Casserole Hot Pad with Insul-Brite

Someone recently asked me why my blog was called Cooking Up Quilts. It was a question that made me realize I have never shared one of my favorite pastimes with all of you. It also made me think that maybe some of you might have wondered the same thing!

I love to cook. I spend a lot of time gathering recipes, watching cooking shows (Chopped and Master Chef are my favorites), and trying out new food combinations. My friends and family get to be my testers. Sometimes that can be iffy! But, there was the year I took cake decorating classes and my coworkers loved it. They got to eat all the cakes because there was no way I was taking home all that frosting! (I couldn’t eat frosting for about a year after those classes – just the thought of all that sugar mixed with Crisco….uh, no thanks!)

Even though I love to play in the kitchen, I am no way Master Chef quality. Those people amaze me! But I like to try new recipes and put foods and spices together in different ways.

When I started my blog, I tried several names. Some weren’t available, and others just didn’t feel right. When I chose Cooking Up Quilts it just hit all the right notes. I think the name represents me – I feel like I “cook” up a quilt much the same way I experiment and cook up dishes in my kitchen. When it comes to quilting I do a lot of playing and testing. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. The same thing happens in my kitchen. When a dish works, it goes in the ‘keeper’ file. When it doesn’t work…well, there’s always take-out!

This is a keeper! Lemon pound cake with fresh Georgia peaches - yum!

This is a keeper! Lemon pound cake with fresh Georgia peaches – yum!

So, speaking of cooking…

I had a need for a large hot pad. You know, one that a casserole dish or cake pan would fit on. I only have small ones in my kitchen and when I have a big dish, I always have to put two small hot pads together and hope they stay under the hot dish. Usually I just end up layering a couple of heavy dish cloths and using them to protect my countertops from the hot dish.

But now, I have finally made a couple large size hot pads!

Casserole Hot Pads

I love them! These were so easy to make. I did the binding by hand and still finished the entire project, quilting and all, in ninety minutes. I timed it because I really wanted to know how long it would take to whip one of these up. Attaching the binding by machine would certainly speed up the process. I actually tried it on the brown/red/gold one but it looked a mess. I ended up taking the binding off and re-attaching it by machine on the front and whip stitching it to the back. I’m just not that comfortable with machine binding yet.

The fabrics for the darker one is Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics. The yellow/grey/white one is made from fabrics in Corey Yoder’s Sundrops line. I’m seriously obsessed with Sundrops. I’m also a little fan-girlish with Corey – she lives in the area where we held our retreat so, you know, I feel a connection to her and her fabric! 🙂

Reversible Hot Pads Casserole Dish

The hot pads are reversible.

Back to the hot pads. I used my walking foot for the quilting and did straight lines about half an inch apart. The sandwich was pretty thick when I first started quilting because there are so many layers. I have a layer of Insul-brite, a layer of thin batting on either side and then the fabric layers.

The instructions for the Insul-brite said to add the batting layers to absorb the condensation. I’m assuming the instructions meant batting on both sides because it doesn’t really say. Have any of you used this stuff, and if so, did you add the batting to both sides?

After it is quilted, the hot pad is the perfect thickness and looks so pretty in the kitchen.

Casserole Hot Pad with Insul-Brite

If you want a tutorial to make your own large size hot pad let me know. I’ll be happy to write up the measurements, materials list, and instructions for you.

Now you know a little more about me and why this blog is called Cooking Up Quilts. Since you now know how much I love to cook, there might be a recipe pop up here now and again. But only the keepers!! 😉

I’m going to link up with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social. Be sure to check out all the great links!