Why ‘Cooking Up Quilts’ and Casserole Hot Pads

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!





About Beth

I’m a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get “licking the spoon” mixed up with “licking the fabric”!!

This entry was posted in Machine Quilting, Mini Quilts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Why ‘Cooking Up Quilts’ and Casserole Hot Pads

  1. I think your hot pads look great. I had the same uncertainties about the combination of batting and insulabrite layers when I made table mats and couldn’t find a definitive set of instructions anywhere. Your solution sounds effective ☺

  2. Pingback: Tutorial – Casserole Hot Pad |

  3. Tracy says:

    A girlfriend embroidered a dishtowel for me that says “I could sew more quilts if I didn’t have to cook” ~ and that pretty much sums it up for me 😉 I don’t hate cooking (which is good, seeing that since we have a large family, going out to eat isn’t really an option!) but I don’t sure don’t love it either. (I liked cooking more, though, when we didn’t try to eat healthy all the time)
    Your pot holders are great! One of those ‘why didn’t I think of that??’ things…. Regarding your binding – I’m a huge fan of hand stitching the binding, too, but there are times when a machine sewn one is better (and they are sometimes required for donation quilts – or so I’ve heard) They DO take practice, so small things like this are great for that – but they are also more ‘in your face’ so you see any wobbles : / Anyways – I have found that glue basting (I just use Elmer’s washable school glue) helps me achieve more satisfactory results. And of course sewing ridiculously slow… I also read a tip to use invisible thread, which seams clever to me, but I usually go with a 60 wt. On the last quilt that I sewed the binding down by machine, I used a contrasting thread, if you can believe that! And it actually looked good :- ) (it’s the triangles for baby quilt)

    happy cooking ~ both quilts *and* food 🙂

  4. Lynne Tilley says:

    What a genius idea! Why have we not thought of this before?? I’m going to make them for both my sisters, my Mom, and myself, and my daughter and daughters-in-law. I better get busy!! I think you’re right, adding the batting to both sides. Can’t hurt, anyway. Thanks so much!!

  5. Lena says:

    That’s a nice idea and would make nice gifts, too. The photo of you lemon cake almost made me run to the fridge immediately (but I know there’s nothing anywhere like it there…)

  6. anudge says:

    I occasionally post recipes – mainly the ones my kids call long distance asking for how to make… It’s easier to post. That Lemon pound cake with peaches looks yummy. Would love a tutorial on that pad. And if you want to see/read about different dishes to try, go to my latest post.

  7. Jasmine says:

    It is fun to hear the meaning behind your blog name. I had always guessed it was something like that. I have been thinking of making some of these for awhile. I have made one previously and given it away. Yours turned out great! I kind of like the idea with both layers of batting, but I had only used the insulbrite and one layer.

  8. Mary C says:

    Love this idea! I would like to make some (for me and for Christmas gifts). Any tips, measurements or other “good to know” would be appreciated! Thanks,

  9. Tish says:

    Beth, these turned out great! I would love the instructions if you don’t mind sharing 🙂 And as I lover of food, I quite enjoyed the story of how you became “Cooking Up Quilts.” I go through periods of times where all I want to do is cook, then, it’s sandwiches and take out for a little bit. Sometimes my cooking phases result if complete yumminess and others…well pizza it is.

  10. I always use two smaller pads, too, Beth and now I’m wondering why this hadn’t dawned on me before! The hot pads look great and with holiday season fast approaching, I bet yours will be in use quite often. 🙂

  11. Karen Goad says:

    I always love seeing quilting blogs add in recipes as I mainly just read quilting blogs although some other blogs are on my list.

  12. I put the silver side up – towards the side that will contact the hot dish, and an extra layer of batting on the other side. I have no idea if this is the ‘right’ way or not, it is just what I do. I have made several of these bigger hot pads, and they are great to have for larger casseroles. I am still paranoid about my table though, and will put a kitchen towel under it just to be sure.

  13. Carol says:

    I would love to have the instructions for the large hot pad. What a great idea!

  14. Carol says:

    I would like the instructions for the large hot pad. What a great idea!

  15. Kate says:

    What a great idea! We do the same, try to use the smaller hot pads for the larger dishes. I’m lucky in that My Guy is the kitchen experimentalist, as is Drama Teen. They usually put their heads together about trying new recipes. I get to sew while they play in the kitchen.

  16. karenj7216 says:

    I would love a tutorial for this hot pad. I use really small hot pads for my large pans and this would be much safer and prettier. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  17. I love to try new recipes, so we have another thing in common! Why have I never thought of making a large hotpad!?! Duh. This would be great for our church fellowship meals too, for all those casseroles that come in. I have used insulbrite and did use batting on at least one side. It makes the potholder a bit stiff at first, not to mention slippery (yeah, story behind that). They get more pliable after washing.

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