Thursday, July 21, 2011

Denim Pot Holder Tutorial

IMG_3439Update 14/12/10   I have changed the size I cut of the pretty fabric and the denim squares  from the below diagram.  Now I cut pretty fabric 8 1/2" square and I cut the denim 9 1/2" square. It doesn't matter what sizes you cut so long as the denim is about 1" larger than the pretty fabric and the batting squares are 1/2" smaller than the pretty fabric.

A few weeks ago I blogged about the denim pot holders I had my grandsons make from old denim jeans when they were here.  I have had several more questions about them so decided to post a tutorial on making them.   The frog one above is one that I got as a gift from a friend many years ago and it has seen much use and sparked the idea for the project.  This is one of my favorite pot holders as it really shields my hands from the hot pots and pans.IMG_3399 numbers
I made mine bigger than the frog one and cut the fabrics and batting the following sizes.  You will need 2 - 9 1/2”squares of denim from old jeans, 2 – 8” squares of cotton batting that is pre-washed and dried and 1 – 8 1/2” square of pretty fabric  It is very important that the cotton batting is pre-washed and dried in the dryer as it will shrink when the hot-pad is finished and the denim bubbles on the back and the batting bunches up.  I cut off a hunk of batting a little larger than the size I would need and soaked it in hot water, squeezed it out really well then put it in the dryer with a towel to dry then cut my shapes. IMG_3402I then marked the quilting lines on the front of the quilt fabric with a new marking pen I just got.  It is a Frixion gel pen made by Pilot.  The marks come off with a hot iron but have not used it for anything else yet so might want to be careful marking something really precious.  They are supposed to be erasable too.  The verdict isn’t in yet whether these will be good for quilting but on these pot holders thought it would be a good test.   It certainly disappeared when I pressed it with a hot iron.  The web page says the lines will come back with temps of 14 degrees but wonder if they would come back if you washed the fabric – will have to give that a test before I use it to mark quilting lines or use it for applique.

The lines were stitched but I didn’t like the way it was so compressed in the center with the lines all crossing there so took out the diagonal lines and stitched just vertical and horizontal lines instead.   The first pot holder I stitched I layered the pretty fabric on the two pieces of batting and quilted them together.  My later ones I stitched these quilting lines with one piece of the denim to the back centered under the batting and quilting fabric and liked it better.  My original potholder didn’t have the quilting lines on the back so tried to give these the same look – steam can follow the holes left by stitching and come through and burn your hand so keeping one piece of denim on the back with no quilting lines would keep this from happening.
Center the last piece of denim on the back right sides to the outside  and the pretty quilted sandwich on the top side facing up and pin it together.  The seams are all exposed and will be clipped like the rag quilts.  You should have about 1/2” around the edges that is just denim.   I used a embroidery stitch on my machine and the walking foot to stitch the layers together close to the edge of the quilting fabric.  I just overlapped my stitching on the corners and at the end to secure.  Remember this is a pot holder or hot dish mat so it doesn’t have to be perfect.  The fringing on the edge that takes place after clipping when you wash and dry it will camouflage it anyway.
The last step is clipping the edges.  I clipped out the corners and made clips every 3/8” almost to the stitching line.  I laundered them with some towels and that helped to fluff up the edges.  I didn’t have the boys do this on their pot holders but will when I get to their house the next time as the edges fluff up better.
Easy Peasy – all finished and ready to use!  You might notice this grid quilting is done differently on this one than the one I wrote about and showed above.  It really doesn’t matter how it is quilted only that it is quilted.
I plan to keep this one nice and not use it for a pot holder but to lay on my table when I use my tea pot.  I am storing it with the tea pot so I don’t forget and dip it into some casserole and have it messy when I need it clean and ready for tea with friends.

I think that is easy to make so give them a try and it is a good project for kids as there is really nothing you can do wrong and it doesn’t matter if the stitching is straight or not.

 This post is from the blog, Nebraska Views. If you are not currently reading this via e-mail or an RSS feed, then this post has been stolen or scraped from the Nebraska Views blog.  Stolen content can be reported HERE .”

Until Later,

Check out this blog post on the Ivory Spring blog on the Frixion pens by Pilot.
Another post showing more potholders on this blog entry


Carol said...

Thanks so much! My GD and I started one this morning and almost have it finished. Need to do the decorative stitch around the edge. I agree about the stitching compressing in the center so will change the quilting lines on the next one. We are taking a break for a swim so I'm outside now. Thanks so much for your help. I have my laptop by the sewing machine so we can refer to it.

Ivory Spring said...

Great tutorial, Lynn!

Debra said...

I LOVE your blog ! !You are soooooo talented and creative ! ! I have LOTS of old Jeans and I will be putting this on my To-Make list ! ! !
I am attempting to make 2 different types of Jean Purses ! ! !

Chris said...

Great idea! This is a good time of year to make Christmas presents without having to rush. These potholders would do nicely! :)

Deb said...

Hi! I just discovered your blog--I too am a Nebraska quilter; however, I am an urban resident!

I love your tutorial on the potholders. I have two teenage sons at home who have both gone through growth spurts in the last month or so...which means it is time to shop for more jeans. I think I will confiscate the old ones and try to make some potholders!

Deb from

EllieM. said...

Great tutorial, thank you so much. I made some of my own this week. If you want to see them, you can see them here:

Thanks again!!

Jill said...

These pot holders are just beautiful!
What a great project!
I’m currently writing a series of posts about clothes upcycling item by item. I was wondering if I would be able to include them in one of my posts. I’d just like to use one photo and then add the direct link to this post.
I also have a clothes upcycling project page, if you would like to link up there. It has a long term linky, so your projects would stay there for more than just the week of a usual linky. We have over 400 projects linked up now – some fantastic ideas.
Do come and take a look!

Luxury Serviced Apartments Guy said...

These are absolutely beautiful, and such a great idea! I'll have to have a go at making it myself.


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