Friday, May 23, 2014

How to Make a Potholder

I made these potholders awhile back and gave them to a friend for her bridal shower.  I figured someone would oooh, and ahhh over them, but I didn't expect the reaction to be that from everyone at the shower.  It was fun and embarrassing at the same time.  Apparently, when someone receives a 'homemade' gift it's VERY special.  I didn't know this was the case nowadays.  When I got married 18 years ago, it seemed very common to get embroidered towels, cross-stitched doilies, and homemade potholders.  Since then I've had several people ask how to make them so I decided I would do a tutorial.  I just kinda thought everyone already knew how to make a potholder, but come to find out it's not as common as I thought.  The potholders shown are made from a cheater cloth from the 70's.  This means that the 'patchwork' you see on the front is stamped on the fabric and made to look pieced.  In my tutorial I've cut up an old quilt and used that for my potholder.  You can certainly use anything you want, but remember for a potholder, use a fabric that won't melt, preferably cotton.

This post is dedicated to Lee Ann, hope your trip has been magical!

I've written up a step by step tutorial and all you have to do is print the PDF link HERE.
or follow the steps below.

Hexagon Potholder
Materials List:
8.5” x 11” cardstock
9” x 11” fabric for top of potholder
9” x 11” fabric for backing
9” x 11” Insul-Bright heat protective material
Sewing Machine
Scissors or Rotary Cutter

  • Grab a piece of cardstock 8.5” x 11”

  • Fold piece of paper in half lengthwise.  Mark size as indicated. Note: Fold is at the bottom.

  • Cut paper on pencil lines.

  • Hexagon template ready for use.
  • Don’t be alarmed when I tell you that I cut my shape from an old quilt.  The quilt was not sentimental to me and I didn’t mind cutting it up.  It had some pretty worn spots so it was only good for smaller crafts.

  • Using template and a rotary cutter or scissors, cut shape from fabric.
  • Cut a piece of backing for your potholder approximately 1” bigger than the front.

  • Cut a piece of Insul-Bright the same size as the backing.

  • Layer the backing (wrong side up), then the Insul-Bright, then the top (right side up).
  •  Use Spray and Fix 505 Adhesive or pins to hold layers togther.

  • Sew thru all layers to “quilt” them together.  I just followed a seam line and stitched right in the ditch between two fabrics.  You can barely see my stitches.  You can get fancy if you want and make some curly q’s.

  • Cut backing and Insul-Bright down to the same size as the front.

  • Cut a strip of fabric 2.5” x width of fabric.  Fold in half widthwise so that raw edges are matching along one long edge and press with a hot iron.
Cut selvages off.

Cut a piece off the end that is 4” long for the loop.

  • Fold raw edges of the loop piece to the center and fold again.  Pin in place.

  • Sew along folded edge.

  • Fold loop in half and pin to the backside of potholder at one of the corners.
  • Place raw edge of binding on backside of potholder along edge.  At the start, fold binding over as to hide raw edge.

  • Sew binding on using a ¼” seam.  Remember to backstitch at the beginning.

  • At the corners, stop ¼” from end, then pivot sewing machine foot.  You will notice that fabric will bunch a little bit and that’s okay.  You are going to be making a slight mitered corner so let the fabric ‘puff’ a little when you pivot.

  • Sew to the point where you began the binding and overlap the binding about an 1”.  Fold binding up about an 1” so that the end trails off to the right.

  • Cut off the extra binding.

  • I have a helper for this step…
Fold binding over to the front of the potholder and pin or clamp into place.  Fold over binding as far as it will nicely go.

  • Take special note at the corners.  You will make a little tuck which will look like a mitered seam.

  • Topstitch close to the fold on the binding.  Then stitch again closer to the outside edge.  This will help it to lay flatter and hold up through more washings.

  • Finished!

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