Sew a Casserole Carrier: Quilted & Insulated
Keep your hot foods hot and cold foods cold and Sew a Casserole Carrier: Quilted & Insulated!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Mine is Broccoli Casserole made by my father! The one problem is that my dad would bring his casserole wrapped up in a bath towel and sitting in a cardboard box. Yes this worked BUT a quilted and insulated casserole carrier would eliminate the towel and box, and make transporting so much easier! No more going to the liquor store for an empty box! I made this Casserole Carrier to fit a Large rectangular pan from Pampered Chef, but this will also fit similar rectangle sized pans. **This Casserole Carrier kept the Broccoli Casserole hot for at least 1 1/2 hours! (My dad left his house at 2:30 in the afternoon and we didn’t eat until 4pm!)
Materials needed for DIY Insulated Casserole Carrier
Fabric- One yard if using same fabric for inside and outside of carrier OR Two different fabrics- One yard for the outer fabric and one yard for the inner fabric; purchasing one yard each of two different fabrics will allow you to make an extra carrier for a gift! Or you could just purchase 1/2 yard each of two fabrics and the actual width of the fabric will then be your length measurement.
Bias Binding-2″ wide (or piece of coordinating fabric 2″ wide by 17″ long) for finishing of Casserole Carrier Flap
Cutting the Fabric, Cotton Batting and Insul-Bright
Fabric, Batting and Insult-Bright pieces need to be 15” wide X 36” (one yard) in length.
Assembling Layers for DIY Insulated Casserole Carrier using Insul-Bright and Cotton Batting (photo below)
- Lay Outer fabric on table with WRONG side facing up
- Add Cotton Batting on top of outer fabric
- Add Insul-bright on top of the cotton batting
- Top with Inner fabric right side facing up (wrong side facing insul-bright)
- After all layers are in place, use sewing pins around the outside edges to keep layers together, and then baste around the outside edges.***
Assembling Layers for DIY Insulated Casserole Carrier using Therma-Flec Heat Resistant Heavy Cotton Batting
- Place wrong side of fabric and wrong side of Therma-Flec (batting side is the wrong side)
- Pin layers together
- Finish outside edges with a zig-zag stitch or a serger stitch.
Proceed to Assembling the Quilted Casserole Carrier
Don’t worry about all sides being perfectly lined up and straight at this time. Quilting tends to shift fabrics. After quilting is done, then you can get the sides straightened up.
Quilting Preparation for using Fabric, Insul-Bright and Cotton Batting
After you have the outer edges basted, The next step is to use a fabric pencil to draw your design on the fabric. (Pencil lines will wash off, and will also be covered up by your stitching) I just chose to use a diagonal line for my quilting design, each line about 2 inches apart.
After you are done drawing your design, Use straight pins or Curved safety pins for holding layers together. Start pinning from the center of the fabric layers and work your way out towards the edges. Why have all the pins? The pins will keep the fabric from shifting as you are quilting/sewing your design.
Safety Pins for Quilting
I mentioned using straight pins or Curved Safety Pins for holding the fabric layers together. Using straight pins comes with some hazards: pins falling out of your fabric AND your hands being on the receiving end of many small pin pricks. The best notion to use for pinning your quilt layers is Curved Safety Pins; these stay in your fabric, eliminate pin pricks AND the curved edge makes for easier pinning as opposed to straight edge safety pins. Quilting Safety Pins come in different sizes. The best size to use for quilting is a Size 2 or 3 pin. If you have arthritis in your hands, the size 3 pin is a little longer and should be easier to pick up. Otherwise, a size 2 curved safety pin will work wonders!
(Just in case you are wondering, the quilting safety pins come in sizes 0 to size 4. A zero size is very small/shortest length, a size 4 is the longest length that would be used for securing really thick layers of fabrics. The thickness of the safety pin changes slightly with the size as well.)
Using curved safety pins for quilting makes the pinning process so much easier. Having the curved side allows the pin to maneuver easier back up thru the layers of fabrics. These pins can be found at your local fabric shop.
What is Quilting?
Quilting is simply stitching a design that serves as securing all layers of fabric/batting and adds visual appeal to your insulated food carrier or other quilting project.
Get Ready, Get Set, Adjust and Start Your Machines to Sew a Casserole Carrier!
- Make sure to adjust your machine and needle for quilting. (refer to your machine manual if needed)
- Take pins out as you are quilting and do NOT sew over any pins! If you accidentally sew over a pin, your machine needle may break.
- After you are done quilting, make sure all outside edges are straight by lining edges to your flat mat and straightening if necessary using a rotary cutter.
- Use a finishing stitch around the outside edges.
