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Archive for October 15th, 2011

Making your own hot pads and place mats is really fairly easy to do.  It’s just creating essentially a sandwich, then putting it all together.  Let me explain what I mean by that.

First you need your sandwich layers.

The bottom piece (A fabric to compliment or echo your quilted front)

The front piece  (This can be a solid piece of fabric, or several coordinating fabrics, I would not suggest using more then 4 various fabrics.)

The filling (This is your padding, which can be quilt padding, terry cloth towel/washcloths, flannel scraps,or even padded cloth diapers.)

The crust  (this is the outside binding.  You can either buy prefolded binding or make your own.)

I take mine a step further and include a ribbon strip for added focal appeal.  It is a wide ribbon which either has a preset design or which I paint on the design I desire to display.

Step One:  Cut out your pieces.  I am not big on buying patterns, however I have plenty of letter size printer paper laying around.  (newspaper for placemats). To get the size needed I simply use a pot holder I already own and lay it on the paper in one corner.  I then cut around it allowing a 1 inch additional length of fabric. (this is your seam allowance).  Now, because I am making a back, middle and front.  I will make two patterns or three, identical squares.  Two I set to the side for the back and my template.  The third I then take a ruler to and mark out the pattern I wish to display on the front.  Cut out the individual pieces of your design.  This is now your pieces pattern.   Pin to your fabric, cut around your desired pattern and you have your quilt face for your potholder.  Pot holders are wonderful for using up scrap fabric by the way.

Pin your fabric pieces together, face sides facing each other, so you have the wrong side on the outside.  Stitch together the pieces.  I actually do more hand-sewing then machine sewing, but machine sewing makes for quick work of this step.  **PS: Don’t fret if your shape is not perfectly square, you after sewing will be able to reset your pattern template and cut off the “off” edges to square it up.**

Step two: Press it out and lay it on table.  If you are not using an attention getting fabric or ribbon strip. Skip to next step.  If you are, now is the time to measure the side you need to span the pot holder/placemat face.  This can be vertical/horizontal/diagonal.  Leave enough overlap to fold it under the backside slightly at edges.  This overlap will be hidden when you put your “sandwich” together.  Stitch along all sides of your ribbon/fabric.

Step Three:  Put the sandwich together.  Lay out your back piece upside down on table.  Layer your padding on top of that and finish with your quilt face/front right side up on top.  Pin it all together, an stitch along the sides.

Step Four: Securing the layers.  This next step is done to keep the binding on inside from bunching up.  Take a fabric pencil or piece of chalk and ruler.  Starting at one corner draw lines diagonally across the face of your potholder.  Stitch along these lines to secure everything tightly.  **You can also try other patterns, use stencils and free hand designs to accomplish the same effect**

Step Five: Add the crust, or binding in this case.  I use quilt binding which I cut in half down the length of it.  Measure the length needed to fit the side of the potholder (no I don’t bother with a measuring tape, I just lay it beside the already made “sandwich” and cut. For edges to keep it “neat” looking, cut them at a slight “/” shaped angle, and overlap. On one side, cut the length longer then the edge by enough to fold it over and make a hanging loop. Bring it back upon itself and pin in place for you to stitch. Pin binding in place and stitch all around your potholder.

That’s it, you’ve just made your own potholder.  Once you figure out the whole “Sandwich” method it’s fairly simple to do. Now go make some more for other seasons and with different designs.  I warn you though, they get addictive!

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Just a post to show my latest projects.  Whipped up a pile of these the last few days, got a few more to go before I need to switch gears for the Christmas season.

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