Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday Sewing - Crazy Quilt Potholders

It's been awhile since I redid all my kitchen towels and potholders and they're beginning to look a little ratty.  And a little scorched in places!  Time for a facelift, so I began with potholders.  These are inspired by crazy quilt blocks, without all the extra embellishments since they'll be washed a lot.  And perhaps scorched again ...  

*scraps of fabric
*small amount of backing fabric
*insulbrite insulating fabric
*about a yard of double fold extra wide bias tape for each potholder (or make your own with this tutorial)
*embroidery floss

1.  Decide how big you want your potholders to be.  I wanted a round shape on the smaller side and used a salad plate for a template.  Measure the dimensions of your template and cut 4 pieces of backing fabric.

2.  Cut your first shape and place it in the center of your block.  I used a square, but any shape will do.

3.  Sew around the edges, very close to the edge.

4.  You're going to want to cover all the edges of your first piece.  I laid this long blue piece on top of the first square (right sides together), sewed it on about 1/4 inch in from the edge, folded it up to hide the seam, and ironed it flat.

5.  Repeat with the next side.

6.  And the third side.

7.  And finally, the last side.  I forgot to take a picture of this piece folded back and ironed, but by now you probably get the idea!

8.  Add additional pieces to cover up all of the background fabric and to add new interesting shapes.

9.  Trace around your template.

10.  And cut out.

11.  Use 6 strands of embroidery floss to cover the seams.  There are lots of good sites on the internet that have good instructions on many embroidery stitches - one of my favorites is Sharon B's Dictionary of Stitches.

12.  Place the embroidered circle on one of the pieces of insulbrite and place this on top of a backing piece.

13.  Pin and cut out.

14.  Pin on bias tape, right sides together, and connecting the ends (see this past post for instructions).  Sew on.

15.   Turn bias tape to the back, pin, and hand sew in place.

16.  Tada!  New potholders!  Now I have to do something about those sad looking dish towels ...

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. I wanted to let you know that I was so inspired by your blog that I made a crazy quilt pillow for my living room using your instructions. It was a lot of fun. Thank you.

    1. Thank you - it made my day to hear this!! I bet the pillow looks great!

  2. Dear Deb....I am computer illiterate and wished you would have a spot telling to print out so I can copy your instructions. My puter is so far from my puter and a copy of instructions help close by would be helpful...Thanks so much

    1. Thank you so much for your simple methods of crazy quilting. I have saved many varied scraps over the years, small to large, of fabrics I liked, thinking that some day I would make some doll clothes or crazy quilting objects just for fun. I didn't realize that crazy quilts would be sewed to a backing. Now I know what to do! I appreciate the embroidery stitch ideas, also--and even the potholder instructions, too. This should be fun!