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Double-Ended, Two-Handed Potholder

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We've cooked up a great kitchen project. Hot pads are are small, simple shapes that cry out for mixing and matching. We stretched our possibilities by making a long, two-handed version. Kind of like those "idiot mittens" you used to have as a kid, one mitten on each end of a string running through the arms of your coat. However, we didn't think "idiot hot pads" sounded very good. I don't know about you, but I always set down my potholders on opposite sides of the kitchen so when I need both to pull something out of the oven or off the stove, I never seem to have two within reach. Problem solved, and a very pretty solution to boot!

We suggest you use a thermal batting, such as Insul-Bright to insure you can handle hot pots and pans without yelping. A new, thinner option we really like is Solarize from Fairfield. It's just as protective but much thinner, which makes your seam allowances less bulkly. And, it doesn't "crinkle" - because who want a noisy hot pad?!

We used a collection of scraps from our Sew4Home stash, originally from the Pretty Bird collection by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics. Since the variety in quilting cottons is always growing, we chose a few new combinations that all feature larger motifs that will give you that great, bold statement on the outer "mitts."




If you are new to fussy cutting to isolate the designs in your fabric, take a look at our full tutorial

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Click to Enlarge

  • ¼ yard cuts or scraps (you need two pieces for each body, both 8" x 31", FOUR 8" x 8" squares for the mitts, TWO 3" x 8" strips for the mitt borders, and one 4" x 4" square for the hanger)
  • ½ yard or scraps of thermal batting (one piece 8" x 31" and two pieces approximately 8" x 8"): we used Insul-Bright, another option is Solarize by Fairfield  
    NOTE: You can certainly add more than one layer of thermal protection. IF you choose the Solarize, add a matching layer of regular batting to give the hot pad some heft between the layers of cotton.
  • All purpose thread to coordinate with fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Tracing or pattern paper

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Rounded Corner Template.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8.5" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide line on the page to insure your printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the piece along the solid line. Set aside.
  3. From the tracing or pattern paper, cut an 8" x 8" square. Set aside.
  4. From the fabric(s) for the body of the hot pad (Orange Twirling Tendrils-front and Spice Meandering Vines-back in our sample), cut ONE 8" x 31" rectangle for the front and ONE 8" x 31" rectangle for the back.
  5. Using your 8" x 8" template, from the fabric for the mitts (Brown Dancing Flowers in our sample), fussy cut FOUR 8" x 8" squares.
    NOTE: The fussy-cutting is most important for the pieces that will become the front of your mitts. Choose and center a large design; we picked a large flower with bits of eye-catching blue on its petals.
  6. From the accent fabric (Garden Stripe in our sample), cut:
    ONE 4"x 4" square for the hanger.
    TWO 3" x 8" strips for the mitt borders.
    NOTE: If you use a directional print as we did, think about which way you want your print to appear. For example, we wanted our stripes running vertically.
  7. From the thermal batting, cut ONE 8" x 31" rectangle for the body. We'll cut the batting for the mitts later.
  8. Layer your three body pieces flat on your work surface in the following order: thermal batting, back piece RIGHT side up, front piece WRONG side up. The fabric layers are right sides together.
    Click to Enlarge
  9. Pin the Rounded Corner Template in place on one end. Align the side edges and bring the curve very close to the raw edges. Pin and carefully cut.
    Click to Enlarge
  10. Repeat to round the opposite end.
    NOTE: We cut through all layers at once to insure our pieces would match up perfectly for sewing. However, for the mitt pieces below, I recommend cutting these one at a time to insure your designs are centered and to lessen the chance you'll cut one backwards.
  11. Place the two 8" x 8" squares that will become the front of your mitts side by side.  Adjust the two pieces until they are mirror images of one another.
  12. Place the Rounded Corner Template on the outside right edge of one square, aligning as you did above for the main section. Pin and cut.
    Click to Enlarge
  13. Without moving the pieces, place the Rounded Corner Template on the outside left edge of the opposite square, aligning as above. Pin and cut.
  14. It's important to keep track of your lefts and rights so the mitts are correctly cut to fit on each end of the hot pad.
  15. Repeat steps 11-14 to cut the mitt lining pieces (on the right in the photo below).
    Click to Enlarge

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Assemble the mitts

  1. Pin a 3" x 8" strip right sides together with the inside straight edge of each front mitt front piece. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press the seam allowance open and flat.
    Click to Enlarge
  2. Match up the opposite 8" side of each strip with the inside straight edge of each mitt lining piece. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press the seam allowance open.
    Click to Enlarge
  3. You now have two flat mitt pieces. Fold each one in half, matching all raw edges and creating a clean-finished fold along the border edge.
  4. Use one folded piece as a template to cut TWO pieces of thermal batting. Remember, we promised you'd do this.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. Un-pin the layers and sandwich a batting piece between the exterior and lining layers of each mitt, making sure all the layers are smooth and flat. Using a ¼" seam allowance, machine baste around the raw edges. Do not stitch along the folded border edge.
    Click to Enlarge

