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.