Pot holders can often be rather boring, but if you make them yourself you can combine all sorts of pretty fabrics, colours and textures to suit your taste! They also make a lovely handmade gift for a friend who loves to cook. The finished size of these is 19.5 cm (7 6/8″) square. Here’s how to make them:
Use a sturdy cotton fabric, such as quilter’s cotton in whatever combination of colours and patterns you like. You will also need some cotton batting, bias binding that measures 12 mm (1/2″) when folded, embroidery thread to go with your fabrics and general sewing requirements.
From your cotton fabrics, cut out the following:
- 4 squares measuring 14 cm (5 1/2″) by 14 cm (5 1/2″)
- 4 rectangles measuring 7.5 cm (3″) by 19.5 cm (7 6/8″)
- 4 rectangles 14 cm (5 1/2″) by 7.5 cm (3″)
This is roughly how they will be pieced together.
You also need to cut 6 squares of cotton wadding measuring 19.5 cm (7 6/8″) by 19.5 cm (7 6/8″). You will have three layers for each pot holder.
Sew one of the small rectangles to one of the small squares with 1 cm (3/8”) seam allowance and the right sides of the fabric facing together. Press the seam allowance open and repeat with the other small rectangles and squares.
Sew one of the long rectangles to the other two pieces to make a square, again with 1 cm (3/8”) seam allowance and ensuring the right sides of the fabric are facing together. Press the seam allowance open.
Repeat with the other long rectangles so you have 4 squares, 2 for each potholder. Make sure that within each pair the long rectangle is on the opposite sides of the squares and short rectangles. This is so when they are placed together, the long rectangles will line up on each side of the potholder so the embroidery can go through both sides.
Place one of the potholders on three layers of batting and baste by hand around the edges.
Place the other potholder piece on the other side, pinning through the seam lines, making sure the pins go through the seam lines on both sides. Baste around the edges again through all the layers.
Choose some pretty embroidery thread.
Stitch along other side of each of the seam lines going through all the layers with even stitches so they look nice on both sides of the pot holder.
This is what it looks like on the other side.
Now you will need some bias binding that is 2.5 cm (1”) wide. When it’s folded it will be 12 mm (1/2”) wide. Unfold the bias tape and pin the raw edge to the raw edge along one side of the pot holder. Stitch along the fold, stopping 12mm (1/2”) from the edge.
As you turn the binding around the corner, make sure the raw edges continue to meet. This will cause a fold to form at the inner corner.
Start stitching along the second side beginning 12 mm (1/2”) from the edge. This is exactly where you stopped stitching the previous row of stitching, but on the other side of the fold of fabric. (Don’t worry about this fold for now, it will enable you to create neat mitered corners later on). When you are stitching along the second side, stop 12 mm (1/2”) away from the end. Repeat with the third side.
Repeat with the forth side. You still need to stop 12 mm (1/2”) from the edge which will be just next to the piece of binding you started with.
Fold the binding over the raw edge of the pot holders. You will notice that as you fold it over the corners, neat little diagonal folds will form giving the appearance of mitered corners.
Working on the other side of the pot holder, pull the folded edge of the binding down to just cover the stitching line and pin in place.
When you get to the corner, simply fold one side over the other to create a neat diagonal fold.
Hand stitch the folded edge of the binding in place, using tiny invisible stitches. Stop just short of the bias binding at the beginning.
Machine stitch all the way around the binding, just a few millimeters from the edge.
When you start, keep the tail of binding out of the way and when you finish, fold the tail over the sides of the pot holder, covering the start of where the binding was attached. Continue the line of stitching along the folded tail.
Cut the tail to be about 7 cm (3”) long.
Fold the tail over to one side, tucking the raw edge under by about 3 mm (1/8”). Pin in place and machine stitch along three edges as shown.
Gently iron the pot holder and it’s finished. Now you can make another one so you have a pretty pair!
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