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Tea Time Kitchen Appliqué: Quilted Oven Mitts

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We have a saying at our house we call, "Mexican Hot Plate Syndrome." It refers to doing something you know is bad, but you just can't help yourself. I'm sure you've encountered the syndrome at your local Mexican restaurant. It occurs when they deliver a hot-out-of-the-oven plate to your table. The waiter is wearing huge oven mitts and implores you, "Don't touch the plate; it is very hot." So what do you do as soon as he sets it down and turns his back? You sneak out one finger and touch the edge of plate. Yikes! He was right! Dang! This story was all to set up our pretty Tea Time oven mitts project. They contain a hidden layer of Insul-Bright thermal batting between their linen front and lining, so they could certainly pick up a hot plate of enchiladas. However, they would be even more perfect to lift a whistling tea kettle from the stove.

The beautiful natural linen and the Sugar & Spice accent fabric (by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs) were both provided by America's Largest Fabric Store: Fabric Depot. We are so lucky to have this incredible resource right here in our hometown or Portland, Oregon, because they have such a wonderful selection of designer fabric, home décor options, traditional prints, specialty options and more. But, lucky for you, Fabric Depot also sells online and ships all over the world. Thanks also to our pals at Moda for providing our Layer Cake of Lily & Will by Bunny Hill Designs; it's simply one of the sweetest sets of delicate prints we've seen. Originally heralded as a nursery fabric, as you can see, it works wonderfully in this application as well.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Supplies listed below are for TWO oven mitts; you could make just one, but then your other hand would be sad.

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Kitchen Tea Time Shapes Template. For this project you'll use the 'Small Teapot' and 'Small Teacup.'
    IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Download and print the Oven Mitt Bottom and Oven Mitt Top patterns.  
    NOTE: As above, each pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  3. Cut out each piece along the solid line and tape together at the points indicated by the arrows.
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  4. Cut FOUR 10" x 13" rectangles from EACH of the following fabrics:
    Four from the Insul-Bright
    Four from the Linen
    Four from the Lining
  5. From the linen scraps, cut TWO 4" x 1½" rectangles for the hanging loops.
  6. From the contrasting fabric (Sugar & Spice in our sample), cut TWO 3" x 13" strips.
  7. Select your two Layer Cake squares (or cut fabric pieces) from which you'll create your appliqués. Set aside.
    NOTE: Follow our design or pick and choose your own favorite combination.
  8. For detailed step-by-step instructions, and options, for preparing your appliqués, see our Tea Time Apron tutorial.
    NOTE: As in several of our other Tea Time projects, this oven mitts project includes regular appliqué as well as two small, fussy cut flower motifs from coordinating fabric (the Sugar & Spice in our sample) to be used as 'second level' appliqué accents, one on the teacup and one on the teapot. If you'd like to use this same embellishment, prepare these flowers at the same time as your other appliqués. The Apron tutorial shows them being prepared and applied.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Make four fabric ‘sandwiches' in the following order:
  2. Place a piece of 10" x 13" linen right side down on your work surface; place a piece of Insul-Bright thermal side down on top of the linen; place a piece of lining wrong side down on top of the Insul-Bright. Repeat to create four sandwiches. Pin each sandwich around the edges as well as some in the middle. The quilting steps are next and you don't want your layers to shift.
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  3. With the linen layer right side up, and using the 13" cut edge as your starting guide, quilt parallel vertical lines 1" apart across the 10" width of each fabric sandwich.
  4. We used our Janome Open Toe Quilt foot with the quilt bar. The quilt bar runs along your previous stitch line, keeping your new stitch line perfectly parallel. The quilt bar is adjustable so we could adjust to our 1" width. If you do not have a quilt bar option on your machine, you can simply draw lines onto the base to follow.
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  5. Repeat to quilt the remaining three fabric sandwiches.
  6. Find your assembled Oven Mitt pattern and pin it onto the linen layer of one quilted sandwich. Cut out the mitt pattern through all the layers.
  7. FLIP OVER the pattern and place it onto the linen layer of another quilted sandwich. Cut out this mitt pattern through all the layers. Flipping the pattern over is very important, otherwise you'll end up with two right hands.
  8. Repeat to make another pair of mitts.
  9. Set one pair aside; this pair will be the 'palm side' pair.
  10. The other pair is the 'back of the hand' pair, which will have the appliqué.

Positioning the appliqués

  1. We wanted our appliqués to be centered near the top of each mitt. To figure out this positioning, use your parallel lines of quilting to help determine your center point. We placed each appliqué motif approximately 2½" from the top raw edge of the mitt. We floated our teacup up and away from the saucer to give the appearance of someone taking a sip o' tea. Feel free to follow this design or place the teacup directly onto the saucer.
  2. For detailed step-by-step instructions, and options, for stitching your appliqués, see our Tea Time Apron tutorial. As mentioned above, remember you will first stitch your base appliqué in place and then stitch the second level flower motif appliqué in place.
  3. Find your two 4" x 1½" hanging loop rectangles. Fold each rectangle in half (so it is now 4" x ¾) and, using a ¼" allowance, stitch along the 4" side of each folded strip.
  4. Turn right side out through the open ends and press flat.
  5. Fold the finished strips in half to make a loop and pin one to the inner wrist of each appliquéd mitt. The top of the loop should be approximately 1½" from the top raw edge of the mitt, and the raw edges of the loop should be aligned with the raw edge of the mitt so the loop is facing into the center of the mitt. Machine or hand baste the loops in place close to the raw edge.
  6. Place the fronts and backs of the two mitts right sides together (linen to linen in our sample), matching all raw edges. Pin around the outside edge, leaving the top open.
  7. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the front and back together through all six layers. Double stitch over the hanging loop and the curve from the thumb to the finger area to secure.
  8. Grade the seam allowance (make one side of the seam allowance slightly smaller than the other) around all curves. Clip the curves and clip into the 'V' of the thumb, but be careful you don't clip the stitching!

