Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial

by Suzan Ferreira
Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial featured image of final hot pad

What do you do when you literally burn through your existing potholders or hot pads? Make some!! This versatile, quick & easy quilted potholder tutorial is a project than anyone can complete regardless of sewing experience.

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Whether you are replacing well-worn existing hot pads, practicing your sewing or quilting skills, or looking to make a unique personalized gift, this simple quilted potholder is something anyone can make. With few supplies needed (sewing machine is optional!), this project is one that is rewarding & useful.

WHY MAKE YOUR OWN

Being asked this question repeatedly, “why take the time to make your own?” is commonly heard. There are many reasons why making it yourself is more rewarding than purchasing.

  • PRIDE – Making “anything” on your own creates a strong sense of pride.
  • ACHIEVEMENT – When looking at something you’ve created with your own two hands, you cannot help but feel a sense of achievement. A “look what I made” moment 🙂 .
  • APPRECIATION – When you make it yourself, better known as DIY, an appreciation for all that goes into creating a product whether purchased or DIY’d; the time, energy, & expense of creating it, begins to develop.
  • SELF-CONFIDENCE – Self-confidence is created by doing it on your own.
  • INCREASED CREATIVITY – Creativity needs to be nurtured, developed, & practiced.
  • HAPPINESS – In a controlled study conducted with Johanna Brunneder on “how making products influences the consumption experience” it was found when individuals make it themselves, “they appreciate it to a greater degree, are likely to consume it more mindfully, and experience greater domain-specific and general well-being”.
  • FUN – Simply put, it’s fun! An example of how fun and rewarding doing it yourself is can be found in an article by Anna M. Clark, “The Joy of DIY” from the Huffington Post.

Getting into the real nitty-gritty of why it’s important to get back to our roots & begin making it ourselves again, be sure to keep a lookout for, “Let’s Get To The Root-Why We Should DIY” coming to the blog soon.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Calling all beginners! This project is perfect for ANY level of expertise. You can make it as simple as the one shown below or as involved as creating a “quilter’s block” (great for practicing those quilting skills!). A beautiful more involved round quilted potholder example can be found over at Polkadot Chair.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

The following supplies will be needed to create 2 quilted potholders.

  • 1/4 yard each of two complimentary fabrics (front & back) OR 2 Fat Quarters
  • 1/6 yard coordinating fabric for the binding
  • 1/4 yard Insul-Bright (a thin batting-like material that has an insulating layer on one side and batting on the other. Note in the picture below the insulation is on top of the layers) can be found HERE
  • Two 9″x9″ pieces of cotton batting. My favorite batting can be found HERE
  • Coordinating thread
Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial upclose side view of what insul-brite looks like

The following instructions are for creating 1 quilted potholder. If two are desired, double the amounts cut.

QUILTED POTHOLDER INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1 – Gathering Needed Materials

Sometimes the hardest part of any project is picking out your materials. Finding fabrics that contrast yet coordinate can be a challenge. Fortunately, these fabric pieces were in the stash and readily available. Once you have your fabrics chosen and the rest of the materials gathered proceed on to the next step.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial picking out fabrics

Step 2 – Cutting

Cut out 2 pieces of fabric, one for the top side and one for the bottom, each 8.5″ square. Larger ones can be created (great for any male cooks in the house) by simply increasing all measurements by 1/2″.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial front and backing cutout

Cut out 1 each of both the Insul-bright and the batting, each measuring 9″ (you want both to be 1/2″ larger than the fabric cutouts. Again if increasing size, add 1/2″ to the measurement.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial insul-brite and batting cut out

Cut the binding strips. The fabric should be cut into 2.5″ x WOF (width of fabric) strips (do not increase the size of the binding if making a larger potholder, the measurement remains 2.5″/increase the length needed however). If you’re cutting from a smaller piece of fabric, you will need approximately a total of 40″ in length. As the fabric chosen for this potholder was small and the goal was to make two quilted potholders (eventually 🙂 ) several strips were cut.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial strips of fabric cut for binding of quilted hot pad

Step 3 – Create The Binding

Join the strips together to create one long strip. To join, simply place right sides together and stitch with 1/4 inch seam.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial example of placing binding right sides together for stitching
Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial sewing binding strips together

Finger press the 1/4″ inch seam open to lessen any bulk created.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial closeup view of finger pressing seam of binding open

Fold joined strips in half.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial pinching binding in half

Press folded strips to create the final binding strips.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial ironing binding in half

Traditionally binding is completed on the “bias” as the fabric is woven. Bias simply means cutting at a 45-degree angle to lessen the possibility of the fabric warping when working with it. Since this project is fairly small, this step was skipped by the very lazy seamstress 🙂 .

