Friday, November 6, 2009

Pot Holder Quiet Book -- TUTORIAL

My final project for POT HOLDER WEEK!

Quiet books are a ~L~O~T~ of work. First there's the "fun part" of it all: coming up with ideas, drawing, cutting, carrying it all out -- HOURS of work, to say the least! Then there's the "less-fun part" of making quiet books: batting, binding, quilting, "finishing" work.... UGH. Here's a way to minimize the the "less-fun" work so you can focus your time and energy on the "fun stuff" -- by using POT HOLDERS as the base of your pages!

Here are photos of the pages I've done so far:

Here's my cover -- probably temporary.

Build A Snowman page
(I love colored velcro!)

I think I will still make more "wardrobe" options for him!

Santa's Cookies page
(Really, I just wanted an excuse to make little felt gingerbread men!)

I especially like the one with green buttons!

Wrap/Unwrap A Present page
(This page is my boys' favorite!)

All the potential gifts....

The bow velcros shut. I learned my lesson quickly that it would have to, or I'd be tying bows all day long!

Toy car!

The temporary back cover.
Since I wasn't sure exactly what my next page would be, I sewed a simple little pocket on the back of the present page.

Okay, are you ready?

Let's start with

Choosing your pot holders:

~ Go cheap! Chances are you're going to need a lot of them! I found mine at the dollar store -- 2/$1!
~ Pick a size that will be suitable for your page ideas.
~ As far as what they look like: Really, the binding (edge) color is all that REALLY matters. Pick something you like!
~ If you plan to use the quilted (back) side of the pot holders, keep that in mind as well.
~ Depending on how you plan to bind your pages together, the loop placement may or may not make a difference.

Basic page construction:

1. Place your pot holder on top of your background fabric and whack around it. Leave a small edge for turning.

2. I don't have a photo of this part, but sew everything you need to onto your background fabric before attaching it to your pot holder. For example, if you are doing a snowman scene, sew the snowy ground on, as well as velcro or other needed fasteners, BEFORE you sew the whole background to the page.

3. Here's where you have to think ahead! The back side of the page you are working on will be the next page of your book. Sew on anything that needs to be sewn on now! If you wait until after you sew your background onto the other side, you will have telltale stitch mark "shadows!"

4. When you're ready to sew on your background, pin it flat onto your pot holder, with the pins in from the edge about 1". I placed four pins, one on each side.

5. Fold the edge of your background under, so that the fold overlaps the pot holder binding just a little bit. Sew right on the fold. You can get those corners to curve around just by fiddling and folding. Fold a few inches in front of the presser foot as you sew. (Isn't all this much easier than starting from scratch??)

Basic felt piece construction:

I sew all my removable felt pieces in two layers. On one piece I sew the velcro, and on the other piece I sew the "good stuff." I always sew the "scratchy" side of the velcro on my pieces, and the "soft" side on my backgrounds.

Then I layer the two pieces together and sew around the edges.

A double layer gives extra durability, plus it means your velcro stitch mark "shadows" won't show on the front of your pieces!

For my pages, the right side of each activity "spread" has the background, and the left side has some manner of storing the pieces. For my snowman page, I simply sewed little pieces of velcro to the quilted side of the pot holder for all the snowman parts to stick to. (I also used my free-motion foot so I could zip around those silly little velcros -- no stopping, lifting the foot, and turning the pot holder a million times for me!)

Ta-Da! Snowman bits stored!

For my gingerbread man cookies I sewed all the good stuff on the front piece first.

Then I sewed a velcro piece on a larger piece of felt, turned it so the velcro was down, and laid my gingerbread man on top. This way I could sew around the little fella without worrying about whether the front piece was lining up perfectly with the back piece. (I tucked the edges of the rick-rack frosting under as I sewed too.)

Then after they were all sewed on I cut around them again.

Here they are on their background before I sewed it onto my pot holder.

EASY Zippered Pouch:

You just need a zipper and a piece of felt!

Sew a small rectangle of felt on the top edge of the zipper.

Sew a larger rectangle of felt on the lower edge of the zipper.

Cut out a rectangle.

Sew all the way around.

Trim edges if desired.
Felt doesn't fray, so you don't need to worry about finishing any of the edges!

As for binding all the pages together, I am currently just using a carabiner to hold mine together because I still plan to make more pages. You could do the same, or use a metal book ring. I plan to bind mine permanently somehow so it looks less pot holder-y -- but I don't have a plan yet. It's one of those things I will have to figure out as I go along!
Any ideas?

I hope all of this is enough information and inspiration to make you brave enough to try creating a quiet book! They are so much fun to make, and so much fun to play with!


Anonymous said...

Your potholder ideas are just amazing. I'm definitely going to make some of the zippered pouches. Great tutorials. Thank-you for sharing so much.

Anonymous said...

i love this idea. i really want to make one one day. you always have great ideas

Darling Petunia said...

ALL of these potholder ideas are great! It'll be a cold day in Hades before I ever fiddle around with making tiny gingerbread men, but I want to try one of the other ideas. Dollar I come!

Bonney said...

I loved every idea you showed us this week and I especially think today's idea is adorable! I hope I can find the right kind of potholders for this project.

Anne said...

