Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pot Holder Tutorial

This is for the Sew, Mama, Sew website tutorials contest!!

I felt that our potholders were in a sad, saaaaaaaaaaaaaaad state. Observe:
So I deceided to take some of the supplies I had laying around and make two of my own. I got the batting at Michaels, the burlap-ish fabric for the binding I had left over from who knows what, and the floral fabric was left over from a skirt I made. If you want to purchase fabric instead of using scraps, you'll need 1/4 yard of the "main" fabric for 2 potholders, and 1 package of binding (just over a yard of binding per potholder).
This was my first foray into making potholders, and I must say that they were super easy and turned out exactly like I wanted! The thing that took the longest was making the continuous bias binding (the very best tutorial for this is courtsey of the Dread Pirate Rodgers -- so great!!!).  Because that is explained so clearly and concisely by the dear Pirate, I'll just go into everything else.

Cut your fabric 9" x 9".  You can really cut it however big you want, but I like this size myself.  You will then want to mark your quilting lines - I just took a ruler and eyeballed it.

When I sewed it, I promptly disregarded my guidelines. Of course. 

Sandwich the batting in between the fabric and sew along your quilting lines (I suggest using a double-layer of batting... remember, this is for picking up HOT STUFF so you don't want it to be thin at all). Make sure your fabric is facing right-side out on both sides before you sew... not that I would know about that mistake by experience or anything.

Now open out your binding attach it to the edge. I just stretched it around the corners making them rounded because I am way too lazy to miter them. I just always mess that up. Besides, I like rounded edges on potholders.

Trim your corners, then fold over and pin in place.

Then whip stitch. Whip it good! You could also machine stitch if you want.

Don't forget the loopy tail! They have more character with a tail, don't you think? Plus, then you can hang them instead of putting them in a drawer. I made this the same way you would make a strap: get a 5"x2" strip, fold fabric in half right sides together, sew a 1/4" seam, turn right side out & press.

I machine stitched this on with a small zig zag stitch. 

And that's it! Tres bien, no?


  1. great job on the tute! i am embarrassed to say my pot holders look the same as yours!! kudos for having the guts to show them!! the pot holders you made are really cute too!

  2. Well, now I have no excuse. The aprons are done, the shams are (almost) done) No way to wiggle.
    Next week will be Potholder Week, in Middle Tennessee!

  3. those are great and look easy-peasy to make. my current potholders look like yours, but in a dirty green instead. thanks for the tutorial!!

  4. Hey! I found your tutorial by way of SMS, and this is PERFECT! I have exactly one red potholder that I have been using all by its onesie since I got married 4 years ago. It's time for a potholder facelift in my kitchen, oh yeah.

  5. Haven't done potholders for 3 years and mind went blank when I went to do binding. Thanks so much for putting this in words I understand and the pics. Have a good Christmas.

  6. My potholders are disgraceful - yours looks so easy to make I'm going to try them - thanks for sharing Moira from South Africa

  7. i laughed when i read the 'not that i would have learnt by experience' comment. so many times have i donr something similar!
    anyway, thanks for this. easy steps, good pictures. lovely tutorial
    will be making it for an emergency bday present for someone!

  8. HI! I just added your potholder link to my site - I just HAD to especially since I have those same blue potholders and mine are looking just about the same so I do see making some new ones soon...

  9. Hi, I like your website very much. I have been making potholders for some time now. I always like to check what others are doing. You actually do the same as I do. For the batting I recycle old (washed) mattress pads as long as they seem to be thick enough. Thanks again.

  10. I started making potholders a few months ago so I could do craft shows. The book I bought said to always use heat resistant batting, which I buy at Joann Fabrics. Is there a reason why you don't do that?

  11. Made mine today and they turned out great. Especially liked the link for the bias binding, that turned out great as well.

  12. If heat-resistant batting ("insulbrite") is not attainable for whatever reason, cotton batting is heat resistant and works well...and is much cheaper. Don't use the poly-fil or polyester batting - it transfers heat & will burn your hand.


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