As I like to make handmade Christmas gifts nowadays, I had to start thinking about what I was going to make this year back in the fall. Originally I was thinking I would make quilted or patchwork ornaments, but that quite didn’t work out as I thought it would, and needed to change plans. Since I had a lot of Christmas quilt fabric, I knew I wanted to make something quilted, and a little Christmasy, and I had enough different fabric collections, I could make each item out of different fabric.
When my ornament idea didn’t work out, I thought potholders would make a useful gift, and something I could whip up enough for everyone. I kept the designs simple to make them quick to make, as I changed my mind on what I was making in November. Luckily I was able to make these over 3 weekends. All of the patchwork tops were made one weekend, the quilting was done in a second weekend, and the binding and finishing done in a third weekend. I probably could have done them in two weekends, but life and other craft projects got in my way.
The fabric collections used for the potholders included the Christmas Cabin collection by Timeless Treasures, and the Little Tree, Vintage Holiday, Return to Winter’s Lane, and Holiday Lodge collections from Moda Fabrics. All of the potholders are easily made with 5″ squares.
Half of the potholders were made with 2.5 inch squares, in four different fabric prints. This is great if working with charm packs, as all you need is to pick out four charm pack squares. Each 5″ square will become four 2.5″ squares for the potholder. I made four squares each made up of four smaller squares. I then arranged the four blocks together, and sewed them together to get the top of the potholder.
The diamond potholder can also be made with charm packs. This potholder also uses four charm pack squares. Instead of cutting them into four 2.5″ squares, the 5″ squares are cut diagonally into four triangles. Which I then arranged into four bigger triangles that were made up of four smaller triangles.
This is the first quilt project I decided to try pressing my seams open, instead of pressing it to the side of the darker fabric. It takes slightly more work to press the seams open, but I like that the patchwork top feels a little flatter, and I love how the back of the patchwork looks with the seams pressed open. I have since started pressing the seams open on all the quilt projects I am working on.
I used 100% cotton batting and thermal fleece between the top and backing. The thermal layer provides the hot/cold insulation/protection, and makes these potholders safe for putting hot pots and baking dishes straight from the stove/oven onto the counter or dinner table.
I quilted the potholders in red or green thread that matched the binding and backing fabric. I wanted the quilt stitches to provide a slight contrast on the tops of the potholders.
For my Christmas gifts, I wrapped the potholders with some homemade apple jelly and candied walnuts, to create a gift bag (or box).