Beginner Seamstress Practice Item: Potholders

009 I needed a project to take to the ASG meeting yesterday, and my potholders looked pretty horrible, so I decided to make new potholders.   (Normally I hate all home dec sewing, I think it’s boring. I appreciate the results and OTHER people’s home dec sewing, I just don’t like doing it.  So, something to take to a meeting where I can get something done that needs doing without taking up precious “real” sewing time?  Win).  (I like to have all my gear to do garment sewing, this is why I don’t find it particularly portable, unless I’m setting a hem or something I can do by hand).

This is a great project for the very beginner seamstress, because it doesn’t matter if you screw it up.  Really – you’re going to hold the potholders in your hands while you pull lasagne out of the oven, thus dipping the potholder in tomato sauce and coating it in grease and… it really doesn’t matter if your stitches are perfect.  Cute potholders are a win, but so long as they’re thick enough to do the job of protecting your hands from hot things, they work.

So you can practice your technique – straight stitching, taking corners, sewing curves… or in my case, playing about with my walking foot to see 008if I could do some free-motion quilting.  (Because I am incapable of thinking out projects that are straightforward).

The first two I did with the walking foot at the meeting, and fiddled about.  The other two I whipped up at home this morning, because I had bits cut out and wanted to finish the project.  If anyone is wondering, the spiral stitch was by far the fastest to sew.  I added denim to one side for extra insulation.  All the materials were in my stash.

Walking Foot Try #1:  Waves – Not very even, and I found that on “bunny”, the stitches were highly irregular in length (with the walking foot, your hands move the cloth along).  But went alright – this is the first walking foot freehand quilting I’ve ever done.

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Walking foot try #2 – tracing the pictures.  Went okay since I put this on “turtle”.  Some overlap from front to back because I hadn’t planned that out, but it was pretty easy.

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Potholder Construction Notes:

First you make a fabric and batting sandwich.  Use plenty of batting, you’ll be surprised how much it quilts down.

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Then, having quilted it down however you liked, you cut off the raw edges, and bind it with bias binding.  Easy.   Gives you some practice on your bias binding application, which I for one can always use.

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That’s it.  Now you have a potholder.

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