Last Updated on December 16, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford
It takes just an hour or two to make one-of-a-kind potholders from leftover fabric and batting. Potholders make great wedding shower, housewarming, or hostess gifts.
Anyone who does much quilting knows how scraps of fabric, quilt blocks, batting, and binding strips tend to accumulate around the sewing room. Making quilted potholders is a quick and easy way to recycle extra fabric and supplies into useful gifts.
Quilted Potholder Supply List
These quantities are for one potholder. Double the amounts to make two matching potholders.
- Scrap fabric or orphan quilt blocks. You will need two pieces 6½” or 7 ½” square for the front and back of each potholder. Make sure to choose a fabric that won’t melt under the heat of a hot pan.
- Scrap cotton batting (wadding), enough to make two or three layers of insulation. If needed, small scraps of batting can be pieced together to make bigger pieces (see instructions below.) Another option is Insul-Bright insulating batting, which is made from Mylar and polyester. If you use Insul-Bright, the manufacturer recommends including at least one layer of cotton batting as well.
- Fabric binding strips. For a 7” potholder, you will need 34” of continuous binding, plus another 4” to put on a hanging loop. Cut the binding strips at least 2” wide, because the extra layers of batting make the potholder thicker than a standard quilt.
Step-by-Instructions for Making a Quilted Potholder
Scroll to the bottom of the article to see step-by-step photos.
- Square up the fabric or quilt block for front and back to ½” larger than the finished potholder size.
- Cut 2 or 3 squares of batting ½” larger than the finished potholder size. If needed, piece smaller scraps together by butting the edges together, then joining them with a loose zigzag stitch.
- Assemble the layers with the backing fabric right side down on the work surface, batting layers in between, and the front fabric on top, right side up.
- Quilt the layers together. Keep quilting to a minimum,so the layers of batting will keep their loft and insulating value.
- Join binding strips and fold the long strip in half with wrong sides together. Press, then bind the raw edges of the potholder as you would bind a larger quilt. The binding in the photo was sewn on the back, then attached in front with a decorative machine stitch.
- (Optional) Add a hanging loop. Cut a 4” length from one strip of the binding fabric. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, along the length of the strip. Press. Make a tube by sewing the raw edges together with a ¼” seam. Turn the tube right side out with a chopstick or tube turner. Tuck the raw edges on both ends of the tube inside the tube. Shape the tube into a loop. Stitch the loop to a corner on the back side of the potholder.
Voila! You have created a beautiful homemade potholder and helped clear up the clutter in your sewing room.