How-To: Simple Quilted Potholder

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If there’s one thing a kitchen can never have enough of, it’s potholders. How many times have you been standing in front of a scorching-hot pan, needing to pull it off the heat, with nary a potholder to be found? Maybe it’s just me … but either way, these simple quilted potholders will protect your hands and are an ideal way to use up fabric scraps. Making them is also a chance to get started with patchwork and quilting without committing to making an entire quilt. Read on to find out how to make them!

4 strips of light to medium-weight cotton fabric, each measuring 9"×2.75"
9"×9" piece of light to medium-weight cotton fabric
Two 9"×9" pieces of cotton quilt batting (I like Warm & Natural brand.)
4"–5" length of ribbon
Note: All seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise specified.
Step 1: Place one strip of fabric right side up at the edge of one of the 9"×9" squares of quilt batting. Place a second strip of fabric right side down on top of the first strip and pin. Sew along the innermost edge of the fabric strip, then flip open and press flat with an iron.
Step 2: Place a third strip of fabric right side down on top of the last strip you sewed and pin into place. Repeat the same sewing and pressing routine from Step 1. Repeat with the fourth fabric strip, so that the entire square of quilt batting is covered in stitched-down fabric strips.
Step 3: Place the 9"×9" square of fabric right side up on top of the remaining square of quilt batting. Place the patchwork square right side down on top of this stack. Insert a short length of ribbon into one corner of the fabric strap, with the raw ends sticking outside of the square by about 1" or so. Pin around all edges of the square, then sew around all edges of the potholder. When you start sewing the edges, begin your stitching in the middle of one edge and leave a 3" opening for turning the potholder inside out.
Tip: If you’d like the potholder to be even more heat-resistant, you can also add a layer of Insul-Bright at this point.
Step 4: Press the potholder flat, then topstitch through all layers, about 1/8" from the outer edge. This will close up the opening from Step 3 as well as provide a nice decorative look. Continue topstitching through all layers of the potholder in any pattern you like — I did simple lines from side to side, backstitching at the beginning and end of my stitching. That’s it! Go forth and enjoy cooking with burn-free hands thanks to your new, super-cute potholder.

29 thoughts on “How-To: Simple Quilted Potholder

  1. jessi says:

    Just 2 layers of cotton batting’s enough? I’m afraid to make potholders because I don’t want to burn my hands.

  2. Jenny Ryan says:

    Hi Jessi, I’ve been making (and using) them this way for years– but as noted in Step #3, you can absolutely add an extra layer of Insul-Bright if you’re concerned. Hope this helps!

  3. em says:

    I’ve made lots of potholders with cotton batting, and when they wear out (as they inevitably do) the cotton innards can catch on fire really easily.
    Wool batting is a bit more flame-retardant than cotton. If it catches on fire, it burns more slowly.
    I’d reccomend using wool batting in a potholder.

  4. Sonja says:

    I just made a pair of your potholders – take a look at them:
    Since I am a greenhorn in sewing, the potholders are wonky and not even the same size, but I think they’re cute anyway. :-)

  5. Ayana P. says:

    Hi :)
    Great work! Potholder came out beautiful!!!
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    Anyone who enjoys doing crafts should check out the site!
    They have some excellent storage solutions and organizations products. I strongly recommend visiting their website!
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  6. alia says:

    It is to easy to make it ilike it very much.

  7. Katy Lunsford says:

    Thank you for the lovely tutorial.

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Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.

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