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Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder


It's nearly July 4th, which means it's time to see lots of red, white, and blue on all the blogs, right? Not wanting to feel left, out, here I am with my own post. But I'm really only sharing a semi-patriotic project, because this pot holder is a birthday gift for my mom, and it's made in colors that match the kitchen and dining room. So yes, it's red, white, and blue...and blue, but the flowers and different blues make it work for all year round. At least at my house!

The real reason that I chose to make this and another more basic pot holder (not quite finished yet!) instead of some other gift for mom was to practice using my new walking foot. If I had known that a $25 attachment would have made such a difference, I would have ordered one sooner. Suddenly, a whole new world of sewing has presented itself to me.

This project isn't anything special. I'm sure that many of you have made things like this, and things much nicer than this, time and time again. But if quilting is new to you, consider a project like this to be an introduction to quilting. Because essentially, this is a very mini quilt.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Here's what you need:

Fabric in 2-3 prints/colors
Cotton batting
Insulbright batting (optional, but safer for a pot holder!)
Perle cotton
Scissors
Safety pins
Sewing machine & thread
Walking foot (optional, but awesomely helpful!)
Iron
Rotary cutter/cutting mat/ruler (optional, but helpful!)

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Cut nine 3.5-inch squares of fabric. I cut four solids and five florals.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Sew the squares together in rows of three, alternating the fabrics. Seam allowance isn't too important for this, so long as they are all the same. Aim for .25 inches. Press the seams open.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Join those three strips together so you end up with a tic tac toe board of sorts. Again, press the seams open.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder
Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

The goal is to have your corners match up like the top photo. But if they are a little off like the second picture, don't fret. I mean, you could fret and you could rip your seams and do whatever you need to do to fix them. But I say, try to be fret-free.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

You've just made a nine-patch block, and it should measure about 9.5 inches, depending on your seam allowance. Whatever size you have, cut one piece of backing fabric, two pieces of cotton batting, and one piece of Insulbright batting all to the same size as your block.

Layer the pieces as shown in the photo: block (right side out), cotton batting, Insulbright batting, cotton batting, and backing fabric (right side out).

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Use safety pins to hold the layers together. Regular pins work too, but since I mentioned that this is like a very mini quilt, I thought this type of pin would be more like the full size method. You see, with a large quilt, you never know when you might get stuck by a straight pin while moving things around. These are safer. Which is probably how they got their name...

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Quilt the layers together by sewing along the sides of the seams, or however you'd like. This is where the walking foot makes all the difference. Sewing through all of these layers would have been a nightmare with the regular presser foot, but this way, they didn't shift at all, and the sewing was easy.

The simpler version I made isn't patchwork, and I quilted it with diagonal lines. It was my practice one, and it came out so great that I decided to finish it off with binding. Which brings us to that part.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Cut a strip of fabric that is 3.5 inches wide by the width of your fabric. This is wider binding that is standard...a 2.5 inch strip will suffice. Iron one end toward the wrong side by about .5 inches, then iron the entire strip in half the long way.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Normally you sew the binding piece to the right side of the quilt, or in this case, pot holder. However, sometimes I do mine backwards for a different look. So, grab the end of the strip that is folded down and lay it along one edge on the back of the pot holder so that all of the raw edges match up.

Starting an inch or so from the folded end of the binding strip, begin sewing the binding to the pot holder.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

When you get about .25 inches (or whatever seam allowance you're using) from the first corner, stop. Put your needle down, pivot the pot holder at at 45-degree angle and sew off the edge. This angled line isn't absolutely necessary, but it helps me make pretty corners.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Fold the binding strip up as shown...

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

...then fold it down so it now matches up along the next side. Sew this edge, and repeat this process at each corner.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

When you reach the folded end of your binding, trim off the non-folded end so that the two ends overlap by about an inch. Tuck the cut end into the folded end, then continue sewing until it is completely sewn down.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder
Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Fold the binding around to the front of the pot holder and stitch the binding down using running stitch and perle cotton. The knot is secured under the binding, going through all the layers of fabric and batting.

On the front, you'll have these cute little stitches on the binding, and on the back you'll see them just inside the binding.

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

Once you've made it all the way around, sewing the binding down, you have a pot holder, or your very own very mini quilt. That wasn't scary at all, was it?

Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder
Semi-Patriotic Patchwork Pot Holder

If I can do this, so can you. And believe it or not, making something like this that's small and extra thick (we gotta protect those hands!) can be more difficult that a whole quilt. The only real difference is the amount of sewing. So give it a try!

7 comments:

  1. it looks great! love red and aqua fabrics together. the only thing I would do different is to cut the batting/backing fabrics a little larger than the block (about an inch around all sides) so that if they shift a little during quilting you can just square it up. also, just personal preference i like to use wool batting + insulbrite b/c wool is less flammable than cotton.

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  2. Oh wow Mollie, this looks too cute! I need to get some courage and have a go at something like this!

    margarida

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  3. Love this project! I'm trying to find a walking foot for my machine but so far it seems they are pretty expensive!

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  4. That is soooo adorable. Makes me missing my sewing machine so much!

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  5. What a great idea for the binding! Nice quilting btw!

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  6. That was an excellent demonstration of how to quilt. For anyone who's scared to tackle making a quilt, that should give them courage!

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  7. It's lovely! I really like mint and red together, it's kind of my favourite color combo lately :) Thanks for the tutorial!

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