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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 65 comments

Tips for Tuesday

My mother-in-law introduced me to these potholders to use on bowls in the microwave, and they're so handy I thought I'd share the instructions for those of you who sew.  These make great gifts!

You will need:
  • Sewing machine
  • 2 - 10" pieces coordinating cotton fabric
  • 2 - 10" pieces cotton batting (such as Warm n' Natural)
  • Coordinating cotton thread
  • Scissors
*Polyester in the microwave is not a good thing, so be sure to use 100% cotton fabric and batting.

1. Cut a 10" square piece of two different fabrics and 2 - 10" pieces of batting. Thin batting is preferable since the finished product will have two layers.

2. Layer each piece of the fabric with a piece of the batting and quilt the two layers together.

I used a stippling stitch, but you can also do a zig-zag stitch from corner to corner as seen below.  There just needs to be some quilting to stabilize the batting and keep it from bunching later.

3. Mark a line down the center of the square in each direction, dividing the square into quarters.

Next, mark a circle in the center for the bottom of the bowl.  I used a wide-mouth ring as a pattern, but you could also trace around the bottom of one of your bowls.

Then mark the darts by placing a dot 1" on either side of each of the center lines; make a line connecting the dot to the edge of the center circle. These angled lines will be your sewing lines.

SHORTCUT: Rather than marking each square (though you can), since I was making a number of potholders I used my first square as a pattern for the others.  I cut out the dart, leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance.

I then laid my "pattern" on top of the next square and marked the darts.

Since I traced the opening, this time I cut out the darts on the lines.

4. Sew the darts using 1/4 inch seam allowance by folding each "V" in half. (The "pattern" will have the sewing lines marked on it to give you an idea of where to sew.)

After all four darts are sewn on each piece you will have two bowl-shaped pieces.

Place the two bowl pieces right sides together and pin, matching darts and corners.

Using 1/4 inch seam, sew around the edge of the bowl, starting and stopping about 1" from the first and last corners.

This will give you an opening in the center of one side so you can turn the bowl right-side out...

...after clipping the corners, being careful not to clip the stitching.

Stitch around the edge of the potholder, folding in the raw edges of the opening and sewing that side first.

And there you have the finished product - and it's reversible!


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65 Responses so far.

  1. What a clever idea and such lovely detailed instructions. I love it! Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

  2. I would totally use that! I need one in a gigantic size for those pyrex type bowls. great idea.

  3. This is very cool! I don't sew but would love to have one, maybe I can get my daughter to make me one! Thanks for joining TTF!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great idea. You didn't say if you have to use cotton thread.

  5. Cotton thread is recommended, though all of mine were poly blends. I've been using the potholders several months now and there doesn't seem to be a problem.

  6. Unknown says:

    Thank you for these instructions! I was using another tutorial, and couldn't figure out a step! this is perfect, and understandable for me! THANK YOU!

    Oh! and funny enough, it was my Mother in Law who introduced me to these too!! :)



  7. Love them. Thanks for sharing.

  8. jsgrammie says:

    Oops--I thought it would go w/ my Google acct. I'm going back to see if I can retrieve any of the text--it's pretty wordy. Judy Smith

  9. Unknown says:

    Thanks for the great idea. I will be making these for my soup bowls. Also making them for my Pyrex bowls. Not only will they be handy for removing the bowls from the microwave I will be stacking the bowls in the pot holder it fits so as to protect my bowls as well.

  10. Unknown says:

    My Grandson love to use these when eating ice cream... no more cold hands!

  11. Geri says:

    I enjoy making these. I have made several. My husband uses them daily and especially likes the 12" size. I have made 15" size for casseroles. Smaller 10" great for holding cold ice cream bowls. Pretty too. Great gifts. I used everything cotton including thread.

  12. Tina R says:

    How about warming bread rolls...from the microwave to the table.!!

  13. Kare says:

    These are great and I have been making them for some time also. I use a slightly different method but the results are the same. I stitch corner to corner and side to side making star type pattern. Then I mark my darts width and depth and stitch them. I then trim off the excess. This is easier for me then marking and cutting all the separate v's for the darts. Love your quilt stitching! It looks great.

  14. Unknown says:

    Wow AWESOME SAUCE!!!!!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Will make some very soon! Thank you for sharing... thank you indeed!

