Becky Jo from Primrose Wrath has a fun “make it into something great”-approach. She shares things on her blog like the DIY Cheap Baby (Kids) Clothes series, and she also shows her days as a busy mother of four. Today she helps you decide what to do with all of your BOM (Block Of the Month) sewing! If you aren’t ready to commit to a full quilt and you have plenty of pillows in the house, Becky Jo shows you how you can easily turn your BOMs into pretty potholders. Don’t miss our full Modern BOM series with Alissa Haight Carlton; there are so many amazing blocks!
The BOM (Block Of the Month) variety on the internet is amazing. Sew,Mama,Sew! has my favorite modern BOM series here and for this post I’m using the Craftsy 2012 BOM, but your options are truly endless.
The caveat for a BOM series for me is that I really want to hone my quilting skills and learn new blocks, but I don’t really want to have a sampler quilt to look at every day. It’s like driving across country or doing that crazy 5-countries-in-4-weeks European tour… You go to get an idea of what you want to go back and spend more time on. It’s really the best of both worlds, but what do you do with 24 blocks that look like left-overs night thrown together?
Potholders! I think I hit a moment of genius with this one. I am going through my stash, making 24 blocks in different patterns and colors and making a pile of birthday/holiday gifts. As you go through a series or try out blocks, this also gives you an opportunity to figure out how to resize blocks.
A 12-inch block is a bit large for every potholder. I dropped the initial size of each square in the chevron pattern by a half-inch so that I could end up with something closer to a 10-inch block (4 squares across, adds to losing 2 inches from 12 inch square).
Continue following your block directions until it is pieced together.
Potholders need more than just batting to protect your surfaces and to keep your hands model-ready. I used a layer of Insul-Bright and followed their instructions by adding a layer of batting as well before adding my backing fabric.
There are other heat-insulating fabrics and options out there; just be sure to follow the directions.
Quilt your pieces together. I’m a fan of simple in this arena and just quilted along the ‘foreground color’ chevrons.
For this potholder, I used the back-to-front binding method by making the back fabric an inch wider all around than the 10-inch square block. I wrapped it around, having it self-hem and machine sewed it down in place using a million pins.
The front photos turned out too bad to use, but thankfully this one turned out well enough so I can show you I really did use a million pins. What would a post be without humility?
This is my Italy. Out of all the blocks and potholders I made, I will be going back and making a chevron block quilt.
For some perspective, I did make a 12-inch block potholder for my large cast iron pieces. This one was made with purchased bias tape and I added a loop for hanging.
See? Now you have no excuse not to join a BOM club or series! If you don’t love a block in a series (or, like the red and gray Balkan Puzzle in the first photo, one of them doesn’t love you), you don’t have to commit it to an entire quilt– Just to the bottom of a kitchen drawer! I don’t know about you, but makes my new quilting adventure a lot less daunting.
A word of advice: I never know what I’m going to use fabric for so I generally pre-wash all of my fabric. If I was going to really make a quilt and knew that, I would not prewash so as to get that extra crinkly goodness in the quilting. Your mileage may vary, but you might not want that crinkly goodness in a potholder. When you think about pre-washing vs. no prewash before a BOM consider the final outcome and how you want them to come out of the wash later.
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