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ScrapBusters: Two-Handed Pot Holder

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Today in our ScrapBusters Series, we're cooking up a great kitchen project. Hot pads are perfect for scraps because they are small, simple shapes that cry out for mixing and matching. We 'stretched' our possibilities by making a long, two-handed version. Kind of like those 'idiot mittens' you used to have as a kid; one mitten on the each end of a string running through the arms of your coat. However, we didn't think 'idiot hot pads' sounded very good. I don't know about you, but I always set down my pot holders on opposite sides of the kitchen so when I need both to pull something out of the oven or off the stove, I never seem to have two within reach. Problem solved, and a very pretty solution to boot!

We suggest you use a thermal batting, such as Insul-Bright to insure you can handle hot pots and pans without yelping.

As with yesterday's project, today's also uses the gorgeous Pretty Bird by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics. Our hot pad features Pretty Bird fabric from the Spice colorway. Yesterday's Binky Leash and Bag was the Aqua colorway. We found Pretty Bird still available from Fashionable Fabrics and Fabric.com.

If you want to browse some of our other hot pad projects as possibilities for your scraps, check out our Retro Fun: Quilted Mitt Pot Holders.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • Scraps of various cotton fabrics or ¼ yard cuts (you need two pieces for each body, both 8" x 31", FOUR 8" x 8" squares for the mitts, TWO 3" x 8" strips for the mitt borders, and one 4" x 4" square for the hanger): we used our collection of scraps from Pillow & Maxfield's Pretty Bird for Michael Miller Fabrics: Orange Twirling Tendrils and Spice Meandering Vines for the body, Brown Dancing Flowers for the mitts, and Spice Garden Stripe for the borders and hanger
  • Scraps or ½ yard of thermal batting (one piece 8" x 31" and two pieces approximately 8" x 8"): we used Insul-Bright from The Warm Company
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • Tracing or pattern paper
  • See-through ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Rounded Corner Template.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8.5" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the piece along the solid line. Set aside.
  3. From the tracing or pattern paper, cut an 8" x 8" square. Set aside.
  4. From the fabric(s) for the body of the hot pad (Orange Twirling Tendrils-front and Spice Meandering Vines-back in our sample), cut ONE 8" x 31" rectangle for the front and ONE 8" x 31" rectangle for the back.
  5. Using your 8" x 8" template, from the fabric for the mitts (Brown Dancing Flowers in our sample), fussy cut FOUR 8" x 8" squares.
    NOTE: The fussy-cutting is most important for the pieces that will become the front of your mitts. Choose and center a large design; I picked a large flower with bits of eye-catching blue on its petals.
  6. From the contrasting fabric (Garden Stripe in our sample), cut:
    ONE 4"x 4" square for the hanger.
    TWO 3" x 8" strips for the mitt borders.
    NOTE: If you use a directional print as we did, think about which way you want your print to appear. For example, we wanted our stripes running horizontally.
  7. From the thermal batting, cut ONE 8" x 31" rectangle for the body. We'll cut the batting for the mitts later.
  8. Layer your three body pieces flat on your work surface in the following order: batting, back piece RIGHT side up, front piece WRONG side up.
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  9. Pin the Rounded Corner Template in place on one end. Align the side edges and bring the curve very close to the raw edges. Pin and carefully cut.
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  10. Repeat to round the opposite end.
    NOTE: We cut through all layers at once to insure our pieces would match up perfectly for sewing. However, for the mitt pieces below, I recommend cutting these one at a time to insure your designs are centered and to lessen the chance you'll cut one backwards.
  11. Place the two 8" x 8" squares that will become the front of your mitts side by side.  Adjust the two pieces until they are mirror images of one another.
  12. Place the Rounded Corner Template on the outside right edge of one square, aligning as above. Pin and cut.
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  13. Without moving the pieces, place the Rounded Corner Template on the outside left edge of the opposite square, aligning as above. Pin and cut.
  14. It's important to keep track of your lefts and rights so the mitts are correctly cut to fit on each end of the hot pad.
  15. Repeat steps 11-14 to cut the mitt lining pieces.
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At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Assemble the mitts

  1. Pin a 3" x 8" strip right sides together with the inside straight edge of each front mitt front piece. Stitch together using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam open.
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  2. Match up the opposite 8" side of each strip with the inside straight edge of each mitt lining piece. Stitch together using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam open.
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  3. You now have two flat mitt pieces. Fold each one in half, matching all raw edges and creating a clean-finished fold along the border edge.
  4. Use one folded piece as a template to cut TWO pieces of thermal batting. Remember, I promised we'd do this.
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  5. Sandwich a batting piece in between the fabric layers of each mitt, making sure all the layers are smooth and flat. Using a ¼" seam allowance, machine baste around the raw edges. Do not stitch along the folded border edge.
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Assemble the front layers

