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How to Make a Quilted Pocket Potholder with Old Towel

My favorite potholders, made with towel fabric, are stained and worn out.  In fact, most of my potholders are old and need replacing.  So, today I decided to treat myself to some new pot holders: quilted pocket potholders for my kitchen.

While there are countless potholder tutorials available, this one replicates my all-time favorite potholder – a heat-resistant towel potholder with a large handy pocket.

Pocket Potholder Pattern with Old Towel fb

This free potholder pattern is a great opportunity to repurpose old towels and scrap fabrics, transforming them into useful and eco-friendly potholders.  Not only is this a fantastic way to give new life to your old towels, but it's also a fun and easy DIY project that you can complete in about an hour.

The design of this quilted pocket potholder is really pretty simple - just a rectangle with rounded corners and a pocket in front.  The edges are all finished with binding tape.  Only minimal sewing skills are necessary.

Discover how to make towel potholders by watching our video or continue reading this post for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions.


PRINTABLE PDF TUTORIAL - If you would like an ad free printable version of this tutorial optimized for printing, please visit our Etsy Shop listing for How to Make a Quilted Pocket Potholder with Old Towel #ad. For a small fee, you can purchase a PDF downloadable version of this tutorial.
Keep reading for the free version of this tutorial.


COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link How to Make a Quilted Pocket Potholder with Old Towel to watch in Youtube.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

how to make a quilted pocket potholder with an old towel

Pocket Towel Potholder 27 Finished

WHAT YOU NEED to make a pocket towel potholder:

  • Old Towel (Bath towel, tea towel or kitchen towel)
  • Scrap Cotton Fabric
  • Fabric Marker
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter and Mat (Optional)
  • Sewing Clips
  • Basic Sewing Supplies: Sewing Machine, Pins, Thread, Iron and Ironing Board

Pocket Towel Potholder 1 Supplies

INSTRUCTIONS for making the towel pocket potholder:

STEP 1: cut fabric

Pocket Towel Potholder 2 Fabrics Cut

From towel fabric cut:

Two pieces each measuring 7 1/2" x 9 1/2"

From cotton fabric cut:

1 piece 7 1/2" x 7" for the potholder pocket

1 piece 1 1/2" x 7 1/2" to cover pocket edge

1 piece 1 3/4" x WOF (width of fabric) for binding

STEP 2: quilt towels together

You will be quilting the towel pieces together.  I used a 1 ½” diagonal grid for my quilting design. Pocket Towel Potholder 3 Mark Lines

Stack the two towel pieces together and pin them in a few places.

With a ruler and fabric marker, draw a 45-degree line on the top towel that will be the initial stitching line.Pocket Towel Potholder 4 Mark Lines

At the sewing machine, after lengthening the stitch length slightly, put the towels under the presser foot and quilt along the drawn line and then quilt parallel rows of straight stitches 1 ½” apart across the towel. Pocket Towel Potholder 5 Quilt Lines

After quilting in that direction, turn the towel pieces and draw another 45-degree line.  Sew straight stitches along this line and then again parallel rows 1 ½” apart across the towels. Pocket Towel Potholder 6 Quilted Trim the threads when the towels are completely quilted.

STEP 3: Finish the Pocket top Edge

Fold the 1 ½” accent fabric in half to form a crease.  Open the fold and press the two lengthwise sides to the center. Fold in half again and press firmly. Pocket Towel Potholder 7 Pocket and Binding

Open the accent piece and center it across the top of the pocket piece back, with right sides together and raw edges aligned.  Stitch in the ditch of the fold. Pocket Towel Potholder 8 Bind Pocket Edge Wrap the accent piece around the raw edge to the front and edgestitch the tape down along the inside fold.

STEP 4: Assemble the pot holder

Position the potholder pocket on top of the quilted towels with the bottom and sides aligned. Pocket Towel Potholder 10 Layer Towel and Pocket PiecesUse sewing clips or pins in a few spots to hold the pieces together.

