Thursday, March 14, 2013

Easy No Binding Pot Holders Tutorial

You may know by now that I don't like to hand sew binding to the back of a project so I avoid binding whenever I can.  However, my best seller at craft shows are pot holders and most pot holder patterns call for binding.  I decided to make my own pattern with no binding and it's so simple that anyone can make it.

Easy No Binding Pot Holders
(set of 2)
2 - 9 1/2" squares for the front
2 - 9 1/2" squares for the back
2 - 6" x 2" strip same fabric as the back
2 - 9 1/2 " squares of insul brite (this is usually found in the store in the same place as the interfacing)
2 - 9 1/2" squares of batting

Use your creativity to make this your own.  I make the front of the pot holders a lot of different ways - patchwork, applique, with a pocket, adding trim, etc.  Just make sure that you have a 9 1/2" square when you're finished.

It's nice to have a helper.

I cut out one set with the front all one piece, and another set with four patchwork squares.  I cut the patchwork squares 5" x 5".  When I sew them together with a 1/4" seam allowance, I will have a 9 1/2" square.

Cutting Tip:  I used to cut out everything with my rotary cutter but I went through blades so fast that I stopped. Now I use my rotary cutter for the fabric, but for the batting and insul-brite I measure and draw the squares with a permanent marker, and cut it out with scissors. 

This is the fabric that I'm using for this tutorial.  I like to use kitchen-like fabric for pot holders so I'm using herb packets and pots on a brown background for the front.  I like to use a heavy cotton twill or canvas for the back and loop.

First, fold the 2 strips in half lengthwise, right side on the outside and iron.  Then fold the lengthwise raw edges to the crease in the center.  Iron. With everything folded, raw edges on the inside, line up the outside edge and iron.

Edgestitch down both sides of the folded strips.
Tip:  I like to use my blind hem stitch foot so I have a guide for straight stitches.

Find the center of the front pieces along the top edge and baste a strip to the right side of each front making a loop.

Layer the fabric in this order, bottom to top.

  1. Insul brite, silver side down
  2. Batting
  3. Front, right side up
  4. Back, wrong side up

The fabric is layered this way so that the silver side of the insul-brite will be facing the outside on the back of the potholder where it's needed.

Line up the edges of the layers and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving an opening in the bottom.
Tip:  Because there are so many layers I like to use my walking foot so that my fabric doesn't stretch out, but it isn't necessary.
Tip:  Another way to keep the fabric from stretching is to to use a heavier cotton like twill for the back and loop.  This is what I usually do, and with the heavier fabric on top, it eliminates the stretching.

Clip the corners.

Turn the pot holders right side out through the opening in the bottom.  Make sure to poke the corners out the best you can.

Iron the potholders and iron the opening on the bottom closed along the seam allowance.  The better this is ironed, the easier it is to sew.  Stitch the opening closed, close to the edge.

Topstitch around the entire pot holder.

Tip:  If the feed dog won't move the fabric forward when you start to sew it is probably because the presser foot isn't level.  Just wedge something under the presser foot in the back to level it out.  There's a tool that you can buy to do this but I just use whatever I have handy - usually sticky notes.

You're done!


A couple of detail pictures.