Janel Was Here

My Christmas Projects for 2009: Quilted Potholders!

This year I thought of something less lame than crocheted dishrags -- and FREE to make because they're made from scraps and an old towel!

I looked on Google for instructions for quilted potholders, and found a bunch that used bias binding, like commercial potholders.

It's so hard to sew bias binding on straight. Why not cut the backing larger and wrap it around both layers? That way it's got the binding look, but I can pull the binding tight in front while sewing, and it doesn't matter what's happening on the back layer.


Testing with some random scraps:

A couple layers of old towel for the batting.

Corners came out stupid on the first test of course. I needed a better way to fold them.

So I stitched something pretty over the top.

They're good enough for my own drawer, and we're getting warmer.

Wrapping presents gave me an idea of how to do the corners.

Just add some loops for hanging and that's cute enough for gifting!

Quilted by stitching near the edges.

Blue ones are to match a Navy blue kitchen.

Next project is some to match Kitchenaid red.

I found some scraps just right, a long piece 2" wide with red apples, some red and white fabric that was 5" wide, a bit of black with apples on it, and quite a big red piece with little white hearts, plenty for the back and binding.

I designed the perfect pattern to make use of the available fabric...

... and gaily started cutting. I cut 2/4ths of the pieces 1/2" too short.

For this pattern, to make an 8" finished square, the center block should have been 2.5 x 2.5 and the spokes should have been 1.5 x 5.5 each. I cut the apple and the red and white pieces all 2.5 x 5" for some reason.

That was all the apple fabric I had, and I had my heart set on using it.

Thought of great way to fix it and make it even better.

So I cut the apple pieces 1/2 inch shorter, and then my fix didn't work. If this keeps up long enough I'll end up with a pile of scraps.

Sulked, went to bed.

Woke up and thought of an even better solution!

For this I need 2.5 x 2.5 squares and 1.5 x 4.5 strips. The red apple fabric is the right size. Here we go.

The quilting part on this one was especially fun as one continuous line connects every square.

I'm SO delighted with this idea, it's extremely fast and fun, takes only an hour. They're done before you know it, at least assuming you don't cut your fabric wrong twice like I did.

Got smart and started sewing the hanging loops on first.

Notice the beheaded deer? I didn't until too late. Oh well.

Some for another friend...

Some for my Mom.

Each one of these is totally unplanned. I fish around in the box and come up with something pretty, one piece large enough to be the backing and some coordinating scraps for the fronts, and the pattern is whichever way there's enough fabric for.

Someone emailed a question:

"Am looking at your Christmas 2009 potholders (came up when I googled) and love them! I am actually going to try and make some on my own. However, I am a new quilter and do not have a lot of tools yet. On the first potholder, there are angled strips to make the potholder. How did you make those strips so that they fit together so well? Please let me know. Thank you so much."


Check out these... or google for "string quilt". There's no fitting.
My Quilt-As-You-Go
Or this page about string piecing