Friday, 25 March 2016

Oven Mitts

I never seem to be short of inspiration for new projects. Rather, like most quilters, I've got far too many ideas and not enough time. That goes along with far too much fabric I'd like to buy and not enough money. Lately though, I've been trying to sew a bit more for function rather than art.

By the time I finish the couple I have in progress, I will have made ten quilts four myself. Four of those are bed-sized and six throw-sized. So it made sense to me to focus on other projects for a bit and having recently bought my own house, I decided some more house projects were in order. I write more because I started making things for my house long before I got it, way back to last summer.

There was the Patchwork Bench from Anna Graham's book Handmade Style.

I refinished an old dresser from the attic and a trunk found at yard sale.

Then I sanded, stained and recovered these sling deck chairs.

Pair those with the quilts and the addition of the ottoman, and I was off to a good start.

Today I want to share the oven mitts I made a couple of weeks ago. I found several tutorials online and went with this one by Heather from Quilts Actually.

For the main fabric, I chose some fabric I've had in my stash for a while but couldn't seem to find a project for. The design on the print has worked out perfectly for oven mitts and matches my light blue kitchen nicely. I used fabrics from the Botanics line for the accent strip, binding and lining - some green on white stripes and a floral grid.

I sandwiched two layers of batting and a layer of Insul-brite between my fabrics and quilted them with randomly spaced organic lines. Not worrying about keeping my lines even was both stressful and freeing. I wanted them to be wavy enough so that you could tell they were intentional but straight enough to be horizontal. While stitching them, I would deliberately look at the television and keep my foot on the pedal, just because I could.

I traced and cut the oven mitts out of my two pieces, then sewed them right sides together. The dense quilting made the oven mitt panels pretty flat, but even after notching the curves, I still had difficulty turning the thumbs right-sides out. For the second mitt, I ended up shortening my stitch length to make sure the edges of the fabric wouldn't pull through on the notches. I was much happier with the result on the second mitt.

Binding the cuff was a bit of a challenge as well, but I really like how it sets off the accent strip and finishes off the oven mitts.

I was left with oddly shaped scraps from the panel I quilted and it felt wasteful to throw them out. So I traced some circles to cut out a set of 4 coasters. I didn't feel like binding them, so I used a zig zag stitch around the perimeter and left them raw edged. From some of the bigger sections of the panel, I cut out rectangles with rounded corners. I added two pieces of fabric, each folded in half, to the back. I used a zig zag stitch again around the outside, this time making those little finger oven mitts you can use to grab light baking sheets from the oven or dishes from the microwave.

Finally, to use the last of the scraps, I cut small rectangles and improv pieced them together to make a hot pad. I increased my stitch width for this, and where they didn't catch, I just went back and stitched over them. The more I stitched, the cooler it looked. I would definitely do this again. I think it would be fun to try different shapes, making stars and hexagons out of already quilted scraps.

I've used all of these a couple times already and they work fine. I've got pretty oven mitts, used some of my stash and didn't have to buy anything new. A win-win.

More to come :)

Linking up with Fabric Frenzy Friday, Finish it up Friday, TGIFF and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

Oh, and you should really go check out TGIFF, hosted by Anja this week, who's posting her Ocean Sky quilt - one of my patterns in progress. Its release got delayed by my house, but now that my version is sitting on the back of my couch, I need to get photos and get it out there!


  1. I agree about not enough time and not enough money. You have been busy with lots of project. Your oven mitts are great. Your new place is going to be so beautifully decorated. Thanks for linking up with TGIFF hosted @ Anja Quilts.

  2. You are getting a lot done with the time you have! All of your refinishes and finishes look great! I love the fabric for the mits, I haven't seen that.

  3. Talk about resourceful! Your mitts are very nice and useful, but I'm really impressed with the way you used up the scraps for other useful items. And bonus! everything matches perfectly. Figure out how much you saved compared to buying all of these at any store and you'll be even happier with your work! And since they are one-of-a-kind items, it's an even bigger deal! Go you!

  4. Brianna, those mitts are awesome!! So cool to see all of the great items you have made to make your house what I imagine to be a very warm and welcoming home!