There are many things that I am not good at.
For instance, I am very bad at maintaining a frizz-free hairstyle for more than an hour. My hair gets so frizzy and curly that I actually get two corkscrew curls that stick out from my temples like TV antennae. I'm sure if I turned my head the right way I could receive the nightly news.
But there are few things that I am very good at and making handmade gifts is one of them. Like any good kindergartner, I am also good at sharing. Although my kindergarten report card said that I was also bossy. And I am. So I am now going to use all the things I am good at - I am going to share with you a handmade gift tutorial. Follow these steps to make a set of Kitchen Cliché Hot Pads (see, I'm so bossy).
What you need:
- Standard sewing equipment such as sewing machine, thread, hand sewing needles, pins, shears etc
- ½ yard (0.5m) of canvas, denim, cotton ducking or other heavy weight fabric
- ½ yard (0.5m) of batting (wadding in the UK)
- a selection of quilting cottons to be used for appliqueing the pot and the kettle (I used 5 different fabrics)
- Double sided bonding sheet such as Steam a Seam 2 or Wonder Under
- A darning foot or free motion machine embroidery foot for your sewing machine
- High quality polyester sewing thread such as Gutermann in black for decorative stitching and in a colour to match the heavy fabric of your hot pads
- Purple fade away marker
You'll also need the templates for the applique and embroidery, click the links to download the two templates in PDF format:
How to make the hot pads:
1. Pre-wash all your fabric. Tip: You may want to wash the fabric with some white vinegar to help set the colours and prevent bleeding. Check that none of the dyes in the fabric have run in the applique fabrics in particular. If the colours have bled, choose another fabric or your finished hot pads could be ruined after their first wash.
2. Cut 2 pieces of canvas or other heavy weight fabric at least 1" (2.5cm) larger than the hot pad pattern given on the down-loadable templates. These will be the embroidered top side of the hot pads.
3. Print the applique and embroidery templates that you downloaded onto paper. If you have a light desk then dust that off and light it up, but if you don't own a light desk, simply tape the paper templates to a window with the sun shining through. Lay one heavy weight fabric piece right side facing up on top of the paper template. If you are using a window, you may need to tape the heavy weight fabric in place.
4. Using a purple fade away marker, trace the letters onto the heavy weight fabric. As much as possible you will try to stitch continuously from one word to the next, so use the marker to draw lines that gracefully connect one word to the next.
5. The advantage of using a heavy weight fabric for this project is that you don't need to use an embroidery hoop to keep the fabric taut as you stitch the free motion machine embroidery. Not to mention that when made up into a hot pad it will also help to protect against burns.
6. Set up your sewing machine for free motion machine embroidery. Change your presser foot to a darning or free motion machine embroidery foot. Be sure to either drop your sewing machine’s feed dogs or cover them with a plate (the feed dogs are the metal teeth which feed the fabric at an even rate through the machine). If you don’t know which you need to do for your machine, consult your sewing machine manual. Thread your machine and bobbin with black thread.
7. When your machine is set up, begin stitching by loosely holding the top thread in your hand while using the hand wheel to lower your needle into the fabric where you wish to begin sewing (keep the presser foot up). Bring the needle back up again using the hand wheel and pull on the thread to bring the bobbin thread to the top side of the fabric. You do this by pulling the tail of thread on the top side of the fabric to bring up a loop of the bobbin thread. Pull the loop until the bobbin thread sits on top of the fabric. Lower your presser foot and begin stitching. You can travel in any direction and you control the speed at which the fabric is fed through the machine.
8. Stitch over the outline of the letters a total of three times. Make sure that you relax your shoulders as you stitch and don't worry too much about being neat. A slightly sketchy, loose stitch style is what you are after with this project. When you travel from one word to the next, do not go over the join three times, just the once will do. This helps to make the join less obvious making the bolder letters stand out.
