After the holidays, the state of my house potholders are kind of gross, to say it plainly. Maybe you are in the same situation, or maybe you want a quick dose of creativity – either way, this fast little applique project is fun and versatile and you can whip them up for host gifts too, at the last minute!
What you’ll need:
– 7” squares of heavy cotton fabric (décor weight or canvas will do)
– 6 ½” square of cotton batting or felted wool (that sweater that shrunk!)
– 4” cotton twill tape
– Contrasting or matching thread (according to taste)
– Contrasting solid or printed cotton fabric for applique
– Fusible web
1) You can make these any size you desire, but I had some nice scraps of this golden fabric and I could only make them 7” squares – cute sized. Cut a front and a back piece.
2) Fuse the web to the backside of the applique fabric. I chose this aqua from my scraps and a nice ice blue for my leaves – of course, it contrasts so beautifully with the gold.
3) Draw your applique shape designs on the paper side of the web. Cut them out, peel off the paper, and arrange them on the right side of your front piece. Press with a hot iron to adhere.
4) Now comes the fun part – stitching the applique in place! I used an orange thread to contrast against the blue and gold. I started at the leaf stem and made a small line of zig zag stitches.
This picture shows that the dial on top of my machine is set to “2”
When you get to the place where the leaf opens up, switch your stitch to a straight stitch (I used the stretch version for a bold line). It looks like this on my machine:
I decreased the pressure of my machine foot (not my shod one under the table) to “0”, which will allow me to “draw” with my thread – something I love to do and if you have my book, then you have seen many other projects with this technique. On my machine the dial to this looks like this:
Check your manual if you don’t know where it is on your machine.
Now, stitch a straight-ish line from the stem to the top of the leaf like so:
Lift your foot with the needle still in the fabric, and turn it around so you are facing back down that line of stitches, like so:
Stitch back down that line about ½” and then pull your fabric to the right so you can lay down an arc of stitches on the left side of the stem vein – then trace that stitch back to the center and arc up on the right side and back. Move down the center vein another ½” and repeat. Do all the leaves in this way (or some other way that you like).
TIP: Practice this first on a scrap piece of fabric. You will really get that needle moving fast and you will move the fabric slowly. You control where the fabric goes since the pressure has been removed from the foot. Try it out!
5) Snip all loose threads and make a stack like this:
Front and back of potholder with the right sides facing each other, and then the square of batting or wool atop those.
Starting from the top right corner, stitch down, along the bottom, and back up the left side, ending at the top left corner.
Snip off corners.
Turn right side out.
Fold raw edges towards the inside of the bag about ½” and press with an iron. Fold the 4” length of twill tape in half and insert into one corner with the loop facing out.
6) Now, if you really feel like it, pin it. Otherwise, just bring it over to the machine and edgestitch along the open edge, and then around the rest of the square. I went around 3 times for fun – yee haw!