Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Starting small: New potholders project

We have been in desperate need of new potholders, and I think they also make great gifts. I happened to see some cute patterns on Pinterest, and decided this would make a good small project for returning to doing some sewing/quilting. I used Stash Happy Patchwork's pattern for a Retro Potholder as inspiration for the first ones that I made, and then later I tried Sew4Home's Kitchen Confections pattern for Patchwork Oven Mitts for the last pair that I made (which is the style that I think we'll end up preferring, so I may make some more of this kind). This was a great project for using up small-ish pieces of fabric and left-over batting. For each potholder I used one layer of Insul-Bright, with a layer of Warm&Natural above and below (for a total of three layers of batting); the over-hand pieces just have one layer of Warm&Natural.

I struggled and experimented with different bindings ... first I tried doing zig-zag machine stitches on the binding, which came out OK on a set of lime-green fishy-themed potholders that I made as a housewarming gift for Kim of A Peach In Stitches:
Lime-green fishy-themed potholders, with zig-zag machine stitched binding.
Other side of the lime-green fishy-themed potholders.
Some kitchen towels that I added decorative fabric to, to go with the potholders.
Potholders and towels all bundled up for a housewarming gift.

My Mom's kitchen theme is strawberries, so this meant digging into the stash of strawberry fabrics! I then tried to do the binding using purchased double-fold tape (potholder in lower right corner, below) ... which worked OK, but was really difficult (and not very neat looking) because the potholders are so thick. So, for the remainder I reverted to my usual double-fold binding with hand stitching on the back for the finish. I had hoped to avoid doing any hand stitching, but this oldie-but-a-goodie produced the best final product. I didn't put any hanging loops on ours because we keep our potholders in a drawer and I find the loops sometimes get in the way when you're actually using the potholder.
A bunch of new strawberry potholders for our kitchen -- fronts. The Sew4Home Patchwork Oven Mitts are the pair in the lower middle.
A bunch of new strawberry potholders for our kitchen -- backs.

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