9. When you are finished stitching the text, use your hand wheel to lift the needle to its highest point, lift the presser foot, pull the fabric away from the machine and snip your threads leaving longish tails. At the end of your stitching pull the tail of thread on the bottom side of the fabric in order to bring up a loop of the thread from the right side. Pull the loop until the thread sits on the wrong side of the fabric. Tie both the threads from the beginning and ending of your stitching in a reef or an square knot or thread the tails of your thread onto a needle and anchor the thread tails into the existing stitching and cut the ends off. This means that, the tails from the beginning of the stitching will be tied on the right side of the fabric and the tails from the end of your stitching will be tied on the wrong side of the fabric.
10. Now to create the applique. Flip your template over to the wrong side of the page and place it on your light desk or tape it to a window for tracing. With your template flipped, you can now trace each element of the applique pot or kettle design onto the paper side of a piece of double sided bonding sheet.
11. Iron the double sided bonding sheeting to the back of a different fabric for each element. Cut out each shape on the outline. Neither your tracing nor your cutting needs to be overly accurate as again this design looks good a little messy.
12. Peel the paper from the back of the cut out applique pieces. Position the applique pieces using the template as guidance for placement. When you are happy with the position of the applique pieces iron them to adhere them to the fabric.
13. Now to outline the applique shapes and really make them "pop" (not literally of course, just visually). Use the same techniques as you did for outlining the letters to outline each element of the applique design a total of three times. Remember that messy stitching looks great for this project.
15. Now to turn your embroidery into hot pads. Start by making a handy loop from which to hang the hot pad. Cut two strips of fabric 5½" x 2" (14cm x 5.1cm). I used one of the quilting cottons that I chose for the applique. Fold each strip in half along the length with right sides together. By machine, stitch along the length of the strip ¼" (6mm) from the edge (pictured at left below). Turn each strip right side out and press.
16. Cut out the paper hot pad pattern along the outline given on the template. Fold the hot pad template in half and crease it at the centre. Place thefabric embroidered front of your hot pad down on a surface right side up. Place the paper hot pad template on top of the embroidered piece so that the embroidered stitching is lined up with the letters and image on the template. Trace around the outer edge of the hot pad template with a purple fade away marker. Mark the top centre of the hot pad where you creased the template when you folded it in half (this marks where you will stitch the fabric loop).
18. Fold the strip you created in step 15 into a loop. Using the mark at the centre top of the hot pad as a guide, place the loop on the right side of the hot pad with the loop facing down, making sure that the ends of the loop overlap the traced edges of the hot pad. By machine, baste the loop in place at the top.
19. Now to create the back of the hot pad. Cut 2 pieces of batting (wadding), plus one piece of heavy weight fabric at least 1" (2.5cm) larger than the hot pad pattern given on the down-loadable templates for each hot pad.
20. By hand, baste the doubled layers of batting (wadding) to the wrong side of the back piece of heavy weight fabric.
21. Pin the right side of the heavy weight fabric backed with batting (wadding) to the right side of the embroidered front of the hot pad. Without cutting around the shape of the hot pad, sew from one side of the marked opening around to the other side of the opening directly on the traced line through all layers.
25. Repeat steps 15-24 to complete the second hot pad.
© Colleen Babcock 2011, All Rights Reserved
You are welcome to make as many Kitchen Cliché Hot Pads as you would like for your own personal use, including to give as gifts.
I hope that you enjoyed making these Kitchen Cliché Hot Pads with me. If you want to see more of my free tutorials click the link. If you don't want to miss out on any upcoming tutorials or any of the tutorials that I feature every Friday click the link to subscribe.
Wait there is another free tutorial from me today!
A special note to my mum: Mum, I know you are reading this, but you have to stop right now. You are not allowed to spoil my surprise. But I am not completely without feeling, so I'll distract you with Josh Groban.
Now nobody tell my mum, but I've also created a second free tutorial. Nobody can tell her anything about it. You are all hereby sworn to secrecy. Raise your right hand and repeat after me "I will not tell Colleen's mum, Kitty anything about the tutorial I am about to see". There. It's official.
My mum can't see this tutorial because it will spoil her Mother's Day gift. I am really excited to be guest blogging at The Crafter's File Box and sharing another tutorial that would be great for your mum or for another fantastic woman in your life. Seeing as I can't present my mum with Josh Groban wrapped up with a bow on his head, these special "secret somethings" will have to do.