Tuesday, June 7, 2011

String it....

Thank you so much for you kind comments. I will pick a scrap winner sometime on Tuesday.
The winner of the scraps is
"The One and Only!"
is not me or Mdm Samm
it is a person. just don't know her name

Pot Holder Scrap Buster......Hi, My name is Jane and my blog is Jane’s Fabrics and Quilts. I am thrilled to be able to post a scrap project for you today. Thank you Madame Samm for this privilege.

The inspiration that we receive from the blog is unimaginable. I see such talent come pouring forth from these pages and from the guests. I only hope that I can “at least” hold your attention for a few minutes!!

I know we all love fabric but I just adore scraps!! If someone is selling a bag of scraps, I am there!! I think sometimes fabrics can be over looked; the print is too big, the color is not right; the print is too small, too geometric, too modern, to vintage, etc! But, just a small scrap of that fabric can work wonders!!
I love to paper piece and I love to make string blocks. The technique I use is not mine, it is not unusual, it is just what I find works for me. You may make them another way and that is super! The idea is for you to use your fabrics and have fun!

I decided to make a pot holder with a paper piecing method.

Now I know there are special papers made for paper piecing but I just use my good old printer/copy paper. Make sure you set your machine to sew a very small stitch length. This will make it easy peasy to take the paper off after sewing. I also use the same needle in my machine for paper piecing, as it can become dull. So change your needle too!
This block can be made with muslin as the foundation, but I do not like the extra fabric, especially if you plan on making a quilt. I would find it hard “for me” to hand quilt through all the layers. As I do not machine quilt, I can only speak for myself.

OK let’s get started…..

Decide how large you would like your pot holder, I decided on 7 inches. I cut my paper 7 ½ by 7 ½, a little larger so I could trim it to the exact size I wanted.

Next get out your scraps!!!!

I thought it would be fun to just reach in and grab a piece of fabric and begin to sew!
Grab one, do not look or match or fuss, if it is not long enough attach two together for the desired length.

For this Piece ONLY lay it right side up diagonal in the middle on your paper. If you want you may use a touch of a washable glue stick to hold it in place, or a pin. I however, wing it!!

Next GRAB another strip and place it right sides together with the first strip, sew your ¼ inch seam as usual going through all the layers.

On to the ironing board and iron the piece to one side.

Keep adding pieces of scraps

until you have one half finished. This is how it will look.

Now we will do the same to the other side, you will have to flip it around!

Start from the middle again, by putting a strip right sides together and sewing.

Iron each piece as you did before.

Fill the second half and your block will look like this one.

Now flip it over

and trim the fabric from all four sides

Here is your block!!

Remove the paper; it is easier to remove it if you give the block a little tug from corner to corner. The paper will come right off!

Next step….
For a pot-holder I use insule-bright batting. It is made for pot holders, placemats table-runners anything that will be exposed to a hot item.

There are many foods of thought as to how many layers to use for a pot-holder, I do two layers. The choice is yours. You can also use regular batting, but I would then do more than one layer.

Cut two squares of batting 8 by 8, set aside.

Now cut a background for your pot-holder 8 by 8 set aside.

You could also make another string block for the back!!
Reversible, how fun would that be!!!

Layer your pieces

Backing WRONG side up.
2 layers of batting
Top RIGHT side up.

Prepare this for quilting as you would a quilt. I baste with small safety pins, but with this being a small project, and not knowing how to machine quilt, I am going to use straight pins.
I hope you wonderful machine quilters do not think less of me!!!

Quilt as desired! Again, I do not machine quilt but thought this would be a great time to give it a whirl. I started in the middle and just straight stitched from one corner to the other. The opposite direction of the way I made the block, I quilted the width of the foot on the machine! to the corner, flipped it and did the same to the other side.
Not to bad for a hand quilter, if I may say so myself!!

Trim it to size.

Next binding.

I am not going to even attempt to show you how to bind, to be honest I still have to check myself. I really just do not get it!! I have a wonderful friend who puts my binding on for me! This is how it looks when I do it!!

Maybe we could get someone to show us some different ways to add the binding.

Or a tutorial on adding grommets!

Anyway!!! Here she is in all her glory!!

