The last time I bought potholders at the snooty kitchen store they fell apart after only a couple months. Oddly, mine hold up a lot longer. It must be the secret ingredient - love.
Here is a link to PDF instructions.
This tutorial should also help the beginning sewer get an understanding of measuring, cutting, pinning, and basic sewing concepts.
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Step 1: Gather Ye Materials While Ye May.
I. 1 8-inch square each of fabric for the front and back
II. 1 8 1/2-inch square thermal batting (silvery-colored, usually)
OR three layers batting, flannel, towel scraps, each cut into 8 1/2-inch squares
III. 1 42-inch strip for binding, 2 inches wide - here's an assembly tip.
IV. Thread, pins
V. Seam ripper (never sew without one!)
Index / Terms:
FF, CF = Fashion Fabric, Contrast Fabric
RS, WS = Right Side, Wrong Side of fabric
SA= Seam Allowance
Step 2: Layer and Pin.
Make a sandwich: Batting in between the FF and CF squares, WS facing batting. In other words, just like the potholder will perform when it's done. You should have about 1/4" of clearance on the batting layer.
Pin or hand-baste all layers, being careful to keep both sides wtihout gathers. I use about nine safety pins.
Step 3: Now Quilt! (Or Tie), Add Binding
Using your machine, handstitches, or ties, quilt all layers together at uniform intervals, no more than 2" apart (1" if using ties). This is what makes the pot holder strong.
The more layers (the thicker your potholder) the longer machine stitch length you will want to use.
Press one raw edge of binding trip 1/2" to WS, lengthwise. Begin pinning, matching raw edges and RS together. Important - pin the binding strip to the FF side if you will be handfinishing the binding (as I do in this tutorial); pin the binding strip to the CF if you will be finishing by machine topstitching.
When pinning the binding strip to thepotholder, fold up the binding at a 45-degree angle as shown, starting halfway on an edge.
Step 4: Miter, Baby!
Using a generous 1/4-inch seam allowance, stitch the first side together. Stop 1/4-inch from the first edge you reach and backstitch two stitches or so.
Take pot holder off sewing machine, and fold it for mitered corners as shown. First, fold strip up, then back down along the adjacent side raw edge. This will leave a triangular fold where you will resume stitching.
Step 5: Finish Attaching Binding
Pin this next side, and continue on sewing and folding at corners. Finish by folding down binding at a 45-degree angle and overlapping as shown.
Step 6: Trim!
Using scissors or rotary cutter, cut around the pot holder and trim excess batting. Note - be very careful! Don't trim the corner folds by accident.
Step 7: Loop-de-Loop
Using 5" of the remaining bias strip, fold raw edges to center, WS together. Fold again in half. Press and sew folded edges. Fold and pin to corner of pot holder, being careful not to catch binding.
Step 8: Hand-stitch to Finish.
Fold binding back to CF side and whip-stitch to back of potholder. All done!