SEWING DIY | Quilted Color-Block Hot Pads

Do you have loads of fabric scraps haunting your memory and stealing all of your craft storage space? Oh… right… neither do I. Okay, okay! I do! Loads and loads! Sometimes I want to throw my monster fabric scrap collection into the trash, but I know how much I would miss the selection when I want to do small projects like this.

I like to add something handmade to wedding gifts I give these days, so I thought I would transform some of my fabric scraps into stylish hot pads for the newlywed’s kitchen. Want to make your own quilted hot pads to give or use in your own kitchen? It’s super easy if you have access to a sewing machine. Here’s what you will need:

  • two coordinating colors of scrap fabric
  • fabric scissors
  • sewing machine and thread that contrasts with fabric colors
  • straight pins
  • thin/lightweight quilt batting (wool or another natural fiber)

1.) Decide how large you want your hot pad to be. Maybe measure one you already own and like, and then add 1.5 inch to the height and width for seam allowance (1/2″ all around, including where your triangles will end up meeting), and make sure you find fabric scraps big enough to use.

2.) Cut two coordinating colors of fabric in the size you decided you need, making sure they’re exactly square (use a cutting mat  or a paper template if necessary) and the same size.

3.) Fold your fabric squares on the diagonal, and slice them in half with sharp fabric scissors. Just like a grilled cheese sandwich!

4.) Placing the right sides of the fabric together, stitch together one triangle of each color, with the longer sides being joined together, 1/2″ from the edge. Iron flat the seam if you like (I did!). Do this to all four triangles, creating 2 squares.

5.) Cut out a square of thin quilt batting fabric to the size of your stitched-together square. Then, stitch the batting to the wrong side of one of your squares, 1/4″ from the edge.

6.) Place the right side (not the batting side) of the square you’ve just made to the right side of your remaining fabric square (this will leave the batting on the outside), and pin together the two squares to make sure they don’t shift while sewing. Now, stitch together 1/2″ from the edge of your squares, leaving a couple of inches open on one of the sides, so you can then flip the squares right-side-out.

7.) Now, flip the squares right side out through the hole you have left, using a pen tip or some kind of long, thin object to properly push out the corners. You’ll have that 1-2 inch section that is still open, but we’ll take care of that in the next step.

8.) Now, time for quilting! Start the lines of your quilted hot pad as a 1/4″ border around the edge. Make sure the unsewn, open portion of your edge is flipped inward like the rest of the hem (use pins to secure if need be), so that when you stitch around the border, the opening is sewn shut.

9.) After sewing a border around the edge, you can stitch a pattern however you like on your hot pad! I tried a few different patterns, but I think my favorite is the concentric squares that leave one big square in the center (see image directly below).

10 Responses

  1. Gisela&Zoe says:

    i use recycle my scraps to new things too & love this d.i.y.! great use for repurposing

  2. Sarah says:

    I would just add, make sure that your batting is the heat resistant kind, or layer up 100% cotton batting, or use wool(which I’ve found to be the best)I have tried to just use poly and that’s not good, it conducts the heat and it melted my pad, BOO!!! Unless you just don’t want to set anything hot on them.

    • Mandi says:

      Yes- wool batting is the best! It is naturally insulative. I will have to add that to the information here. Thanks! :)

  3. Kristen says:

    I like that you used different stitching patterns on them, makes em more arty.

  4. Courteney says:

    I too have boxes of scrap fabric…I can’t seem to throw away the little bits after I do a large project. And I’m pretty sure I have that exact floral fabric. Was it a sheet at one time? ;)
    Love this idea.

  5. Pippa says:

    These are super cute!

  6. carole says:

    These are lovely. IMHO you should use Thermolam as the batting as it is heat-resistant. Especially important if you’re going to remove hot things from the oven or put really hot things on your good table.

  7. Lyn says:

    Hey, a faster way to do the triangles is to draw a line on the light-colored block from diagonal to diagonal. Then put right sides together, and sew 1/4″ on each side of that diagonal line. Cut on the line you drew, and voila! You have your two squares made up of a light and dark triangle, as you pictured above. I learned this trick from quilting… Thanks for the super idea for quick Christmas gifts! Love it! :)

  8. orinoco says:

    You can make half-a-dozen mini hotpads as a set of coasters, too!