Friday, July 18, 2008

You Can't Catch Me I'm the Gingerbread Man

This morning before I run, run, run errands as fast as I can I thought I’d make a gingerbread man potholder. These anthropomorphic kitchen helpers are a big hit with my family and I’ve a sister with a birthday coming up. {Pretend to be surprised later – you know who you are.}

First I layer fabric with all the leftover bits trimmed from finished quilts. All those scrappy bits of batt wider than 2 inches that I hate to throw away because “they’re still good for something” are good for this. I like a thick potholder (these are meant to be used) so I go about 5 or 6 layers thick. This particular gingerbread man is sporting layers of Quilter’s Dream Poly, natural Dream Cotton, and his belly has got a wholesome piece of Organic Cotton batt in it. Yum.
His top layer gets pinned in place to prevent shifting and I cut him out with pinking shears . Then it’s off to the oven, err, sewing machine with our gingerbread man. He gets a row of straight stitching, use a hopping foot to get over the layers if you need to, and then switch back to a regular wide foot to do zigzag around the edges.

Mine always need to be trimmed a little then. To even out the edges and neaten him up a bit; I go fast and don’t always stay on my own lines. It adds character.
Be sure to check both sides. You want to make sure all the raw edges are caught so it won’t fray out badly in the washing machine, but don’t panic if his stuffing is showing a little. It’s supposed to – he’s raw. (As in raw-edged, and uncooked, and possibly a bad pun?) I have tried making gingerbread with turned under edges and they end up looking too skinny, this way they just look plump and properly puffy.
Then his decorations secure the fragments of batting so that he doesn’t end up lopsided. I use the stitched zigzag (#16 stitch for my machine) across his hands and feet. Normally I do buttonholes for the button spots down his middle, this time I tried free-handing some weeping willow trees. And don’t forget to add his face – straight stitch with the hopping foot and scribble it on there.


  1. This looks great! I don't have a sewing machine. Would hand-sewing be okay? Thanks!! :)

  2. I have hand-sewn and hand-quilted potholders before. It's not as easy but it's definitely do-able. I'd say just make sure you have a good thimble and maybe use only three or four layers of batting so he's a little thinner to get through.

    It would probably look great to do a blanket or buttonhole stitch around the outer edges...

    You'll need to secure the batting in the center of him, but don't try to quilt, as such, just do an easy running stitch (maybe a running-back stitch when making the face). Most batting needs to be secured 4-6 inches apart, which means you don't have to be delicate with the size of your stitches to get the job done.

    Have fun, and do let me know how they come out for you.


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