I love sewing simple little home-made things for gifts and this week I made potholders and crochet dish cloths to share with a few friends.
I love this bright colored happy fabric by Lori Holt called Bake Sale. It is just right up my alley with the bright colors and designs. It is one of her older fabrics and is hard to find now. I'm lucky that my local quilt shop still had a few prints.
Here is a very basic little step by step on how I made them:
I cut 2.5 inch wide strips of the four colors. (You can cut them any length that you desire. I believe mine were 10 inches.)
Sew them together randomly. Be sure to use an exact 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press the seams open. Trim any uneven edges.
After you press the seam allowances open, cut your piece into 2.5 inch wide strips.
Lay out your strips and randomly sew four of them together in an exact 1/4 inch seam, carefully lining up corners. (For some reason I missed a picture of this step, but you can see the sewn together strips in the picture above.) This will give you a pot holder top that is 8 inches square.
Next you will cut a backing fabric about 9 inches square, just to give yourself a little lee-way when you sandwich the pieces together.
Now you will sandwich everything together for quilting: start with the backing piece (wrong side up), then a layer of Insul-Bright, a layer of quilt batting, and your pieced top (right side up). See the picture above.
(You do not have to use the Insul-Bright but I have found that it really does make for heat resistant potholders.)
Pin the four layers together carefully.
Now you can machine quilt them. I chose to quilt along each seam about 1/4 inch from the seam. I use a walking foot on my sewing machine that works real well for this. It keeps puckers to a minimum.
I didn't take a lot of time and get things perfect as these are potholders that will hopefully be used and aren't just for pretty. So, my stitching is not perfectly straight!
Trim your edges getting everything square and straight.
And then sew on your binding. And.... I'm so sorry, but can you believe I did not take ANY pictures of the binding? I think that was the day we were having tornado watches all day long and my sewing was happening in between all that weather mess.
But my biggest tip on the binding is to be sure and cut it on the bias. It really does make a difference! And after machine sewing my binding on the front side and folding it over, I like to hand sew it in place. It just makes for neater binding.
I made a big stack of them, using different fabrics for the backing and binding.
I love the cheerful colors!
Then I made simple little home-made tags and tied them up with twine. It made for a very quick and fun last minute gift. I also crocheted one of my dish cloths from the pattern that I came up with (the ONLY thing I know how to crochet!) and put that along with the potholders.
So now for the giveaway!
I'm offering one reader this little set of two potholders and one dish cloth! All you have to do is comment below telling me your kitchen colors and I will choose a winner on New Years Day!
Happy 2016 from the bottom of our hill!