Round the four corners by placing a plate, CD or other round object on the corner, marking the curve with a fabric marker Pocket Towel Potholder 11 Round Cornersand using scissors to cut the excess fabric from the corners. Pocket Towel Potholder 12 Cut Rounded Corners

After rounding the four corners the piece should look like this:

Pocket Towel Potholder 13 Showing Rounded Corners

STEP 5: Zigzag the Perimeter

Take the piece to the sewing machine and set the sewing machine for a zigzag stitch. Zigzag around the edge of the potholder on all sides. Pocket Towel Potholder 14 Sew Together Layers This step makes it easier to attach the binding tape in step 7.

STEP: 6: Make Binding Tape

Binding tape is sold in packages at fabric stores but you can make your own.

To make the binding tape, take the 1 ¾” strip of cotton fabric to the ironing board and fold it in half lengthwise and iron to form a crease.Pocket Towel Potholder 15 Iron Binding In=Half

Open the fabric and then fold one side lengthwise until it meets in the middle at the crease and press.Pocket Towel Potholder 16 Fold Edges to Center  Continue down the entirety of the strip, folding and pressing.  Then repeat on the other side until the two folded sides meet. 

Have you ever looked closely at the store-purchased bias tape?  If you did, you would notice that when it is folded one side is a little wider than the other.  We will be doing this when folding our binding tape. Pocket Towel Potholder 18 Fold Binding In Half

Fold your prepare strip in half with the raw edges on the inside and press in place.  Pocket Towel Potholder 19 Finished BindingWhen folding, make sure to leave one side just a little bit wider, about 1/16”, than the other side.

This allows some extra room when sandwiching the tape around the edge of the potholder.

STEP 7: Finishing the Potholder

To cover the raw edges we’ll use the single step binding technique which is to just sandwich the raw edges of the potholder between the folded tape and sew it on.

Using the single-step binding technique, open binding and slip the folded tape with the narrower side on top around the raw edge of the potholder starting at the center of the top edge.Pocket Towel Potholder 20 Clip Binding to EdgeThe wider side of the tape should be along the back of the pot holder.  Use sewing clips or pins to secure the binding in place.  As you attach the binding to the potholder, wrap the binding smoothly around the curved corners.

Continue working your way around the potholder, when you reach the start of the binding, allow it to overlay slightly so it hides the starting tape's raw edge and Pocket Towel Potholder 22 Binding Clipped to edgealso leave a 3 1/2" length of extra tape.

With thread to match the binding, use an edgestitch to sew the binding into place.  Beginning where the binding overlaps at the top, stitch close to the inside edge.Pocket Towel Potholder 23 Sew Binding Since the narrow edge is on top, you will catch both edges of the tape as you stitch with one row of stitches.

When you have stitched all the way around and are back at the beginning, continue stitching with a straight stitch along the extra tape.Pocket Towel Potholder 24 Sew To End of LoopFold ¼” of the tape tail under.  Turn the potholder over to the back and then loop the tail over to create a loop.Pocket Towel Potholder 26 Sewn Loop Back Stitch its end to the center back of the potholder with back-and-forth stitches.Pocket Towel Potholder 25 Sewn Loop Front

You’re done! The upcycled towel pocket potholder is ready to use.Pocket Towel Potholder 29 Closeup

Each finished potholder measures approximately 7 1/2" x 9 1/2", giving good cover and plenty of room inside the pocket for your hand.Pocket Towel Potholder 31 Hand In Potholder The two layers of toweling provide good protection against a hot pan and the inside of the loop at the top makes it easy to hang your potholder from a hook.Pocket Towel Potholder 30 Using potholder

This is definitely an easy project requiring only basic sewing skills.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful and decide to repurpose some old towels into a kitchen essential; potholders using this free potholder pattern. Check out some of our other free potholder tutorials and patterns here.Pocket Towel Potholder 28 Two Finished

Happy Sewing!

 Annette's Signature 

PRINTABLE PDF TUTORIAL - If you would like an ad free printable version of this tutorial optimized for printing, please visit our Etsy Shop listing for How to Make a Quilted Pocket Potholder with Old Towel #ad. For a small fee, you can purchase a PDF downloadable version of this tutorial.




QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

free potholder tutorials that may interest you

what to do with old towels?

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Pocket Potholder Pattern with Old Towel pin


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