care to make sure the fabric feeds evenly.


Once the Log Cabin is completed, trim the batting to 1/4″ all around.


Fold in and finger press two parallel sides of the backing leaving about 1/8″ space between edge of fabric and edge of batting.  Fold over on top of Log Cabin.  Pin in place with about 3 pins.

Stitch with a decorative stitch or zig zag.  I used an applique (or blanket) stitch.


Fold in the other sides like the first two, but before turning and pinning, turn in the corners so you won’t have any fraying edges sticking out at the ends.  Stitch in place.


Voila!  It’s finished.  ‘About 30 minutes start to finish, not counting digging the fabric out of the stash.


I didn’t add any kind of loop because I don’t hang my hot pads, but I think it would be easy to add one if you want.

After the prototype I stitched 6 Hot Chile Pepper Hot Pads using a chile pepper print for the base and 7 of my hand-dyed fabrics.  I’ll show the finished hot pads on tomorrow’s blog.

I’ll be at the show tomorrow demonstrating hand spinning yarn while people browse the quilts.


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