Last week I got happy mail from Olfa.com.. the new 45mm Endurance Rotary Blade, 12” X 17” Folding Mat, and a Splash Rotary Cutter. This new blade is super sharp and cuts like butter, as I expected because I already use and love OLFA products. But it's supposed to cut two times as long as the standard OLFA blade - and it also fit into a regular 45mm cutter! So, I decided to put it to the test.
I needed new potholders in my kitchen and patchwork potholders sounded best. Who else but a quilter would cut up good fabric just to sew it together again?
These potholders have pockets for your hand on the back. Because if you're going to sew a beautiful potholder, you might as well make it incredibly functional too.
Here's my free pattern for the Patchwork Potholder with pockets on the back...
You will need:
6 - 5'' charm squares of fabric for the patchwork
various small pieces of fabric for the potholder back and pockets
56'' of bias cut fabric cut 2 1/2'' wide (1 piece 40'' long and 2 pieces 8'' long) - See my awesome video showing how to make continuous bias binding.
a 8'' x 12'' piece of Insulbright insulated batting
1/2 yard 100% cotton quilt batting
quilt basting spray (such as SpraynBaste or 505)
1. Stack the 5'' charm squares together on your cutting mat.
2. Cut them in half twice to get 24 - 2 1/2'' squares. The OLFA 45mm Endurance Blade really does cut through 6 layers with no problem. Thanks to the tungsten tool steel blade it saves you time and money, because its designed to cut twice as long to extend time between blade changes!
3. Also cut:
1 backing fabric and 1 piece of insulated batting from the main pattern piece
1 rectangle 9 1/2'' x 13 1/2'' from the cotton batting (I cut mine out in the oval shape too early in the picture above - oops!)
4 fabric pieces from the pocket pattern piece (two will not show and can be from scraps)
2 cotton batting pieces from the pocket pattern piece
1 fabric strip 2'' x 7'' for the hanging loop
subcut the 56'' of 2 1/2'' wide bias cut fabric into 2 pieces 8'' long and 1 piece 40'' long
Sew the Patchwork:
1. Arrange the 24 small squares into 4 rows of 6.
Tip: I like to arrange small patchwork projects like this on my 12” x 17” Folding Cutting Mat so I can easily move everything to my sewing machine without messing up the arrangement.
2. Sew the small squares together to make a 8 1/2'' x 12 1/2'' piece. If you are new to patchwork, check out the free Craftsy class Piece Patch Quilt - I learned so much from it!
3. Use the quilt basting spray to adhere the patchwork piece to the 9 1/2'' x 13 1/2'' piece of cotton batting. Quilt it however you like (or not at all). I marked diagonal likes with a hera marker and then quilted them with my walking foot.
4. Cut out the potholder front from your quilted patchwork using the main pattern piece.
Assemble the Potholder:
1. Layer the quilted piece, insulated batting piece, and potholder back together with the right sides of the potholder top and back facing out. Clip or pin around all of the edges.
2. Layer the 4 pocket fabric pieces together with the 2 pocket batting pieces in the same way. Clip or pin around the curved edges.
3. Machine baste around all of the curved edges on the potholder main piece and the pocket piece a scant 1/4'' from the edge.
4. Bind the straight edges of the pocket pieces as follows:
Fold a 2 1/2'' x 8'' bias strip in half, wrong sides together.
Pin or clip the strip to the back side of a pocket piece with the raw edges aligned.
Stitch the strip to the pocket with a 3/8'' seam allowance.
Wrap the binding around to the front of the pocket and sew it down close to the fold.
Repeat to bind the other pocket piece.
5. Pin or clip the pocket pieces to the back of the main potholder piece as shown above. Machine baste around the potholder a scant 1/4'' from the edge.
Make the hanging loop:
Fold the 2'' x 7'' strip in half lengthwise and press.
Fold and press the long edges to the center.
Fold in half again and press.
Topstitch close to both long edges.
Fold the strip in half and sew the ends to either side of the potholder a scant 1/4'' from the edge. I think the loop works great on either side!
Bind the Potholder:
1. Fold the 2 1/2'' x 40'' strip in half, wrong sides together.
2. Pin or clip it around the back of the potholder. The raw edges should be aligned. Leave about 6'' free along one straight edge, with long tails of binding at either end (at least 10'')
3. Sew the binding around the potholder with a 1/4'' seam allowance. This seam allowance is narrower than the other binding to account for all of the thick layers. Remember to leave a 6'' straight edge open.
4. Take the potholder to your ironing board and carefully bring the binding ends to meet at the middle of the unsewn edge. Fold each end of binding back on itself and press to form a crease on each end where they meet.
5. Unfold the binding ends and place them right sides together, matching up the creases. You will have to fold the potholder to help the ends meet. Stitch along the creased line.
6. Trim away the extra binding with a 1/4'' seam allowance and press the seam open. Re-fold the binding strip as before and finish sewing it to the potholder.
7. Wrap the binding around to the front of the potholder. Pin or clip it in place. Sew it down close to the edge.
And you're done. Unless of course if you decide to make another because the only thing better than one beautiful patchwork potholder is two!