I just received a new Juki serger for Christmas, so I chose to serge my outside edges. These are awesome machines and I’m glad I have one now, and I’m bummed I waited this long to ask Santa for one! If you do a lot of straight edge stitching, the serger makes this process go ‘sew’ much faster!
Assembling the Quilted Casserole Carrier
Fitting the Pan
- Lay the quilted piece of fabric on the table, right side of fabric facing up. If you used the same fabric for both sides, there is no a right or wrong side of the fabric. If you can still see the pencil lines from drawing on your quilt design, then use this side as the wrong side; otherwise it doesn’t matter. If you chose two different fabrics, decide which fabric will be showing on the outside of the carrier, and this will be the right side of the fabric. The wrong side of the fabric will be the secondary fabric you chose for the inside of the fabric carrier.
- Lay the pan on the quilted fabric piece and start moving one width end over the pan until the pan is covered with the quilted fabric piece. The wrong side of the fabric (inside of the carrier) will be facing up. One end of fabric will be longer than the other. The extra length at one end of fabric will be your flap of the carrier.
3. Now you will bring together the layers of fabric and pin at side seams, close to the end of pan at the carrier opening, do this on both sides.
4. Carefully slide pan out of the carrier.
5. Finish pinning sides of casserole carrier together.
6.Time to stitch sides together lengthwise. Make sure to adjust your machine for sewing thick fabrics, if your machine has that capability. Use a quilting needle or at least a 80/12 sewing machine needle. Use a ½” seam allowance. Stitch the whole length of the carrier, even stitching on what will be the flap. (The stitching lines that will be seen on the flap will serve as guide lines for further stitching on the flap.)
Adding Corner Depth To The Large Fabric Casserole Carrier
Since this is a beginner sewing project, you get to choose how your corners will look. Will you leave the corners with a point or will you take the challenge of adding depth to your carrier for a more professional look? If you choose to just leave the corners as they are, scroll down to finish the Casserole Carrier Flap.
Adding Boxed Corners and Depth to this Quilted Casserole Carrier
Make sure the carrier is still folded WRONG SIDE out. At the folded edge of the fabric, you will be cutting 90 degree corner pieces out of the fabric.
- Measure corners at 1 1/2 “ square and cut corners out.
You can use regular sewing shears to cut thru this thick fabric, but it is SO much easier with scissors that are meant to be used with multiple layers of fabric!
2. Bring cut edges together and pin. See picture- As you are folding edges, have the side seam face top and center and pin edges together. These edges will be stitched with 3/8” seam allowance.
After stitching both corner seams, finish the edges with a zig zag stitch or serger stitch.
So close to being finished-you are doing a great job!
Finishing Touches: Casserole Carrier Closure Flap
Sew down the side edges of the flap.
Find a coordinating fabric strip to cover the carrier flap edge.
You’ll need this piece to be 2″ wide by ___” long. (You’ll want the fabric strip to be one inch longer than the width of the fabric flap.
Match up the right side of the fabric to the outside of the casserole carrier flap. (The side of the flap you’ll see when closing your pan in the carrier.) ALSO, if you follow my written directions, your coordinating fabric should be longer than the side edges of the carrier flap! ( I had folded under my coordinating fabric side seams and then stitched right sides together and did not like how it looked afterwards. I have pictures to show ya-keep reading!) You can also
Fold over the side edges of the contrasting fabric to the wrong side of the carrier flap.
Typo in my photo—In step#2, sew the extra stitching line on both ends on the contrasting fabric.
Next to the last step in this casserole carrier tutorial…. Pin down the coordinating fabric strip and sew the fabric strip 1/8″ from folded edge to the carrier flap.
So close to being finished!
Last step-Attach Sew-In Velcro Strips. You will attach one piece to the Carrier Flap and one piece to the casserole carrier ; so that when you close the flap to enclose your pan the two pieces of velcro will stick together! Tip: Use a marking pencil where you want the velcro pieces to be sewn onto the fabric. Place first piece of velcro in the center of the flap close to the finished edge, then decide where you want this velcro piece to stick; that is where you place the other piece of velcro. These velcro pieces can be sewn in using your machine-a little maneuvering but nothing too hard. ( I used three velcro strips as shown in the pictures-cut to size. This particular velcro came in a long roll)
Your Quilted and Insulated Carrier is Finished and ready to use! Great Job!
If you have any questions on my wording for the directions, PLEASE send me an email and I’ll be happy to help you out!
If you’d like to make coordinating Potholders, check out my potholder tutorial!
Happy Sewing and Thanks for Reading! Please help me help others and share this fabulous tutorial on your favorite social media.