Birthday Potholders – Amy Butler Style

While in Cycle class on Saturday morning, I had a spark of panic and then a spark of creativity.  For a moment I was convinced that I had forgotten — completely forgotten — my friend Becky’s birthday.  The landmark of MLK day and a previous birthday celebration in 2008 over the long weekend concerned me and my timeliness.  That was the panic part, then I decided that I might as well get a little crafty over the current long weekend, knowing Becky would easily forgive me. Throughout that class and the next one, I played around with what to make and how to make it.  Yes, I was THAT excited.

As it turns out, I hadn’t missed her birthday at all, and there were a lot of exciting ideas on thelongthread.com to explore.  After perusing the options, I decided to craft up some potholders, adapted from a tutorial on sew mama sew.  Going through my crate of scraps, I came across the fabric from my Sampler Quilt — which is still incomplete, ahem. The fabric is predominantly Amy Butler’s designs.

After looking at the pieces available I decided to start with 2 1/2 inch strips of varying varieties.  I cut a few strips and sewed a lot together (yes, that’s my approximation) along the 2 1/2 inch width side.  It was just one long string — almost looked like a flag.

I snipped apart each sewed piece and then sew them together, again, until I had one long continuous strip of fabric about 2 1/2 inches in width.

The next step was to iron or press along the folds. Ideally, I would have finger pressed and then iron pressed, but I just didn’t care that much for accuracy.  This is a tedious step, but 30 Rock On Demand certainly helped.

I then cut the 2 1/2 inch strips into 9 inch segments.  I sewed about 4 or 5 strips together, along the 9 inch length side.  I managed to get about 4 squares out of this.  I “squared” up the squares making sure that each was a true square with straight edges.  One pattern suggested having the front and back of the patchwork, but I opted for quantity over quality and used large 9 inch square solid pieces for the back.  I pinned the patchwork square and solid square together on a 9 inch square of batting.

The fabric fronts were facing together first and then that was pinned on the batting. Imagine it this way:  Place one fabric square, right side up, on the backing.  Next place another fabric square, right side down (the right sides are essentially facing each other) on top of the first square.  Pin.

I probably should have used some specialized insulation batting, but Becky, just beware.

Next, I sewed three of the four sides together, and then turned it inside out.  This made the batting inside and the right sides facing outward.  I pressed the loose ends inside with about 1/4 inch seam and sewed tight.  I opted to sew a fabric loop in the end in case Becky wants to hang it…

Next came the quilting part.  I opted to quilt length wise across the quilt rather than every single square.  I pressed the entire potholder beforehand which made this much easier, especially with the help of the quilting foot.

And, Voila!  The potholders are completed!  I wish I could say the same for the quilt.

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