Creative articles about sewing

Advent calendar 2017 – the twelfth door

Good morning lovelies,
I am opening window 12 of the BERNINA Advent calendar…

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Today, we are sewing pot holders – these are used at the Christmas table for carrying hot dishes.
To enable beginners to join in and also give more advanced sewers a bit of a challenge, I have two sets of instructions for you: a slightly easier version made from fabric strips and another made from fabric squares. To help international readers, I use inch measurements in the blog, but I suspect most of you have an inch ruler or a cutting mat in inches.

Materials:

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

For the strip version:

  • 4 strips measuring 2.5″ x 8.5″
  • 2 layers of Thermolan fleece, each slightly bigger than 8.5″ x 8.5″
  • 1 square of fabric for the back, slightly bigger than 8.5″ x 8.5″
  • 1 fabric strip for the binding measuring 2.5″ x the width of the fabric
  • 1 small hanging strap 5″ long

For the square version:

  • 16 fabric squares with a side length of 2.5″
  • 2 layers of Thermolan fleece, each slightly bigger than 8.5″ x 8.5″
  • 1 square of fabric for the back, slightly bigger than 8.5″ x 8.5″
  • 1 fabric strip for the binding measuring 2.5″ x the width of the fabric
  • 1 small hanging strap 5″ long

In addition, I recommend you have: an inch ruler that is 2.5″ wide (mine is 2.5″ x 12.5″ and is my absolute favourite tool for patchworking), a rotary cutter and a cutting mat.
Once you have cut everything out, we can get started:

Tutorial for pot holders made from strips

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Place the 4 strips of fabric right side up in front of you in the order you want them to be.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Fold the 2nd strip over onto the 1st and the 4th strip onto the 3rd with the right sides together and close the seam (blue clips).

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

For this, I use Patchwork foot #97, which sews the perfect seam allowance thanks to its 1/4″ distance from the edge.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Then press your two pieces and sew them together with the right sides together along the long edge, which is then also pressed.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Place this top piece onto 2 layers of Thermolan and the backing fabric, which has its right side facing down. Pin all the layers together – or alternatively, you can also use spray adhesive to prevent anything from slipping.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

It is now time to quilt your pot holder. It is up to you which pattern you choose – free-motion quilting, straight lines or a decorative stitch on your sewing machine. I decided to opt for a decorative stitch.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Once you have done this, press the long strip of fabric for the binding down the middle with the wrong sides together and sew it on round the edge on your sewing machine. I will not show you in detail how to sew on a binding as there are plenty of excellent instructions available.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

During quilting, the fabrics can easily slip and this is why it is a good idea to cut out the fleece and the backing slightly bigger. Cut off the protruding edges afterwards, using your fabric scissors.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Fold the binding backwards over the open edge and sew it on by hand using blindstitch. It is helpful to secure it in place with a few fabric clips so that everything is nicely positioned, especially at the corners.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

I like to do this task on the sofa in the evening while watching a good film or our favourite series :).

We now move on to the slightly more difficult pot holder:

Tutorial for pot holders made from squares

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Arrange your 16 fabric squares in the order you want them. Sometimes it looks more elegant to follow a certain pattern – such as diagonal stripes – and sometimes mixed-up coloured patterns look equally beautiful – you can be as creative as you like! As an extra little eyecatcher, I have sewn the words “Bon appetit” onto the light blue square, so the pot holder fulfils another purpose.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Start by placing the 2nd square onto the 1st and the 4th square onto the 3rd in each row. Close these seams (red clips).

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

After you have pressed these, you now have lots of pairs of squares in front of you.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Place the 2nd fabric pair onto the 1st and close the seam.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

These are also pressed. Note that the seam allowances of the 1st and 3rd rows point in the opposite direction to the seam allowances of the 2nd and 4th rows.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Now put the 1st row onto the 2nd and the 3rd onto the 4th.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

The reason for pressing the seam allowances in opposite directions is that it makes it easier to bring the seams together.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

After sewing and pressing again, you have your top made up of 16 squares sewn together.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

From this point on, the remaining steps are the same as for the striped pot holder.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

I have chosen diagonal lines for the quilt pattern.

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

And once you have sewn on the binding by hand – congratulations, your festive pot holders are ready!

Adventskalender 2017 – das zwölfte Türchen

Festive greetings,
Sara

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