Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I love being able to sew and quilt at the same time. I have been very successful doing this with baby quilts, placemats, and hot pads. I have several different posts showing detailed instructions you might want to check out.

Recently I was looking through some old quilt magazines that belonged to my "Auntie". One featured the Log Cabin pattern and indicated it was a sew and quilt at the same time technique.The lady was going to be making a tote bag and the "block" was going to be one side of the bag. The article did a good job sewing pictures along the way, but they never showed the back of the piece. I realized right away that if I did it the way the article was demonstrating, the back wouldn't look like I wanted it to look. But I was intrigued.

I decided I would try it but make a hot pad instead of a tote bag. Just the other day, I needed a hot pad/plate to put a hot dish on at the table. My husband told me I should look for some at the estate sales I go to every Friday with my friend Janice. I thought this would be even better. I would get to try a new technique and would have a pretty hot pad to show off in my kitchen.

Well, this is what I came up with...the front

and the back...

It was really easy to make, too. 

I wanted to use up some of my scraps - I just can't seem to throw anything away. This hot pad is perfect for those leftover scraps. I made the pad about 8 inches square. 

My 8-1/2 inch square template ruler helped me decide when I was trying to decide on the size. I noticed that I could have a 2 - inch square in the center and then three 1 - inch strips out from the center - just what I needed for the log cabin pattern.

I had a scrap of red that was about 9 - 9-1/2 inches square. A piece of iron-on interfacing had been cut to fit it. I had another piece of red the same size but didn't have the interfacing on it. I had some batting scraps that I decided to double to give me the thickness I wanted. I had three purple and three pink prints in increasing hues that I thought would look good together.

- I started by cutting a 2-1/2 inch square from the red and centered it in over the batting. 

 - From the lightest purple print, I cut a strip 1-1/2 inches wide and 2-1/2 inches long. I measured 1/4 inch from the ends and marked it on the wrong side of the material. Then I placed the raw edges together on one side. 

- I sewed the two pieces together starting and stopping at the two dots. 

- I pressed the seam back and cut another strip from the same light print 1-1/2 inches wide and the length of that side. (Mine was about 3-3/8 inches long but I would recommend that you actually measure the length you need to cut.)

- As with before, I sewed the strip on between the two 1/4 inch marks I made on the strip and then pressed the seam back. 

Here is a tip I will share that allowed me to have a start and end for the seam without having to make really small stitches or backstitching. 

Start with 3 or 4 inches of thread and then start the seam. At the end don't cut the thread close but pull about the same amount off before cutting.

Pull up the bobbin thread using a seam ripper and 
tie a double knot and then cut the threads.

- I cut another 1-1/2 inch strip from the other light print (pink) I was using the length I needed to enclose the center square, marked 1/4 inches from the ends, sewed between the marks, and pressed it back.

I now had enclosed the center square with two strips from each of the light prints.

- Next I used the medium hue for the first color (purple) and repeated the process. All of the strips are cut 1-1/2 inches wide and whatever length you need for the length. The last strip of one color and the first strip of the next color should be the same length but you want to measure to make sure. Always remember to mark the ends of the strips 1/4 inch from the ends so you know where to actually sew when stitching the strips on.

Finally all three colored strips were sewed on...

Now it was time for me to trim off the edges and to square up the block.

I cut my binding 2-1/4 inches wide and 36 + inches long. (Just make sure it is plenty long enough to sew around the pad. Try to not have but the one seam to join the binding together. The work is so small.) You can see how I sew the binding on here.

You don't have to use a red square in the center, but you know in the traditional log cabin block, the red center represented the hearth/fireplace in the log cabin and the strips represent the logs.

Now why don't you use some of those scraps you have been saving and make a Sew and Quilt-in-One Log Cabin Hot Pad. Would love to see pictures of your finished project!


  1. Glad it helped you. I was at my friend Fran's today and she had the one I made her out and I have to admit I couldn't help but admire it. I need to make another one from my scraps. Thanks again.

  2. Hi Patricia,I have actually sewn for years ,here and there,learning when I was young I deserted it until I recently retired.I too fear machine quilting.It just never turns out like its supposed to,well maybe someday.I'm
    new to your posts and absolutely love them.I will be using your quilt as you go method on many items ,thanks.

    1. Hello, so glad you found my blog. I love the sew and quilt-in-one (what I originally called it) method and never hesitate using it when I can. I hope you will check out and find some of my other tutorials, too. I especially like the way I learned from a friend to do binding. I have started cutting my strips 2-1/4 inches for blankets because I don't have to work quite as hard when I slipstitch the binding down. Hope to hear from you again. Patricia