  1. Place the batting down first on your work surface, place the front body piece on top, right side up. Place a finished mitt on each end. Keep the raw edges of all the layers flush. Pin the layers together and the mitts in place.
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Create the hanger

  1. Find your 4" x 4" fabric square. Fold it in half diagonally. Stitch ½" from the folded edge.
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  2. Trim the remaining fabric to ¼" from the seam. Turn right side out and roll the seam to the center of once side. Press well.
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    NOTE: I used my hemostats to allow me to turn this tiny tube with ease.
  3. Fold the hanger loop in half and pin it in place at the center top of the hot pad body. To find the center, simply fold the hot pad body in half and mark the top center with a pin.
  4. The hanging loop should be right sides together with the hot pad body, in other words, the seam of the loop should be facing up. I adjusted my loop for the pointy raw edges extended beyond the raw edge of the body. I'll trim them off later. 
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Final assembly

  1. Layer the hot pad back piece right sides together with the assembled front.
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  2. Pin all around, leaving an approximate 6" opening along the edge opposite the hanger . Just to make sure you're paying attention, in my picture that opening is shown at the top of the photo. 
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  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the entire hot pad. Go slowly around the curved ends, stopping as needed, with your needle in the down position, to slightly adjust your presser foot position if needed. Remember to back tack or lock stitch at either side of the 6" bottom opening.
  4. Trim the seam allowance and clip the curves. Do not trim back the seam allowance along the opening.
  5. Turn right side out through the opening. Use your finger or a long blunt tool, like a chopstick or knitting needle, to help smooth out the curved ends.
  6. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Pin in place and slip stitch closed.
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Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson



Comments (35)

Katy Morag said:
Katy Morag's picture

Thank you for so many great ideas for all of my scraps.  My problem is that I don't know which tutorial to start with they all seem so lovely.  I feel a Craft Fair coming on in my sewing room.  Many thanks

Abbie506 said:
Abbie506's picture

Thank you for some wonderfully fun projects!!!

I will continue to follow and share your site!!!

Abbie506 said:
Abbie506's picture

Thank you for some wonderfully fun projects!!!

I will continue to follow and share your site!!!

Sandra P said:
Sandra P's picture

Wow thank you so much, it looks so easy to make. This is my next project

Heena said:
Heena's picture

I printed out the pattern and it is 7.5 inches wide. The rectangle is 8 inches wide. Is the template supposed to be off by 1/2 inch?  

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Heena - we have tested the pattern in-house and confirmed it is drawn as indicated: 8" x 4". Please check your printer settings as your printer may be set to auto-fit. As we say above (and for all our patterns): This pattern consists of ONE 8.5" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.

Heena said:
Heena's picture

This may be a silly question. Is it okay to iron the completed mitt or would it damage or weaken insul bright?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Heena - it is perfectly fine to iron the mitt.

mybravehome said:
mybravehome's picture

I have always loved tjese wrap around potholders and the designs are beautiful. I do have a question. Wouldn't it make more sense to double the batting on the body side of the holder where the fabric actually grabs the hot dish as opposed to the mitt that goes on the back of the hand? Do you know if it makes any difference and the palm is protected enough? I haven't seen any complaints but sometimes my mind moves in mysterious ways.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ mybravehome - There isn't really any doubling in the layers in the instructions - just one layer of the thermal batting is specified in the main panel and in each mitt. You could certainly add additional batting to the main long panel, and we do often suggest people consider more than one layer for hot pads and mitts -- it really depends on what you plan to be grabbing on to with it  If you add more batting, I'd recommend a full layer for the panel, and then, you'll probably want to grade the seam allowance pretty agressively to help reduce the bulk. If you make it this way, let us know how it turns out for you. 

Heena said:
Heena's picture

I disabled auto-fit and it printed correctly.

Thank you!

I love this site!

