Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gifting {Mini} Quilts

This post is as much for me as it is for you.  My mind is like a sieve and I'd really like to make more of these one day soon without inventing the wheel.

I really enjoy quilting.  Finding the time to quilt is not a favorite task.  My solution this fall was to choose a gift I could give for Christmas that incorporated my favorite aspect of quilting- piecing.  I love choosing colors and patterns that I think work well together and then making them semi-immortal in their pairings. Quilted pot holders are nothing new and there are many different ways of making them.  Sadie's sewing teacher graciously taught me a simple method using bias tape.  While I may have bit off more than I could chew in terms of the number I wanted to make (twenty-one), I thoroughly enjoyed making these.  Scan through the instructions quickly to get the gist or bookmark/pin this post if you'd like to try your hand at these one day, too.

I used only scraps of fabric I had leftover from other quilting projects or swatches a friend had given my from her design firm.  I had to buy the bias tape, some thread to match and a package of thin quilt batting.

I cut out and pieced together nine 3-inch squares per potholder as well as a larger square for the back.  I used three layers of thin quilt batting cut slightly larger.  I pinned together the front, three layers of batting and back then trimmed the edges (before seen above and after, below) so the edges were flush.  Using quilter's chalk and a ruler, I drew straight lines, taking care to make the lines cross the intersections of the squares (and not caring if they came right to the points along the outside where they would be covered with bias tape).

I then quilted over the lines with a beige-colored thread with my sewing machine.

Next, I pinned the bias tape to the back of the pot holder (see below) by opening the tape flat and pinning the left side of the tape to the left top corner of the pot holder.  The corner where I started would become the corner with the loop so I made sure it was also the top of the pot holder- the way I'd want it to hang if any of the fabrics had a picture in it that I didn't want upside-down.  I continued pinning down the side.

Above I'm pinning the corner- keeping the edge of the bias at the edge of the pot holder.  The fold made by the corner will get stitched over- no worries.  I pinned all the way around the four sides, leaving a few inches of a tail at the end.

Then I began sewing a bit to the left of the first seam of the tape (first seam from the left/edge).  It worked well to just line up the left hand side of my pressure foot right along the left edge of the pot holder.

The first one I made I tried to round the corners.  Ha! That was a bit too advanced for me, so I stopped the machine when I got to the horizontal fold closest to the edge of the next side and then pivoted, making a square edge instead.

Stopping (above) and pivoting (below)

When I came around to the start again (below), I flattened out both ends of tape (where I started and where I was sewing) and sewed until I was almost to the edge (where my finger nails are below).

Next, I snipped off the original end so it was flush with the edge but left the long tail which would become the loop.

Next, I trimmed off the corners of fabric and batting (not cutting the bias tape).

Flipping the pot holder over to the front, I wrapped the bias tape around, allowing it to fold on itself so the nice, finished edge was showing.  Next, I pinned the tape to the front, making sure to just cover the stitching I just put in from the back (the seam is uncovered below but covered up and pinned two photos down).

When I pinned the corners I tried to align the fold of the corner with the quilted seam that came into that corner.

Once I had it pinned all round, I bent the tail around to determine how large of a loop I wanted.  I then snipped the tail right along the edge (just to the right of my thumb nail below).

To sew the bias tape on the front, I started at the very end of the tail, trying my best to stay nice and close to the right edge without going off.

Just before I got to the body of the pot holder, I'd stop, lift the pressure foot (but trying to keep it in place with my left hand).  With my right hand, I'd bend around the tail to make the loop, sliding the end of the tail in between the bias tape and the fabric where I was going to sew over next.

Once the tail was in place, forming the loop, I'd put the pressure foot back down and continue sewing just along the edge of the tape, all the way around, pivoting at the corners.

When I got the very beginning again, I stopped stitching just before coming up onto the tail/loop, ending with a couple back-stitches. 

A word of warning: take care not to put your pins into your caramel corn mug instead of your pin tin by accident.

They aren't perfect but they were made with love (and satisfied my quilt cravings).
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  1. Wow! I love them! They look amazing!

  2. Jane! Your hotpads are so pretty! I love choosing the colors, too - which is why I make so many hotpads. I also love to carry around handwork, so I usually handquilt them (with perle cotton) and then handstitch the back of the binding. I also usually make my own straight-grain binding so I can use up more scraps. I'm just awash in scraps.

  3. Those are beautiful - what thoughtful gifts! Thanks for the detailed instructions, too - may need to try my hand at these!

  4. I love these! The binding method is how my mom does it too. So much easier that way. I have so many scraps. This would be a good way to use them and make something super useful and pretty!

  5. Your color combinations are beautiful. I have made quilted potholders with two quilted squares bound together so they are like a mit. I use an old matching towel as the fabric for the sides that face each other on the insides the mit.
    I only make them for birthdays so I don't have too many to do at one time like you did. Amazing!

  6. Those are wonderful! Wish I had more time to quilt. This does seem like a great way to feed the quilting bug. How big do you make them? I love using bias tape. It saves a TON of time.

  7. Awesome! You did an amazing job of making them. I ' m sure they loved their gifts.
    The color combinations are wonderful too!

  8. They are beautiful!! What a special gift...imperfections and all, I'm sure the recipients were THRILLED to receive one as a gift. xox

  9. They Are beautiful! Now I have a new Project! I need pot holders too!, [the store ones are so thin these days] Handmade with love is the best kind of thing to have around!

  10. Lovely, lovely, lovely! I'm sure each and every recipient will treasure theirs as a very special potholder!

  11. What thoughtful and love filled gifts. I want to be adopted by your family so I too can receive one of these. Great instructions.

  12. Oh my cute. I haven't used my sewing machine for years!! But since Christmas it has been calling my name. I have been trying to think of some smaller project I could do to satisfy my craving. You have given my the exact project I need. Thank you Jane! I'm pinning this now for Christmas gifts next year. :) I'm so excited.

  13. Love them! thank you for the tutorial-excellent

  14. Thank you for a great tutorial.

  15. Those are awesome and that's a great tutorial, very thorough and clear. :) I've been wanting to make some of these little quilted potholders for myself! thank you!

  16. These are really lovely - you are very talented and generous! It takes far more time to make such things than to spend some money on a trinket, and I'm sure they will last and be loved!

  17. These are beautiful and I don't quilt and am considering trying them but for other occasions not just Christmas ? birthdays ? easter.


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