Last idea; this is a 12 inch block I made for a swap; it was made using four 6 inch pieces of paper. You could make a potholder using four 4 inch squares and it would be really scrappy.

I am also working on a string quilt. I made quite a few string blocks then asked the gals in one of my bees to make some for me. I used white for each of the middle strips, to give it a secondary pattern. Looks like I will need to make a few more to get this quilt to a super nice picnic size. Oh nuts, I will have to make more!!!!

The whole point to this post is never; ever throw away your scraps!! Or if you do not want them, I will send you my address!!!!

Giveaway…I thought it would be fun to giveaway a “pile” of my scraps (just in case you do not have enough fabric) so you could start to make some string blocks yourself.
Hop over to my blog and leave here and on my blog...and I will be happy to pick a name.
International comments are always welcome!

Have fun!Grab the Sew We Quilt @ Stash Manicure June button for your blog, it is a beauty!
And thank you for reading my post!!


  1. Love the strips. I like to do that with scraps and then cut out the blocks or shapes, great way to use up scraps.


  2. I have that same iron! I did NOT drop mine, and it is still pulling apart at that exact same spot. Thankfully it still works!!! Thanks for the tutorial for the string blocks! :)

  3. It's so much fun to go through someone else's scraps! I love scrappy string blocks and would love to win some of your scraps. Thanks for a great tutorial!

  4. Thanks for a great tutorial! love the pot holder...


  5. Great tutorial! I love string blocks and making them into potholders is a great idea.

    Jennifer :)

  6. Jane! Your block is beautifully fun and what a wonderful post ... yay you!! I really like the look of the string scrap quilt ... this might be a terrific project for my daughters to start this summer ... straight lines and lots of pretties :) Thank you so much for sharing!!

  7. Good timing Jane - there are NO potholders in the apartment here at the mission. How can anyone cook with NO potholders! I didn't bring my machine but there's a sewing room so I'll be going down there this week to make some of your potholders. I bet they have lots of scraps. :) blessings, marlene

  8. I love scraps and scrap quilts. Thanks for the tutorial and for a chance to win some of your scraps.

  9. You are a gal after my own heart. I am working on a string scrap quilt in browns for our CA King bed, lots of squares to go. I would love to add some of your strings to my stash.
    hadacres at comcast.net

  10. I enjoyed the tutorial; hope Madame Samm can find a PDFer!

  11. Instead of piecing onto the paper would it work the same if you pieced onto the batting?

    Fun idea. . . thank you.

  12. Fun post , love string quilts and it is on my to do list ;-0

  13. Great idea for potholders!

  14. Happy cheerful potholders... and a great way to use up scraps...

  15. What a fun, colorful potholder. I am off to find colorful scraps to make one. Great idea.

  16. I make potholders to use scraps and have done crazy patchwork, some tube quilting ones and just regular 4 and 9 patches. I machine bind them the way a quilt is bound but leave a bit extra on one end for the hanging loop. I'll have to try a string quilt onenow :)!

  17. Great tute! I'm gonna make me some potholders. Thanks for the chance to win some scraps.


    uschbear at gmail dot com

  18. VERY FUN! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Oh WOW, that's so cool! I need to try that...because it's lovely! =) Thank you for the tutorial!

  20. I want to try your pot holder. When you use the insuleBrite, do you put the 2 wrong sides together or should the shiny sides face each other?

  21. Oh how fun! I am in love with that string quilt!

  22. As suggested by someone else here, I think you could skip the paper step by sewing the strips right to the batting.

  23. Thanks for the tutorial--a string potholder is on my "short list" of things to do! If I win, I would be willing to "swap" scraps. You know how it it, the scraps are always brighter in the other's quilter's basket. Is that how that saying goes?!

    Deb from clutteredquilter.blogspot.com

  24. Your pot holder's so much fun to make, I'd love to try them... if you don't have a place to put your scraps, I'm offering my home for them, lol

  25. I'd love some scraps to try string piecing.

  26. Telephone books (old ones, of course!) and those paper-y catalogs that come in the mail make EXcellent foundations for string piecing. They're usually a flimsy-er paper that comes off easily after sewing.

  27. I tried to post yesterday but internet kept kicking me off. I love your use of scraps and would love to take some off your hands.
    Kathy.nyman@ gmail.com

  28. Very colorful tutorial. Love scraps!


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