Assemble the front layers

  1. Place the batting down first on your work surface, place the front body piece on top, right side up. Place a finished mitt on each end. Keep the raw edges of all the layers flush. Pin the layers together and the mitts in place.
    Click to Enlarge

Create the hanger

  1. Find your 4" x 4" fabric square. Fold it in half diagonally. Stitch ½" from the folded edge. This creates a tiny bias strip, which will make it easier for the final strip to fold smoothly into a loop. 
    Click to Enlarge
  2. Trim the remaining fabric to ¼" from the seam. Turn right side out and roll the seam to the center back. Press well.
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: We used hemostats to turn this tiny tube with ease. For more on this technique, see our full tutorial on Turning and Pressing Skinny Straps & Ties.
  3. Fold the hanger loop in half and pin it in place at the center top of the hot pad body. To find the center, simply fold the hot pad body in half and mark the top center with a pin.
  4. The hanging loop should be right sides together with the hot pad body, in other words, the seam of the loop should be facing up. Adjust the loop so the pointy raw edges extend beyond the raw edge of the body. You'll trim them off later. 
    Click to Enlarge

Final assembly

  1. Layer the hot pad back piece right sides together with the assembled front.
    Click to Enlarge
  2. Pin all around through all the layers, removing and then replacing the pins that were holding the front layers and mitts together. Leave an approximate 6" opening along the edge opposite the hanger. Just to make sure you're paying attention, in the picture below that opening is shown at the top of the photo. 
    Click to Enlarge
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the perimeter of the hot pad. Go slowly around the curved ends, stopping as needed, with your needle in the down position, to slightly adjust your presser foot position if needed. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 6" opening.
  4. Trim the seam allowance and clip the curves. Do not trim back the seam allowance along the opening.
  5. Turn right side out through the opening. Use your finger or a long blunt tool, like a chopstick or knitting needle, to help smooth out the curved ends.
  6. Fold in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Pin in place and slip stitch closed.
    Click to Enlarge


Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson


Comments (18)

Marie P. said:
Marie P.'s picture

Is there somewhere here that has the pattern without all the pictures. would like to print directions to have at workstation which is not near my computer. Pictures use a lot of ink...pdf is 10 pages long

Thank you

Ginger B said:
Ginger B's picture

I love this tutor.  I have made several as gifts and have had nothing but rave reviews.  Just an FYI, I sewed a straight line about 2inches down each side of the mitt for the thumb to fit.  I found that to be helpful to grasp a bowl or pan.  I also copied and pasted the instructions only after I made a few to keep next to me for reference.  The pictures are helpful to make the first few.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Ginger - So glad to hear our pattern has been a favorite again and again. It is a very popular one. And, thanks for your confirmation of the pictures -- we do feel quite strongly that they are an important component to the rave reviews we always get for our instructions. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Marie - Our free PDFs do strip out all the advertising and header images, leaving just the main project instructions, however, we do no offer a version without photos as they are crucial to the instrucitons. The design, steps and pattern are free - so your only cost is paper and ink -- still quite a bargain over store-bought patterns .

Twinsparkle said:
Twinsparkle's picture

I have just sewn 1 of 3 pairs of these I am making for a very cooky family Christmas gifts. Using contrasting fabrics has worked well and each step was easy to follow and complete. Thank you! 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Twinsparkle - That is fabulous - you are so welcome. We love success stories! 

cappysewer said:
cappysewer's picture

i love this site!  The tutorial for the double-ended 2 handed potholder is so pretty and  colorful.  The instructions so eay to understand  with the precise step by step process.  Thank you.  I can;t wait to try many other ideass listed here.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@cappysewer - Thank you! So glad you're finding so much inspiration!

ncgirl467 said:
ncgirl467's picture

Just finished my first set to give as a Christmas gift. AWESOME!! The directions are very easy to follow. AWESOME!! Have to make some more to give as gifts, but as soon as I am done with the gift giving ones I will diffently be making me a set or two. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ ncgirl467 - Thank you for letting us know about your success with out pattern. That's great news. We'd love to see a picture. If you are on Facebook (sew4Home) or Instagram (sew4home_diy), please post a pic so we can all be inspired 

GeanAnn said:
GeanAnn's picture

I just foung your site I love it will Be busy sewing  gifts with this pattern

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@GeanAnn - Welcome - we're so glad you found us. We hope you come back often and bring all your friends.

HJBakedbeans said:
HJBakedbeans's picture

In the UK these are called oven gloves and this double version is the most common

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ HJBakedbeans-That is the perfect name!

Brandy said:
Brandy's picture

I just love this.  Something just like this was on QVC, for a lot of money. I am going to get fabric right now. Need a weekend project and a few gifts. Thanks for the idea.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Brandy - Thank you! Let us know how they turn out! We'd love to see a pic on social media 

karin lee said:
karin lee's picture

I absolutely love this idea. Will be making it when a few other projects are out of the way

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Karin - That's great. Let us know how it turns out. We'd love for you to share your finished project photo on Facebook (sew4home), Instagram (sew4home_diy) or Pinterest (sew4home).

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