Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hollow Cube Quilted Potholder; you CAN quilt!

If you can sew simple projects using straight stitching, you can quilt! The pleasure of quilting potholders is the size of the project; one block is all it takes. Time is your friend.

So let's begin to step a bit out of the box, stretch our comfort zone and bring triangles into the house of potholders. The magic is...we're making an itty, bitty potholder with an itty bitty amount of fabric. So, if you make a mistake, very little fabric is lost and the quilting experience you will gain is priceless.

Triangles and quilting are a combination that have always caused me stress and sent me running back to the safe, easy, simple square...and its unlimited variations. But learning how to quilt can depend as much on the ease and simplicity of a tutorial as it does on the ability to sew. This video below explains the creation of a hollow cube pattern using six triangles. Presented in an easy, step by step process, this tutorial will ensure the success of your project. Your finished potholder will be creative and pretty and will demonstrate your new-found quilting finesse!

Yes, you CAN quilt!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Creative Crocheted Potholders

Potholders come in all manners of creation. Some of the prettiest I've seen are crocheted. This week, several crocheted cuties stood out. They look a bit complex, but obviously - doable.

Getting prepared for Christmas can be stressful - particularly in these economically troubled times. Crocheting a couple pretty potholders that your friends will enjoy for years to come, is a feasible, inexpensive way to show your Love. A homespun project such as a beautifully crafted potholder will give smiles and enjoyment. Yarn is fairly inexpensive and you probably have crochet needles already. Crochet patterns are straightforward; we'll cover some in the next post.

Sarah London has a "wooleater" pattern that she displays as a potholder or a blanket on her site. Beautiful work Sarah!

Want a detailed, colorful Poinsettia to widen your friend's eyes on Christmas morning? This crocheted Poinsettia potholder is the perfect choice. (Read this touching story about Maria and Pablo, and how the Poinsettia became a symbol of Christmas).

Are roses your passion? This complex looking Rose potholder and hot-pad set will test your crochet talents, but appears a worthy project. How delicate and classy this will appear on your friend's kitchen wall!

If you want to touch the heart of a friend this Christmas, this sweet-looking heart-shaped potholder is your key.

Want a quick, weekend project to assist your Christmas list? Check out the sites above to engage your creative side. You'll relax, create, produce and check off your holiday list - all in a few, enjoyable hours.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CRAFTY CROCHET; Pretty Potholders

Most of us want something to do while we watch TV, sit by the fireplace or just feel creative. Most of us crochet, at least the basics such as single and double crochet stitches. There you are; potholder pretties comin' up!

The following sites have some creative ideas with fairly simple patterns. This little cutie will catch the eye of everyone who visits your kitchen, especially the kitty lovers in your circle. There are several more patterns on this site. This heart-shaped potholder is not only pretty, but uses rags for its creation, a utilitarian project.
This site gave me pause; these may be the prettiest potholders ever! So many patterns, so little time. If you go to craft shows, you've probably seen this potholder already. The pattern directions are easy and well photographed.

http: // This log cabin quilt block look-alike is unusual and classy, definitively one from the 'guesthouse' potholders. Towards the bottom left of the page, they have a list of other patterns, very much worth your time if you're looking for unique patterns.
These crochet books from 1944 and 1950, might interest you if you enjoy making potholders of various shapes such as cowboy boots, strawberries, gingerbread men, etc.

I wanted something different for my last craft show. A pattern for a 'scrubby' popped up and looked so intriguing, I made it as a potholder (just made it a bit larger). After one row of single crochet stitches, I alternated triple crochet stitches with single ones. The effect is a 'bumpy'/'nubby' texture, quite lovely and unique. Let me know if you try it, we'd enjoy hearing your thoughts about it.

"Tangled Yarns" has the pattern at the link below.

Happy crocheting, from Potholders Plus.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Easy Quilted Potholders: You CAN Quilt!

Are you are a frustrated quilter? Do you spend envious hours browsing expensive quilt magazines? Do you marvel at Eleanor Burns or Sewing with Nancy as they breezily run their quilt squares through their sewing machines, thinking that you will never be able to quilt? Well, do not dismay; think small...the lowly potholder to your rescue!

