I have decided to make "Panhandle Holders" for Christmas; like Pot holders and Christmas pockets put together. You can see "Christmas pockets" at this link: http://www.sewandquilt.com/design/project/xmaspockets.html
Do I need to use a "special" material to make them "heat resistant"?
Do I "stuff" them with a quilt batting or something?
You need Insul-Bright Insulated Lining to make it heat resistant. It comes on a bolt and looks very much like thin fleece that you use when making a quilt. Call a store such as JoAnn Fabrics or Hancock Fabrics in your area and ask if that they sell it. It might not be known as Insul-Bright, if made by another manufacturer.
If you've ever watched Emiril on TV you will notice that he always folds a kitchen towel to pick up hot things. You can use several thicknesses of old towels to pad your holders.
Back when I used to make curling iron pouches (basically a giant pan handle holder), there were several approaches. My favorite was to use pre quilted fabric (either yardage or quilted placemat, even old bedspread pieces), backed with teflon fabric. Teflon fabric is sold in fabric stores as yardage and is very easy to sew. It is silvery like a non stick ironing board pad. If you choose to quilt/batt your own, cotton or wool batting is better than polyester, because there is less chance of it melting. A little piping to control seam bulk, and you are done. Depending on your current sewing skills, assembly can take as little as 5 minutes. If you plan to make several, cut them all out, put the pieces together in the proper order, and go! You will be done before you know it!
The easiest way of all to make a panhandle pot holder is to get inexpensive square potholders at dollar stores, fold them in half and with coordinating strong thread(I use button craft thread) and an overcast stitch sew up the long side and across the bottom. If you fold it so that the hanging loop is at the open top end, you can hang it up too.
My husband has made these for cast iron pans. I believe what he used is called sheepskin. We found it at a fabric store. Cut it to size and sew the sides together with the wool facing the inside. The soft leathery side is on the outside then. These are extremely heat resistant, but will scorch over a flame. However, you will need a very strong needle and hands considering the toughness of the sheepskin.
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