Thursday, December 19, 2013

diy dillydilly: cheater potholders

Years ago when I ran the five things group we had a potholder swap. I worked my gifted arse off stitching up five chicken potholders, wrestling with the thick insulated padding and breaking needles on bias tape that did not like me one bit. The pay off would be five awesome handmade potholders from five crafty internet friends only the person hosting the swap never mailed them out and that was that. Since then I have wanted to make potholders but have dreaded the idea of all that wrestling. When I decided to make the recipe boards I knew I wanted a stitched potholder but how would I do it? The answer came to me at a very random moment (I think I was at school)...make slipcovers fro dollar store potholders (or other, older potholders you already have). So here is my cheater diy...
Select a pale or plain potholder from the dollar store, thrift store, or your own stash of potholders. Measure the top and one side of your potholder and create a pattern from newspaper with a 1/2" seam allowance on three sides and a 1" allowance on one side. Make sure your pattern is on the fold of the newspaper with your longest sides running perpendicular to the fold.
Iron your fabric if you need to, pin pattern and cut. I used a light-weight mock denim that I am quite in love with (I want to buy a bolt). Fold fabric in half with right-side facing in, pin to hold and stitch along three sides (include the fold) leaving the end opposite the fold open.
Turn right-side out and poke those corners out as much as possible. Fold in the open edge as evenly as you can and press with a hot iron.
Slide your potholder inside, adjust folded opening, pin if you need to and stitch closed. Go around the entire holder with a zig-zag stitch for fun, use a contrasting thread if you like and snip all visible threads. Mister said I should have used chalk to mark my lines but I like it wonky, if you prefer a nice even stitch, use a ruler and chalk to mark your lines.
To add decoration, thread up an embroidery needle with all six skeins of your embroidery thread color of choice and stitch away. Leave all knots on one side of your holder or not...they can add to the design element. Tie off and snip threads and you now have a swanky potholder/trivet!

**if you do not have any potholders and do not wish to purchase any, three or four layers of wool from a felted sweater should do the trick. If you have only two layers, whip up a trivet or coaster set instead and go felt crazy!

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