Guest Post: How to Make Quilted Pot Holders And More!

I am so excited to present this fantastic guest post from Audrey of Planet Hausfrau. She organized a Holiday Handmade Exchange and I was a participant and the lucky recipient of her generous gift. I must say, the box was so heavy I had no idea what could be in it. I had a fleeting thought that maybe it was just filled with bricks, but it most certainly was not.

Check out her craftiness (and guest post) below:

Hi everyone! I had a lot of fun making these things for Amy as part of the
Handmade Sekret Exchange
, and a wee bit of technical frustration as
well. I had to scale back my plans a bit, time was catching up with me and
Pinterest is just full of too many fun ideas, but in the end I think I
accomplished a nice gift set. At least I hope Amy likes them!

To start with I decided to make pot holders/ hot pads. I
know Amy likes to cook and I was trying to be thoughtful of something she
could possibly use in that area. I kind of have a thing about quilting so
I decided to do a quilted set.

To make something like pot holders you
need to use a heat resistant center filling and all natural fabrics to
avoid melting polyester and hand burns. For mine I went with a layer of
Insulbrite and a layer of Warm & Natural. Together they provide enough
heat resistance to protect tables and hands.

Step 1: Select some natural fabrics, I used quilter’s cotton, and cut it
into strips. The size of your strips depends on you really. I wanted
something that would produce lots of squares for one side of the pads so I
made them fairly narrow – keeping in mind that you’ll lose some size when
you join fabrics.

Step 2: Cut your strips into squares. Again I went with smallish squares,
I didn’t perfectly measure them but they were around 2 x 2.5 or so. (Yes,
not actual squares in my case.)

In case you haven’t read my blog before..I should tell you that I’m a bit
on the lazy side.

Rather than cut out one or two squares at a time I stacked my strips and
cut out six or eight at a time.

You can do this when you have a wide ruler to lay on top of the rest of
the fabric, it helps stabilize it.

But you still don’t want to use too much fabric in a stack. I had two
stacks I went this route with, precisely because too much in a stack
increases the likelihood that you will skew one of the strips (or more)
and things will not actually end up being the same size.

Things like that can throw everything off.

Step 3: Join your squares, good side to good side, into strips just long
enough to cover the solid piece of fabric that will make up the
opposite side. I like to lay the strips over the fabric until I know I
have enough, again remembering we’ll lose some width when these strips are

Step 4: Join your strips. Try hard to line up the seams for each strip so
they fall in a line. If you haven’t been precise in your seaming and
measuring you’ll see some that don’t join up exactly. Which can be
frustrating. But, given you made this thing yourself and you are not a
machine, consider it evidence of the love that went into your handmade
object if it happens.

Step 5: Sandwich your pieces together. Solid fabric on the bottom,
Insulbrite and Warm & Natural in the middle, and the quilted piece you
just made on top.

Note: Before you continue to the quilting you can try to fancy your
piece up by making some stitches along either side of the seams. Doing
this can make a really nice finished product. It can also make your error
in lining seams up glaringly obvious. I had some errors, but I went with
this embellishment anyway. *shrug* If you do this, only do it to
the quilted piece, not the whole stack.

Step 6: Quilt your stack of fabrics. Start in the middle and work your way
out. This helps secure the fabrics and ensure your Insulbrite and batting
will spread out instead of bunching up on one side leaving you with
insufficient batting.

I chose to stitch-in-the-ditch. This means quilting right on top of the
original seams where you joined your strips. I did this to hide the extra
stitches on the quilted side of the sandwich. You’ll want to go slowly
when doing that otherwise you might find yourself going off track.

Step 7: Once you have your fabric sandwich quilted up, you need to bind
it. I recommend just buying quilter’s binding, it’s pre-folded with a
double fold.  Making binding suuuuuucks. Sewing narrow binding is
hair-pullingly frustrating. No matter how hard I work to get it lined up
properly, bindings never seem to end up in the same spot on either a perfect sewing job on the facing side proves to be less than
stellar when you flip your final product over. I am not a sewing expert,
so I have no idea how to achieve perfection with binding. If you know,
please tell me!

If you are going to make your own binding, however you’ll want to know how.

Essentially you cut a strip of fabric, then fold (and iron) each side in
toward the center. Then fold the whole thing in half and iron that too.
This makes a wedge shape that makes sure you’ll sew the edge correctly
while still giving you some allowance if you  need it.

How wide the whole thing needs to be is kind of up to you, your project
and your personal aesthetic.

Also your willingness to knowingly work with a width that drives you
utterly bonkers in the name of a decent finished product.

To attach your binding you’ll want to pin it. Or use double sided sticky
tape found in the quilter’s section of your fabric store. Or both. Like I
said, bindings are tricky little minxes.

Once you’ve sewn that you have completed your hot pads/ pot holders!
Success! You have made a product that hopefully looks nice and you or your
giftee will love.

I also made a few other things for Amy’s gift package. Following some
Pinterest inspiration, and with some help from my personal power tool
expert, I made a crayon/colored pencil holder for Spencer. There were a
few…erm…errors..made in the drilling of said holes. So I decided to
work with them and made a worm for the holey wood.

Original idea from
Sweetest Occasion

I also have a fair collection of beads because I was into jewelry making a
few years back (before I had small children that could choke on the
supplies – or put them up their noses!). So I crafted a bracelet that I
hope fits.

Wrapping Paper and Card:

To wrap it all up, I once again used some Pinterest inspiration and made
my own string covered stamps to make my own wrapping paper. Only rather
than use a block I used the top of an empty spice jar that was waiting to
be recycled.

The paints are washable tempura and were borrowed from my son’s art supplies.

And that, my friends, is that. Which is a lot, really. I didn’t really
think about how long this mammoth photo-filled post would end up being
when I started documenting and making things. But there you go.

Thanks to Amy for signing up for the Handmade Exchange so that I could be
randomly assigned to her and make these things!

And to you all for allowing me to borrow her space so that I could share
my “how to”s with you.

I hope your holiday season has been wonderful!

♥  Audrey

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2 Responses to “Guest Post: How to Make Quilted Pot Holders And More!”

  1. Audrey says:

    hahaha, I see the formatting went a bit off in the transfer. Ah well! I’m glad you’re glad it wasn’t a box of bricks. :)


  2. I was totally wondering what Audrey made! I actually have a fear of making pot holders – I’m afraid they won’t be thick enough or just plain won’t keep the heat away from fingers which is why I haven’t tried it.


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