The holidays are heading our way and that means gift-giving season will be upon us before we know it! Enter this easy-to-stitch-up improv quilted hot water bottle cover!
This has been a project that I’ve been wanting to make for years now. Yup, that’s years as in multiple – ha!
One of the things that I’ve learned over the years of being creative is that sometimes ideas need to percolate.
I don’t know if it’s that I need to think about the project so that I have a better understanding of how to approach the task. Or, if I feel overwhelmed by the idea of diving into something new I procrastinate.
Either way, what I’ve found comforting is that if an idea keeps coming back to me, it will eventually get made 😊 Even if it takes several years to get to making it – ha! This approach has removed some of the pressure I used to put on myself to make ‘all the things’. Now, I find myself adding it to my ‘to-make’ list and perusing that list when I find myself in need of a new project.
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How this project came to be
My older brother and I are both migraine sufferers, and his go-to remedy of choice is a hot water bottle.
I have so many memories of watching him fill the hot water bottle and cover it in a towel to help prevent his skin from burning.
If you’ve found yourself using a hot water bottle, then you’ve most likely used the towel approach too. And you also probably know that the towel never stays put!
This is why, ever since I started quilting, I’ve had the idea to make him a hot water bottle cover.
He was celebrating a big birthday this year and, to commemorate that, I wanted to gift him something extra special that showed I was thinking of him and that was an item he would get lots of use out of.
You know my love for improv quilting and it’s one of the ways I love to share something that is unique and one of a kind.
So, it was a no-brainer to settle in for one of my ‘freedom sessions’ and create a composition that I thought my brother would love.
You might recognize the fabrics from my Jade Ombré Quilted Coat. I’ve been dipping into that fabric scrap pile for quite a few projects. So far, I’ve made the Quilted Coat, a Pet Travel Carrier Liner, an Etched Diamond Pillow (which still needs to be quilted), and now this hot water bottle cover.
What I love is that each piece is unique. For instance, the quilted coat incorporates the solids plus some bold prints, while the carrier liner features the solids plus a little bit of the black and white stripe, and the hot water bottle cover solely features the solids.
Why did I do that?
Well, first off, I wanted each piece to feel different. Even though I’m working with the same source of fabric scraps, I get to choose which materials I feature in the final piece. Since I wanted the overall feel of the hot water bottle cover to be Zen and calm, I opted to omit any of the bold floral or black and white stripes. The floral was mainly because I didn’t think that would be my brother’s jam, while the stripe was because I was concerned it would aggravate his eyes, especially if he was suffering from a migraine (eye pain during migraines is no joke).
For the lining, I opted to feature a gorgeous print that coordinated but isn’t an exact match. It was already in my fabric stash, so it was an easy go-to. The binding, however, I wanted something that was a perfect match, and I was thrilled to find this leftover dark teal Spectrastatic print from binding my Lunar Eclipse quilt and Lunar Eclipse wall hanging.
I really wasn’t sure what direction to go in with the quilting at first. I didn’t want to detract too much from the improv quilting, but I also wanted to add in a little quilty texture to up the sensory feel.
In the end, I opted for simple straight-line machine quilting featuring this gorgeous jade Aurifil Thread.
My hubz had picked up a bunch of these small elastics which I’ve been dipping into for my own sewing projects! I first used a pink one in my improv needle book and again here as a tie to loop around the button on the back flap of the hot water bottle cover.
To make your own, here’s an overview of the materials and notions I used to bring this project to life:
- Pattern from Simply Sewing
- Fabrics: linen, and Sprout Wovens.
- Batting (this is a great project to use up batting scraps)
- Lining fabric
- Piecing thread
- Quilting thread
- Sewing machine
- Rotary cutter
- Small Elastic
- Thread for sewing button
And that was all there was to it! Super easy and quick to make too! What I love most about this handmade sewing project is that you get to build as much character into the piece as you want. You could even feature some orphan blocks to make this an even quicker quilting project!
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