Over the next couple months, I will be posting various tutorials and DIY projects for creating handmade Christmas gifts. I am a believer in giving handmade items for Christmas! :) Some of the tutorials and DIY I have developed and some I have found around the www.
Today is a tutorial for potholders. I asked my little sis what she needed for Christmas that I could make her - she quickly said "Potholders!" Hmmm... I've thought about making potholders before, but was worried about if they would actually work - or if I would burn my hands upon using them to pull a super hot pan out of the oven. I decided to give it a try and was quite happy with the result. I tested the potholder (and was quite nervous about it, I might add ;)) - I heated the oven up to 450 degrees F and then pulled out my baking stone, using the potholder. It worked- no burnt hands. YAY!
So, want to make your own? I made mine a patchwork style, but you could easily use all one fabric for the front and make a coordinating set, or do different types of patchwork (squares, rectangles, etc).
+ 2 pieces of terry-cloth towels, measuring 7.5"x9" (I used old utility-type washcloth rags, you could also use an old bath towel if it's not too threadbare ;))
+ Fabric - 1 piece for the backing (7.5"x9"), and 1 piece for the front (I sewed a bunch of different types together and then trimmed it down to 7.5"x9".
+ 5" piece of heavy-duty ribbon (for the loop to be able to hang the potholder up, if desired)
+ Ruler, rotary cutter and cutting mat
+ Sewing Machine and thread that coordinates with your fabric choice
First, trim down all of your fabric pieces to 7.5"x9".
This is my process of making a patchwork front - I made it oversize and then trimmed it down to the 7.5" x 9".
Sewing the patchwork.
Be sure to press the seams open as you sew them.
Once you have all 4 of your pieces cut to size (front, back, 2 pieces of terry cloth towel), pin together the front to one of the towel pieces.
Now, using the stitch-in-the-ditch method, sew the front to the towel piece.
Now, make a loop out of the ribbon and pin to the just-quilted front of the potholder (as shown below).
Now, make a quilt sandwich. Place the quilt piece right side up, then the back piece right side down, and then the other piece of towel cloth.
Pin these all together.
Now, sew around the perimeter with a 1/4" seam allowance. See the pink pins in the picture above? Do NOT sew that part- This will be the opening that we use to flip the potholder inside out. Be sure to backstitch a few times. See below pictures for a close up.
Now, the moment of truth - let's flip it inside out! Reach into the hole you just left open and pull a corner, and pull it on through.
Nice! Now to finish it up. Iron it.
There's still a hole at the bottom that we need to fix, and the corners need to be a little more, cornered. Using a dull pencil or pen (with the top on) carefully put it in the hole and poke the corners so they are a little more squared - be careful not to poke a hole!
Pin the hole closed with two pins.
Now, do a top stitch around the perimeter (again using a 1/4" seam allowance). This will a) give it a more finished look, b) reinforce the loop at the top and c) close up the hole you used for turning.
Voilà! A fully functional potholder that you can coordinate to match your kitchen (or your friend or family members').