Summer is in full swing and I have been enjoying the warmer weather and doing some quilting projects when I have small chunks of time. All year round I have quilting projects on the go. I find that quilting is a therapeutic activity. I like small projects on days when I just have a small amount of time. Recently, I had a little potholder project going. I like to use them for gifts and also I needed some in my kitchen.
This potholder project is one that uses up scraps if you have them. I don’t know about you but I have lots of scraps and I was happy to use some of them up! I also used pieced bias binding and you can get free printable instructions on how to make pieced bias binding here.
To start this project I went through my containers of strips and got some of them out and started sewing them together. Then I trimmed them to the width I wanted so all the edges were even.
After I trimmed the strip set, I cut a 9.5 inch square of batting and backing fabric and laid them on top of each other. Then I laid the strip set on top of it corner to corner (diagonally) and pinned it down. Now it was time to stitch it down. I stitched mostly in the ditch of each seam, but you could choose to stitch it less as long as it is stitched through all layers in 2 – 3 places.
Next step, I started adding strips in the other direction, like foundation piecing. The first one I lined up right sides together and sewed a 1/4″ seam and then pressed it out flat with right sides up, and topstitched it down. I continued this way on both sides until all the batting was covered.
I continued this way on both sides until all the batting was covered and it looked like this. I then trimmed the excess overhanging strips off even with my original batting square. Now we have a nicely trimmed square.
For the backing, I cut a backing fabric 9.5″ x 9.5″ and also a piece of Insul-Bright the same size. I placed them on top of each other and quilted them together. I was practising my free motion quilting skills, but you could do something as simple as stitching an X from corner to corner. It just needs some stitching to keep the two pieces together.
To put everything together, you take both the strip-pieced top and the back you just put together and place them together, pinning them. I like to stitch them together along the edge 1/4″ or less all the way around, but it may not be necessary. I just like to have it as one piece.
Last step, to finish it; is to add the binding. I used pieced bias binding. You can get a tutorial and a printable instruction sheet here for the binding. You could use bias tape as well. Either way you want to pin your binding to the back, starting at one corner. At this first corner I fold back the binding 3/8″. On the next two corners, take the binding right to the edge, pin it at 1/4″ and then turn it and place it even with the next edge and continuing pinning. At the corner where you started you want to pin it and leave a 3″ tail.
After it is all pinned, you want to stitch it down using a 1/4″ seam allowance. When you come to the first corner, stop 1/4″ before the edge of the fabric, lift up your presser foot and turn the fabric to go the next direction, then put the presser foot down and backstitch to the edge of the fabric. Then flatten out the bulge of fabric at the corner over the side you just stitched so it lines up with the side you are going to stitch down and continue stitching till the next corner. Repeat the same thing for the next two corners. Coming up to the corner where you began stitch the seam right to the corner and to the end of 3″tail on your binding. Now you are ready to turn the binding to the front side and pin it down. Almost there!
Turn the binding to the right side, press and pin it. On the long tail, you will press the seam towards the centre and the folded edge will cover it. Start stitching on the long tail and all around the potholder. On the corners you will have to fold them so they are mitred and stitch them in place. Coming around to the beginning, take the long tail and fold it towards the potholder and tuck it into the binding and stitch down. I usually backstitch and make sure it is stitched well. All finished!
You should have a potholder that will keep heat from damaging anything due to the Insul-Bright and it should be durable. These make incredible gifts! Enjoy!