Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to make a Quilted Potholder (i.e.: A Tutorial)

Today we are going to make a potholder! I will show you how to make this particular block, but you can use this method to make a potholder out of any of your favorite blocks (Hint- this is a great way to use up orphan blocks or test blocks that you may have laying around. Because seriously, do you really need another  pillow? Me neither....)

Click here for a PDF of this tutorial.

For this project, I used my fabric line Fruitful Hands (Henry Glass Fabrics). The fabric line will (not quite so coincidentally) be in quilt shops this month.

All seam allowances are 1/4". Here is what you will need:

  • 4 1/4" square of focal print (keep in mind that if it is directional, like mine, the square should be cut on the bias)
  • 1 - 3 7/8" square- green polka dot
  • 2 - 3 7/8" squares- orange
  • 4 - 3 1/8" squares- yellow
  • 2" wide by approximately 42" long strip of striped fabric for binding
  • 1 1/2" x 4" green polka dot (for loop)
  • 9" square backing fabric (I used the focal print)
  • 9" square insulated batting (from The Warm Company, see photo below)

Start by cutting the green square into quarters diagonally, then repeat with the orange squares:

Sew an orange triangle to each yellow square:

Then sew another orange triangle to the other side. Cut off those little "dog ears":

Sew 2 of these units to opposite sides of your focal print square:

Sew a green triangle to opposite sides of the remaining 2 yellow square units:

 Sew the large triangle units to opposite sides of the focal print unit to make a block (approximately 8 1/2"):

Layer the backing (right side down), the batting, and the block together:

Your backing and batting will be slightly larger than the block. Pin or spray baste layers together.
Quilt as desired. I just "stitched in the ditch", in other words, right along the seam lines. Trim away excess batting and backing:

To make the loop, press the piece of fabric in half lengthwise, then open up and press the raw edges toward the center fold (right sides out):

Fold in half lengthwise again and top stitch along edge:

Fold in half and sew to top edge of front of potholder (I forgot to take a photo before I started sewing on the binding, so you can see the binding there. Just ignore that for now. Just sew that loop on. So sorry...)

Now we are going to talk about the binding. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with right sides out and press. Fold in one of the short ends diagonally and press:

Pin binding to one edge of potholder and sew as shown below:

Fold the strip up:

Then fold it down, like this, and pin. Stitch along edge, starting and stopping 1/4" from corners:

(Remember the photo of the loop from above? Here it is again. Just sew the binding right over the raw end of the loop, being careful not to catch the folded end of the loop in your binding.)

Continue sewing binding all the around the potholder. When you come back to the first side, trim the binding so that it fits inside the folded starting end of the binding. Sew along edge to finish binding.

Fold the binding to the back of the potholder and pin in place. Machine stitch "in the ditch" along the seam. (You can also hand stitch the binding on the back, but machine stitching will hold up better to repeated washings. It's also faster- and we like that.)

Ta-da! Potholder completed. Now go make 100 more. Christmas is coming......


  1. Beautiful and that fabric is to die for! Congratulations on your fabric line and the potholder is adorable. What great gifts they will make!

  2. Excellent tutorial! I need to get some of that Insul-bright and make me some new potholders. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Lovely tutorial...and I have some insulbright too! =)

  4. Wonderful tutorial. I did make a few but forgot what I did, so great refresher for the steps and using the batting, which I have.


  5. Thanks so much! Good idea to start!

  6. Great tutorial. I do find however that I like to add an extra layer of cotton batting to make it a little thicker and give some extra insulation.

    1. I am amazed at how many tutorials instruct on using only 1- 2 layers of batting. They just aren't safe to use .So glad you mentioned that you up your batting.

  7. Thank you for the excellent and clear tutorial!! I see a Christmas gift for my mom and sister in the future!!!

  8. Thanks for the great tutorial. I can see some Christmas potholder making in my future.

  9. I loved coming here and seeing a tutorial today. Its really nice and clear. I love your fabric too!

  10. This looks like it would go together so quickly. Thanks for a great tutorial. The fabrics are beautiful!

  11. This is gorgeous. I love the colors. I have been wanting to make my daughter a fall birthday gift and I think I found it. Thanks for taking the time. I am new to quilting and this is perfect.

  12. This is really cute. We made hot pads at quilt club this week. They were cute but they used way too much fabric. I am tempted to take it apart and make this instead!

  13. Great tutorial, and I love making pot holders! An now going to make this pattern. Great giveaway at lily pad quilting.

  14. thanx for the tute! you have shown us once again, that you can take your fav block and make a little something with it. love your color combo and fussy cut!

  15. Thanks for the tutorial. I am going to use this as a first quilting project for my boys.

  16. First time seeing you site. You did a great job with the website and your tutorial - very thorough and with excellent pics. Look forward to seeing more.

  17. Joyce Sept. 11, 2013 at 5:40pmSeptember 11, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I agree with Judy. My first time in your site. Became an instant fan. Good job. I plan to make some potholders. Thanks.



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