Tag Archives: pot holder

String Piecing OR Another Use for the White Pages

Red, White and Blue Pot Holders

So much fun to make

Possibly the ONLY use for the White Pages now that Google has taken over the world.

I had a ball experimenting with string piecing over the last few days. I grabbed a copy of the White Pages, tore out a couple of pages and stitched some fabric strips onto a square that measured roughly nine inches. Then I pressed the blocks, trimmed them to eight and a half inches square, ripped the paper out and zig-zagged down some of the seam lines with a single layer of batting on the back.

After that I followed my usual process for pot holders and stitched around the perimeter, leaving a little opening, just big enough to slip a square of Insul-Brite into. I slip-stitched the opening and then zig zagged a circle in the middle to hold everything in place.

They’re now in my kitchen awaiting the first test with a hot pan. I’m looking forward to using them and to seeing how they bear up in the wash.

These were fun to make – I felt a bit like an improvisational quilter for a while there.

Stash Busting Pot Holders

I have plenty of scraps and plenty of short lengths of fabric that I’ve bought on sale, some as holiday souvenirs. Pot holders are a perfect way to use up the scraps. Christmas will be upon us before we know and I actually could use a couple of new pot holders for myself. Remember the saying about the cobbler’s children having no shoes?

Until now I’ve based my pot holders on traditional 9 inch blocks, my absolute favourite being the churn dash. However, after measuring a much loved (and almost worn out) pot holder from my own kitchen I decided an 8 inch block will work fine.

About.com Quilting has these cutting instructions for an 8 inch block called Sarah’s Choice.

Light Neutral Background
Four 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares
Four 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ rectangles

Dark Print
Two 2-7/8″ x 2-7/8″ squares
Four 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares

Medium Print
Two 2-7/8″ x 2-7/8″ squares
Four 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares

Sarah's Choice Pot Holder

Sarah's Choice

It’s a pretty block. Just wish my points had come out a bit sharper. I’m not entirely convinced I made the right fabric choices either.

Another idea to use up scraps is piecing some strips together. This tutorial at Fresh Lemon Quilts is a great stash-busting idea that uses a seven inch block. The tutorial provides a pattern but I would take a more improvisational approach, using string piecing on a foundation block. I do wonder if a seven inch block is big enough. My hands aren’t big but I do want them to get a good amount of protection when dealing with heavy objects that are hot from the oven.

The Sawtooth Star block let me showcase this cute heart print.

Sawtooth Star with Heart Print Centre

Sawtooth Star

Leah’s Star is another block I considered. This pattern is from Quilt in a Day. She has you sew the half square triangles over-sized and trim them down after pressing them open. That’s a new approach for me. I see the benefits of ending up with a perfectly sized square, but I am also reminded of a lesson shared by an expert photographer, back in the days when that was a passion of mine. He said, “There’s only one exposure, the right exposure.” To me, the wastefulness of deliberately making an oversized block goes against the frugal tradition of quilting. The idea doesn’t sit comfortably with me.

I’m just a little too pressed for time to consider binding a pot holder just at the moment but I do concede that it gives a lovely, professional finish. Fellow blogger supermom kindly shared her very useful instructions for making hanging loops. The instructions are in the comments the follow her post about completing three hot pads. I will definitely give her method a try at some stage in the future.

Fun with Half Square Triangles

Garden Themed HST Pot holders

About.com:Quilting has a nice looking pattern for a Half Square Triangles Scrap Quilt which I’m keeping in the back of my mind for a future project. In the short term I’ve had a play with a couple of garden themed pot holders made of Half Square Triangles.

These potholders are not quite complete as I still need to hand sew the opening and then machine quilt around the edges and in a central spot to keep the batting in place when the pot holders are used or laundered.

A Change of Scale: More Pot Holders

To those of you who are visiting from Quilting Board, thank you for your warm welcome to the discussion group this week. I have been greatly impressed by your skill and your generosity in sharing the lessons you have learned on your own quilter’s journey. I have learned so much from you and it hasn’t even been a week yet!

Four nine Inch potholders at the stage where the opening needs to be hand stitched together

Nine Inch Potholders on the Go


I’m having a change of scale today and trying to clear some space. It’s time to put in a fresh needle, change the thread colour and finish a few pot holders. The step I’m up to now is the part I like least as it involves hand sewing, and that’s not something I enjoy doing so much. It’s going to be a long time before hand quilting seems to me like a good way to spend my time, though I do appreciate the artistry and patience of those who do hand quilt.

In between some baking and other home-based tasks I’ll be finishing up these 9 inch potholders, which use remnants of woollen blanket fabric for batting. As some of you may have read in earlier posts, this is an experiment, with the intention of using the excellent thermal insulation properties of wool to make sure nobody gets a burn while using these potholders.