25 April 2011

NEO: Play Kitchen Hotpad Tutorial

How was your Easter?  We had a wonderful little getaway for the weekend with our baby dills--more on that later.  But today I have another Never Enough Orange project!  You might be wondering what this has to do with my sewing studio.  Well, I do share this space with some smaller dills, and we have a play kitchen that is getting a makeover to match the orange theme.  I can't wait to show you how it's turning out!  In the meantime, here's a little project to coordinate with a children's play kitchen. 

It's been quite a while since I've done a "Swatchee Project".  If you're new here, a swatchee project is something I make using swatches of fabric I collected while we were in Korea.  Here are my past projects:

The swatches [or swatchees as the Koreans say] are different sizes and obviously made of different fiber contents, and really, I can only guess what they're made of since it's all in Korean.  I used 4 swatchees that all have at least some synthetic content, which brings me to:

Disclaimer and warning:  This is just a toy.  This is not for actual use in the kitchen, and has not been tested with real oven temperatures. [I imagine that you would want more insulation than what I've done in this project not to mention all natural fiber content, so please do not use this tutorial to make a real hotpad.]
I am not a quilter, and don't know that I'll ever be one.  I appreciate and admire those who are, but I don't enjoy repetitious work when it comes to machine sewing.  My moods, however, are known to sway from time to time, so I'm leaving that needle up for the future.  So, you quilters might laugh when you see my methods here, but you could just kindly inform me of better ways.
  • Piece 4 rectangles together with 1/4" seam [first 2, then the other 2, then all 4 together]
  • The pieced layer will be on top, the batting in the middle and the solid layer [right side out] on the bottom
  • Make one stitch, at an angle.  I have an attachment bar, guide thing [I'm pretty sure that's the technical name] that fits into my presser foot to guide stitching lines without the throat plate [that square metal thing with your seam allowance guide on it].  Use it to guide your stitches, making them an even width apart.  Rotate fabric 180 degrees and quilt it the opposite way, creating a grid pattern on the bias.
  • Have we learned how to make bias tape yet?  I made 1/2" double folded bias tape=cut 2" strips of fabric on the bias.  Using a bias tape maker machine or a hand held bias maker or fold your bias in half, press, then fold the outer edges in, create your own bias tape.  [Or you could always just buy some pre-made!  I won't tell.]
  • Round the edges of your hotpad and pin the bias tape around the perimeter, folding the beginning under 1/2" and overlapping the end 1/2".  It might be easier to clip the corners 1/4" to make your bias go more smoothly around.
  • Before you stitch the bias, make a little loopy thing with 3" of your bias tape.  Just stitch down both sides and fold ends together.  Insert this between the hotpad and bias on one of the corners.  Stitch bias.
  • Flip the bias over to the opposite side and pin in place.  Stitch the inner edge and the outer edge to help it lay flat and just be cuter.
That's it!
And bad news for you who don't like to make bias, because my next NEO project has lots and lots and lots and lots of bias involved.  Good news for those who do! :)


  1. They just say cotton on them. Where did you get those swatches?

  2. Ashley-I got them at Dongdamuen! Are you familiar with it? Just about heaven for me there! That's good to know the patterned ones are cotton, because I actually got some yardage, but the solid ones are synthetic (kind of like a puffy coat fabric).

  3. Great tutorial that anyone can follow! I'd love it if you'd link it up to Creative Me Monday! I think my readers would love it!

    I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend, Katie!

  4. LOVE that place although it's been over ten years since I've been! My family and I moved to the States about 11 years ago - my husband and I are going to try to go back next year to visit. Oh how I miss - it's where party never stops, right? ;)

  5. My uncle is taking several student group to Korea this summer (wish I were going) and has agreed to bring me back some fabric. Any hints I can give him on where to go?

  6. Sorry I was signed in under another accout that doesn't link ....my email is

    Thanks, elizabeth

  7. Tell your uncle to go to Dongdaemun.
    Just look for the motorcycles with HUGE bolts of fabric sitting out in front of a big building. 6 floors filled with vendors selling every fabric you could and couldn't imagine. You can also have men's suits and women's clothing custom made in the same building. Then there's the bead floor....

  8. Very cute!!! I may have to make one to go with the kitchen we are making for our sons birthday in July.

  9. You are just too cute! Before finding your blog, I would have said orange was one of my least fav's...it's right up near the top, now!! :)

    (Oh and I'm with you on the quilting)

  10. I love the combination of swatches you chose. Orange is one of my favorites too (it contends with yellow), so I look forward to seeing what else you have planned.

  11. Ahhh Katie, I just don't say it often enough but you are fantastic!! Your talents amaze me and your beauty does too. Now lets hope my comment doesn't disappear as mysteriously as yours does :)

  12. Loving your orange pins. Don't cute pins just make you happy?!
    Oh, and I AM a quilter. Well, I've made about 20 now. And reading this post is the first I was ever taught or shown or realized what that bar/pin thing is for on my machine foot. Nice.

  13. Adorable! Thanks for sharing...again. I have so many of your creations bookmarked it's getting ridiculous! :-)

  14. I have been quilting for a while, and I think your quilting was beautiful!!! I love your fabric!!!

  15. Katy,
    I fell in love with your blog!! I am in korea right now and i am delighted to read your post about swatchee :) swatchees are hard to get for the koreans since they cost much to make them ;) you were lucky!!


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