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For a quick and fun project using Mini Charm Packs, check out my hot pad tutorial.  Potholders and hot pads not only make great gifts, but are perfect for learning new quilting techniques or trying out new block patterns and fabrics.

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The mini charm pack I used for this hot pad contains forty-two 2-1/2″ squares, so you can get several pads from one pack for under $4. For this pad I used a combination of leftover charm pak squares I had from Fig Tree’s Honeysweet and Avalon collections (that I love!)..

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Hot Pad Tutorial:

Materials:

25 Mini Charms or 2-1/2″ squares

Backing fabric – 10″ x 10″

Batting – 10″ x 10″

Insulbrite (reflects heat, available at JoAnns) – 10″ x 10″

Bias binding – approximately 45″ long

Step 1 – Pattern Design:

Lay out your 2-1/2″ squares in a pleasing pattern, 4×4 for pot holder or 5×5 for hot pad.

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Step 2 – Sew the pathwork blocks:

1. Sew your blocks together by row, chain piecing and using a 1/4th” seam allowance.  If you have not done chain piecing, there is a good tutorial here.

2. Press seam allowance to left for 1st row, to the right for 2nd row.  Continue to alternate pressing direction for each row.

3. Flip and do a final press, checking that your seam direction alternates.

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Step 3 – Assemble patchwork block:

Sew your 4 rows together, matching and pinning your seams into a 25 patch block.  Matching seams takes a little practice.  I pin directly into the seam line and leave the pin in until right before it goes under the presser foot.

Press all seam allowances in one direction.

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Step 4 – Quilt the hot pad:

Layer your pad for quilting:  top, batting, insulbrite, and backing fabric.  Using your top for a pattern, cut the batting, insulbrite and backing an inch or so larger than the top as shown below.

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Machine quilt the pad…  I chose to do quarter inch, straight-line quilting, using the quarter inch mark on my presser foot to line up each row.  I used a walking foot and increased my stitch length to 3.5, but you can use a regular foot if you don’t have a walking foot.

As you can see from the first picture, I drew a straight line down the middle of my 3rd row with an erasable pen (Frixion) as my starting point, then quilted each line to the right of the starting line,  and then to the left.

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Step 5 – Bind the hot pad:

Trim off the excess batting and backing.  Round the corners using a cup or small bowl, mark with an erasable pen, and cut using a rotary cutter or sharp scissors.

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Add the hanging loop and attach the bias binding.  To make the hanging loop, cut a 4″ by 1″ strip, and press it in half lengthwise. Open it up, and press both raw edges into the center crease. Fold on the center crease, and edge stitch closed. Pin to back corner of your hot pad as pictured below. You will sew your binding over the top of your loop.

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Bias binding is fabric strips cut across the diagonal of a square of fabric that is stretchy so you can go around the rounded corners without puckering.  When I need to make bias binding, my go to link is this tutorial by That Girl…That Quilt.  Jennifer’s binding tutorial covers making and attaching the binding.  When you get ready to stitch the ends together, I prefer Crazy Mom Quilts method for small projects.

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I chose to hand stitch my binding to the back of my hot pad using a blind stitch.  If you are not familiar with this stitch, there are several good videos on YouTube.

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And it’s finished!  An easy, Saturday afternoon project and the perfect Christmas present for a special co-worker!

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Hope you enjoyed my hot pad tutorial!  Please share, comment, and offer tips below.  Happy Sewing!

Teri of The Hummingbird Thread

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