by Mary Beth Krapil

After finishing my place mats (you can read about them here), I had some fabric left over. So, I decided to make a few bowl cozies. You know, the things you can use to keep from burning your fingers when you take your bowl of hot soup out of the microwave? Much easier than trying to use hot pads or oven mitts, which usually end up getting into the soup!

I will share my process with you. Of course, I used my Infinity with Pro-Stitcher to quilt the pieces and parts.  I decided to make a set of four cozies.

This is one project where the choice  of materials is really important.

Since the cozy goes with the bowl into the microwave, they MUST be made 100% from cotton; cotton fabrics, cotton batting, and cotton thread. Polyester could melt or catch on fire. Yikes!

The fabric is cotton and I chose a 100% cotton batting. I had a few choices of cotton thread in my thread stash to choose from, King Tut and MasterPiece, both made by Superior Threads. King Tut is a 40wt cotton thread that comes in luscious colors, both solid and variegated. For this project I didn’t want the thread to overpower the cute fabric designs and my quilting was going to be minimal, so I went with the MasterPiece, which is a 50wt 3 ply cotton. The finer thread would sink into the fabric and let the fabric design be the focus. Only the texture of my quilting would show. I used a beige for the yellow fabric and black for the black.

I started by loading the batting to my frame as if it was a quilt back. I made my cozies from 2 different fabrics, one for the inside and one for the outside, so they would be reversible. I laid the 2 fabrics on top of the batting.

I would be cutting four 10 inch squares from each of the fabrics after they were quilted. I chose a few patterns from the Pro-Stitcher library.  I quilted a pattern into where each square would be cut out, on both fabrics. You can see the quilting from the back on the batting side.

I took the quilted fabric off my frame and cut my 10” squares. I wanted rounded corners (you can leave them square if you wish), so I trimmed the corners using the 4” side of my Handi Quilter Multi Clamshell ruler. It’s really a quilting template, but it worked great with my rotary cutter to get the job done and no marking was needed!

I folded the squares in half and marked 1 inch up from the fold  and 2 inches in from the outer edge on the fold, on both sides. I drew a line between the 2 marks and then stitched along that line. Trim excess fabric 1/4″ from stitching. This creates a dart. Then fold in the opposite direction and repeat so that you have 4 darts on each piece.

Do this for each piece.

I matched a yellow lining with a black outer piece, right sides together, matching the darts and curved edges and placed a few pins to hold in place. I moved my MasterPiece thread from my longarm to my HQ Stitch 510 sewing machine so I could stitch around the outside edge. I left a 2 inch (or so) opening, so I could turn right sides out.

Once turned, I pressed with steam, turning under the raw edges at the 2” opening. It helps to use a pressing ham, if you have one, for this process because they are now bowl shaped. I made sure the seams were pushed out completely and smoothly before pressing.

After pressing, I went back to the machine and top-stitched all the way around the outer edge. This will stitch the opening, that you used to turn, closed. Voila! That’s all there is to it and since I used cotton thread they are safe to use in my microwave. They are also kinda pretty!

I still have a bit of that fabric left. Any ideas what I can do with it?