Quilted Pot Holder




About: Wife to one, mom to two, muse to thousands.

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.

Materials Needed:

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!



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    17 Discussions

    I really want to print a copy of these instructions but none of the links work...and I can't afford to pay a minimum of $27 to get them. The idea is terrific and it will be my first sewing project. Any suggestions how I can get the pdf and the info in the two links that no longer work. This is so cute!!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very Clever Idea I love it ! I am going to make a bunch of these to have on hand and for gifts. Great site!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, I see its a long time since this was posted, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. I don't understand how to do the edges.. Any helpful hints or explanatory pictures. Its not so much the folding over etc, its more where do you sew to be able to flip it over, and sew it all together after attaching the binding to the front piece.. If that makes any sense..? Thanks!

    3 replies

    Oops, somehow I didn't see this comment um... three years ago. I'm sure you're no longer working on the potholder. I apologize I didn't get back to you!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have made two using these marvelous instructions, and they have turned out very well (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhugart/sets/72157629974678401/ for pictures). These are my first-ever quilt-like fabric projects

    I used the French binding technique, though those instructions had some ambiguity in them, which I've mostly resolved by now.

    The other change I made was to make the loop and sew it to the sandwich after I've machine-sewed the binding to the face of the potholder. Then when I hand-stitched the binding on the back (a friend sent me a link to some instructions on doing a hidden stitch for that, which I've since lost!), I just stitch to the loop as I would the back of the potholder. It feels more secure to me.

    On the whole, these are excellent instructions, and even a novice like me can make something wonderful as a result. Thank you for the effort you put into this!


    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Jacob! I'm so happy these instructions worked for you. I have since advanced quite a bit in sewing (kelly.hogaboom.org/homesewn) and I'm sure my novice-level skill shows a bit in these instructions. Glad this instructable helped you.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Kelly, these are great! I've never quilted anything before, but MIL is always giving me potholders and towels for my kitchen (because I'm so pathetic that I don't have anything matching)...well, she just got a new countetop, and this calls for some celebration in the form of custom-quilted potholders! Merry Christmas to MIL! Thank YOU, kelly!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome instructable! Sewing small projects like this will keep my sewing skills sharp since I only really do (fixing minor holes in clothing doesn't count since it only takes 30 seconds) it once or twice a year... Now where did I put my scraps bag...?


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I like that you mentioned one can use 3 layers of old towels/etc. This is a common thing to make, but in this generation, I'm glad you told everyone so we all can have handmade, durable potholders. In a color of our choosing, not only what is selling at the store. And yeah, perfect gift giving for a cook, but i like making the mitt styles too. Can fill them with little cooking gifts. Very well photographed and explained. Thanks!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. Thanks for the detail! My store-bought potholders are pretty shreddded- now I can make my own!