Fat Quarter Friday {guest post from Syzygy of Me}

I’m so excited about today’s Fat Quarter Friday and not because the post I wrote last night was never saved so I lost everything, but because Karen’s idea is brilliant and way better then what I had planned anyways. It is one of those “Now why did I think of that?!” projects. Trust me, this is brilliant! So let’s all welcome Karen from Syzygy of Me.

Hi 2 little hooligans readers!  I am Karen from Syzygy of Me, and I am so excited to share a project with you for Fat Quarter Friday!

Do you cringe every time you have to remove a hot bowl from the microwave, afraid that you will burn your fingers, or worse yet, drop the bowl and spill the hot contents on you or your kiddos?  Well fear no more because today I am going to show you how to make a bowl potholder so you don’t even have to touch that hot bowl!

Here is what you will need:

2 coordinating fat quarters (100% cotton)

100% cotton batting

cotton thread

sewing machine

quilting ruler and mat or scissors


fabric marker

chopstick or bodkin for pushing out corners

You want to make sure you use 100% cotton materials because synthetic fibers could melt or catch fire in the microwave.  Be sure your batting doesn’t contain scrim or glue.

To figure out how big to cut your squares, measure the outside of the bowl from one edge to the other.

Then cut one square from each fabric, and two squares of batting to this measurement.  My bowl measured 10″, so my squares were 10″.

Place one fabric square right side up on top of a batting square, and quilt them together by sewing an X with a straight stitch diagonally to opposite corners.  Repeat for the other fabric square.  (Yes, I switched fabric on you!)

Now your are going to make darts in the centers of each side to give the potholder a bowl shape.

Fold the quilted square in half to find the center for the dart.  I found the best way to do this was to line it up on my quilting mat grid and mark the stitch line with a fabric marker.  I came in 1″ and down 2 1/4″ for the dart.  Pin and repeat on all four sides.  Repeat for other quilted square.

Sew along marked lines, back tacking at the ends of the darts.  Trim seams.

The two halves should resemble bowls at this point.

Pin the bowls right sides together, matching corners and dart seams.  Using 1/4″ seam, sew together, leaving about 3″ open for turning.  I always put two pins at the opening to remind me where I am supposed to stop.

Trim corners.  Turn right side out, push out corners, and press.

Topstitch around the edge, and you are done!

This is what the outside looks like.

This is a pretty forgiving pattern, and if you have an odd shaped bowl you are trying to fit, the darts can be adjusted to the length or depth you need.  Just test the fit of the bowl before the darts are sewed, and make adjustments as needed.

These work great for making hot cereals or reheating foods in the microwave.

They can also be used as an insulating pad for cold foods like ice cream, so your lap and hands don’t freeze!  They should only be used in the microwave, though, and are not for use in a regular, toaster, or convection oven.

Thanks so much for having me, Christina, and I hope you all enjoy this quick and fun little project!

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  1. Mustangkayla says:

    How neat! Great tutorial! I just pinned it on Pinterest!

  2. Maria Mendoza says:

    What a great idea/ Thanks for sharing

  3. I love it! What a useful project!

  4. VickiT says:

    This is just awesome. We have been using an extra plate larger than the bowl but this will save on washing dishes. Saving on washing plates is always a good thing. :) We would heat the food in the bowl and then slide it onto the plate. Of course the plate would gradually get warm underneath the bowl so all it really did was give us a place to hold onto it without touching the hot bowl and to have a place for any spills to go. These though are SO much better. Great idea. thank you.

  5. Well that’s just brilliant! I love it and may just have to give it a go!

  6. ADORABLE! This is something I would actually use because I’m always burning my hands on the bowl when it comes out from the microwave. And the fact that I could use fabric that matches my curtains seals the deal!

  7. This is brilliant! This will come in handy during the winter months especially. I find myself microwaving all kinds of things in the mornings.

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  10. Just made some of these and immediately used one for soup for my husband. He actually like it! Great idea. I know I will pass this along to friends. Simple but very useful. Thanks

  11. Saw this on Pionterest – brilliant – I have not been quilting for while – this is the perfect project to get started again…now I have to figure out how to crochet and felt it – I think wool would work in the micorwave.

  12. Mary Stewart says:

    Just linked over from Pinterest. I was floored at how simple yet brilliant your bowl pad is. I will be making these for Christmas, house warming/ new apartment gifts etc. Love your blog and have signed up to get your emails. Thanks again, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned my hands or spilled hot soup on my hands because I thought I had a good grip on the hot bowl with a regular hot pad or kitchen towel. BRILLIANT DESIGN!

    • Anonymous says:

      J. Patrick says, Aug, 2013
      GREAT IDEA, can’t wait to make and use this wonderful hand saver. Age or injury can make it hard to hold onto bowls when removing items from the microwave, and even harder when you are a short person and the microwave it set in the wall above the kitchen range. Thank you for such a great idea. All of my retired buddies will love these.

  13. It’s really a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I just use handmade potholders, but these are cute.

  15. you are brilliant, i now know what i am making everyone for christmas this year

  16. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. These will make cute little gifts.

  17. Nancy Wolff says:

    I Will Be Making These For Christmas Presents. Great Idea

  18. Love the detail of your pattern and instruction.
    Thanks so much…what a great gift.

  19. I am amazed. I will certainly be making some of these practical, useful items, and some for family and friends. Thank you.

  20. So, do you use in the microwave as you are heating up the food in the bowl?

    • Yes Ruth, the bowl is placed in the hot pad before putting it in the microwave. That is why 100% cotton batting is required.

      • I made this exactly as it says and it caught fire. What went wrong I used 100% cotton everything thread fat quarter batting. All said it was 100% cotton. I love this idea. Please any reply is welcomed.

