I’ve got a project I’ve been meaning to show you for a while that I know you’re going to love. A few months ago, our friend Mary joined me and Jo for one of our all-day craft sessions. Her project for the day was to create about a dozen microwave baked potato pouches for teacher gifts at the end of the school year. As soon as I saw what they were planning, I grabbed my camera and made Mary show us all the steps so I could share it with you.
The pouches are made of all cotton so that you can safely use them to cook your potatoes in the microwave, with fantastic results. They are also really easy to make.
To start off, you’ll need to pick some fabric for the pouch. Of course you can use anything here as long as it’s 100% cotton, but I absolutely love Mary’s choice of potato printed fabric. You’ll also need some 100% cotton batting. Don’t use polyester, or it won’t be safe in the microwave. I had never worked with cotton batting before this, but having had my hands on it now, I don’t think I can ever go back to polyester for any quilted project. The cotton feels so lovely!
Cut the fabric to 11.5″ wide and 48″ long. Cut the batting to 11.5″ wide and 24″ long. Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise, with right sides touching. Then place the batting on top.
Flip the whole thing over, because it’s a little easier to work with that way. You should see the folded crease of potato fabric on one end, and the two open ends on the other.
Take the stack to the sewing machine and sew the fabric and batting together around all four sides, but leave a gap of about 4 inches on one end.
You probably think it looks wrong to have the pieces sewn together the way they are, with the batting showing on one side, but hang on, because it will make sense in a minute.
Take some scissors and snip the corners of the fabric to remove the excess. This will help keep the corners from being bulky later. Now flip the whole thing inside out.
Close up the gap you left by tucking the ends of the fabric in and running a row of stitches across the seam.
Okay, now you’ve got this big padded rectangle that you’ve sew all up and that resembles something like a placemat. Doesn’t seem quite like a pouch yet, but you’re about to fix that.
Fold the right side up and over until it’s about 4 or 5 inches from the left side. Then fold the left side over like a flap.
The two ends should overlap about an inch and the longer (right) end should be on top.
Use the sewing machine to sew a row of stitches on the top and bottom edges of the pouch. Turn the whole thing inside out (again).
Now you have your finished pouch with all the nice, smooth edges. It’s easy to open up the flap at the top and slip the potato inside.
Just pop the pouch into the microwave and cook the potatoes as usual. Timing will depend, of course, on the size of your potatoes and the power of your microwave, so be sure to watch carefully the first time you use it.
These pouches are great Christmas gifts for teachers or anyone for whom you want to buy a little something at the holidays. I think I will sew a few of these and have them ready in my gift closet for those last-minute gift emergencies!