This is brilliant!! Your tutorials have made me look at potholders in a whole new light! (just one more thing to hoard from dollar stores now...)

I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

Thank you for sharing all of your creative ideas!


jovaliquilts said...

That's as cute and as clever as they come!!

Meedy said...

You are so creative! All the ideas are so cute and easy! I love that. My favorites are the book and the carseat straps. I saw this cute idea with pot holders as Christmas neighbor gifts...I saw it on executivehomemaker. I have been trying to find a cute way to sew one potholder together so it is less expensive (I have a lot of neighbors). Maybe you can work your creative magic and do a post about that next. I am stuck. Here is the link...

I love the poem that goes with it:
Eat My Treats
And Cut My Stitches
Then Use Me When You
Hold HOT Dishes

Helen said...

I love your things!! I have a blog where i share ideas that I find on the net. Could I use your ideas there? I would definetly share your site. Please email me i would love to write to you lET ME KNOW

Crystal said...

cute idea.

Megan said...

This is AMAZING! So cute! And I love all of the potholder crafts. Thanks!

HDMac said...

What a FANTASTIC idea! I can think of all sorts of "themes" for these too. Oh thank you. I have posted about this on my blog, giving you credit and a link back to here for the tutorial. I hope that gives this lots more exposure! Thank you again!!!!

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes! You just saved me TONS of time and frustration! I am just starting to make "close your clothes" quiet books for the four little ones in my life for Christmas. Using potholders is going to make my life so much easier! Thank you for taking the time to post this tutorial and all the others this week!

Noreen said...

Your quiet book is DARLING! And so easy to make when you use pot holders - the pages are already made.

Melissa said...

I love it! I don't think I have the patience to make one though. Any chance of a give-a-way?

Julie E. said...

What a fantastic idea! Love it!!

(I like to include a page with with a pencil/crayon and a small notebook at the end of my quiet books.)

Linda said...

this is so very very cute!!! love this idea,,, thanks so much for sharing.... I am glad we got ladies out there that share and think of all these great ideas.....thanks again!!!

Paul said...

Where I'm from we call 'em Hot Pads ;)

Heather - said...

Fun project, and this week's theme has been great! Pot holders = the new placemat? :)

Very Terry said...

I've been collecting quiet book ideas for years and your snowman is the cutest thing ever! I LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing. :o)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Care for sharing.Great beautiful collections.Wish you n all in advance a joyful Christmas n New Year eve ahead.

Send Gifts to India|Cakes,Flowers to hyderabad

Sarah Lou said...

Thsi really is the perfect use for pot holders. So right for little hands!!!!!1

ARTwendy ... said...

Hey there Care,
You have been busy!
I've been away & have only just recieved your parcel of the "I Spy" Swap! Thankyou so much!
I can hardly wait until I have the chance to sew it all together!

Ginger said...

What a great tutorial for potholders
Awesome and can't wait to make some.
You have a wonderful blog !
relinking you on monday hugs said...

WOW! This is amazing! You're so creative, I just love this.

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Love your potholder week. I have featured all these ideas at I heard you are related to my neighbors in Logan - sister or cousin to Mr. Joel.

Anonymous said...

Hi, you asked to be notified if anyone links your tutorials; just wanted to let you know that I linked this Quiet Book idea to :) The ladies there are always looking for a good way to make fun stuff for their kids.

Love your site!

Amber said...

Such a great idea! I linked to you for pot holder crafts. Great job and great instructions!! Well Done!!

Creations By Hand said...

Love the book, super cute, great idea too! I have some little ones around here that would love a book or two like that :-)

CraftyTweetie said...

These are so cute and creative! I bet little girls would love having a "paper dolls" version of this type of book. Or how about ones that include simple matching games or that help little ones learn their ABC's, shapes, colors, or numbers? The books would also be nice gifts for kids who have a cold or even are in the hospital. I'm so glad I happened upon your blog.

Krissy said...

This is an amazing idea. I have been considering making a quiet book for my son for months, but was worried that I would start and get frustrated and give up part-way through. This will save SO much time and frustration.

I have linked you on my Facebook page so that my friends can see my next project. If I survive the process, I'll publish a blog post about it and post the link on here. Thanks for being creative so that I don't have to!

Krissy said...

I have linked you on a post on my blog:

I used your pot holder idea and ideas I've found in other random places to start a quiet book for my son. The pot holders make it so much easier!

Diana said...

I love this idea. I found you on tip junkie and just wanted to say thanks for the fab tip!

debbie said...

Oh my! You have almost made me want to start sewing again!

debbie said...

Oh my! You have almost made me want to start sewing again!

mindy2780 said...

These are awesome. I wish I had found the idea earlier and could have made them in time for Christmas.
Thanks for sharing!

mylittlegems said...

This is so stinkin' cute! The fact that quiet books are so much work is why I haven't made one yet- despite the fact I've had fabric for several years ;) I love your idea w/ the pot holders. You are so clever :)

Sherri @ Dude I Made It said...

I made a potholder quiet book based on your tutorial. May I post it on my blog (along with a link back to your original post)?

I appreciate your sharing your fun idea.

AmyH said...

seriously genius!! Giving you an award tomorrow at

Melanie said...

Just found this! Brilliant!!!