  16. sst says:

    I love these and they are a hit with my friends and family. Great stocking stuffer! Very precise tutorial-thank you!
    If you want to make them for large bowls or casserole dishes, just measure bowl from side to side on the underneath to determine dimension of the square.

  17. What a clever and useful product! Thank you so much for your very easy to follow instructions. I've needed something like this for a long time and will make some soon. Hugs!

  18. Geri says:

    I must have made over 100 of them as gifts and boutique items. A very welcomed item.

  19. giggles says:

    Yay! Something to do during the holidays. I have some pre-washed fabric I would like to use--do I need to wash the batting before using it as well? Thanks!

  20. I didn't pre-wash the batting, so I'm not sure how well it washes. HOWEVER, when I washed my potholder it did wrinkle up so I think pre-washing is a good idea.

  21. Made these for Christmas presents and everyone, young and old, loved them. My grandchildren are always heating stuff in the microwave; now I know they will not burn their fingers.

  22. Unknown says:

    Yes, everything must be 100% cotton.

  23. My co-worker fellow sewer just facebooked these instructions to me. (Thanks Tina)and I had just seen this on a sewing site yesterday to purchase the instructions. Wow...thanks for posting this for free. I'm always burning myself on hot bowls transporting them from microwave to counter top. You have clearly shown and explained the process so I should have no trouble following the directions. Thanks bunches.

  24. Unknown says:

    I have made lots and I just fold in half with right sides together and measure 1 inch in from the fold and 2 inches down the fold. I draw a line and sew. That is for the 10 inch square. Do that to all four sides. Very simple and fast. 12 inch - 1 inch and 2 1/2 down 15 inch 1 inch and 3 inches down. Fast and simple

  25. Anonymous says:

    I've been making these for a long time and never thought of cutting the darts out before sewing them. We love them!

  26. Debbie P says:

    Happy to find your instructions! Can't wait to try these! I bought so many of these at craft shows this past Christmas for gifts. I was too busy to be making them on short notice. Going to make them for myself and a few January birthday gifts. I put 2 cozies, 2 nice soup bowls (from Home Goods or Kohls) and a soup mix in a gift bag.

  27. Unknown says:

    I'm at my daughters house and saw these for the first time. I thought it was such a unique idea I searched and found your pattern. Your instructions are super easy to follow. I can't wait to get started on making these. I have leftover fabric from making wonderboxes. Which also needs to be 100% cotton fabric. All I need is the batting.

  28. Peggyinno says:

    Wow! I have had this pinned for ages and I just made one today! This is a wonderful tutorial!! Just wanted to let you know. Now I can't wait to use it! Might have to make oatmeal in the morning! LOL!!
    Thanks for a great tutorial.

  29. Unknown says:

    I loved the idea of making a paper pattern, I have a friend that isn't a quilter so she can make these without using a rotary cutter & mat! Great! Thanks!

  30. Your tutorial is easy to understand, I appreciate the photos. Thank you for posting this.

  31. Sarah says:

    I have done several of these now with a slightly different method. I wish I had seen this way first!

  32. Thanks for posting these instructions. Very clear and easy to follow. Intend making some today. Thank you again.

  33. Unknown says:

    Thank You soooooo much Ms. Lisa....I am a beginner in sewing, so I decided to make the microwave bowl and I love it. You gave great details so I was able to follow all the instructions.

  34. Thank you so much for the pattern and the instructions. I just bought from a county fair for $8.00. She was selling them like hot cakes. :)

  35. FB says:

    I made several holders from your pattern and the instructions were spot on. No problems at all. My brother-in-law uses his all the time. Thank you so much for posting this pattern. FB.

  36. For those of us who are visual learners, this video is perfect. Time for me to make these for Cbristmas gifts. ThNk you to taking the time to make this visual instruction.

  37. Unknown says:

    Found your pattern today and will be making some for Christmas presents this year. Great tutorial

  38. Unknown says:

    Great tutorial. Will be making some this year for Christmas gifts to many family members.

