Monday, December 2, 2013

Handmade Christmas pot holders

I've been having computer problems, but it's been so long since I've posted,  I decided to do what I could with our laptop. Unfortunately I don't have any photo editing software on it, so I had to use Picasa to crop and lighten photos. I do have a handful of posts to put up so will be blogging a lot this week.

Last year for Christmas, I started making hot pad holders for my Mom but they did not get finished. All they needed was binding, so once I finished them up, I decided to make some more.
 Front side, finished:
Back side shown on left:

I had made my Aunt some Christmas place mats and thought I'd pull out those fabrics and make some matching pot holders. See the place mat post here.

I already had some strips left over from the place mats, but had to cut some more. 
I sewed the strips together and ironed the seams. Then I cut on a 45 degree angle from the seams and cut 4 1/2" wide strips.  I then cut them into 4 1/2" squares.

 Here are all my squares. I played with the alignment and which square would go where.

Here is my final arrangement.  I decided the best finished size was 6 1/2" x 9". The first (purple) set was only 8" long and it left the wrist exposed, which I did not like. 6 1/2" wide let my fingers reach the side edges of the hot pad without them swimming around in the pocket. I cut two edges of my quilt top so the middle seam was still centered.
 So here are my layers: quilt top, heat resistant batting, cotton batting, back fabric and pocket (which is 16" long and folded/ironed in half, so the pocket piece is roughly 1" shorter than the rest of the pot holder).

Here are the finished pot holders. I could have done some free motion quilting on them but decided they may be more heat resistant without it.
 Back side shown on the left:
 I used this tutorial for doing the binding. There are things I liked and things I did not like about it, but it did the job. Hers looks way better than mine did. When sewing the front side, if I sewed it close to the edge of the binding, it did not catch the binding on the backside, I ended up sewing farther in from the edge than I would have liked. If anyone has a good all machine binding technique, please let me know. I did zig zag stitch all the layers together before adding the binding.

Then I made a pair for my sister. I think these are really fun. I just made a strip of different fabrics, each 2 1/2" high, width varies from 1" to 2 1/4" wide. I sewed a 3/4" strip to the top and bottom of the pieced panel, then added the larger pieces at either end. The purple ones at the top of this post were done the same way.

These were pretty quick to make and were well received at our Thanksmas (Christmas at Thanksgiving) celebration last week!

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