tumbler potholder tutorial














This project is a great way to use up some scraps and perfect for those cute 2.5” mini-charms that are becoming so popular!  You are essentially making a small quilt and this tutorial assumes that you have some basic sewing/quilting experience. Be sure to use Insul-Bright or a comparable batting designed for hot/cold items.  This will help prevent injury from a burn!  Follow the manufacturer’s directions!

You will need:

20 fabric squares measuring 2.5”

Insul-Bright batting measuring 8.5” x 8.5”

Pocket fabric measuring 8.5”x8.5”

Backing fabric measuring 8.5” x 8.5”

Binding fabric measuring 2.5” x 36”

Clear ruler is helpful

Fabric marker

Basic Sewing supplies (scissors, cutting mat/rotary cutter, pins or clips, etc.)

Walking foot for your machine – The walking foot yields the best results and is what I recommend.  I have ‘cheated’ and just used my regular sewing foot in the past.  I lengthen my stitches and just go for it.  There is more stretching on the fabric which will require more trimming in the end.

All seam allowances are ¼” unless otherwise noted.  I press my seams to the side but you could press them open.

Step 1.

Begin by trimming your squares.  Measure and mark ½” from both left and right top corners  and down to each bottom corner.  Cut along your lines.

Start in the upper left hand corner and arrange 5 tumblers across and four down. Your top left corner tumbler should have the longest side on top.


Step 2.

Align tumbler pieces right sides together from corner to corner (see picture for reference). Sew each row of tumblers together from left to right.   Press seams and trim threads.  Edges will not line up exactly but that’s ok – don’t worry!


Step 3.

Sew each strip together (top to bottom).  Press seams and trim threads. 


Step 4.

Next, trim the edges to square up your pot holder top.  Mine ends up measuring 7.5”x7.25”.


Step 5.

Sandwich your pot holder as follows:

Backing fabric right side down – Insul-Bright batting with shiny side facing up – your top facing right side up.


Step 6.

Use your walking foot and quilt as desired.  I like mimicking the tumbler design!  Trim once more to “square up”.  After quilting and trimming mine now measures 7.25” x 7.75”  Yours may vary slightly depending on your quilting method and trimming.

holidayhostessquiltedStep 7.

Take your 8.5” x 8.5” pocket fabric and trim down to match the size of your pot holder.  Cut off 1” from the top of the pocket fabric.  Fold ½” once towards wrong side and press.  Then fold ½” again, press and top stitch.


Step 8.

Sew your pocket to the pot holder as close as you can to the edges.


Step 9. The Binding

Fold your binding strips in half and press.  Fold one end in about ½”.  Now fold raw edges towards the middle press line.  Fold in half length-wise and press once more to complete your binding.


Step 10.

Use Wonder Clips or pins to attach the binding to the potholder.  Sandwich the pot holder inside of the binding all the way around starting with the upper right hand corner and the raw edge of the binding.  Let the ‘tail’ hang away from the starting point.  Sew along the edge of the binding as close as you can and be sure that you are catching the binding on the back at the same time.  At the corners it helps to leave your needle down to turn your work. When you’ve attached the binding all the way around, continue to sew down the entire tail and over the folded end. 

holidayhostessbinding2 holidayhostessbinding3


Step 11.

Fold your tail back to the pot holder to create a loop.  Tack it down by running a stitch back and forth.  Trim all threads.

holidayhostesstailloop Your tumbler potholder is now ready for gifting!



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