Sewing Potholders

When gearing up for the winter season I almost always think of potholders in the kitchen. Cooking is a huge part of our winter enjoyment and sustainability when the days are short and the work is long. Often times we’ll make a large pot of chili or soup to carry us for a few days of firewood detail or moving ice and snow. Large pots of food require large potholders, thus spurring me to create a design that called on an old-fashioned style.

This step-by-step process for making a potholder is achievable with a sewing machine or by hand-stitching. Often times I’ll take this exact design and add a contrasting hand-sewn border to personalize it for gifts to friends and family. For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to stick to the basics here. This is the exact pattern I use for the potholders I sell through my business over at Rope and Line Handmade during the holiday season.

Materials needed:

  • card stock paper or a paper grocery bag
  • scissors for paper and fabric
  • marker
  • thermal insulation or quilter’s batting
  • 1/4 yard of fabric
  • thread
  • small cup

Making the Pattern:

Fold your paper down diagonally to make a right triangle. Trim off the bottom portion to make a perfect square. Keep your scrap for making the loop pattern.

Fold your square into fourths. Take a small cup or something round to mark for a curve on the outside corners of your pattern.

Separate the top 3 corners from the last corner and cut along your curved line. It’s important to keep one corner sharp to attach your hanging loop to.

Cut your end scrap piece to 2 1/4 x 6″ for the hanging loop.

Sewing your Potholder:

Cut one piece of batting material using your square pattern, either thermal insulation or quilter’s batting. The thermal option is better for transferring heat but the normal batting also works as a trusted barrier. You can layer up a few pieces of scrap flannel for your inside piece if you don’t have access to batting of any kind.

Cut 2 pieces of your chosen fabric.

Layer 3 pieces in this order and orientation. Right sides together with batting on the bottom.

Begin sewing at the loop corner with a seam allowance of 1/4″ – backstitch at the top for strength when you turn inside-out. Sew all the way around to the top, leaving about 6 inches open. Backstitch at the end of your stitch, as well.

Flip over your potholder and trim off 1/4″ of batting at the opening. This space will allow you to fold the fabric in to close up your pot holder.

At this stage, prepare your loop. Fold your 2 1/4 x 6 piece in half lengthwise. Press a hard seam with your fingers. Open back up and fold edges to inside pressed seam and fold in half again, hiding raw edges. Sew a seam 1/4″ from open edge and set aside.

Flip your potholder right side out and fold your raw edges inside, pinning as you go. Before you pin the corner, fold your loop piece and tuck in the corner.

Sew a 1/4″ seam around the edge of the entire potholder, concealing your opening and securing your loop.

Stitch an “X” on your potholder or create a personalized design!

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