Stephanie Snow said:
Stephanie Snow's picture
I made this the other day and have to say it turned out very nice. Loved all the pictures and detailed instructions. I am fairly new to sewing so the more pictures the better. I plan on making one for each holiday, thank you.
ShadowPleez said:
ShadowPleez's picture
Love your patterns, I am a new sewer, and I can finally sew something, that looks good, and that is doing your step by step tutorial patterns, Please keep adding new step by step tutorial patterns.
p.s. this is my 3rd try of trying to write a comment, I hope it will go through, as for now I haven't seen my other 2, if they have gone through, you will have 3 comments from me, I'm also new with writting comments on the computer, Thank you, and keep the tutorials coming.
ShadowPleez said:
ShadowPleez's picture
I love your patterns, I am a new sewer, and finally a pattern that turned out right for me, Please keep up the step by step tutorials, and please keep adding new one's, I finally am able to sew, and learn through your tutorials, Thank you so very much.
ShadowPleez said:
ShadowPleez's picture
This pattern turned out beautiful, Thank you so very much, please keep doing more patterns, step by step tutorials, I am a new sewer, and this was the first pattern I could d right, Thank you so very much.
b2rowdy said:
Apologies for the double post....having a brain fart kind of day. Just wanted to add that I added extra Insul-Bright (8" square cut to fit) plus a layer of flannel like batting made with Bamboo in it. I did that because my sister has nerve damage in her fingers and I was concerned that she might have a problem. It is a little more puffy but works great. ;-)
b2rowdy said:
I love this tutorial!! Thanks so much for sharing it!! My DH (Darling Husband) bought me a new sewing machine for our anniversary so, of course, I started looking for things to make I thought I could accomplish. I made a skirt for my granddaughter...simple things. I found this tutorial when I was looking for a pattern/tutorial for something like Rachael Ray's two-handed Moppine that costs like $23. I finally got up my nerve (after some quilting instruction) and I was so surprised when my Project came out looking just like the picture in the tutorial!!! I quickly made a second one to prove to myself (and my family!) that it wasn't a "fluke"! It is beautiful and not as hard as you might think. Now my problem is....I don't have enough time or fabric to make as many as I have promised by Christmas!! Thank you so much!!
b2rowdy said:
My DH (Darling Husband) bought me a new sewing machine for his birthday in July. First thing I did was start looking for things to make I thought I could accomplish. I found this tutorial while I was looking for something like Rachel Ray's 2 handed pot holder/towel that costs like $15. I searched for the fabric used in this tutorial and got up my nerve to try one. I was amazed that my project came out looking like the tutorial....EXACTLY!!! I was so thrilled I quickly made another one just to prove that the first one wasn't a "fluke". Now my only problem is I don't have enough time or fabric to make as many as I have promised by Christmas!!! Thank you for posting this!! It is really not that hard and looks like you paid big $$ for it! Wonderful!
tammy wishman said:
tammy wishman's picture
this is exactely what i have been lookin for. my friend made me one 2 yrs ago and i want to try making them for my family for x-mas. thanks for having the pattern.
Jan1 said:
I love this pattern! My daughter, Shawnee, located this for me. I have made the potholders for all my daughters and daughter-in-laws. My son-in-law (Shawnee's husband) liked them so much he asked me to make some for his mother. She thought they were so pretty you shouldn't use them, just admire them. smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif

I plan to make some for Christmas for all the girls/moms in the family-(6. I modified the pattern to make pot pinchers for the microwave as well. Thanks for sharing this wonderful pattern.
mamaCon said:
mamaCon's picture
Thank you for sharing... It will be very useful for me in my kitchen. I might also make this as gifts on Christmas! smilies/smiley.gif
mema23 said:
Thank you for this pattern and directions. I will be making this as soon as I can purchase everything that I need.
Wendy A said:
Wendy A's picture
Thanks so much for this pattern, and great idea of using up the scraps! I love this type of oven mitts and they are very popular on craft stalls here in Australia, but they always seem to have not enough insular stuff in the middle. But I'm going to give these a shot myself as I love the idea of using up some brights, especially on the top of the 'glove'.
This Mom said:
This Mom's picture
My Mom use to have this type of oven mitt and they don't sell them in stores. Thank you for putting up a tutorial, I love having one of my own. I had quite a few fabrics I wanted to use, so I did a pieced design and an applique on the front. I've linked to you on my blog, check it out on my blog...http://thismomblog.com/2011/08/18/sewing-for-the-kitchen/
Beela said:
Beela's picture
Hi, thanx 4 another brilliant idea. I followed all steps except one. I made the same with cotton without batting and made an opening in the center 2 insert my old pot holder so it's become easier 4 me 2 remove and wash the cover. Thanx again.
marcia-333@hotmail.com said:
marcia-333@hotmail.com's picture
Muito util e pratica, sem mencionar que e linda né!
Crzyquilter said:
Crzyquilter's picture
Love this idea! Of course you picked the best fabric for this top of the hand portion of the mitt. In the past, I've added one piece of scrap blue jeans to the mitt part as an additional layer of insulation when making pot holders. Now off to search my stash to find some fabrics for this and will also check some of the LQS.
katydrexler@gmail.com said:
katydrexler@gmail.com's picture
I'll be sharing this with several of my sister-in-laws and friends... thank u thank U...katysmilies/wink.gifsmilies/wink.gifsmilies/wink.gif
Becky B. said:
Becky B.'s picture
I am so excited to make these! They are beautiful ad functional! I love the easy to follow instructions! Thanks!smilies/smiley.gif
crescentcity said:
crescentcity's picture
Another great idea!...Love it..My daughter is having her house built in TX..Perfect ideas on your website for the new homeowner!
Dixie said:
Dixie's picture
Love it, too! I had a "store-bought" one of these many years ago and used it until it was worn out and too shabby to use in public. And, I've never seen one in a store since then. Can't wait to make my own.

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