I'm Janimal, happily gainfully employed Momma to a sweet girl. Livin' it up in Atlanta with a great husband and a good job. Sometimes I make stuff and here's my spot to show it off! Life is good, so I'm sharing....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Diva Potholder Tutorial

The quilted diva potholder tutorial!

*****don't forget to enter my giveaway, ends Friday*****

My local chapter of the ASG (American Sewing Guild) recently got together for dinner and for fun we did a potholder exchange.

Ok, here's the disclaimer. I am aware there are already a bunch of great tutorials out there on how to make potholders. I think if I had paid more attention to them before I made mine, they may have turned out better! But as they are, I was pretty pleased with them, so I am sharing how they were made. (And, I think it's important to get the right stuff in the middle to make them heat resistant, and I'm pretty sure I did that right at least!)

(And if you are looking for other potholder tutorials, how about these. This one has good pictures and quilting instructions, and handsews the binding. This one is really pretty and has a pocket for your hand, and because they are totally square, the binding would be easier.)

So without further ado - Ta-Dah!

Now, I'm not a quilter. (Which my amateur binding clearly displays.) But quilting a potholder I can handle. Let's pretend I didn't put the loop on the bottom right when it should go on the top left, k?

First, you need supplies. I started with two squares of cotton fabric, 10' x 10' and a package of double fold binding tape. The black backing fabric is a twill, thicker than quilting fabric to give my potholder some body. Regular cotton would be fine. I chose the diva print because I thought it would be interesting to quilt around the ladies. It's important to use cotton, because other fabric blends may melt when in contact with heat. (So also use cotton thread. Polyester may melt!)

Also needed, the batting for the middle. Now this is the important part. For a good heat resistant potholder -- one that is functional as well as pretty - you need TWO different kinds of batting. Cotton batting, and insulated batting. I found Insul Brite sold by the yard at Joann's, Hancock's, and Hobby Lobby. Insul-Brite will reflect the heat to protect your hands from the heat through the potholder. Without Insul-Brite, and just plain batting, the potholder will not provide the same protection. And the Insul-Brite instructions are very clear that it should be used WITH another layer of cotton batting.

Please use cotton. Unless this is just for display, using the most non-flammable materials is important.

The Insul-Brite has a shiny side and a duller side. The shiny side should face the side of the fabric that will touch the hot pots. For this potholder, that meant it needed to face the black back side. So for my potholder quilt sandwich, first I placed the backing fabric (a plain black) that will be the side that touches the pots, face down. I put the Insul-Brite on top, shiny side down. Then a layer of cotton batting.

On top of that, the diva fabric face up.

I put a couple pins in place, then stitched around the perimeter of the fabric sandwich.

Once stitched, I trimmed the excess from the outside to about a quarter inch. And cut the corners rounding them a bit.

Well, my photographs of the next step didn't turn out so well, so here is a photo of the back of the potholder so you can see the quilting. I put the potholder in the machine and slowly stitched around the outlines of each figure. It would have been easier if I had increased my stitch length, but I didn't think of that until I was finished! Hopefully you can see the stitch lines that were on the back.

It would have been easier to quilt just with straight lines. Which I will probably do next time. For straight lines, I would have lowered the tension.

Next, is the part I am not good at. Binding the edges. I pinned the binding on, matching the outside edges up. See the squiggly yellow line I drew near my hand? That's supposed to show you where to sew. Sew just inside that first fold line of the bias tape.

Maybe this picture shows better than my squiggle.

Erm, ah, here is where my tutorial falls apart a bit. What happened to the pictures? Erm, ah, well, sorry about that.

Told youbinding was not my strength.

Anyway, after sewing the binding on, unpin it. And fold the bias tape over the potholder edge. Pin that in place. Other tutorials say to handstich the binding in place. I wasn't up for that, these needed to get done! So I machine stitched around the bias tape on the other side. Here's a shot so you can see. Not as pretty as handstitched, but I think it's ok.

So there ya go. Get cooking!
Love, Janimal

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  1. I don't know where I've been but this is my first tutorial on making a pot holder and I love it!! Yours came out so nice and I love that you call it your "diva" pot holder. Thanks so much for this share...I'm doing it!


  2. So cute and easy!! They look fabulous! Love the fabric!!

  3. This looks awesome! I would be too scared to touch the edges- I'm not a very experienced sewer. But yours looks great.

    Thank you for participating in the Creative Therapy Session at Life in the Pitts

  4. Very nice pot holders, I love that fabric, the print is so lady-like. Lovely!


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