Binding the mitt

  1. Find the two 3" x 13" strips of contrasting fabric (Sugar & Spice in our sample).
  2. Make a ½" fold along one 13" side and press. Then make a ½" fold on one 3" end and press.
  3. With the mitt wrong side out, place the right side of the folded strip around the top, aligning the raw edges of the strip and the mitt. Place the folded end of the strip on the back of the mitt close to the seam, then wrap all the way around, finishing by overlapping the raw end of the strip over the folded end. When you fold the binding to the outside of the mitt, this raw end will be encased behind the folded end. Pin well.
  4. Stitch around the top of the mitt, using a ½" seam allowance.
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  5. Press the binding up and away from the top of the mitt.
  6. Turn the mitt right side out, and fold the binding down over the mitt's raw edges, concealing them.
  7. Smooth the binding into place, adjusting the overlap at the back as needed so the binding is nice and flat.
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  8. Topstitch the folded edge of the binding in place. If your machine has a free arm, this is the time to use it.
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    NOTE: If your machine does not have a free arm, you can hand stitch the binding in place with a slip stitch or a whip stitch .
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Project Design: Alicia Thommas 
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever



Comments (20)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Group Scouter - As mentioned below, this pattern is same one we've used for several hot mitt options on the site and we've not had any issues, including mitts we've made and had modeled by men as well as women. The sizing is based on standard "off-the-rack" hot mitts. It should finish at approximately 11" high x 5-3/4" wide at the bottom opening, and from the tip of the thumb to the opposite side is about 7". Did you print the pattern pieces at full size as mentioned above? There is a guideline to confirm your printout is to scale. The multiple layers do add some bulk, but they should still fit most hands when finished. You could also opt to use a narrower seam allowance. 

Holly Widmann said:
Holly Widmann's picture

These end up  so tiny that a large handed woman or a man could not use them. Very disappointed.


Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Holly - so sorry to hear you are disappointed. This pattern is same one we've used for several hot mitt options on the site and we've never had any issues. The sizing was originally based on standard "off-the-rack" hot mitts. It should finish at approximately 11" high x 5-3/4" wide at the bottom opening, and from the tip of the thumb to the opposite side is about 7". Did you print the pattern pieces at full size as mentioned above? The multiple layers do add some bulk, but they should still fit most hands when finished.   

megamessage said:
megamessage's picture

You turn the mitt so the raw edges are exposed on the inside?  Seems like a messy look.  What about using binding around the mitt as well as around the cuff?  Then there would be no raw edges showing? 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ megamessage - the cuff is finished, so you really can't see much of the raw edges inside, and we used a double stitch to finish - you could do any kind of machine finish or even serge. Binding all the way around would be a different design. You'd have to figure the width to be sure it could encase the thick layers, and you'd have to re-think the hanging loop. But... as we always say on S4H - use your imagine to reinvent as you wish. 

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

The insul-bright directions have a oven mitt pattern that has a layer of Warm & Natural. This one does not. Just wondering if you need an additional layer? It has been challenging to turn out the oven mitt thumb area in the Insul bright model. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Jane Coombs - it really depends on what you are trying to handle with the overn mitts. Some people think two layers - either two of Insul-Bright or Insul-Bright + batting is necessary if you are handling super hot pans right out of the oven. You could make the thumb portion larger in order to make it easier to turn.

Sherrie Alleman said:
Sherrie Alleman's picture

I love your oven mitts.  I recently purchased some insul-brite and fabric to make some oven mitts to give to my kids, but I didn't have a pattern.  I was just going to wing it, which usually works.  I just stumbled upon your pattern, which is so cute and easy to make.  Now I don't have to think. You did it for me. Thank you for making my oven mitt project easier and much cuter.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Sandra D -- Janome America is one of our sponsors here at S4H and we exclusively use and recommend their machines for all our projects, which is what you see in the "Sewing Tools You Need" section above with a link to their website. At the end of our projects, we also try to give folks an idea of similar types of machines that would work for this type of project - because people have all kinds of machines and it might help give them an idea if their model is appropriate. My selections are a bit random based on what I find on the other manufacturer's websites. So -- no deep meaning behind those two machines. As always, my first recommendation is always Janome.
Sandra D said:
Sandra D's picture
Based on the statement, "Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna Sew Fun and the Brother PC-210 Project Runway", is there a reason why you specified/recommended these machines? said:'s picture
Nossa amei essa luva pratica, útil e muito linda! said:'s picture
smilies/cry.gif I've sewn hot pads using only one layer of Insul-Brite and found it didn't protect my hands sufficiently. I highly recommend using 2 layers of Insul-Brite to anyone making hot pads or mitts. Insul-Brite is thin enough that 2 layers isn't too bulky. I do love the pattern though because it has such a long cuff. Thanks as always for your wonderful projects!
RedHairedLady said:
RedHairedLady's picture
I was just thinking about sewing some oven mitts, but couldn't find a free pattern I liked. This one is perfect - thank you! smilies/grin.gif
Allison E. (allycat79225) said:
Allison E. (allycat79225)'s picture
Always running out of oven mites. This is a fabulous project that I can put to good use.
Lone Jakobsen said:
Lone Jakobsen's picture
Very veny nice project - I have saved it for later use...

Thanks veyy much