Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tutorial - Cute Quilted Dish Drying Pad

The following is the tutorial for my Dish Drying Pads.

I am trying to figure out how to add a down-loadable PDF to my blog but as a newish blogger it seems to be above my skill level. If anyone would like to share how they do it I would really appreciate the help! Thanks

Pedal Sew Lightly’s Cute Quilted Dish Drying Pad
Skill Level: EASY

A little history:
My pots and pans cannot go in the dishwasher and I always seemed to have a dishtowel on my counter with pans air-drying on it. It was quite unsightly. When I first saw the dish drying pads for sale at the big box stores I thought it was the best idea ever but I could never get myself to buy one because, well because they are so dorky and unsightly, at least in my opinion.

So, one day it just hit me … I sew … I can make a cute dish-drying pad that would be an attractive addition to my kitchen!

So, how to make one that would hold up to daily use and not hold moisture and get all yucky?

I devised a plan, made one, tested it, tweaked it a tiny bit and then made some for my family to test along side of me. After more than a year of testing my dish drying pads are ready for prime time.

Materials List:

·      - Bar Mops (Towels)
I use these because they are not too thick and they have channels that allow air to circulate under the mat. I purchase mine at Target by the dishtowels and they are very inexpensive.

·      - Cotton batting scrap just larger than your Bar Mop (around 16”x18”)

·      - Cotton quilting fabric. I use quilt store quality brands
                  Scraps or cuts to equal about 16”x18” and about 70” of binding

·       -Cotton Thread for sewing and quilting
                  I quilt with a thread that compliments the front and blends with the back.

·       -Basting Spray

The Bar Mops come in multi-pack bundles. They are standard Target products but the badging will change over time as they use their different logos.

Step One:
Wash your Bar Mops
                  Once if your fabric in NOT prewashed
                  Twice if your fabric IS prewashed

Step Two:
Iron your Bar Mop.

Step Three:
Trim the folded hem off all four sides of the Bar Mop. Trim as close to the hem as possible while squaring up as you go.

Optional Step A: shown in photo.

Serge or zigzag edge for added durability. 

Step Four:
Measure your Bar Mop to determine layout for the pieced top.
These Bar Mops don’t seem to be very uniform, and I since I try to maintain as much size as I can out of each towel, all my dish mats seem to vary in size by miniscule amounts.

Step Five:
Piece your top using standard piecing techniques.

Here are some that I have made:
I keep it simple but you can get as fancy as you please!

UPDATE: I have been making a lot of my mats using Quilt-As-You-Go techniques.
Usually a simple stripe on a diagonal but sometimes I get fancy with a Log Cabin.

When using QAYG I spray baste the batting to the bar towel and then layer and sew each piece of fabric individually. Elizabeth Hartman has a great QAYG tutorial that she created for making bag panels.

Here is one I made for a young man in the Air Force.

Sometimes I still add a little quilting over the whole piece if I use larger fabric pieces and it is a bit too floppy.

Step Six:
Sandwich your mat with a layer of cotton batting between the pieced top and the Bar Mop just like a mini quilt. Use spray basting between the layers.  Smooth the Bar Mop side as square as possible.

Step Seven:
Iron your little quilt sandwich continuing to square the Bar Mop.

Step Eight:
Quilt your dish pad.

Here are some samples of my work.

Step Nine:
Trim and Square your mat taking note of how it lines up with both sides since the Bar Mops have a linear design.

Optional Step B:
Serge or zigzag the raw edges using a stitch width that will be hidden under a narrow binding.

Step Nine:
Bind your mat in your desired technique.
Since this is a “Small”, I like to use either a 2” or 2-1/4” binding width. I also do a lateral seam instead of a diagonal since it is easier on a small piece.

Now enjoy the way your little mat brightens up your kitchen counter!

Special Note:

This Dish Drying Mat is designed to look pleasing on your counter while being handy for small, daily hand wash chores only. You will need something more substantial for major dish washing.

I'd love feedback on the tutorial process or the functionality of the piece if you make my dish drying pad.

Thank you for visiting!


  1. What a great tutorial! Nicely illustrated and clear instructions. I wondered what you used for the backing, and we do have a nearby Target. My husband will be thrilled because he loves those dish dryers - in fact he bought the first one. We have a dishwasher but he loves to wash dishes instead. I will try your tutorial and give him some pretty ones. :) Thank you! I'll let you know how it turns out.

    As far as uploading a PDF, you can do it from your Google account, if you have one. You'll need to go to https://drive.google.com/drive then on the left click "NEW" and you'll have the option to upload your PDF. Once it is uploaded, right-click it and choose "Get Your Link"; copy that and insert it into your post as a link.

  2. These are really cute! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial, Gayle.

  3. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing your tutorial.

  4. What a great tutorial. Have you tried sewing bar mops together to make a bigger dish drying pad?

    1. For this project my goal was to make something small enough to be useful but not take over the counter. I have contemplated making larger one with Ikea Frajen towels. They are a similar weight to the bar mops and they have channels to allow air flow. Thanks for asking!

  5. What a great idea. Everyday useful things are the best.

  6. These look so cute, and I love that they are very practical. I think I'll make one for myself someday. The idea of using the bar mop towel for the back is just super!!!