At a rummage sale last year, I came across some old potholders. Simply made of old-fashioned print cotton, they were worn and singed–obviously veterans of many meals. Their simplicity appealed to me, so I bought them (3 for 25 cents), washed them, and put them in my kitchen drawer. I had other fancier potholders–including one in the shape of a trout–but they were so stiff and bulky that I found myself reaching for my rummage-sale potholders, which were light and flexible. I found myself wondering about the woman who had made them. She had been practical, as the potholders were entirely sewn and quilted by machine. She had been thrifty, using squares of an old bedspread as padding. She had cooked a lot, because all three potholders were singed and faded. And she had a streak of creativity, because each potholder was quilted with different patterns. In other words, she seemed a lot like me! As they became more worn and in danger of falling apart, I made my own versions from fabric scraps, and I offer the instructions here: this is a great way to use up odds and ends of material. (I tried to come up with a more exciting title for this blog, and experimented with “Potholders!” and “The Potholders of Your Dreams,” and “Oh, Wow, Potholders,” but, you know, they’re just potholders, so that’s what I called this blog!)
Materialsrectangle of laundered cotton fabric, 6-1/2 x 10-1/2″ rectangle of cotton batting, 4-7/8 x 5-7/8″ thread
Place the cotton batting on the wrong side of one end of the fabric rectangle, as shown. Baste.
Clip the corners, and turn inside out. Iron, turning under the seam allowance of the 2″ gap.
Topstitch close to the edge around the rectangle. Topstitch again 1/4″ within first line of topstitching. Topstitch from one corner to the other, turn, and topstitch from corner to corner. Iron.