If you’re looking for a way to use up all the small scraps you’ve accumulated through the year, including your extra little pieces of batting, this project is a low-budget way to use the bits you have at home to create easy and simple gifts for your friends and family. Once you get your rhythm going, these potholders can be whipped up in just an hour.
You can watch along with our YouTube video while you sew here:
To begin, get yourself a pile of scraps gathered from around your sewing room in some fun, coordinating holiday colours.
You’ll also need two 6 Inch by 6 Inch squares of fabric for your front and backing, and some batting cut to the same size. If you have a high loft batting, you will only need one piece, otherwise cut two pieces of a low or medium loft batting.
Next, thread your machine. We’ll be using Konfetti, a 50wt 100% Egyptian cotton. This is our preferred thread for the construction of potholders because not only is it a very low lint thread, cotton will also withstand any temperature you subject it to. So, you won’t need to worry about the thread being exposed to ovens and stove tops.
You can find Konfetti™ threads in a shop near you, or online here: https://shopwonderfil.co.nz/product-category/konfetti/
Cut your scraps into long strips, roughly 1 to 2 inches wide and 5 to 6 inches long. They don’t have to be perfect.
Place two strips right sides together and sew down the length.
There is no need to worry about backstitching on the ends. Finger press the seam open or give it a quick press with a hot iron. Continue sewing your scraps together in any combination you prefer until you have roughly a 6 inch by 6 inch sewn piece.
Give the entire piece a press with an iron so it lays flat.
We’ve included a few cute seasonally themed appliqué designs for you to choose from, and if you’d like to use them you can download them for free here: http://bit.ly/2qZQl3u. For this potholder, we’ll be using the candy cane design. You can also create your own design simply by drawing it onto a sheet of paper, and following the same steps as shown below.
Trace the design onto the fabric using a disappearing marker or piece of tailors chalk that can be brushed away after. Then cut it out with a pair of fabric or sewing scissors.
Your design can now be appliquéd to the front side of one of your 6 inch x 6 inch fabric squares. Pin it in the center with some appliqué pins to hold it stable while you stitch.
In the machine, we’ll be switching out the thread to Tutti. Just like Konfetti, this is a low lint 50wt cotton, it just comes in variegated colours so you can have some fun with the appliqué, and create a decorative edge.
You can find Tutti™ in a shop near you, or online here: https://shopwonderfil.co.nz/product-category/tutti/
Choose a built-in stitch on your sewing machine such as a blanket stitch or any of the decorative stitches. Position the presser foot on the edge of the applique, ensuring that the swing of the needle will catch the edge of the applique piece. We recommend a simpler design that doesn’t extend too far so you have more control over your stitching.
Applique all the way around the design, going slowly around the curves as to not miss the edge of the piece you’re appliquéing down.
Next, take your batting layer and place it on the wrong side of your 6 by 6 applique square.
Using a quarter inch seam allowance, sew the pieces together all the way around.
With a pair of scissors, trim the excess batting up to the stitch line while being careful not to accidentally cut the stitching or the fabric.
Now place both 6 inch squares right sides together. Begin sewing about an inch and a half to the left of one of the corners and don’t forget to backstitch.
Sew around to the other side of the same edge and stop about an inch and a half away from the fourth corner and backstitch again. This will leave a few inches wide hole that you can now turn your entire potholder right sides out through.
Poke out the corners so they’re nice and crisp either with your fingers, or carefully with a pair of scissors or a knitting needle and press the entire potholder with a hot iron for a nice crisp edge.
Thread a hand sewing needle with a knot on one end. Bring the needle up through the back edge of the fabric to hide the knot and hand stitch the opening shut.
As simple as that, you have a beautiful handmade gift for friends, family, or for yourself this coming holiday season. The best part is, it’s small enough to use the scraps you already have so you don’t need to hit the stores to buy more material.
If you’d like to make a potholder with leftover quilting blocks we’ve found the perfect tutorial online for the most adorable quilted potholders: https://www.aquiltinglife.com/2017/03/scrappy-patchwork-potholders.html/
Or if you’d like to appliqué this scrappy design onto a new pair of oven mitts to adorn your kitchen with, we’ve found this tutorial: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/free-directions-to-sew-an-oven-mitt-2977980
We hope this inspired you to make this cute and useful, and extremely easy craft with the scraps from your sewing room! You can share your projects and creations with us on social media by using the hashtag #wonderfil. If you’d like to use the threads we used in this tutorial, you can find them at a shop near you or online at www.shopwonderfil.co.nz. You can also sign up for our free weekly newsletter to receive more educational sewing tips, tutorials, and free patterns. Register by clicking here! Happy crafting, and we’ll see you again next time!