A wonderful tutorial on how to cut on the bias can be found over at Pate-Meadows Designs.

Step 4 – Creating The Quilters Sandwich

Lay the bottom fabric face down, add both the Insul-bright and the batting on the bottom fabric, and then add the top fabric face side up. Be sure that the bottom fabric and the top fabric align. You have created a quilters “sandwich”. The batting & Insul-brite should overhang the top and bottom fabric pieces.

Pin through all the layers in 4-6 different areas along the edging, preparing your “sandwich” for quilting.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial layers of front and back fabric with batting and insul-brite sandwiched together and pinned ready for quilting

Step 5 – Quilting

Quilt all layers together. Simply put, sew all the layers together. This is a great practice for those wishing to improve their FMQ (free motion quilting) skills, that would be me 🙂 , or simply quilt together using straight lines evenly spaced apart. The design chosen for this project with FMQ is a “meandering” style…simple curves all over. Please don’t judge as this skill is very new to this quilter 🙂 .

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial closeup view of quilting

Step 6 – Trimming

Once the quilting is complete, trim the batting & Insul-bright from around the edges. The square should be about 8 1/2″. If slightly under those measurements, no worries. Quilting may cause the total circumference to slightly “shrink”.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial quilted hot pad trimmed and ready for binding

Step 7 – Attach Binding

Place the completed binding strip on the top side of the potholder, raw edge (open side) of the strip aligned with the edge of the hot pad (the folded side facing toward the center of potholder). Leave approximately 4 -5 inches of the binding free (leaving a tail) and begin attaching the binding with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Begin sewing in the middle of the pad, backstitching to secure the end.

The purpose of this “tail” and beginning 1/2 way down the length is to leave an opening or gap after sewing 3/4 of the way around the pad, giving room to be able to join the ends of the binding to finish off.

Sew to 1/4 inch to the edge or end of the first side. Backstitch to secure & clip the threads. Apologies for the picture quality below showing stitching to 1/4 inch of the end (edge) of the first length.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial stitching binding on to 1/4 inch from edge

Remove the pad to adjust the binding strip and prepare it for attaching it to the next side. Take the binding strip and fold it to the right so that is it perpendicular to where you were you just stitched, and aligning the raw edge to the edge of the next side of the hot pad.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial demonstrating how to fold binding for corner

Fold it back onto itself so that the raw edges of the strip align with the outer edge of the potholder, being sure that the strips folded edge aligns evenly with the top of the pad as well.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial demonstration of turning corner while stitching binding on

Begin stitching right at the top, backstitching to secure, and stitch all the way down the length of the side. Stopping 1/4 inch from the edge, backstitch and clip the threads.

Repeat the above steps for attaching the binding all the way around the hot pad. Once you have turned the last corner, stitch about 1/2 inch, backstitch to secure.

Step 8 – Attaching Binding Ends

After stitching around the last corner and stopping about 1/2 inch in, you will have an opening between the two binding ends on the last side about 4-5 inches in between.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial image with binding opening ready to stitch together

The binding ends need to be joined before proceeding further. Lay the binding down along the edges and find where they meet. Pinch together to find where they meet.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial demonstration of pinching binding ends together to find stitching line

Open both binding pieces up and place right sides together. Mark both binding pieces where they meet to create a stitch line.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial opening binding fabric right sides together

Stitch the two binding pieces together (making sure right sides are aligned). This will take some maneuvering but it can be done 🙂 .

