Saturday, December 27, 2014

Easy Quilted Potholder Tutorial. PHOTO HEAVY Step by Step Instructions.

If your old potholders are anything like mine, it is time to throw out those manky old boys and step into some new pretties. Mine were all burnt and ugly and had food dripped all over them. I was embarrassed.  These are super easy to do, and take minimal sewing skills to accomplish.  Seriously.
The hardest part?? Coming up with super cute fabric combinations. The Best Part?? color Coordinating with your kitchen for the perfect set of hot pads!!

2 Cotton Fabrics in coordinating colors. You can use fat quarters beautifully, but since I was making a TON of them for gifts I got 1/2 yard of main print and 3/4 yard of secondary print  (to also use as binding).

Batting AND
Insul-Bright insulated batting. Get enough batting and insul bright to fill the centers of your squares.Insul bright is a special heat resistant batting that you can buy prepackaged or by the yard  at Hancocks or Jo-Anns or almost any fabric store. It has a shiny metallic flecked surface, these are NOT TO GO INTO THE MICROWAVE...EVER!!!
I just use the poly cotton quilt batting. I get the crib size and it is enough to make more squares than you can shake a stick at!

Cut your fabrics AND both battings into 8 or 8 1/2 " squares. Can go larger or smaller, depending on the size you want.  I find the finished size of 8" just about perfect.

STEP 2: Make your potholder "sandwich."  start with fabric #1 print side down.

 Add your insul bright, shiny side down THEN a layer of regular batting.

 Now, add fabric #2 print side up.
 TA-DA!  You now have your "sandwich". Fabric-- insul bright-- batting-- Fabric. Just remember to keep all pretty sides of the fabric facing out.

STEP 3:  Cut your binding. If you are making an 8" square you will need about 40" of binding. If using fat quarters you will have to sew some lengths together to get the correct amount.  Since most quilting fabric is 44", you can just cut your strip from that and be on your merry way.  I use 2 1/2" width on my binding. SET THIS ASIDE FOR RIGHT NOW. We will play with it later.

Now for the fun part.
STEP 4:  Start "quilting". I just start smack dab in the middle and do a straight line down the center of the "sandwich".
No need to backtrack and lock stitches. Just a plain straight stitch will do.  
To be clear,  you can use a ruler and water soluble pencil for perfectly straight and even lines. But I kind of eyeball and just make sure my sandwich stays straight while sewing.

Now start making more lines. I do about an inch and a half between lines. Do one to the right of that center line, then to the left of the center line. Back to the right, then back to the left. It keeps the batting and tension even.

This is what it should look like at the end.  Notice the batting and stuff is flattened and stick out past the edges..., that's fine, you will square it off and get it straight and perfect.

STEP 5:  Square off your hotpad. Make sure all your edges and battings are even and you have a nice square hotpad.

 This is what everything will look like up to this point.:

STEP 6: Prepare your binding.. I sew a finished edge on the one side to start.
 Fold Binding in half, print sides out and put raw edges together.  Do not start your binding in the corner, start it about 2 1/2" from the corner.
 Now, start sewing your binding on, but DO NOT START AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BINDING. You want to skip the begining of the binding and start your stitch about 2 to 2 1/2 inches away from the start. Make sure you lock your stitches this time by doing one or two backtrack stitches.
 Now, when you are about 1/4" from the end,  STOP. BACKTRACK and Lock those stitches! Remove from machine.

Now comes the fun part.  Turn that binding 90 degrees so it makes a triangle. Hold it there.
 NOW, while holding that triangle down you want to flip that binding back over, lining up the raw edges again.
 STITCH THAT DOWN! You want to start at almost the very edge of the potholder. Its going to make a triangle type flap. Perfect.
 REPEAT THESE STEPS WITH EVERY CORNER.  You are going to stop 1/4" from the end, flip binding 90 degrees, hold that flip and reflip while lining up the raw edges.

WHEN YOU GET TO THE FINAL CORNER:  Do your flip and hold
 Remember the start of the binding I said not to stitch down?? well you will thank me now:  Tuck your final leg of the binding into the unstitched start.
 It will look like this:
 Now stitch everything down and back track to lock stitches. remove from machine and cut all strings.

This is how it should look.  See those triangle flappies in each corner??  Those are your wings that will create beautiful mitered corners.

STEP 7:  Start flipping the Binding to opposite side of the hotpad!
Start at one corner and stitch down into place. Use a locking backstitch at the begining only.

As you get closer to the edge, get your next corner ready by flipping it up...
 When you get to the edge, stitch into the start the next corner of make sure your needle is in DOWN POSITION.  Lift your presser foot and turn the potholder.
 Now start stitching down this side.  You will do this with all 4 corners.  As you near the next corner, get it ready. After stitching into it keep your needle in down position and turn.  This was you only have one continuous stitch and no messy starts and threads etc.
When you get to the end, finish off with backstitch to lock in stitches.

Finished Hot Pads!!

Look at that fancy corner!!

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