Thursday, February 18, 2016

Potholders for Christmas

I decided to make potholders as Christmas gifts this year. I’d never made potholders before, but looking online, the directions didn’t seem too difficult. I thought they would be useful items to have, and I also thought they wouldn’t be too difficult or time-consuming to make.

First, I bought a yard of red cotton fabric and made bias tape…that took some time. I decided I wanted to make potholders with a pocket, partly because I think it adds visual interest and partly because I like the added functionality of it. I cut out squares in my chosen fabrics, batting and Insul-Bright. I quilted each fabric piece to batting or Insul-Bright. I added the pocket (that was bias tape edged at the top) to one fabric piece, and then basted all layers together to stay in place. I trimmed the sides. Then I sewed the bias tape along the edges.

In the past, I’ve used bias tape minimally and probably not very well. I looked at my sewing book for directions of how to sew bias tape around corners and tried to follow its directions. I had varying degrees of success. I think it got easier over time, but it still looks rather messy. I also had issues because I wanted a loop for hanging. I did it pretty horrendously the first time and had to redo it. I don’t think my solution looks super awesome (although it’s better than it was), but hopefully it’s functional.

I created four sets of potholders that were all made with 100% cotton. Three of them used navy (scrap fabric from a skirt) as a neutral and the red bias tape for a pop of color. The first set I used blue patterned fabric that was scrap material from a dress I made some time ago.

The next set used a blue geometric pattern that was also scrap fabric from when I made some bags.

The third set used My Little Pony fabric.

The fourth set (top photo) I used a yellow bias tape (that I made). I wanted to use this fun spoon pattern as the main fabric and chose a light gray as an accent color. This is my favorite set that I made (and it was created last, so I think it’s made a bit better).

Discounting the amount of time it took to create my own bias tape, I would say it probably took me about 4-5 hours to create one set of potholders. Some of this was because of trial and error and learning to create something different. I struggled using the bias tape more than I thought would have and was never very happy with it. I also think I’m just on the slower end of the sewing spectrum. Luckily, I managed to finish them all before Christmas.

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