Monday, January 11, 2010

Tutorial: Recycled wool potholder

Pictured below are the fabrics I chose for the batting and the body of the potholder - they are both 100% wool.  Both fabrics were bought at the Goodwill on the 29 cent rack;  the body of the potholder was cut from a pair of men's wool slacks, and the inner batting is from a wool sweater I felted in my washing machine.   For the teapot design I used some scrap quilting fabrics and scrap interfacing - felt or wool could also be used for the design.

Step 1:  I decided my potholder would be the same size as my embroidery hoop - a small plate could also be used as a template.

Step 2: Cutting wool.    I traced around the hoop, then cut leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.  I did the same to the sweater (used as the batting for this project).  I made a mistake at this point, and would have done this a little differently next time.  MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE AT LEAST 1/2" TO STRETCH AROUND YOUR EMBROIDERY HOOP!  My project was not stretched quite as tightly as I would have liked because I didn't have enough fabric.  Oh well, better luck next time, right?


Step 3:  Place on embroidery hoop and cut design.  I stretched one cut piece of the wool slacks over my embroidery hoop.    I then cut a teapot design I liked out of some of my scrap fabric.

Step 4:  Cutting the tag.  I cut a piece of wool 3" long and stitched a binding border on either side so it wouldn't fray.  See below.


Step 5:  Lettering.  I chose a font I liked (size of 150) and printed it out.  I then traced it with a soft charcoal pencil.

Step 6:  Transferring the lettering.  I turned my lettered sheet of paper over onto the wrong side of my cotton fabric.  I then took the back of my charcoal pencil and rubbed heavily over the back of the paper with the lettering.  This transferred the charcoal to my fabric.  Just to be on the safe side, don't choose an extremely light fabric or the charcoal pencil may show through on the front side of the fabric.  Alternately, you could use a fabric tracing pencil sold at a quilting store.  All I had on hand was a charcoal pencil and it worked fine for a project like this.

Step 7:  Cutting out the lettering.  I used an 18mm rotary cutter and a cutting mat, but a small pair of scissors would also work.

Step 8:  Iron on interfacing.  Once all the pieces of my design were cut, I ironed on interfacing so they wouldn't shred when I sewed them to my wool potholder.  I simply layed them all out on the interfacing, put a piece of plain paper over them and ironed it on.  Then when I cut out the letters, I pulled off the paper.

Step 9:  Layout of the design.  Self explanatory.  Make sure to pin in place.  I liked the idea of my teapot lid being opened.

Step 10:  Sew in place.   Using embroidery thread, sew all pieces in place.  As you can see, I didn't try to be particularly neat with this project.

Step 11:  Sandwiching.  First put your bottom wool down, then middle batting, then the top with the design sewn in place.  Make sure to pin the hanging tag in place.  Sew all the way around the outside.  Note: this potholder is going to have an unfinished look to it.  I used a whip stitch first, then used a straight stitch over that.

All finished.

Later this week, I will post pictures and a tutorial of how to make a recycled wool potholder with a finished edge.  I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial. If it didn't make sense, please comment with any questions you may have.  Thanks, Martha
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1 comment:

  1. Cute! I love the applique teapot. Thanks for linking up!