It's no secret that we love our meatballs round here. And our IKEA furniture. So, I figured what better way to protect our Swedish table from our steaming hot Swedish meatballs than a little Swedish-inspired, Dala horse hot pad. In felt, of course.
You might be forgiven for assuming that the pattern was from the new "Scandinavian Needlecraft" book I just got. No. Typical Astrid: get a lovely book, full of easy-to-sew patterns, and immediately make up a pattern of my own. But it was definitely inspired by the book!
And since a lot of you are crafty folk, I thought I'd share the basics of how to do it:
1. Cut yourself two squares of felt, about 8 by 8 inches. (I used cream and red felt) Round off the corners.
2. Decide on a design. I freehand cut my little Dala horse out of red felt, and embroidered the details, but you could any kind of motif you like. A heart would be quite simple to cut out, or a star. Pin your design onto the top side of one of the pieces of felt. Stitch the design to the felt square with embroidery thread (running stitch or blanket stitch would both work well here).
3. Now you'll need some quilt batting. You'll want three layers of batting to make it nice and cushiony, so cut three squares of batting the same size as your felt squares (you can just pin the felt to the batting and cut around it).
4. Pile up your squares in this order: three squares of batting on the bottom, then the felt square that'll go on the bottom of your hot pad (right side up), and then the felt square with your design on it (right side down). Pin the layers together.
5. Stitch around the edge, leaving about 1/4", making sure you sew through all five layers. I handstitched with a simple running stitch so I could do it on the sofa, but machine stitching would work well, too. Leave a gap of about four inches unsewn along one side.
6. Turn the pot holder inside out. You'll want to push the whole thing through the hole you've left in the side, going between the two felt layers. You'll now have your design on top, and the other felt square on the bottom, with the batting safely inside.
7. Using embroidery thread, sew a running stitch all around the edge, again going through all five layers. I used red thread to show up on the cream felt, but you could use thread the same colour as the felt if you don't want it to show. When you get to the gap you left, pin the edges under and stitch across it, closing it up.
8. Now, cook yourself up a nice dish of meatballs, and you're ready to go!