Christmas, Holiday Quilting Projects

Fun and Festive Christmas Potholders: 12 Days of Christmas in July

quilted Christmas potholders red black green holiday prints

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The holiday season brings warmth, joy, and a lot of wonderful food.  So why not keep the decorating going all the way into the kitchen with these fun and festive Christmas potholders!

Not only are these potholders quick and easy, they’re made using pieces of a layer cake, even for the binding.  The pinwheel pattern fits nicely into any holiday decorating scheme.  So let’s get started.



Supplies for Christmas Potholders

For this project, you’ll need:

  • Fabric Layer Cake – You will need six pieces from a layer cake to make two potholders.
  • Batting – I chose to use Insul-Brite to provide extra protection to my surfaces when using these potholders for hot dishes, but you could use cotton batting as well.
  • Sewing machine
  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat, and quilting ruler
  • Pins or clips
  • Iron and pressing mat



My suggestion when selecting your layer cake is to consider darker colours.  Potholders will get used, and they will get dirty.  Too much white fabric, and you’ll be making new potholders every year.  You’ll also want a layer cake that features a nice contrast of colours and patterns.  The pinwheel pattern works well with two colours that really stand out from each other.


You can watch my YouTube video to see how I put together my own Christmas potholders and get inspiration for your own.



For complete step-by-step instructions, continue reading below.


Instructions for Christmas Potholders

Start by choosing your fabrics from the layer cake.  For the pinwheels, you’ll want to select two fabrics that are in high contrast to each other.  For the backs, I chose to use two of the same print.  Binding can be a totally different print.

To create your pinwheels, start with your two contrasting fabrics.  Place them right sides together and sew them on all four sides.  You do not need to leave an opening, as we will be cutting the fabric, not turning it right side out.


fabric layer cake squares red black floral
You only need two pieces from a layer cake to make two pinwheel potholder tops!


Once your two pieces are stitched together, you will cut as follows:

  • Cut across the middle of the square, once horizontally and once vertically.  As these are 10-inch squares, you will be cutting at the middle, which is 5 inches.
  • Cut along the diagonal from each corner in an X.  
  • You will have made four cuts altogether.
  • If you find it easier, draw the cut lines with a fabric pen first.

After all your cuts are completed, you will have eight pieces.  Sort the pieces based on the patterns – four will look the same, and the other four will be the opposite.  Press all the triangles, making sure that you press them all in the same direction, ie towards the darkest fabric.  This will allow you to nest your pieces in the next step to create nice sharp points.


half-square triangles for Christmas potholders
There will be four sections of each pattern – sort them to create the two potholder tops.


To build your pinwheels, use the four pieces that look the same.  Arrange them into a square so that no two pieces of the same fabric are next to each other.  Repeat this for the other set of pieces.

Stitch pieces 1 and 2 together, followed by 3 and 4 together, ensuring you are nesting the seams.  Once those are stitched and pressed, sew the two halves together to create one block.  Press your seams.  Repeat this process for the second pinwheel block.

Now that you have created your charming pinwheel blocks, it’s time to assemble them into a potholder. Cut  a piece of batting for each potholder approximately the same size as the backing layer cake piece.  Place the backing wrong side up, with the batting on top, followed by the pinwheel block with the right side up, to create a sandwich.  

At this stage, choose how you would like to quilt your potholders to keep the batting in place.  I chose to do simple lines following the horizontal and vertical centre lines, but you could get very creative if you wanted to!  Have fun with it.



After your quilting is finished, it’s time to bind your Christmas potholders.  I made my own binding using one piece from the layer cake for each potholder.  Your potholders will measure approximately 8 ½” at this point, so using one layer cake piece cut into 2-inch strips will give you enough binding.  Finish as desired.

And that’s it!  You now have some lovely Christmas potholders to add a festive touch to any dining table.

These potholders will not only add holiday happiness to your own kitchen, but they also make for wonderful handmade gifts during the holiday season.


Not caught up on our 12 Days of Christmas in July?  Here’s what you may have missed:



Want to remember this?  Save “Fun and Festive Christmas Potholders: 12 Days of Christmas in July” to your favourite Pinterest boards!


quilted Christmas potholders red black green holiday prints


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Hi! I'm Tanya

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