Thursday, May 23, 2013

Teaching Beginners How to Sew- Lesson 3- Pot Holder

Lesson 2 was to help the Beginning Sewist get used to the speed and feel of the sewing machine.  This lesson helps the Beginner to learn to use guides on their sewing machine (the pressure foot edge) to sew straight lines and to pivot (turn corners without removing the piece from the machine).

~~ Sewing Lesson 3 ~~

 For this project, you can probably again go to your waste scraps, and cut out two 6 inch or larger squares. They can be different fabrics. You will also need a 6 inch or larger square of some kind of fabric for the batting in between the layers as a heat barrier.  Don't use anything very think for this practice project as too much bulk will be a bit challenging for a Beginner.  We used a felt, but if you can find an old ironing board pad, that would have more heat resistant effect.

Sandwich these squares together with the right side of the fabric outward.  Yes, raw edges all around for this project.

*Show your Beginner how to use a little geometry to determine the center of this square.  Fold the square in half matching opposite corners and press fold (diagonal) with iron.  Then fold in half matching the other opposite corners and press fold.  Where the ironed folds cross is the center.

*Use about 4 quilting pins to hold the pieces together.

*Set the machine for regular stitch length.  Sew along pressed fold lines.  After the 2 lines are stitched, the pins can be removed.

After this pot holder was made, the foot is positioned for demonstration
* Begin the "echo" stitching at the middle point, about where the stitch lines cross. Stitch about 1/4 inch (width of left side of pressure foot to needle).

*Pivot- leave needle down, raise pressure foot, turn fabric 90° left (toward center), lower pressure foot, continue sewing.

*Continue practicing guiding the edge of the pressure foot along the previous stitch line, going past the end of each line about 1/4 inch before pivoting.  This provided a lot of practice for remembering to lower pressure foot before sewing.

*Continue pivoting and stitching lines until you get to as close to the outside edge as possible.
Notice the different fabric used on the other side.
*Go one last round on the outside edge with a wide zig-zag stitch to finish the edges.  Note in the picture it is not a satin (thick) stitch.  You choose the density you want.
In the end, the rows of stitching may not be exactly equal distance apart.  Doesn't that take practice?
We decided to make another for the next lesson if she doesn't have the chance to practice at home before the next lesson.  A place mat could be made, but for a young person, they may get bored and need a smaller project such as this pot holder.

Sharing at several Linky Parties.
Thanks to the FREE programs:
possibly used for this post
GIMP for cropping & other digital effects
 Photoscape for downsizing & watermarking photo
PicMonkey creating collages used on this page


  1. Those turned out beautiful! It could be a great addition to any table! Thanks for sharing it at Fidlin' Fridays!

  2. Another great project for teaching a beginner, Joy and a practical item for anyone who enjoys sewing.

  3. Nice stitching, these turned out really nice!

    I'm visiting today from Thursday's Favorite Things.

  4. Nice work! I love things you make! I am new from southern Charm! I would love for you to check out my blog and hopefully follow me back! Nicole


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