A quilted potholder consists of three layers: a decorative front, a fluffy batting center and a plain or patterned backing. The most important part of any potholder is the material used for the batting (the center "filling" of the potholder). Choose a batting that will protect your hands from the heat of a hot pan or baking dish, or your potholder won't be very useful. You can find specific heat-resistant batting in any fabric store, or use multiple layers of wool batting instead.
Prepare the Potholder for Quilting
Place the flannel on a flat work surface with the right side facing down. Hold the spray adhesive can about 12 inches above the fabric and spray a light, even coat. Lay the heat-resistant batting on top of the adhesive, lining up the edges of the fabrics.
Spray the batting with the fabric adhesive and top with the decorative fabric, aligning the edges so they are even. The three fabrics should be stacked one on top of another with all edges aligned.
Press down on the layers to compress them and secure them for quilting.
Open the quilting hoop by removing the screw in the metal clasp. Separate the hoops.
Place the plain hoop (the one without the metal clasp) on a flat work surface. Top with the layered potholder. Place the remaining hoop on top of the potholder and press it down to cover the first hoop. Replace the screw and tighten to secure the potholder.
Quilt the Potholder
Cut a 24-inch length of thread and pass it through the eye of the needle. Tie a knot in one end of the thread.
Hold the hoop with the decorative fabric facing up. Choose a part of the design to outline with your stitching. Bring the needle up through the back of the fabric, through all three layers and out the front.
Pass the needle back down through all layers about 1/4 inch away. Continue stitching in this manner and outline the area you have chosen.
Select another element of the fabric to outline and repeat the process. Continue stitching the design through all three layers until you are happy with the way it looks. Move the hoop around if you need to to cover all areas of the design.
Remove the potholder from the hoop. Attach the binding to the raw edges of the piece, following the manufacturer's directions included in the binding package. Your potholder is now ready for use.
Pictorial fabrics like toiles or novelty prints work well for this project. This project is a whole-cloth quilted potholder, meaning you quilt along existing pattern lines of the decorative fabric. If you prefer, you can substitute the 10-inch by 10-inch quilt block of your choice for the front. If you can't find heat-resistant batting, use several layers of felted wool fabric instead. Once you have completed a simple potholder, try another with a more complex design.
Don't put your quilted potholder in the dryer. Doing so could damage the batting. Don't use regular polyester quilt batting if you want to be able to use your potholder. It will let the heat right through. Don't machine-quilt this project. The batting is slippery and can be difficult to sew by machine.