  39. Thank you for your detailed tutorial. Was wondering what to give as office holiday gifts,and your post met my need!

  40. Unknown says:

    I luv the scripture verse...Jeremiah 29:11 - one of my favorite verses. Anyway, I've been seeing these bowl holders at craft shows and thought I'd make some for Christmas gifts. I have the fabric /batting, all I needed was these directions. Seems simple enough..can't wait to start making these. Thank you for sharing!

  41. Jean says:

    Love the tutorial...well done. I'm about to start making these and was wondering, do you really need 2 layers of batting? would 1 not be enough?

  42. I am wondering if anyone would be able to convert this pattern to plate size so that when you microwave a dinner plate you can hold it without burning your hand?

  43. Unknown says:


  44. sassyann says:

    Daughter made these for all of us and we love them so much when we have a hot meal in a bowl. They are wonderful. Her husband has had her make them for his secret santa gift.Going to save this for me, so I can make them for my Red Hatters next Christmas.

  45. Trixi says:

    Love these. We travel in an RV a lot.I keep a bowel cozy between each Corelle bowl so they are handy and to stop the dishes rattling when we're driving. Have made these with other instructions but liked yours better. Thanks for sharing

  46. Unknown says:

    Great directions .Going to make one for me and my hubby . Thank you

  47. jen jen says:

    Has anyone tried using flannel as the inner batting layers or at least as one of the 2 layers ?i feel like the double thickness of the cotton batting would be to thick

  48. I have corelle flat bowls, that measure 8.5 across the top and about 5.5 on the bottom. what size do I make for it?

  49. Unknown says:

    Thank you making this so clear!!! I will definitely be making some of these!!!!

  50. Susan says:

    On another post with this pattern, using cotton thread was stressed. Cotton thread can be more difficult to find, but polyester can catch fire in the microwave. Another thing mentioned was to not use cotton fabric with metallic threads in ti. This will cause arcing in the microwave and could ruin your microwave.

  51. Fantastic instructions
    Thank you

  52. Unknown says:

    I just made mine. First one was made with wrap n zap, a little to thick to my liking. Next on was with warm and white, like that so much better. Quick and easy tutorial, very easy for us beginner sewers, thank you

  53. Anonymous says:

    I just started making these. I made12 inch squares & they fit lots of bowls & casserole dishes. I made 12 in the last week. What fun!! Will be giving sets for Christmas. Thanks 😍😍

  54. thanks, I would like to make these for Christmas presents :)

  55. Unknown says:

    i made some of these with warm and natural batt. i learned that it is only 87.5% cotton with 12.5% polymer fibers. the warm and natural company does not recommend using their product in the microwave. i then bought wrap and zap which is 100% cotton and can be used in the microwave.

  56. Maude La says:

    Like so many others here I have used a different pattern to make these ...but I really like how you make them the best ...I am saving this so that I can refer back to it ...till I get the instructions down pat !!!....I love these and I am thinking about making flat ones with just one layer of batting so that I can line my pots and pans with them to keep them from scratching ...right now I use Bounty Paper Towels as a way to help them from scratching...I think these would be better ,,,,But instead of the microwave batting I will just use POLY FILL Batting ....that would be all that I would need for the pots and pans

  57. Poly blend can catch fire in the microwave. To insure this doesn't happen you should use only 100% cotton and only microwave in 3 minute intervals.

  58. Thank you. I have been making these bowl holders for a while but your pattern has a more professional look.
    God bless you. (I Peter 2: 9)

  59. I use a 12" square for a little larger bowl cozy. You can use any size you want, just experiment. Since a lot of cotton batting has scrim, or some sort of poly glue on it, I use the needle punched batting so I am assured there are no strange things to catch fire. 100% cotton fabric (no metallic), batting, and 100% cotton thread, not cotton wrapped something. I always prewash and dry. The bowl cozy washes like a potholder, remove from wash, reshape, and dry on a tall glass.

  60. Unknown says:

    I love these and have made several. I don’t sew a seam on the darts. I cut it like you do, but I meet the edges together just zig zag them together. Less bulk.

  61. Busybabs says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I use a walking foot to sew these. Makes for smoother and easier sewing. Yes these make great gifts and boutique items.

  62. Unknown says:

    wow I can not wait to make one Merry Christmas

  63. Nark says:

    Perfect for a bowl of ice cream but I would suggest making the darts wider for the smaller ice cream pints.

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