I had so much fun with my Artful Oven Mitts; thanks to the pattern and tutorial from Maria Shell.
I have finished 10 mitts, and have one on the cutting table; traced and ready to quilt. I have “delivered” 3 as gifts this week while I am out traveling. (I am away from my sewing and visiting with my sister for a week).
I was tickled to see one of my faithful followers (the Wonders of Yarrow House) post a blog that she is going to make some as gifts too.
I do have to say; I really started out to just make a couple; and had so much fun with the process, I just kept going. I made a second trip for more INSUL-BRIGHT and Cotton Batting at Hobby Lobby . (They had a much better price per yard on the INSUL BRIGHT than the local quilt store; so I got 3 yards.) I mentioned in a previous post that I added a layer of cotton batting to my MITTS. Maria calls for just the insul bright in her pattern; but she is using heavy fabric. I am using quilting cotton on the outside of my mitts, so thought it was wise to take that precaution. I used heavy decorator fabric on the inside.
My production line went something like this: One day I sat and pieced together all my bits of scraps from my scrap baskets, just adding here and there; trimming to keep it manageable, pressing as I went. Before the afternoon was finished I had a big 56×30 piece of fabric made from all those scraps. The next afternoon, I took my templates (used 2) and traced around them all as I arranged on my big scrappy fabric. I used a dark sharpie, as I had so many colors. Then, I got them all layered up for quilting; adding 1 extra layer of cotton batting. The following day I did the machine quilting all over the big 56×30 piece with the shapes drawn on. (Fill 2 or 3 bobbins before you start). I sat one evening cutting out mitts and pinning together. I made a bunch of cuff bindings and hanging tags one day, production line method.
Turning the mitts was something I did in the evening watching TV. I have to warn you, they get very “linty” from the batting. I used a knitting needle and a long screwdriver to work the thumbs out in the turning. It was quite time consuming and about 3 was the most I would turn in an evening. Tough on the ol’ arthritic fingers.
One afternoon I sat and worked on the hanging tags and cuff binding; using the open arm on my machine to slide the mitt over. I have to admit, I machined on the binding for several of my mitts; and hand stitched the turn of the binding on only 4. I am more pleased with the look of the hand stitch. I would not “cut corners” again machining the binding. It is such a tight fit on the arm of my machine, that it was difficult to get a nice neat looking finish, and I did break out the seam ripper to correct that. So, no time was saved by trying to do it all by machine.
I enjoyed making the Artful Oven Mitts. I got rid of a lot of scraps from my bins, and it was so freeing and fun “making” my own fabric, with out any quilting rules….just joining the pieces and stitching and having fun. I left one set on the table to finish when I get home next week; then I think I will move on to something new. Thanks Maria Shell for your inspiration.