corrections and a tutorial


So you may have heard about this gorgeous book, Zakka Style. And I may have already mentioned that one of my projects is included. It was so much fun to be part of this book!

Well, you know how I am about making sure that my instructions are crystal clear so that anybody can follow them…I had already planned on doing a tutorial for the binding around the edge of my Patchwork Potholders, because this step can be a little tricky, but when I looked over the instructions in the book I realized that that those binding instructions do not work for this project. I’m very sorry for time anyone may have spent ripping seams or frustration that may have arisen from attempting the binding as directed. So, below you will find my instructions as originally intended, corrected and expanded, along with a photo tutorial.

Patchwork Potholder Binding Tutorial and Corrections

Circular binding tutorial by Retro Mama

The short and sweet instructions for those of you who are experienced with binding quilts:
1. The binding for the pockets should be 2 1/2” wide before folding, sewn with a 3/8” seam allowance.
2. The binding for the potholder should be 3” wide and 30” long (cut on the bias), sewn with a 3/8” seam allowance.

The expanded instructions:
1. The binding for the pockets should be 2 1/2” wide, or 1 1/4” wide when folded once for single fold binding. (You can follow the instructions below for how to attach the binding on each set of pocket pieces, the seam allowances are the same. Put the pockets on the potholder before you sew the outside binding.)

2. For the outside edge of the potholder, cut a strip of linen that is 3” wide and 30” long, on the bias. I used a wider strip than you would for a quilt because all the layers that are inside the potholder, plus the pockets, require the binding to be a bit wider so that it will fit around the thickness.

3. Fold the binding in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press with a hot iron.

4. Using binding clips (or barrettes), clip the binding around the edge of the potholder, raw edges together. Mark where the strips overlap with a fabric pen.

Round binding tutorial by Retro Mama

Round binding tutorial by Retro Mama

5. Open the bottom strip so it is right side up. Open the top strip so that the right sides of the strips are together, placing the two strips perpendicular to each other as pictured, right next to the mark you made in Step 4. Make sure the binding is not twisted.

Round binding tutorial by Retro Mama

6. Carefully move your binding strip to your sewing machine and sew a diagonal seam from where you marked the edge of the binding, to the opposite corner.

7. Refold the binding and re-clip it around the potholder to make sure that you got the length right and that the strip isn’t twisted.

Round binding tutorial by Retro Mama

8. Open the binding strip, trim the seam allowance and press it open, then refold and press the binding.

9. Repin the binding to the potholder, raw edges together. Sew the binding to the potholder with a 3/8” seam allowance.

Round binding tutorial by Retro Mama

10. Fold the binding over the edge of the potholder and finish by hand with ladder stitches on the back (see the end of my Easter Egg tutorial for how to do this, it's a little tough to demonstrate this stitch with linen on linen!). My favorite tool for handstitching is my leather thimble (first photo), it really does make the job much more pleasant!

Also, I just found out that there will be a Zakka Style sew-along starting April 2, with different bloggers sewing each project from the book. So grab your copy today, and remember to sew along with Penny (aka sewtakeahike) starting June 25th when she makes my Patchwork Potholders!

Happy stitching!

P.S. The fabrics above are from Maude Asbury's Kitchy Kitchen collection for Blend. I am so smitten with these prints--keep an eye out for more projects with them!

P.P.S. Please let me know if you have any other questions that I could answer about this project!


  1. I will pin this, and probably forget until AFTER I have followed the book!

  2. Neat!! I've got to try this. Thanks for sharing!
    Your blog is amazing, I'm looking forward to your next post!
    If you have the time, I would love for you to check out my blog and follow!

    Your new follower,

  3. Where did you get your leather thimble?? Exactly what I've been thinking I'd want. The pot holder looks beautiful by the way!

  4. I just got my copy of Zakka Style and am so ready for the blog hop! When I saw your project, I literally said out loud, "NOW you're talking!" Lots of cute stuff in there, and I can't wait for this event to get started. Thanks for the extra instructions!

  5. I love your blog.I´m a new follower. If you like I would love foryou to visit my blog and follow.


  6. hi! i just found you on pinterest, and i'm following you there and on your blog now...your ideas are awesome! i love your color choices. i was reading your latest post, and i was thinking,"what great fabrics! where does she get them?" then i saw who designed the fabric (later on in the post) but i wondered who carries it!? if you'd let us know sometime, that'd be great! if you have time! thanx! love your blog!

  7. Here are a couple of places that carry Kitchy Kitchen:

    Happy shopping!

    P.S. The leather thimble was a gift to me from my mom, but you should be able to find one at your local sewing store, or!

  8. Just wanted to stop by and say hello, I love reading your blog and am willing myself to get back into enjoying sewing. I'd love to try one of your patterns. Please pop by and take a look at my new blog i'm hoping to collect enough followers so that I can hold my first giveaway i'm in the process of collecting all the lovely little bits. Safia

  9. I just finished making your potholders from Zakka Style. They're great, I love them!
    Didn't see this change in the binding instructions until now, but I have to say I followed the book instructions with no problems at all!
    I was a little daunted binding something round, but I found it pretty straightforward with no seam ripping required! Thanks for a great pattern!

  10. Hi Kim,
    Thanks for posting these updates! I just finished my potholder and will be posting about it tomorrow :) It's a really great pattern!

  11. I found the photos very helpful. It took me a couple of tries on the first one but when I remembered to put the two ends perpendicular to each other, everything was smooth sailing!

  12. This is a great tutorial! I've struggled in the past to get the ends of the binding on round potholders to join smoothly. This worked well for me and I'm so happy I found it! Now the binding on my potholders has a nicer finish. Thank you!

  13. So I was searching for the best way to join the binding for a neat finish. This was super helpful! Thank you.