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  22. I LOVE the idea and the tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing. It just the type of small project i was looking for :-)!

  23. Annette Lafontaine says:

    Really love this little bowl holder ! Would you have the measurements to make one for regular dinner plates ? That would be really handy too ! Thank you !

  24. Thank you so much. This will be a perfect little homemade gifty for hubby’s Santa stocking!

  25. Made it. Love it. Will make more . Thank you :)

  26. I have purchased everything in cotton as you recommended,but went to WalMart and they sell the Potato Express. I looked at the labels, and the whole thing is polyester, including the poly fill. Of course, itis made in China, but obviously has to work, or it would not be sold in The USA. I am doing mine all in cotton anyway, just in case.

  27. Pat Glissman says:

    I can’t wait to make some for my bosses. It is hard to come up with something I think they would like and use. I plan on personalizing them. (ie:one of my female bosses likes to golf. I found the perfect golf print for her. Thank you for sharing!

  28. I’m confused and concerned. The materials required say to use 100% cotton batting but not all cotton batting can be used in the microwave. It can be bonded with an acrylic solution (flammable), it can contain scrim (polyester grid that holds the fibers together and is flammable), it can have a glue saturation to hold the fibers together (flammable) and even though the package says 100% cotton, it can contain polyester fibers to hold the cotton fibers together. Right now, I know of only two 100% cotton brands that can be used in a microwave….Pellon’s Wrap n Zap and Warm and Natural’s Warm Tater. Mountain Mist Rose Dream 100% may be usable AFTER it has been washed before putting into the microwave. It is bonded with a water soluble solution that washes out. I realize these pot holders are only used for a short period of time but why take a chance on using a flammable batting?

    Can you clarify the batting question for me? .

    • I had the smae question when I started making these two years ago. I bought several lining material. The one I ended up using was 1oo percent with a very (less than one percent) light poly skrim. I went so far as to test it by boiling water in the bowl set in the cozy for several minutes. The cozy held its shape, no fire and ect. The people using mine have had nothing but good reports. They have held up in the washing machine and drying. Sometimes I will throw my favorite in the dish water while doing dishes, rinse and hang over a glass to try.

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  31. Liz Pollard says:

    This is pure genius! I just made one and I love it! I will be making a bunch of these for Christmas gifts.

  32. I just made my first one. Went to Target and found some bowls on sale $1.59. Found the perfect fabric by Pat Sloan and I’m off an running. Great gifts for my Bee girls.

    Thank you so much for the great tutorial.


  33. As soon as I saw this great project I hauled out my stash and made one! It is so handy–no more burning fingers. I’m going to make a few more. Thanks so much for the great pattern.

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  35. I can’t find 100 % cotton batting, but I have several 100% cotton towels that are worn and could be used for lining. Do you think that would work?

  36. Get Tut! Any ideas how to make cosy for square dishes!

  37. Do you have to use batting or can you use fabric scraps?

  38. I just made one using 100% cotton outer fabric and Warm and Natural as the batting. I put a bowl of water in the new “hot pad” and microwaved it. Usually, that water takes 2 minutes to boil in my microwave. After 4 minutes, this water still had not begun to boil. Has anyone else experienced it taking more than twice the time to heat their liquid up?

  39. I don’t quite understand the process for finding the location for the darts. Can you give me more detailed instructions? I haven’t played with it yet, and that will help, but any other step-by-step instructions will help, too. Please! And thanks for sharing.

  40. love the microwave bowls!!! Where do I find the pattern and instructions for making them??
    Thanks for your help!

  41. Betty Von Bargen says:

    I have just run across your pattern, I wish I had seen your post first! Thank you for sharing. People have given me several different sized bowls that don’t really fit the patterns, so I was thrilled to see your directions for any size bowl. Very helpful and IT WORKS!!

  42. Charlotte says:

    Older people have sensitive finger tips. I have found that making these encourages them to eat there food that may have been brought in a bowl for them to eat later. They sometimes are reluctant to heat it up because of the sensitivity of there fingers, but if you give them the bowlholder as a gift with the food they will use it. Enough said. Thanks.

  43. This would be good if the bowl was hot and the person eating the food wanted to eat in front of the TV (my husband) holding the bowl.

  44. Kathy Palmer says:

    If I am making a larger one, do I use the same size darts?

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  46. These are a must have for people in a wheelchair. My son carries hot bowls from microwave to table on his lap. These make it much safer. We love them and use them a lot for hot and cold especially while eating in my easy chair!

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  48. I have made approx 40 (20 sets of 2 ea.) of these after I found the tutorial on “Syzygy of Me” last year.
    So many uses…
    Ice cream or anything cold when watching TV too.
    Make different sizes for large gatherings and use to pass serve your vegetables, mashed potatoes etc. at the table for everyday or Holiday festivities.
    It is my “go to” gift for any occasion!
    Very generous of “Syzygy of Me” to share such a detailed and useful tutorial with everyone!
    Thank you!

  49. Anonymous says:

    Such a great idea. I made mug rugs and paired them with a matching mug. They sold really good at our church fall festival. Thi s will be à new item for next years

  50. Chrisitne says:

    GREAT Tutorial I am going to be making some of these.. Thanks so much for sharing !!!

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  1. […] (great for holding a bowl of ice cream too) Syzygy of Me: Microwave Bowl Potholder and Tutorial Fat Quarter Friday {guest post from Syzygy of Me} Reply With […]

  2. […] gifts using the leftover fabric from the stockings I made. Let there be no waste! I made this potholder thing to microwave bowls in so you don’t burn your hands taking it out and these adorable little Kleenex pouches. Ya […]

  3. […] been wanting to make a microwave bowl holder for a while and when I found this tutorial from 2 little hooligans site I thought it was the perfect time to make one and I had […]

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