Potholder With A Capital “P”

One of my Potholders hanging on the bookshelf  in Sue’s home

I never imagined my Potholders would have such a wide reach when I first thought to make them 14 years ago.

At the time I was just divorced and needed a potholder for my apartment.   I wasn’t into shopping around, but I also didn’t want to have something in my new home that I didn’t like.  I was working part-time and trying to sell quilts on my blog ( I had sold a few) and at Art Fairs.  But a new business takes time to grow and the recession wasn’t helping.

That’s how I came up with the idea to make Potholders.

To me, they were like little quilts.  And I thought if I went to an Art Fair and saw a quilt I liked, I wouldn’t be able to afford it, but I knew I’d love to be able to buy something smaller that reminded me of it.

I’ve written about my “Potholder Story” more than once.  As well as writing about the experience on my blog as it was happening.  But it still makes me smile to think about how far those humble Potholders have come.

It was actually because of my Potholders, that I didn’t accept a full-time position at my part-time job. I had so many orders for them, I had to choose between doing what I loved and a job with health care that I liked but knew I would tire of eventually.

People buy my Potholders for all kinds of reasons. And I’m fortunate enough to get emails and letters from them to let me know about it.

Sue A. buys them for friends and neighbors.  Before she retired, Marian bought them for her clients. Debi has a “gallery” of my potholders in her camper.  Sharon hangs her favorite Potholders on a branch she keeps by her door. And Maggie told me she buys my potholders, “Because they work.”

A few weeks ago Sue R. sent me the picture of the Potholder above with the message:

I bought it for art (not utility) and wanted to show you how I have it displayed.   Truly will enjoy it every day! 

Pat sent me a picture of her well-used Potholders and wrote:

These happy critters greet us every morning. As irresistible as the first cuppa’ hot coffee or sip of cold rose. I always have to have some ahead—the donkeys and coneflowers are in the drawer, awaiting their call to service

Pat’s Potholders

From what I’ve been told and from my own experience (I have a few of my own potholders in the kitchen) my potholders last a long time.  I like that even if it means people don’t need them as often.

Creatively my Potholders are like my fabric sketchpad.  A place I try out ideas and an expression of what is happening in my own life.

My Potholders change and evolve, but keep their original integrity.  They tell my story, their story, and a bit about the people who choose to buy them.

4 thoughts on “Potholder With A Capital “P”

  1. Am happy to have a part of your story in my informal art gallery. Have never used any one of them as a heat pad in my kitchen. They are nowhere near my kitchen. But I smile often when I see them.

  2. I love my potholders and my granddaughter Samantha has been enjoying her owl potholder at college. She said it reminds her of her time at the Nature Center and on the farm with me and Grampa. That made me feel warm inside! I will choose a potholder for Jamie in a few years when she goes off to college to bring back sweet memories!

    1. Ah, Josie, how wonderful. I love that someone your granddaughter’s age can get something from my potholders too. And that it reminds her of your time together makes it even more special.

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