Fun things first! Now that the European weather front has called for some cooling down, we want to do something to heat it up again. Just now I baked a plum cake (“… pulled out his thumb and said “what a good boy am I!” – a pity I am not the little boy from the Mother Goose rhyme) and set it out to cool on the scented hot pad to waft even more good smells around the house.
So, how to start:
Choose some pretty cotton fabric and cut large squares of approx. 24 cm, i.e. about 1,5 cm for the sewing edges. Also cut a long strip of cloth to go all the way around the circumference (or two parts and sew them together), i.e. about 100 cm length and 4 cm width incl. the sewing edge. Don’t forget the extra loop for hanging up your pad : 4 cm width and and about 16 cm in length.
Collect the best-smelling spices you own (or will buy soon): cloves, anise, cinnamon bark, cardamom, pink peppercorns. Crush your own mixture as it will be easier to sew into the pad later.
First put the right side of the big squares back to back and sew a pouch, i.e. now quite all round, as you must still fill in your spices.
Turn the squares and then fill in the spices to cover the surface of one corner evenly without overdoing it, you still have to sew around the larger peppercorns and cloves. Sew in a diagonal spice stopper and fill in the next part and go on until the pouch is filled entirely. I opted for four diagonal sewing steps ( cf. photo) and yes, my seams are quite crooked (the apple potholders were not sewn by me), but the scent is heavenly!
When your pouch is filled and sewn, you can start the border: fold the long narrow strip in half and fold over the raw edge of the pouch-squares, don’t forget to sew in the loop towards the end which was previously folded and sewn. If you need more help at the corners, folding always works fine.
All you need now is a freshly baked cake to cool off on your own pad! You can wash them with warm water, but of course not with washing powder, some liquid detergent if need be. Simply sew your next pad after a while to have the fresh spices. Have fun sewing and baking!