If you are looking for a quick and easy project to make or to give, these stash-busting heart shaped potholders are a lovely choice.
Here’s how to put your stash to use to make a lovely kitchen potholder!
All the supplies you need beyond your stash and some thread is a little bit of an insulating batting, and an optional piece of ribbon or twill tape for hanging. The batting can be found at most major craft stores and looks like the photo above. It is similar to regular batting with a fuzzy white polyester texture on both sides, but in-between is a silver foil-like material that prevents the heat from transferring to your hands.
If you cannot find this material, you can also use the insulation used on ironing boards too. That is easy enough to find at all big box stores in the area near ironing boards and extra covers. Just choose something not too thick as it will prove hard to sew between the layers.
Don’t forget your pattern!
Once you have gathered your materials, download and print the template for the potholder. Be sure to print it at 100% and not “scale to print” so it prints the correct size.
Cut the template out and then follow the instructions on each piece to cut the same number of pieces pictured above. Two full-sized hearts (one for the front and one for the back), four smaller partial heart pieces, as well as one full-sized heart in the insulated batting. Now we are ready to sew!
Place two of the half hearts right sides together and pin along the straight side. Repeat with the other two half heart pieces.
Sew the straight edge that you pinned in step one with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat on the other piece so both sets are sewn.
Press the fabric open on the right side on both sets.
Then fold the fabric so wrong side is facing and the outer curves line up and press the seam flat. We will be top stitching it next, so make sure it is well pressed and use steam or water if necessary.
Pin along the seam and trim off the little point at the bottom that was created when folding the two pieces together.
Topstitch along the straight seam, 1/8″ from the sewn edge. A contrast thread color for exposed stitching is a nice touch for this step! After sewing, press both pieces well.
Place one of the half heart pieces on the front fabric heart. The top and left edges will line up and will illustrate as to where it should be placed. It will only line up in one spot along the curve. Pin along the curved edge in preparation for sewing. Repeat on the other side with the other half heart piece.
Stitch along the curve at 1/8″ seam allowance, sewing the half heart to the front heart fabric. This is essentially a baste stitch, but I prefer to use a regular stitch length for this step.
Cut a piece of ribbon or twill tape in your desired length. Fold in half and place where you would like it to be around the potholder with the raw edges in line with the raw edge of the fabric. Stitch along the edge at 1/8″ on top of the stitches in the previous step. This is optional if you want to give your potholder a hanging loop. If you prefer to leave it off, skip this step.
To attach the batting to the back heart, we will be quilting the two pieces together. You can quilt this in any way you prefer. I drew a 1″ square grid. Be sure to use a water soluble marking tool when making your marks.
Pin the batting to the wrong side of the back heart piece.
Quilt through the fabric and the batting as you choose. As the layers are thicker, I suggest turning up your stitch length a little bit to smoothly go through the layers. If you have a walking foot for your machine, this is a great opportunity to use it to keep the layers moving in unison.
Once you have finished your quilting, give the back heart a press. Be very careful not to touch the batting with the iron, as it will melt onto the face of your hot iron. So if you have any excess hanging off the edges, trim it away first.
At the top V of the heart, mark on the wrong side of the fabric, an X where the two seam allowances meet so you can pivot perfectly in the next step. We will be sewing with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Repeat by making an X at the bottom of the heart so you know where to pivot at the bottom of the heart.
Place the back heart and the front hearts on top of each other, right sides together. Line up all the edges and pin all the way around the heart. Measure a 3″ section to leave open in the next step. I suggest leaving it on the bottom about 1.5″ from the bottom tip of the heart, as this is the straightest section of the heart, making it the easiest to close up afterwards.
Sew all the way around the heart with a 1/4″ seam allowance, pivoting at both the top and bottom of the heart, and leaving the 3″ section you marked in step 16 un-sewn and open. This is where we will turn the potholder right side out later. After you sew, trim the seam allowance down to 1/8″ around the entire heart, except at the 3″ opening, and snip into the top V of the heart to allow it to lay flat.
Turn the potholder right side out through the opening left in the previous step.
Use a point turner and carefully poke out all the corners and curves. Take a moment to finger press all the edges and then press with a hot iron.
Fold the seam allowance back into the opening and press flat. This is much easier done with the whole 1/4″ seam allowance in tact, which is why we did not trim it in the previous step. Pin the opening closed.
Topstitch around the entire heart at 1/8″ seam allowance, closing up the hole left in the side at the same time.
Give the whole potholder a final press and then hang in your kitchen or pack up to give to someone special!