Make Bowls Cozy…

Libby Christensen of gives step-by-step instructions on how she makes Bowl Cozy hot pads for the microwave. Photos and diagrams.

…by making Bowl Cozies for the microwave. Use the little “ears” to pick up the bowl; then the cozy continues to keep it warm.

Photo 1: Bowl Cozies in blooming colors by LJ Christensen

These bowl cozies are not only cute little gifts, but they are great for using up old fabric. They’re all the rage in the craft markets, and I’m on the band wagon because I’ll be a the Charis Crafters’ huge spring sale on April 28, at the Wetumpka Civic Center. (For admission, just bring a donation of food or a few dollars for the local food bank.)

SUPPLIES: For a medium serving bowl, you need 2 fat quarters of coordinating fabrics and 32″ by 16″ of cotton batting, just under 1/2 yd. And thread, sewing machine, scissors and pins. That’s it! Here’s how I make them:

1) Start by cutting 16″ squares: 1 each from the two fat quarters, and I like 2 layers of cotton batting, so 2 squares of the batting. You’ll be making 4 darts in the middle of the sides that make the sides stand up. (What I recommend is to make a pattern first out of paper or interfacing. All you need is an 8″square, which you can get out of regular computer or lined paper; this will represent one quarter of the 16″ square folded into fourths.)

2) To shape the fabric and batting pieces, first fold them in fourths. Following the Cutting Diagram above, cut darts and a curve. (If you have a template made, it’s easy to lay it down, lined up with the folded edges, then clip off the 3 corners. )

Photo 2: a fabric layer topped by trimmed batting layer. (The 4 V cuts are darts).

3) Press the fold lines of the fabric pieces! Pin a batting piece to the back of a fabric piece. Trim off 1/8″-1/4″ of the batting edge to remove bulk (as in Photo 2 above) Flip to the fabric side and sew a seam along each fold. (This quilts the pieces together. See photo 3 below.)

Photo 3: Quilting an X along folds from dart to dart through 2 layers, one fabric and one cotton batting.  

4) Next, fold the darts, which are the V cuts (with fabric right side to right side and batting on the outside) and sew the 4 darts with 3/8″ seams. Repeat with 2nd fabric and batting. (Notice the little dart seam in Photo 4 below.)

Photo 4: Bowl cozy 2-layer pieces pinned together, all the way around, matching 4 darts to 4 darts. Leave open about 4″ for turning, here between the two pins and next pin to the right .

5) Pin together the two batting-backed fabric pieces right side to right side. Sew with a 3/8″ seam most of the way around, leaving 3-4″ open (as in Photo 4 above.) Turn right-side out. (I then usually press around the edge.)

6) While it’s optional, I like to use an edge-stitch foot and stitch around the edge. I then stitch again about 3/4″ from the first edgestitch (as shown in Photo 5 below).

Photo 5: Two rows of optional edgestitching.

7) Finish by sewing a square inside, around the crisscrossed quilting seams. It’s hard to explain, but what I do is pin together the top and bottom fabric pieces together about 1/2″ below each dart, being sure that the pin picks up the quilting stitching on the fold on top AND on bottom. Then I sew diagonally from pin to pin, making a square. See Photo 6 below. (This provides more quilting through all layers and holds the bowl shape in place better. The pins help keep the stitching accurate on bottom as well as top.)

Photo 6: Quilting an interior square from end of each dart through all layers.

Done. No hand-stitching at all. And you’ve used up a couple of orphan fat quarters or some leftover fabric. I always have leftover batting, too. I don’t know who first came up with this idea, so I can’t really give credit where it’s due. I just know that this is MY method! You can make smaller ones, too, for soup bowls–just decrease the size of the original squares!

WATCH for my next blog, which is a guest blog for on Making Fabric Yoyos. It’s due to be published around April 24, 2023. I’ll post a reminder when it comes out. You might want to check out An Kesanne’s Madame Sew video on THESE bowl cozies. She shows how to make SMALLER “bowl holders”: MadamSew Sewing blog I like their sewing tools, and I’m very happy to be collaborating with them.

PS Look for the DOWNLOAD button below to get a nice copy of this to print!

(and don’t forget to browse through the patterns! 😉

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