I have a confession to make……I am not a “scrap quilter”. I don’t obsessively keep small pieces of fabric in the hopes of turning them into a quilt. If I am being honest, I keep bigger scraps but rarely use them. Instead, I throw them into a bag and let the kids go at them. Before too long, they are cutting up fabric and creating headbands and such. But there is one thing that I save….leftover binding strips.
I am not sure why I keep them…..I hate to bind. But I love my little basket full of rainbow colored bits of unused binding. It might be because it is a memory of the quilts I just finished, or it may be that I am so easily amused that pretty colors in a basket are attractive to me. But no matter the reason, I save them. So when I sat down to write a tutorial, I wanted to figure out how to use the leftover binding in a project.
This simple tutorial allows you to use of those colorful bits of goodness by making a potholder or mug rug.
Before you start, you need:
-Square piece of fabric for backing and scrap batting.
I cut my fabric 9″ square but you can make it any size that you would like. Also, I used regular batting, but you may want to consider using an insulated batting.
-Leftover Binding strips approximately 1″ longer than the fabric base.
Making the potholder:
1.Lay the fabric face down and place the batting on top it. Place the folded edge of a strip of binding flush with one edge of the batting.
2. Sew a line 1/8″ away from the raw edge of the binding.
note: Since this is a small project, I didn’t baste the layers or even pin them. However, feel free to pin the strips if it makes you more comfortable.
Your first strip is complete!
3. Now it’s time to add the second strip! Lay the folded edge of the second strip so that it overlaps the line of stitching on the first strip.
See how the folded edge covers up the stitching?
4. Sew 1/8″ from the raw edge of the second strip
5. Secure the folded edge of the second strip, by sewing 1/8” inside the fold. This lines of stitching will be visible, but will act just like quilting.
The second strip is completed and should look like this:
6. Repeat the steps above until all the batting is covered with strips.
7. Turn the potholder over and trim off the excess.
8. Admire your gorgeous potholder!
9. Finish your pot holder by binding it using your favorite method. (Here is a great binding tutorial by Julie of Jaybird quilts if you need a little help). You could even add a grommet using Jacquie Gering’s grommet tutorial.
A few final thoughts:
I loved making this potholder because it reminded me of my Grandpa ( he is the person that showed me how to quilt!). He would tell me stories about how his mom would make strip quilts using this method. I also think that this is a great project for a youngster that has a little sewing experience.