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Lunch Hour Crafts #9 – Upcycled Potholders

September 18, 2011

I don’t own a kitchen table, and I certainly don’t own countertops, but if I did…oh, if I did, I would definitely want to avoid burning them. How would I do that? Great question, and that leads us into the craft of the day. Handy how blog intros work like that.

Upcycled Potholders

Materials: your “front” square of cotton fabric (8″x8″ is a good size, although bigger or slightly smaller is okay too), a back square of cotton fabric (two inches bigger in both directions- so, 10″x10″ in this case), one old towel (100% cotton, fairly thin), ribbon or binding, sewing machine and thread

To start, take your fabric and press it flat with the iron. You definitely want to check out the Scrappy Squares tutorial to make an awesome scrap piece for your potholder. Trim both your front and back squares to be…well…square.

Cut a square of towel to be the same size as your front fabric square. This will be the “inside” of your potholder, so it can be as ugly as you want. I do recommend washing the towel, and cutting a section that is flat and smooth, not with any of the trim or edges.

Make a “potholder sandwich”- the backing face-down first, then the towel, then the top, face-up. Pin in place (3-4 pins is fine).

(ignore the folded edges- I forgot to photograph the quilting stage!)

Machine quilt the sandwich, removing pins as you go. Please, don’t be intimidated by this- just do your best. If you’re using a regular sewing foot, you could just quilt a big “X” from corner to corner. Otherwise, you could do stippling with a free-motion foot, or anything else you want to try.

(again, just ignore the binding...)

Pin a hanging loop in place, if you’d like one. This is a 3″ piece of ribbon or binding (1/4″) that is sewn in place to hang up the potholder when not in use. Sew it on with a few stitches before you sew on binding, and then sew the binding over top for extra security.

Sew on binding- there are lots of tutorials on binding, but for these I prefer something fast. I cut the backing fabric larger than the front and towel, press these edges in half and machine sew them edge to edge around the perimeter of the square. The corners look a little sloppy sometimes (compared to the mitred corners on the mug rugs) but are just fine for this application.

There you have it! Saving the planet, one potholder at a time. These ones became part of a little wedding shower gift for a friend from church.

Homemade gifts > store gifts!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2011 7:40 pm

    Stopping by from Flamingo Toes. These are super cute.

  2. September 27, 2011 4:39 pm

    So cute!! Would LOVE it if you would link this up at my turquoise lovin’ party going on right now!!

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