The photo makes it look wonkier than it really is. As you might be able to tell, I need a walking foot and I also need to learn how to quilt. However, I thought this turned out kind of cute.
My inspiration was from Patchwork Style : 35 Simple Projects for a Cozy and Colorful Life. I picked this book up from the library and while pretty to look at it, I didn't think the patterns for the hot pads were that helpful.
I used linen, some vintage fabric, fabric I can't remember what it is, and awesome Amy Schimler owl fabric. I used three layers of batting. The outside batting is the Insul-Bright used with the shiny side facing out and on both sides. The middle is a layer of cotton batting but cotton/poly would be fine since the Insul-Bright is cotton/poly and mylar.
It wasn't difficult to sew through the layers or even to turn the fabric but my lack of a walking foot made things shift a little and the top of the pad (to the left of the hang tag in the first picture) is a little bumpy. The walking foot would have been nice for the top-stitching (see the shifting stripes in first photo). Finishing with bias around the holder might give a more polished look.
I loved making the patchwork pieces. There wasn't a rhyme or reason. I cut the linen in 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 squares and made the patchwork pieces however I felt like it. Then I randomly attached them to the linen and when it came time to finish, recut my new squares to 9 1/2 x 9 1/2.
I can't wait to make more and may come up with a tutorial. Don't hold your breath.