Every year, I make pot holders to give away to my friends. It’s become a seasonal ritual that started with my grandmother’s version. She used to sew a curtain ring in a corner, to hang them up with. I’ve had one of her’s in my kitchen drawer until last week, when I finally threw it out. And she died over 20 years ago! Over the years, I’ve adapted the design, which I’ll show you here.
Pot holders are so simple to make and it’s a good way to use up scraps of loud fabric that don’t match anything. I first pick out some fabric from my stash–this time some shop keepers, with a line of paper-doll chain style shoppers. I’ve had this fabric sample for years and can’t remember where it came from. I also included some checked batik fabric and some favorite 40-year-old blue Mari Mekko scraps.
I cut the batik fabric on the bias and sewed several lengths together to make tape for the edging.
An old cotton mattress pad is the secret ingredient to making pot holders like my grandmother’s. I had used up my old supply and recently found a cotton pad when cleaning out a relative’s house. Yipee! Polyester filled pot holders just don’t insulate well enough!
I cut out pieces and sandwiched together 3 layers, a front, a cotton pad middle and a back.
I then outlined the figures by stitching through the 3 layers.
Then I stitched the bias tape around the outside edge of the back side.
I then turned the bias tape over to the front side and pinned it in place.
This is the most fussy part—-stitching the tape on the top side. The tape usually puckers a bit as you turn the corner. I had previously stitched on a Wee Folk Studio label that was left over from the days of selling felt purse kits.
I saved some extra length of bias tape to flip over for a loop.
Now, they’re all in my friends’ kitchens. I like to make pot holders because they are not too precious—they will be used and enjoyed daily and can be thrown into the washing machine.