Do you have some old cotton skirts or blouses taking space in the back of your closet? Does your husband or your teenage children have cotton shirts they never wear? Any old washcloths, towels or blankets ready to be replaced? Can you sew a straight line with your old sewing machine? Presto! You have some potential holiday gifts ready for creation. Your friends will welcome some nice looking, new potholders to brighten their kitchens. And real friends, truly enjoy a gift that is handcrafted with care and thoughtfulness, no matter how small.

How you proceed from here, is totally up to your ingenuity, imagination, time and patience. I've surfed the net and found some quilted potholder sites that may appeal to your artistic, creative side.
has easy, simple instructions, completer with clear pictures. You might want to 'stitch in the ditch' along some of the lines where the different fabrics meet. It's easy to do, just place some pins along the seams to keep the fabric from 'walking' which may end in a pucker at the end of your seam. Either use a 'walking' foot or just lower the pressure on the pressure foot to minimize puckers. gives detailed directions, also with clear, large pictures so you cannot go wrong. They do interesting quilting lines across the rail fence lines for a double-quilted look; quite nice. uses bias tape to finish the edges, which is a bit easier I think, than turning them inside out. Your particular sewing skill and comfort level will lead your way.

Have fun. Take your time. If you have 'mistakes', they can always keep company with your other potholders at home. Someone said to me at a craft show, "You can never have too many potholders!"

Don't forget to share your projects with us. Even a small tip from your experience, might give someone else the necessary confidence to finish their own project.

Happy sewing! Enjoy your trick-or-treaters.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Mini-quilting": One potholder at a Time

Some of us enjoy the look of quilting; the perfectly matching corners where the colors meet, the interconnected beauty of delicate, pretty fabrics and designs, etc. We even enjoy the sometimes slow, precise, painstaking work of putting all these special shapes and sizes into their proper place to fashion a quilt block. But "times" 64 or 96? Maybe not. So, the quilt experience may get tabled and put off for 'later'.

Enter, the lowly potholder! Just 1 quilt block and you have a beautifully fashioned, yet usable potholder. Quite magical.

100 Quick to Quilt Potholders, by Jeanne Stauffer, contains pages of potholders created from every imaginable quilt block. (click on the sidebar picture of this book to see more details). Maybe these beauties only decorate a kitchen wall, showing off your creativity and finesse with a needle, but there are certainly worse jobs in life... I don't think they mind.

With Christmas approaching, a pretty, quick potholder may fit your needs.

As you can see, the lowly potholder...can be a 'classic', in its own right. The potholder has moved over to the 'guest' quarters...

Nature prevails.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Lowly Potholder

Hardly a kitchen exists that does not house at least one, functional potholder. They serve a major role in the safe handling of cookware. Yet, the lowly potholder works in silence, toiling away, day after week after year, with little - if any recognition.

According to, Some of the most unusual and charming pot holders date from the 1950s. Many of these were crocheted in a variety of novel shapes, including fruit, flowers and more.

(I wonder what the cave dwellers used to handle their pots over their cook fires).

Today, many types of heat protection are available for the center of potholders; silicone textiles, old towels, blanket parts, quilt batting, and of course the special Kevlar type batting specially made for potholders, found in craft stores and online.

We can hand-make potholders of knitted, crocheted and loomed textiles. They are easy to fashion with a sewing machine. And not to forget the lowly potholders patiently awaiting a home, hanging in the kitchen areas of stores. Many more are only a click away, online, as they will be here, in the near future.

A potholder is limited only to the imagination of its creator. For the most part, potholders are made for their simple, utilitarian position in the home. We're here to change that! The lowly potholder is moving out of the work quarters and into the guesthouse! There is nothing too proud or desirable for the new, improved potholder that it cannot carry with grace, beauty, class and style.

Keep an eye on our progress here, over the next few months. We will eventually offer our own crafted only by our imagination. And we tend to think...a bit out-of-the-box!

Meanwhile, we'll be searching the net and linking to all the sites that offer potholders. If you are looking for a particular type of potholder, let us know and we'll endeavor to hook you up with your need.

Since Nature is our penchant, we'll work harder to find the more natural fibered potholders as well as homemade ones.

Please post any comments you may have on our new debutante. Maybe your Grandma had a special one she bought or fashioned. Maybe you bought a unique potholder at a craft show. Maybe you make some potholder pretties that we could display here. Let your imagination be your guide.

And as always...Nature prevails.