Foot of the Month: Quilted Potholders Created with the Circular Attachment

March 18, 2019By Joanne BankoBrother Sews Ambassador, Foot of the Month, Projects 8 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

Nothing beats the Brother Circular Sewing Attachment for sewing perfect circles! This month we are featuring this attachment as our Foot of the Month. In this project, we’ll show you how to create clever quilted potholders that are neatly finished on both sides. Are you ready? Let’s go sew!

Materials and Supplies

  • Brother Sewing Machine model suitable for use with Circular Sewing attachment.
  • SACIRC1 Circular Attachment Bundle. Note: The circular sewing attachment works on many Brother model machines. Check with your local dealer for the most current compatibility list.
  • Manual for SAIRC1 Circular Attachment Bundle. Review set up and usage instructions in manual before beginning this project.
  • SA540 Brother lightweight water-soluble stabilizer. Cut two pieces measuring 6-inches square for each potholder.
  • SA5810 Brother lightweight tear-away stabilizer. Cut one piece measuring 2-inches square for each potholder.
  • Basic sewing notions, including thread to match or contrast with fabrics, and an erasable marker.
  • Small sharp scissors for trimming.

Fabric requirements for each potholder:

  • Two 10-inch squares of cotton, one for front of potholder and one for back.
  • Two 10-inch squares of thin cotton batting, one for front of potholder and one for back.
  • One 6-inch square of contrasting cotton fabric for center circle. Fuse medium weight interfacing to wrong side of square.
  • One narrow strip of fabric measuring 2-inches wide X 6-inches long for creating loop.
Note: Finished size of each completed potholder is a circle with a circumference of 8-inches. See back of potholder in Figure #1.
Figure #1

Instructions for Creating Potholders

You can make each potholder in just a few easy steps! Complete all steps for each potholder you wish to make.

  1. Fold under ½-inch on each long side of narrow strip, pressing toward center. Layer each of the 10-inch squares with a piece of batting. Assemble all pieces for creating potholders. See Figure #2.
Figure #2
  1. Set up machine for sewing with the circular attachment. See Figure #3.
Figure #3

Thread top and bottom with thread to match 6-inch square. Layer 6-inch square with two pieces of water-soluble stabilizer on the wrong side. Place pivot pin through center of all layers. See front and back side in Figure #4.

Figure #4

Create a small circle with satin stitched edges as follows: Transfer fabric and pivot pin to designated position on attachment and set scale to 50mm. Select a straight stitch in the left needle position. Sew circle. See Figure #5.

Figure #5
  1. Next, stop and slide attachment to the left. See enhanced photo below:

Carefully trim away fabric close to circle, leaving stabilizer in place. See below:

Change to foot “N” for satin stitching. Set scale to 45, select a zig zag stitch set for 5.0 wide and 0.4 long, and stitch around circle. See below:

Remove excess stabilizer, wash out remainder and dry.

  1. Select a set of layered cotton and batting. Add small piece of stabilizer in the center on the wrong side. Place pivot pin through center of all layers and transfer to attachment. Quilt both top and bottom pieces with concentric circles, starting with the scale set at 60, then 70, 80, 90, and 100. Stitch one final circle set at 115. Repeat steps for second set. See Figure #6
Figure #6
  1. Form circles by trimming each set of quilted squares just beyond the final circle stitched at 115mm. See example of trimming before and after in Figure #7.
Figure #7
  1. Remove attachment from machine. Set machine for sewing with standard foot. Sew along folded edges of strip. Form a loop and pin to top of front piece. See Figure #8.
Figure #8
  1. Place circles right sides together and sew a ¼-inch seam all around the outer edge.
Tip: Change stitch width setting to 5.5 and sew with fabric along edge of presser foot for a consistent ¼-inch seam. See Figure #9.
Figure #9

In order to turn the piece right side out, you’ll need to mark off a small opening on the top piece. Carefully cut fabric using markings as a guide and taking care to cut through just the top layer of fabric and batting. See below:

Turn to right side and press. Layer small circle on top, covering the opening in the process. Stitch across, and then around small circle to anchor it through all layers. See Figure #10a and #10b.

Figure #10a
Figure #10b

You are finished. Enjoy! See front side of finished potholder below:


    • Thanks Reen!
      I played around with it to figure out the easiest and neatest way to hide the opening. The circular attachment made these circles so easy and so perfect 🙂

  • What needle position setting did you use to get a 1/4 inch by lining up with edge of presser foot? I know that for my 1250D I set it at 5,5 for a quarter inch. Is this the same as on the machine you have used? Do you know if a 5.5 is consistent for a quarter inch when lined up with the J foot for all Brother machines?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Speattle!

      In my experience the 5.5 setting is a consitent 1/4-inch setting on Brother mahcines with the “J” foot. I’ve used this setting for every Brother machine. Happy Sewing!

  • Great tutorial! I like how the small circle hides the opening for turning as when I turn things like a square or rectangle I have trouble doing a neat enough job, although most don’t see the imperfections, I do!

    Think of the other designs you could use in the middle: a Christmas tree or just a pine tree for a forest/camping theme, a heart, a star, etc. As long as they are big enough to adequately cover the opening. It seems to me if you have an embroidery machine either separate or part of your machine, you could use it to make applique shapes and sew them precisely onto the potholder. At least something to try. 🙂

    • Hi Gail!
      The circular attachment makes sewing perfect circles effortless. While sewing this project “in my head,” I decided the opening at the top would be the best option. Then I had to think of a way to cover it up and add an accent. You are right about using other shapes – that’s an excellent idea!

      It was great to hear from you. Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions!

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