Saturday, January 19, 2013

First Finish: Hot Pad for a Swap

When I wrote up my quilting plans for 2013, I don't think I yet realized I was doing a dish cloth swap with some on-line friends.  They all (mostly) knit & crochet, and decided to swap homemade dish cloths, which sounded like fun, but I don't knit or crochet.  The organizer had several people who wanted in the swap who also don't do that particular craft, and luckily there were plenty of ladies willing to receive something other than a dish cloth as their swap item. Yay!

Once I knew that, I jumped right in and offered either 2 mug rugs or one hot pad/pot holder, recipient's choice.  My recipient has a sweet daughter who knits plenty of mug rugs, so she asked for a hot pad. Yay! Only one binding to do instead of two!!! I hate, detest, loathe making binding. I don't even do bias binding, or hand stitch my bindings on small items, and yet I so loathe the process. Just the pressing. I finger press, but I might need to switch to using the iron as I imagine it's easier on the hands, even if it is a pain in the neck to go set it up.

I did a little sleuthing to determine good colors to use (aka, I asked the recipient, since it is not a secret swap) and then looked for a pattern. I found a free download from Quilter's Newsletter, called King's Crown Block (from the June/July 2012 edition of Quilter's Newsletter); this is a 12" block meant to be used in a wall hanging, but I thought it also made a great stand-alone block for a hot pad that will feature as a table  decoration on the center of my recipient's dining table.

King's Crown Block, 12" finished size
June/July 2012 Quilter's Newsletter (free downloadable pattern)

Next I shopped my stash for fabrics that would work. My recipient said she likes reds, oranges and yellows in her kitchen, as well as blues. But this is not going in her kitchen, so I did some more sleuthing (aka, friended her on Facebook so I could see if she had any photos of the inside of her house; she had very few, but enough to get my brain in gear).  I found a beautiful large scale print that I thought would work perfectly, and pulled a selection of coordinating fabrics from all areas of my stash, then I laid them out and auditioned options, considering where I would use each fabric in the block design.

close up of the focus fabric and the coordinating fabrics
I love that I bought all of these at different times, yet the swirls in the pink are the same
red as the fabric and the swirls echo those in the focus fabric; the little flowers in the turquoise echo the
flowers in the focus fabric, and the texture in the red fabric is a great balance to that in the focus fabric as well.
So happy when stash-shopping works out so well!!!

I am so pleased with how it turned out! Enough so that now I want to make one for myself; I am not a huge fan of the current very trendy aqua & red, but this softer turquoise and deeper red, with the grounding of the center focus fabric plus the addition of the patterned pink, makes a very winning combination.

finished product
I used ironing board cover as a heat-proof middle layer and 100% quilter's quality cotton for the hot pad, and I did just very basic "stitch in the ditch" (aka, stitch alongside the seam lines) quilting. Since it's to be used as a resting place for hot pots, pans, etc., I thought that less quilting was better; also, if she ever wants to, it can be folded and used as a pot holder for removing hot things from the oven.  Too much quilting would make it difficult to fold easily.  I have a hot pad done similarly, by a good friend back home, and I am grateful she did her quilting the same way; mine gets very heavy use, and I hope this one will to, when it reaches its new owner.

Of course, I ran out of the red thread near the end and had to switch to beige. And, because I was scared to flip it over when doing the binding, the top/front got the beige stitching. I did use a zig zag over the initial straight stitch to help keep it pretty, and I think it's a soft enough color that it doesn't detract by too much.

 Now, on to that quilting son would really like me to finish his quilt sometime this year.......

1 comment:

  1. Nice job, Heather! One of my goals this spring is processing most of my stash into one of 3 categories:

    fat quarters
    4.5" strips
    2.5" strips

    Except for the longer yardage, of course. When things are ready to go and I know the sizes are compatible, it's SO much easier to sit down and sew for a few minutes than when I have to talk myself into dragging out the mat and rotary cutter and pattern book and...and...and...