Saturday, March 21, 2009

Frugal Fun: Make a Potholder!


After all of the Frugal Friday Fun yesterday, I made sure to take and save photos to create a quick 'Scrappy Potholder Tutorial' for today. I've learned that while many quilters sew as well as quilt, many sewers and craftsters don't bother to make their own potholders...something that is so easy and so much fun...and saves so much money when just made out of leftover scraps!

To begin my potholder, I grabbed my first scrapbag of leftover potholder scraps. I keep one of small odds and ends of fabric just for potholders and such...and one of small pieces of leftover batting...just for this purpose. I grabbed the gold bag...because it was the smallest and even scrappy, it still co-ordinated with last years potholder runway collection ;)

To sit down and make a scrappy potholder might take 20 minutes...tops...and is so fun and so liberating...you just wing it and your'e done that when I feel sad or stressed...it's one of the projects that always lifts my spirits immediately.


1. Collect the orphan blocks, strips or strings, you wish to use. These are mine, leftover from last year's table mat and hot pads... and no matter what, I knew I was going to make them...and only them...work.


2. Begin the process of laying down pieces and strips, beginning from the center (I used that one big chunk from photo above, with the stripe in the middle) and adding strips...as if making a crazy quilt.


3. Each piece by piece, is simply sewn down on one side to the batting, flipped to right side and ironed flat. Then the next piece and so on.


4. Because I wanted to be free and easy about this, I made a point of not being particular, only random. I never double checked except with an initial glance. I knew it truly didn't matter. They are meant to be utilitarian, scrappy and will be either dirty or burned anyway;)

Vary sides in a rotating fashion, like a log cabin, only crazy patching as you go around the center section. Stop when you can no longer see the batting piece...then you know it's big enough ;)


5. Because I had cut off the selvages and nothing goes to waste...and selvage use is 'hot' right now...I added the orphan selvage edges to the piece...just using what I had and nothing more.


6. Baste/sew around outside edges and then trim off the extra fabric and batt to size.


7. Add fabric that will act as binding strips around the potholder.The solid scrap of fabric has been placed on the back of the strippy scraps...as seen below...on the other side of the batting to be the back of the potholder.


7. Pin binding strips for sewing down.


8. As you can see from the back, the sewing down of all of the strips becomes the 'quilt as you go' for the potholder. That's more than good enough for me :) And I added a scraggly little cut-out heart from the scraps...because I could.... and because I try to add a little heart to all of my work ;)


10.Voila! A finished potholder, no cost, almost no effort, made entirely of small scraps and leftover's. And...yes, I even chose to not remove any visible basting stitches because being picky is neither liberated, random or free. And what's the point of being scrappy and picky at the same time?

And now, I can add it to all the scrappy odds and ends potholders that turned into frugal finishes last year...just about this time, too! Project Quilting Runway...take this easy finish! Ta Da and Happy National Quilting Day!


6 comments:

  1. If you use regular quilt batting, doesn't the heat of the cookie sheet/casserole dish transfer through?? I thought I needed to use the heat-kind from HOP?

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  2. I've found a natural quilt batting ie wool, cotton or bamboo works well with a couple of layers. Just as well as my tea towel does :) I'd actually taken a heap of photos to make a similar tute myself last week :) Great minds thinking alike! I had mine string pieced and a pocket on the back for the hand. I was waiting to publish it after my swap partner received it. Still madly sewing dance costumes here. One more blouse to go and some straps/suspenders for the boys shorts.

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  3. Great pot holder! I shall have to give it a try sometime! 8-)

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  4. Pot holders are so practical, yet we do indeed forget about them. I like your tutorial and it's a great way to use scraps of extra fabrics. Thank you for sharing this.

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  5. Oooo, I love little potholder. Plus,I have fabric and scraps to spare..now I know just what I'll use them for. Sure hope mine look as good as yours.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon. Leave a comment and your blog will be visited, as well!