If you're anything like me, you love giving handmade gifts. Well, at least to the people who love and appreciate them. Many of us have stories of giving ill received handmade gifts. But for now, let's pretend that every gift we lovingly make with our sweet little hands is treasured forever, and given it's own little bed and cozy blankets. Moving on.
I love pretty pot holders; I also have a new obsession with english paper piecing (EPP). I love hand stitching those little hexagons! All of that hand stitching does take awhile though, and we're all pinched for time. So, I decided to make some applique/EPP pot holders! They are precious, if I do say so myself, which I just did. Moving on again.
If you're an experienced quilter, you can look at my pot holder and easily make some of your own, but I'd like to add a little tutorial for beginners. By little I mean the long and tedius kind that I liked when I was learning to sew. If you're not comfortable tackling the EPP part, just skip it, and make some of these with cute fabrics and they'll be awesome!
Here's what you'll need:
*Hexagon flower to applique
*9" square fabric for the top
*10" square cotton batting
*10" square insul-brite (this is great insulated batting, but if you don't have any just use another layer of cotton batting.
*10" square batting
*2 1/2 by wof strip of binding
First thing's first. Go ahead and make some hexagon flowers like this one here. I made flowers with these 1" hexagons (meaning that each side measures 1"). If you'd like to make some and don't know how, google 'english paper piecing tutorials', there are lots of good ones!
Cut a 9" square out of your foundation fabric. I used a nice rustic cotton fabric, I like the texture it has. Then take out the papers from your hexagon flower, and pin your flower to your 9" square. I folded over the foundation fabric and finger pressed (pinched!) the center of each side to mark the middle. Then it's easier to place your flower in the center.
Once it's pinned on, go to your machine and stitch around the edges. I just stitched close to the edge using my edge stitching foot. I love my edge stitching foot, it's my friend.
When your flower is all stitched down, it's time to layer and quilt your precious pot holder. You'll only be quiting the top and your cotton batting. Pin the top to the batting and quilt away. I chose to quilt this one with lines. I had to stop and back stitch whenever I got to the hexagon, but it wasn't too much of a pain. You can sew right over the hexagon if you're feeling frisky, I won't judge.
There, all quilted. Now we get to layer the rest and get the binding on! Layer your little pot holder sandwich with backing face down, then your layer of insul-brite, then the quilted top piece. Pin the layers together to stabilize it, and start sewing the binding on. I'll show you how I like to sew on my binding so I have a nice looking little hangy loop at the corner.
Start sewing your binding on with a 1/4" seam allowance at what will be your top corner, with the edge of the binding over hanging the top edge a little. We'll trim the over hang a little later. This is different than how we start sewing the binding along an edge away from the corner in quilts. It's just special for the hangy loop.
Sew around like normal, but STOP a couple inches before the end! This is where we'll take it out of the machine and fold over and pin the start of the binding. Just go with it, it's all about the hangy loop.
Stop when you're a couple inches from the start... Grab your scissors and trim the bottom edge real quick, so it's flush with the seam allowance.
Fold over and pin. Then keep sewing to the edge so that you sew over and back stitch right over the binding that you just folded over. Now remove from your machine and take a trip to your iron. You know you've missed each other and you want to spend quality time.
Once the binding is sewn on, go ahead and trim with scissors the excess batting and backing.
You'll now press the long tail of your binding so it's all folded nicely, then you'll pin all of the binding to the back like a crazy person before you stitch it closed at the machine.
Like a crazy person.
Now flip it over and stitch in the ditch right to the inside of the binding. Check it once you start sewing to make sure your stitches are catching the binding on the back.
When you get to the end, where the excess tail starts, move your stitching over to the right a bit so that it is sewing on the binding, so your stitches will close it up.
Sew to the end. Now measure about 4" down the tail from the pot holder and tie a knot. Then trim the remainder off at an angle so that it looks real purty. You can use some fray check on the raw edge if you want to feel cool.
The last step is to hand stitch your little hangy loop closed. Just loop it around and stitch it closed behind the knot. I like how the knot looks on the front. It's cute.
Now go make some pot holders for your non-apathetic about handmade gifts people!! x