Easy Quilted Gifts: Potholders with Pizazz

The last time I visited my sister and brought her a small quilted gift: a potholder. We have a joke between the two of us that nearly every handmade gift we give one another is made of fabric. In the past year alone, we’ve exchanged tote bags, tea towels, and tablecloths. I’m sure it came as no surprise that I made her a potholder.

But let’s face it: who doesn’t need a potholder? Mine look like they’ve been through a nuclear disaster. They are stained, frayed, and one is even missing a corner, burned on a hot stove while I was not paying attention. It’s time to break out the fabric scraps and extra batting and replace my ratty collection with fresh and new “kitchen quilts”.

When making a potholder, I do have a few rules. They need to be functional, but pretty. They must fit my hand, yet not be so large that they get in the way of the flame (and burning away a corner!) or so small that I can’t hold a pot without burning my fingers. And lastly, they need to make me happy when I use them or gift them.

Follow along and make this quick quilted small project for your own kitchen or to gift to a friend. And while you are at it, use them to practice your walking foot quilting designs. Two birds with one stone!

Materials for one 7 1/2″ square potholder:

  • 5 coordinating fabric scraps or fat eighths
  • 8″ squares of quilt batting, 3 per potholder or 8″ squares of heat resistant batting, 2 per potholder
  • Backing fabric, 8″ square


1. From each of the 4 coordinating fabric scraps, cut 4 (2″) squares.

2. Arrange the squares into 4 rows, creating a diagonal line with the strongest color.

3. Sew the squares together to form a 6 1/2″ square.

4. From the remaining coordinating fabric, cut 1 (2″ x 6 1/2″ and 1 (2″ x 8″) strips.

5. Sew the shorter strip to one side of the block, and the longer strip to the bottom of the block. Press.

6. Layer the backing and top right sides together and the batting on the bottom. Stitch around the block, leaving a 3″ opening for turning. Turn the potholder right side out. Press. Quilt as desired.

Voila! A replacement for one of my worn out potholders in less than an hour. Time to make some more as quilted gifts!

vivika hansen denegre

Potholders are perfect for practicing machine quilting.

Check out the Modern Machine Quilting video download and the Modern Machine Quilting eBook featuring instruction and inspiration to take your machine quilting to the next level!


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