Love is the answer… patchwork hot water bottle cozy tutorial

Whatever the question love is the answer hot water bottle cozy to give your loved one on Saint Valentine’s Day.

Hot water bottle size

This hot water bottle cozy is for a 15 in x 8 in hot water bottle and sizes are given accordingly.

If your hot water bottle is a different size, you can still calculate the rectangles you need by adding adding one inch around the whole bottle.


  • 16 pink 4½ in squares (10 for the back panels, 6 for the front)
  • 16 floral 4½ in squares (10 for the back panels, 6 for the front)
  • 3 dark brown strips for the middle:
    • 16¾ in x 1 in
    • 12 in x 1 in
    • 10 in x 1 in
  • 54 in ribbon
  • Calico or plain cream fabric for appliqué
  • Pink embroidery floss
  • Enough bias tape to cover all exposed hems
  • Love is the answer whatever the question appliqué (pdf)
Making the patchwork panels
The patchwork is constructed using half square triangle (HST) units placed in a zig zag pattern.
Cut all the required squares and place one of each colour right sides together.

Stitch all around each pair of squares.

Now cut on the diagonal as per photo below.

Without moving the fabric, cut on the other diagonal. You will end up with 4 HST.

Open the squares and press.

Place the half square triangles in a zig zag pattern.

  • The front has 7 rows
  • The top back panet has 5 rows
  • The bottom back panel has 4 rows
The bottom panel will be trimmed after quilting so that the overlapping is not as wide.
Stitch in pairs.

Iron seams before stitching each column together.

Now cut the strips for the middle:

  • 16¾ in x 1 in
  • 12 in x 1 in
  • 10 in x 1 in

Stitch together and iron.

The front panel is ready for the appliqué. Love is the answer whatever the question appliqué (pdf) if you haven’t already.

Adding the appliqué

Transfer the appliqué to the cream fabric and embroider the lettering.

Cut around the heart leaving ¼ seam allowance and pin to the front panel.

Ensure the placement is symmetric.

Then turn hems inside and baste in place.

Adding the ruffled ribbon

Cut the ribbon.

Using a strong thread and needle start gathering the ribbon.

Then baste the gathered ribbon around the heart.

Use a different colour for the basting so you can remove it easily after you stitch the ribbon permanently to the panel.

Using a sewing machine, topstitch on the ribbon’s edge.

To remove some bulk cut out the fabric at the back leaving ¼ seam allowance.

Keep the heart shape and make a heart pincushion with it following my heart pincushion tutorial.

The  appliqué is done.

You have now the three panels ready for quilting.

Quilting the patchwork panels

Cut three triangles of batting and lining fabric a bit larger than the patchwork panels, make a quilt sandwich and pin in place.

Stipple quilt the panels or choose your preferred quilting method. When finished trim the batting and lining as per picture below.

You will end up with three quilted panels.

Trimming the quilted panels

Place the bottle on the lining side.

Mark the bottom corner.

Also mark around the top side leaving about 1 to 1½ inches around the bottle.

Fold the panel in half and pin.

Cut around the marked lines.

The front panel now will be used to cut the back panel.

But first the bottom back panel needs to be trimmed a bit.

Cut 1¾ in off the bottom panel as per picture below.

Now place both sides lining side together and making the top back panel overlap the bottom panel as per picture below.

Turn around.

Pin in place and cut using the front panel as a guide.

Do the same with the top part.

Both panels are now ready to be stitched together.

But first we need some bias tape to hide the edges. Cut 2 strips of bias tape as long as the panels and 1½ wide. Fold in half and then turn in the sides and pin in place.

Topstitch bias tape.

Now stitch the bias tape around the cozy leaving ¼ seam allowance. Sew the other side of the bias tape by hand for a neater finish.

Front of cozy

Back of cozy.

Now you can make a heart pincushion with the heart shape left from this project.

Scrappy heart potholder

I came across a tutorial for paper piecing and since I have wanted to try the technique for a while I thought I would just go for it.


The scrappy heart pattern (pdf) can be downloaded from the Sewing Mamas website. You will need to log in to download the pattern.

Paper piecing tutorial

You can supplement the paper piecing tutorial by Vanessa with this Youtube video tutorial.

The finished block is 7 1/2 inches square.

Free motion quilting

I usually stipple quilt my quilts but I decided to try something new.

Free motion detail

Finished potholder

Add some binding and voilà, an easy and quick Valentine’s project to use all year long.