Tutorial – Stashbuster Potholders

Y’all may recall the big Michigan House-clean-out project from last spring after my Uncle passed away? Well, one of the things I was most excited to find was my great-grandmother’s sewing machine and several big boxes of fabric scraps, trims, notions and a humongous pile of cotton quilt squares. Every single one of these squares is a remnant of a sewing project, or a piece of clothing she could no longer wear sliced up. This woman was a genius at re-use and I am learning as much as I can from what she left behind.
Anyway, I’ve been sitting on these quilt blocks for a while, knowing I would never turn them into an actual quilt but still wanting to do something cool with them. Finally I decided they would make really cute kitchen accessories. I’m starting with the hotpads, because I remembered my mom having some like these when I was a kid. It took making a couple before I figured out the easiest way, and since I know I’m not the only one with a million tiny fabric scraps, I thought I’d make a tutorial.

First, gather your supplies. You’ll need whatever you’re going to use for the top. Any natural fabric will do, it can be sewn into a mini-quilt, or just left in one big sheet. These are about 8″ square. You’ll also need a backing fabric, and this should be a little heavier-duty. I’m using the legs of some jeans that are no longer wearable.
Next, you’ll want something to pad it with. You could use quilt batting, but since I’m in recycle mode, I chose a couple layers of scrap felt.
Finally, you’ll want some trim. I chose ric-rac because that’s what was on my mom’s. You could use ribbon, cotton lace, piping, or you could just leave it off.

Ready to sew? Ok! Iron your top square and then use it as a template to cut out your backing square.

Then, with right sides together, pin the squares together. If you are using trim, sandwich it inbetween the squares, with about half of it inside where your stitch line is going to be.
Sew three sides together. (my trim here is orange ric-rac, you can barely see it poking out between the squares)

On the open end, stitch just the trim to the top square, following your previous line. This will make it easier when you go to close it up. Next, turn the piece right-side out and give it a good iron. On the open side, iron to the inside about 1/4 of an inch on the bottom, and right along your stitch line on the top.
Now, take whatever you’re using to stuff the pad, and insert it.

Pin closed along your fold line and topstitch closed. Continue your topstitch around the entire square. (note: I broke my topstitch needle. I’m using a regular one and if you don’t have one, it will look like these do, which is fine. A topstitch needle will simply give the stitch more definition)

And there ya go! You just made a hotpad!

Stay tuned for some coordinating tea towels, cast iron pan sleeves, and hostess aprons. Maybe even a few coasters if I can find my glass cutter…


7 thoughts on “Tutorial – Stashbuster Potholders

  1. This brings back memories . . . So, uhm, hint, hint! Would there be Christmas presents?

    Oh, and you could definitely teach Home Ec as a second career. You know some shortcuts/easier ways of doing things that us old timers need to learn.

    And hopefully, the do-it-yourself, homemade, make do attitude is on its way back. For a while, it was practically a lost art. Homemade anything was sneered at, while consumerism (shop ’til you drop!) reigned. Unfortunately, I’m as guilty as the next person. It takes less effort on my part to just buy something. But, I’m really trying to “wake up and smell the roses,” so to speak. Considering the pitiful state of the world economy, I believe more and more people will also begin to embrace the “green” and sustainable philosophy.

    Okay, get me off my soap box . . .

  2. Pingback: Cool Wordpress Tutorial images « ProbloG

  3. Pingback: Vintage quilt squares potholders, version 2.0 « lorigami

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