Sunday, May 20, 2018

How to Make a Quilted Christmas Pot Holder

Are you running a hand woven pot holder gift campaign for Christmas? This could help. Includes videos showing how to get accustomed to a basic potholder loom kit, potholder loops and lace edged variations, and other pot holder loom details:

 By A. Labedzki

A self-made potholder is a highly recommended gift item as it offers the unique advantage of being useful as well as decorative. Its appeal also lies in it being universal. It can be gifted to anyone who has a kitchen and even if the recipient already has a few of these, another one can always be added to the collection. It makes for a wonderful, handmade gift, and adds the extra personal touch of warmth.

Material required:

1. A square piece of fabric for the front
2. A larger square piece of fabric for the back
3. Heavy material for the inside batting
4. Sewing needle and matching threads
5. Iron

Please note that you may go in for the purchase of new fabrics or used scraps, such as old blankets or curtains.

Steps needed to make a quilted Christmas potholder:

• Fabric Placement: Place the fabric meant for the front side of the holder right on top of the batting material. Both must be precisely the same size.

• Stitching: Stitch the two together in any pattern of your choice. You may make a huge 'X' right across the front, with the diagonal lines intersecting in the middle of the top side, or make small squares or diamonds all through. If a geometrical pattern is chosen, make sure it is stitched symmetrically and uniformly so that the looks are aesthetic and pleasing.

• Patchwork: Another idea is to cut a patch of another fabric in the shape of a Christmas tree, or a bell, or anything else associated with Christmas. Sew the design on top of the fabric like a patch, meant for the front side of the potholder. This step is to let your creativity flow and allow for a lot of flexibility. You can also personalize it according to the taste of the intended recipient.

• Iron: Turn the stitched pieces inside out, pull out the corners, and iron them to remove the creases.

• Rear Fabric: Align the fabric meant for the backside under the pieces already stitched. Ensure that the extra portion of the rear fabric leaves proportionate borders on all sides.

• Stitching: Sew the backside fabric to the batting material and the front fabric. Fold the borders inside. These were primarily left to use as stitching allowance.

• Final Touches: Press the potholder flat and top stitch through all the layers in any pattern of your choice in case you used a decorative patch for the first two layers.

The extremely useful and fancy kitchen tool is now ready to be gifted to your near and dear ones!

Annette Labedzki received her BFA at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. She has more than 25 years experience. She is the founder and developer of an online art gallery featuring original art from all over the world. It is a great site for art collectors to buy original art. Is is also a venue for artists to display and sell their art. Artists can join for free and their image upload is unlimited. Please visit the website at

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

CFPB Goes After Firm Charging Illegal Fees Over Debt Relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today took action against a ring of law firms and attorneys who collaborated to charge illegal fees to consumers seeking debt relief. In a complaint filed in federal court, the CFPB alleges that Howard Law, P.C., the Williamson Law Firm, LLC, and Williamson & Howard, LLP, as well as attorneys Vincent Howard and Lawrence Williamson, ran this debt relief operation along with Morgan Drexen, Inc., which shut down in 2015 following the CFPB’s lawsuit against that company. The CFPB seeks to stop the defendants’ unlawful scheme, obtain relief for harmed consumers, and impose penalties.

“The defendants exploited consumers who were already suffering financial difficulties by tricking them into paying steep, illegal fees,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We put a stop to this scam once already, and we intend to do it again.”

Howard Law and Williamson & Howard are law firms based in Orange County, Calif. The Williamson Law Firm is registered in Kansas. Vincent Howard is the president of Howard Law, and Lawrence Williamson heads the Williamson Law Firm. Both are part owners of Williamson & Howard. These firms and lawyers offer debt relief services to consumers nationwide.

The Telemarketing Sales Rule generally prohibits debt relief providers from charging a fee until they have actually settled, reduced, or changed the terms of at least one of the consumer’s debts. It also limits the types of fees a debt relief provider can charge for already settled debts. Under this rule, consumers facing financial difficulties should not pay any fees for debt relief until they receive the services they signed up for.

The CFPB’s complaint alleges that the defendants violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule by collecting illegal fees and deceiving consumers about being charged upfront fees. Consumers seeking debt relief help from the attorneys in this case were given two contracts, one for debt settlement services and the other for bankruptcy-related services. The CFPB alleges that consumers who signed up sought services only for debt relief and not bankruptcy. The contract given to consumers related to bankruptcy was a ruse to disguise illegal upfront fees. The CFPB alleges that the attorneys collected tens of millions of dollars in unlawful fees this way from consumers, and often failed to settle any debts.

The defendants also assisted illegal debt relief practices by Morgan Drexen, Inc. and its president and chief executive officer, Walter Ledda. In 2015, the CFPB secured a judgment against Ledda for participating in the unlawful debt relief operation. In 2016, the CFPB secured a judgment against Morgan Drexen for the same conduct. The attorneys named in today’s case had worked alongside Morgan Drexen and Ledda to collect illegal fees, and then took over the operation after the CFPB halted Morgan Drexen’s and Ledda’s illegal activities.

The CFPB’s complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have actually violated the law.

The CFPB’s complaint can be found here: 


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit

Brought to you by Something Borrowed and Trading Well, as well as Underwood Scott and Scott Welsh.

How to Make a Quilted Christmas Pot Holder

Are you running a hand woven pot holder  gift campaign for Christmas? This could help. Includes videos showing how to get accustomed to a b...