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial closeup of stitching binding edges together

Trim the binding about 1/4 inch above the stitch line and finger press open the seam.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial binding stitched and trimmed finger pressing seam open

Lay the binding down once again with raw edges toward the edge of the pad and complete attaching the binding to the pad, backstitching to secure.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial final stitching of binding after ends are sewn together

Step 9 – Turning & Creating Corners

Turn the binding right side out and fold it over the raw edge of the hot pad so that it covers the other side of stitching and secure with pins or clips every 3-4 inches.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial turning binding right side out

To create the corners, hold the edge of the binding down at the 1/4 inch seam allowance area. Please don’t judge the meandering FMQ…still needs a lot of practice 🙂 .

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial demonstrating how to fold corners for edges

Fold the next length of binding down to create a nice fold and secure in place with a pin or clip.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial example of creating a folded edge for the corner

Continue this around the potholder until all the binding is set in place and ready to be stitched to secure. To attach the remaining edge of the binding to the pad you have two options. Machine (stitching in the ditch) or hand sewing. Hand sewing for this inexperienced machine stitcher is by far the neatest and easiest, but the most time-consuming. As this project has been all about practicing skills and is not going to be given as a gift, stitch in the ditch it will be 🙂 .

Step 10 – Stitching In The Ditch

Working with the front side up and beginning in the middle of one side of the hot pad, align the sewing needle along the “ditch” (where the binding has been attached to the pad). Sewing in the ditch will catch the folded edge of the binding on the other side. Sew all the way around and backstitch to secure.

Simple Quilted Potholder Tutorial end product image

Although not perfect, this small project has been a skill builder and one that anyone can complete. Have you made your own potholders? If so, what is your favorite pattern? Love for you to join in the conversation below! While you’re at it, be sure to subscribe to stay on top of all the “happenings here on the hill”! Happy Stitching!

Love, Light, & Laughter ~

Signature of Suzan from It's My Sustainable Life
Simple Quilted Potholder pinnable image for Pinterest

This article was shared on the Homestead Blog Hop, Farm Fresh Tuesdays, and Saturday Sparks, AND featured on the Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Saturday Sparks, Farm Fresh Tuesday, and Scraptastic Saturday!

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49 comments

Beth Shields July 13, 2020 - 4:32 pm

I have made potholders before but never free quilted. I will have to try this. Looks like a great gift idea. Thanks!

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Lisa Lombardo September 11, 2019 - 12:07 am

Congrats on your feature on the Simple Homestead Hop last week!

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April J Harris September 9, 2019 - 5:17 pm

What a pretty potholder, Suzan, and your step by step instructions make it look quite straight-forward, even for someone not so crafty like me! I really like your ideas around why you should make your own things as well. Thank you so much for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Community. I’m featuring your post at the link party this week. Hope to ‘see’ you there! Have a lovely week!

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Suzan Ferreira September 9, 2019 - 7:35 pm

Thank you for reading and your kind comments, April! AND for featuring the tutorial. I’m so glad you found it of value.

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Chantelle Jeffers September 4, 2019 - 6:31 am

Beautifully illustrated thanks very inspiring. 🙂

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Christina Furnival Real Life Mama September 4, 2019 - 3:13 am

So impressive! I used to love sewing..I need to pick it back up again!

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Cindy September 3, 2019 - 7:48 pm

I love these! So pretty. The Joplin tornado in 2011 got my sewing machine. But my mom has one. This would be a fun Christmas gift project to do together!

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Suzan Ferreira September 4, 2019 - 2:26 pm

And a lovely way to spend the time together! Thank you for reading, Cindy!

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Lisa September 3, 2019 - 3:13 pm

I’ve been wanting to get more creative with my sewing machine. Thank you for posting this. I love your fabric choices.

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:30 pm

Oh that makes me happy, Lisa! Thank you for reading.

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Lisa Lombardo September 10, 2019 - 6:12 pm

I’m featuring your potholder tutorial on Farm Fresh Tuesdays today! Thanks so much for sharing, Suzan!

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Suzan Ferreira September 11, 2019 - 12:26 pm

Thank you, Lisa! I’m honored to be featured.

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Bee September 3, 2019 - 2:57 pm

This is a great tutorial! Your site really makes me want to get back into crafting. I used to do a lot when my kids were little and somehow the past few years it’s fallen to the wayside. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:30 pm

Yay!! Love to hear things like this. Thank you for taking the time to read!

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T.M. September 3, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Very crafty and resourceful!! I used to make potholders when I was younger ~ using a loom. It’s been a long time, though ~ yet I feel a little more inspired to see if I still have it in my memory box.

