Saturday, September 3, 2011

Holiday Sew Along: Pot Holder Tutorial

Today I am participating in the Holiday Bake, Craft & Sew Along - a month's worth of ideas to give you a head start with all those pre-holiday projects so you're not stressing at the last minute like I am every year.
So today I thought I'd share three quick and easy variations for making hot pads for a useful Christmas gift.
The first version is the easiest.  Take two 9" squares of fabric and a 9" square of batting. (I used a thicker, low-loft batting like Warm & Natural.  You can buy it by the yard at most big-box sewing stores.)  You could also use some heavier decorator-weight fabric to make the pads more durable. A lot of times you can find great decorator-weight fabric remnants for really cheap. You can get 4-5 squares out of a 1/4 yard of fabric.
Now match fabric squares right-sides together and lay the batting square on top.  
Line up the squares and pin together.
Sew a 3/8" seam all the way around the square, leaving an opening about 4" wide for turning right-side out. After sewing clip the corners off (but don't clip the stitching.)
Turn fabrics right-sides out with batting in the center. Tuck open ends inside and pin. Press the fabrics to make sure that everything lies flat and then top stitch all the way around the outside edge. This will close up your opening and give a nice finished edge to the hot pad. I stitched one more square in the middle to keep the layers from slipping apart and Voila! You have a nifty hot pad.
Another quick method creates 5 hot pads at once (or more, depending on the size of the pieces of fabric you use.)  In this case I used 2 coordinating 1/4 yard pieces and a piece of batting that was 43" x 9".
Press both pieces of fabric and the batting before you start.  Take the backing piece and lay it face down on a clean surface.  Spray lightly with Basting Spray (available at most sewing supply stores).  You may want to do this outside to prevent sticky spots in your house.

Trim the batting so that it is slightly smaller than the backing fabric and lay it carefully on top of the backing, smoothing out wrinkles.
Carefully trim the front fabric to a width of 8 1/2" (or slightly smaller than your backing fabric and batting - you want to be able to see the edges of both backing and batting fabric after you lay down the top fabric).  Lightly spray top of batting with Basting Spray and carefully place your front fabric on top, smoothing out any wrinkles.
Then I carefully quilted some parallel lines to hold all the layers together nicely. The stripes on this fabric worked great as a guide, but you could mark lines with a disappearing marking pen or just eyeball the quilting lines. Basically it's nice if you have a few lines at least 2" apart - but you could do more if you like. Or this is a great chance to practice your free-motion quilting skills.

(I bought this Cosmo Cricket "Early Bird" fabric last year.)
When fabrics and batting are nicely quilted use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut out the hot pads. I cut five 8 1/2" square hot pads out of a 1/4 of a yard of fabric.
You will need to use some kind of binding to finish the edges of these hot pads.  A contrasting fabric looks really cute. You'll need a 2 1/2" x 42" strip for the binding. Here is a simple machine-binding tutorial to help you with this part. This picture demonstrates pinning the binding fabric on. See top or bottom picture for finished look.
Finally, if you're like me and you've got fabric scraps coming out of your ears (not literally) than you could make some really cute pieced hot pads.  Start with a 9" backing square of heavier weight fabric and a 8.75" square of batting.  Spray baste the batting to the back side of the backing fabric and sew your strips directly onto the batting and backing using the same method as this Table Runner Tutorial. (Which would be another fun Christmas gift!)
Trim the edges and bind like the previous version.
This is what I'm giving neighbors this year along with a favorite recipe or two. I figure if I start now, I'll actually be prepared when Christmas rolls around! (Tutorial originally posted at Skip to My Lou.)

Also, I continue to bind away.  I am soccer-mom, see me sew. (Sounds so fierce, right?)

13 comments:

Sandie ~call me crazy said...

LOL I was a soccer mom too~ doesn't sound fierce, sounds productive! :-)
Have a happy weekend!

bethanndodd said...

Great multi~tasking! I was just cutting out 'monster eyes' at baseball practice last night ;) Hope your extended weekend is joyful! Smiles~Beth

Sheila said...

Love the hot pad tutorial. I've been making some for gifts and people I give them to LOVE THEM. The tutorial gives me more ideas about how to make potholders as I have, so far, been "winging it".
I think hot holders/hot pads will make nice gifts when paired with cookie and muffin mixes this Christmas.
Thank you for a timely post!

Pam said...

Hi Amy, You've made my day!!! Thanks so much!!! I've just checked out your hot pad tutorial over at Skip to My Lou. This might be a good project for my first ever attempt at quilting. I've just added it to my ever growing To Do list.

Snoodles said...

Congratulations to the winners! I'm headed over there to the tutorial, cos I need to make some gifties, too!

castle said...

I did a lot of things like that when I was a soccer mom, now I am a soccer Gran'ma, and still take projects to work on. We have 3 grandkids that play soccer, and we try to make it to a game or two.
You have some fun ideas to try. Thanks for the tutorial.

Thimbleanna said...

Very CUTE Amy! I especially like the one with the toasters on it!

Lisa said...

Thanks so much for the link to the tute on the potholders ... I had JUST thought 5 minutes earlier that I might make some for a few presents this winter and lo and behold ...

Segelfliege said...

Hey,
nice tutorial! I am planning on making pot holders for Christmas for friends and family - I like the useful stuff! I didn't try one with a binding yet, thanks for showing!
Take care,
Segelfliege

Aster Cody said...

I had to laugh when I saw what you do at soccer ,because it is exactly what I do. At soccer and at orchestra. I sew so much binding, my mom has even started giving me hers to do as well. Beautiful quilts on your blog, btw.

The Little Shop of Stitches said...

I need to get started on my list of Christmas projects, too. Might add these pot holders as a quick and easy gift. Thanks for this!

Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva said...

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~Kimberlee

Amamamma said...

Loving seeing so many moms doing the same thing. I am a cheerleading/band/everything else that my kids decide to do mom. I always have a project with me. Lately it's been baby bibs that I have been binding. My kids used to be embarrassed but now they bring their friends over to show them what Mom is doing now.