This month's mug mat is all about relaxing. We could all use a little more of that, right? Once you're done making this one, kick off your shoes, pick up your favorite book and set a hot (or cold!) cup of tea on it. Who's in...Read More
I've never taken a sewing project on an airplane before, but each direction of my recent trip was about 20 hours so I was looking for ways to keep myself entertained. I was worried about getting bored, but it turns out trying to sleep takes up a bunch of time. Yeah, trying. Anyway, I set out to figure out what it would take to be able to hand stitch on board and ended up with this cute little kit I'm going to share with you today...Read More
Those of you who've been around here for a while might remember the Hot Pad of the Month series I started in 2015 that ended eighteen months later. We could go back even further to the coffee cup sleeve series, which was way back in 2013. Well, I've intended to start another monthly series, but I was a little up in the air about what it would be. That is, until inspiration hit me last month. This time, I'm going to do a project each month that involves hoop art, which basically means anything I can fit in an embroidery hoop. I have a full page of potential ideas, which of course I'll have to winnow down, but I'm excited about it. Some months will involve sewing, others won't. The sizes will vary. You'll probably see a variety of mediums and supplies, like fabric, buttons, felt, embroidery floss, maybe even some a little more unexpected. I can't wait any longer to share the first one with you! I'd like to point out, unlike my other series, I'm actually starting this one in January! Barely, but still. Since we all know it takes a while to make stuff, I had next month's Valentine's Day on my mind for this one. All you'll need to make these is fabric, three 3" embroidery hoops, felt, a hot glue gun and this pattern.
Technically, there are two different ways you can sew this together. You could trace each tiny piece, adding 1/4" seam allowance, and sew them all together. The other option is paper piecing, which is what I recommend and the method I used. Some of these pieces are pretty small, and that's the easiest way to handle them. If you're unfamiliar with how to do paper piecing, I highly recommend this video by The Crafty Gemini.
To start, cut out each pattern square on the outside line. Cut the horizontal lines only inside the square. Leave the vertical lines intact. The circle is only a guide to show where the embroidery hoop will be in the end.
The top and bottom row of each square is solid, so it doesn't need to be pieced, but when you cut it out add a 1/4" to the inside line for a seam allowance. Piece the other rows together, then add 1/4" to both long edges when you trim them. You should end up with something like this:
And this is what it looks like from the front:
Stitch each of the rows together with a 1/4" seam, then remove the paper. Give it a good pressing. Once again, here's the back:
And the front:
The I is the easiest of the three, because there are no angles. When you're sewing the others, just be sure your fabric covers the area it should and leaves enough for your 1/4" seam allowance. I'll admit, I used the seam ripper a couple of times trying to get that right. I also freaked out thinking I had completely messed up the heart and it wasn't going to fit together, but I forgot to account for the seam.
See? Not perfect, but acceptable. My new mantra.
The U has a couple of angles to it too.
I left plenty of space around the letters to fit them in a hoop, but I also made them square so you have other options if you choose to skip the hoop. These would be cute sewn into a table runner, or made into hot pads, or mug mats, or a quilt…
But we're talking about hoop art here. I know I'm probably the only person who'll ever see the back of these (in person), but I needed them to look finished anyway. Trace the embroidery hoop onto a piece of felt and cut it out just inside the line. You'll need three of those.
Insert the square into the embroidery hoop, making sure it's centered before tightening the screw.
You can trim some of the fabric if you like, but I found it was easy to stuff it inside the back as it was.
Hot glue around the edge of the hoop and press the felt over the top. I found it worked better if I glued one half, then the other.
You can get a little creative here and add some ribbon or trim. I tied a ribbon bow at the top, then took it off because I actually preferred them without it.
I hope you're looking forward to the rest of this year as much as I am!
Well folks, this is it. After a year and a half, I’m bringing the Hot Pad of the Month series to a close. It all started with some random doodling, trying to come up with a hot pad shaped like a teacup, and is ending with a collection of 18 hot pad patterns, all based on that same original shape. I’m going to miss sitting down with my sketches every month, half the time going off book anyway, but I think it’s time to move on.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have! There’s a lot of pressure when you’re coming to a full stop on a series this long. I wanted to make sure to end with something meaningful, and for all of us who sew, that machine that helps makes it happen is near and dear. It’s no coincidence that this is one of my favorites, and I could think of no better goodbye.
To make this hot pad, you’ll need:
this pattern (be sure to print at 100%, borderless – it goes edge to edge of the paper. Also be aware it’s two pages)
three fabrics for the sewing machine
one fabric for the background
one fabric for the thread spool
one fabric for back
InsulBright (cut to pattern shape)
thin cotton batting (cut to pattern shape)
fusible interfacing (cut to pattern shape)
1 – 1 1/2” button
red craft thread
silver and/or grey craft thread
This pattern uses foundation paper piecing. Rather than trying to explain that here, I’m going to refer you to this blog post where I show some basics and give you a couple of places to visit to learn more about the technique. Beware, if you haven’t trying it before know that it’s pretty easy to become addicted.
Cut pieces for each sewing machine section. I’m generous with the size of mine. It helps me prevent mistakes, so in the end maybe not as much extra waste as it appears.
Starting with piece 1 and progressing in numerical order, stitch together the lower sewing machine section. The line on piece 3 is not a seam, but rather the embroidery line for the machine needle. The pattern prints backward so your machine will be correct when it’s finished. Leave the paper attached.
Complete the upper section 10, starting with A.
Remove the paper. Add it to the lower portion of the machine as piece 10.
Flip over and cut around outer edge of pattern.
Carefully remove the paper.
Apply the fusible interfacing to the back. This is just to add stability while you embroider.
Trace the embroidery lines onto the machine with removable or very fine pen. It’s easiest just to print a second copy of the pattern for this. The thread lines are red and the needle is blue. I added my logo, but you can use your favorite machine name or any other word of your choice, or leave it blank.
Embroider the lines using a basic backstitch. Because my silver thread was fine, I added a second line next to the first to thicken the needle up a bit.
Layer the batting, InsulBright, front with the right side up and back with the right side down. Pin. Stitch, leaving 3” open at the bottom. Clip the corners.
Turn right side out. Press, turning in the opening. Topstitch near the edge.
Sew the button on by hand.
I have to show you the back, only because I love this fabric so much.
I’m not sure I can bring myself to actually set anything on this, so I made some four-patch coasters to go with it. Check back with me next week and I’ll show you how I made those with faux binding.
I want these in all the colors.
I feel pretty good about stopping here. What was I going to do after this?
I would LOVE to share your version of these hot pads! If you’ve made any of the 18 and would be willing to let me show your photo, please either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Facebook by July 30th. I’ll post the results in early August. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect (mine are certainly not!) and no one is going to judge your photography skills. We just want to see what you’ve made! <3
Thank you so much for playing along!