Pot holders – Part I

Now that we’ve finished Z’s quilt, I’m moving into Christmas presents. First up: pot holders.

I don’t have a particularly large family, but most of my relatives live within 45 minutes for each other, and they’re very close knit.  It means there’s a lot of gift giving.  Everyone gets presents.  To try to allay the cost of all the presents, I try to make presents rather than buy them.  This year I decided to make pot holders.

As you know, I prefer not to post about gifts until the recipients have received them, but I purposely haven’t told most of my family about the blog just in case – since I’m frequently making gifts for them.  I think it’s unlikely any of them will stumble upon it between now and Christmas.

I started by buying the insulating kind of batting that I’ve seen in quilting catalogs.  When I ordered it online, the website said to use an additional layer of regular batting, too, so that’s what I did, but I’m not sure that’s necessary.  I used InsulBright but I’m sure there are other brands.

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My original plan was just to make square pot holders, but the InsulBright instructions said to direct the shiny side of the insulting batting toward the heat source, because that side reflects heat.  That made me worried that, if someone held the pot holder with the non-shiny side facing the hot surface that they might get burned.  I thought about how to designate a right side and a wrong side of the pot holder, and I finally decided to add straps to the “wrong” sides of the pot holders.  You’ll see that coming up.  I made six sets of pot holders and I’ll cover one set each day.

I’ll start with the pot holders I made for my aunt M (and my uncle R).  You’ll remember that Aunt M loves the color purple and I made her an all-purple quilt last year.  I chose purple fabrics for her pot holders, too.  It’s a joint gift, but I’m afraid I prioritized Aunt M’s style over Uncle R’s.  I don’t think he’ll mind.  Here are the two fabrics.  I had originally planned to make little hanging loops, hence the ribbon, but I scrapped that plan once I decided to make the straps.

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I wasn’t sure how big to make the pot holders and I decided on approx. 9″ square.  (I think normally pot holders are more like 7″ or 8″ square.)  I cut out two 10″ squares from each of the purple fabrics.  I laid out the regular batting, then the InsulBright with the shiny side facing up, then one fabric square (right side up), and lastly one fabric square (right side down), so I had a four-layer sandwich.  I pinned the layers in place and cut around the edges.

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I marked my sandwich with pins to denote where I should sew around the edges and where to leave the edges open.  This was for two purposes: first, so I could turn my sandwich right side out, and second, to leave space for where I’d be inserting the straps.

I sewed around the edges, leaving approximately 3″ open on parallel sides of each sandwich.  Then I turned them right side out.

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Next, I did the quilting.  I quilting most of the pot holders by machine, including Aunt M’s.  I traced geometrical designs with silver pencil.  I think the above picture is too small for the designs to show up, unfortunately, so you’ll have to take my word for it.  I sewed the designs with purple thread.

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I’m afraid I’ll have to continue this post tomorrow, as I’m having an issue uploading my pictures to the site.  Hopefully I’ll be able to resolve it tomorrow and I can show you the quilting.

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