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:32 pm

I think I still have the loom packed away! They were always so colorful, quick to make, and lasted forever!

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Amber September 3, 2019 - 12:13 pm

Over the years I have accumulated a very nice sewing machine, surger, and a few other crafting machines… this tutorial made me anxious to pull them out and start on some crafts. Maybe some kitchen towel and matching pot holders. Thanks for the tutorial!

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:33 pm

Your welcome, Amber! Be sure to come back and share your end results!

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Shannon September 3, 2019 - 6:23 am

Great step by step. My daughter just got a sewing machine. I will show her this!

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:34 pm

Come back and let us know how she does!

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Sylvia | Grace for a Gypsy September 3, 2019 - 4:57 am

So cute! Im pinning for later when i have some time to make this! Found at Over the Moon 189

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:34 pm

Thank you, Sylvia!

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Karla Petersen September 3, 2019 - 4:43 am

Very good directions for a simple project. I’m pulling out my stash in the morning. I need several!!!!

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Melissa Jones September 3, 2019 - 1:03 am

That is great! The detail in your post would make it easy for someone to follow the directions! (I’m not that crafty, but I love it! It’s beautiful!)

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Tricia Snow September 3, 2019 - 12:15 am

What a cute project! I loved making potholders as a kid. I need to look into this again!

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Pauline September 2, 2019 - 10:55 pm

This looks like a nice winter project or a kids project for 4H. This is really cute.

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:35 pm

Absolutely, Pauline. Thanks for reading!

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Hollie September 2, 2019 - 9:29 pm

Thanks for the idea and the detailed instructions! I’m excited to give it a try! They will make great Christmas gifts for my extended family!

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:35 pm

They certainly do! Have fun.

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Jen September 2, 2019 - 8:51 pm

This would make a beautiful and practical gift – and in my opinion homemade gifts are extra special! 🙂

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Matt Epley September 2, 2019 - 7:24 pm

Great tutorial! So good even a guy who’s never touched a sewing machine could do it. 😉

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:36 pm

Hahaha! Yes, even them 🙂

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Carol September 2, 2019 - 6:38 pm

Suzan, this looks beautiful and easy to make. Thanks for your clear, step-by-step instructions!

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:36 pm

Your welcome!

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Lisa Manderino September 2, 2019 - 5:11 pm

I always need pot holders! This is a great tutorial! Thanks!

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Linda September 2, 2019 - 3:37 pm

Wow, I am so super impressed with anyone who knows how to handle a sewing machine! And I like the stat on making and using your own products, makes a lot of sense.

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Ramae Hamrin September 2, 2019 - 3:03 pm

Excellent tutorial and beautiful pot holder! I am slowly getting back into sewing — mostly repairing chewed up stuffed dog toys for now — but projects like these look fun and make fantastic, personalized homemade gifts. Thank you for sharing this project!

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:38 pm

You are most welcome, Ramae!

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Lisa September 2, 2019 - 2:50 pm

Awesome tutorial, very easy instructions.

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Beth Balberchak September 2, 2019 - 2:48 pm

What a fun project! Thanks for the info! Pinned for later 🙂

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:38 pm

Thank you for reading & pinning Beth!

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Angela September 2, 2019 - 2:13 pm

Cute idea and would be fun for gift giving using holiday colors

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Suzan Ferreira September 3, 2019 - 4:39 pm

Absolutely!

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Michelle August 30, 2019 - 5:07 pm

Fantastic tutorial! Pinning!

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Suzan Ferreira August 30, 2019 - 6:12 pm

Thank you, Michelle, for your kind words & pinning!

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Anita Holland August 30, 2019 - 1:09 am

Great project, thanks for sharing.

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Suzan Ferreira August 30, 2019 - 6:12 pm

Thank you for reading, Anita!

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Lori Roach August 28, 2019 - 2:08 pm

This is an excellent, detailed tutorial! Easy to follow, and even though the post is long, it does not look like a difficult project. I’m thinking Christmas gifts for everyone! (including myself) Pinning on my personal page for Holiday reference!

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Suzan Ferreira August 28, 2019 - 4:42 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Lori! Yes, they make wonderful gifts either using seasonal fabrics or not. Thank you for reading & pinning 🙂

Reply

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