I must admit, now that October is upon us, I have mixed emotions about the cooler weather. I’ve always loved fall. My birthday, beautiful foliage, volleyball, the beginning of school. (Yes, school. I wear the nerd badge with pride.) At the same time, I detest being cold, and Montana winters are very long. However, two indoor activities that always stave off my winter blues are baking and sewing! And, with the Hot Stuff Oven Mitt kit from Around the Bobbin designs, I get to indulge in a little of both!
The Marvelous Mister Domestic
Full disclosure, I found Around the Bobbin’s written instructions to be a little confusing. After an initial read through, my overall understanding was… muddled. So – like all millennials – I turned to the internet, and I was delighted to discover that Mathew Bordeaux (aka Mister Domestic) had already made a video tutorial of this pattern!
Needless to say, he does a fantastic job, and, after watching his video, sewing up my oven mitt was easy as pie!
The Silicone Ceiling
Something I didn’t realize immediately is that the silicone sleeve included in this kit is just that: a sleeve that goes on the outside of your oven mitt. When we first ordered these kits for the store, I was under the impression that the silicone would be sandwiched between two fabric layers, not unlike an insulated batting. But, as you can see, this is not the case.
Much like the impending winter, I have mixed emotions about the silicone going on the outside of this mitt. On the bright side, it’s textured and great for gripping, it’s heat resistant up to 450 degrees, and it rinses-off easily. On the not-so-bright side, the silicone subdues the colors of whatever fabric you select for your oven mitt!
I know, I know the pros far outweigh the cons, but I like my colors like I like my women – bright and unobstructed. And the silicone, literally, puts a damper on them!
As a result, my first mission became choosing a quilting cotton that would stand-out despite the silicone barrier. The directions say that high-contrast fabrics or fabrics with bright designs on white back-grounds work the best. So, with this in mind, I began my search.
Naturally, I started in the Kaffe Fassett quilting cotton section and worked my way around, pulling out bolts from Art Gallery, Andover, Dear Stella, and M&S Textiles as I went along. After about 20 minutes, I knew two things for sure: 1. We carry some amazing fabric, and 2. I was going to need a bigger oven mitt!
Make Up My Mind!
How to choose! Not only did we have an abundance of new fabrics that would look amazing through the silicone, we also have an enormous pile of scrap fabric that was calling my name. What’s more, the instructions were encouraging me to “play” and to add “embroidery, quilting, applique, or heat transfer vinyl” to “customize my mitt even more”. Curse you thoughtful and inspiring instructions! Don’t you know that I love customization, and that if I’m given the chance to personalize I’ll never stop??
In the end I settled on four – yes only four! – fabrics for my oven mitt.
The Chosen Ones
- The Kaffe Collective Flower Dot QC in Aqua – New to our collection this quilting cotton met all my colorful requirements.
- The Fierce Felines QC in Fuchsia from Art Gallery’s Selva collection – A bright leftover from our most recent Block of the Month course, this cotton featured excellent contrast.
- The Cotton + Steel Add It Up QC in Glow – Passed the vibrancy test with flying colors!
- The Window Dressing Woven in Turquoise – Retrieved from our ever-growing scrap pile, this voile harmonized with my vivid color scheme perfectly!
My A-Team assembled, I now had to figure out how to best utilize each member.
Before cutting any fabric, I decided to trace my pattern using Palmer/Pletsch’s gridded tracing paper. This step isn’t necessary, but I had a tentative plan, and I wanted to make sure that – if it failed – I didn’t damage the original pattern piece in the process.
Inspired by the instruction’s encouraging words of customization, I decided to give ‘quilting’ a whirl. I was particularly enamored with the way the fuchsia and glow-stick yellow looked together, and I wanted to incorporate both in the same pattern piece. This is how I managed it:
One Step at a Time
First, I cut the traced pattern piece (Template A) into thirds. (There is nothing significant about where I cut it. I just went with my gut.)
Next, I needed to add a seam allowance to the four, new, inner edges I had created by cutting up Template A. So, to achieve this, I cut out four, one-inch strips of tracing paper. Then, using a clear, gridded ruler, I drew a long line down the center of each, inch-wide strip.
Then, I taped the inner edge of each mini pattern piece (born of Template A) to the drawn center line of each of the 1″ strips.
Thus, I was left with three, mini pattern pieces that all had a half inch seam allowance on their interior edges. I suppose I should have made the new, interior seam allowances on these mini pieces 1/4″ rather than 1/2″ so as to match the rest of the pattern. But, what can I say? I’m a firm believer in leaving room for mistakes.
Mix and Match
Now that all my traced pattern pieces were ready to go, it was time to cut out my fabric! The Flower Dots and my quilted mishmash of glowing tigers were sewn together to become the decorative insert (Template A), while the Turquoise Window Dressing became the interior lining insert (Template B).
Maisie's First 'Quilt'
I chose the Window Dressing voile as my lining fabric not only because of its complimentary colors and lovely texture, but also because of its large gingham design! The lining insert has to be quilted, and the directions recommend using either ‘horizonal straight line’ or ‘diagonal grid’ quilting. So I made it easy on myself and stitched right along the horizontal, yellow lines!
Because I had never quilted anything before, I turned to Kate for some advice, and thank goodness I did!
I learned that, once you have your fabric/batting sandwich laid out, you should smooth any wrinkles out from the center so that your fabric is evenly dispersed. Next, instead of pinning around the edge as you would a garment, you should pin randomly across your project. Lastly, when quilting (and by quilting I mean once you’re actually sewing your fabric and batting together) you shouldn’t start on one side and sew to the other. Rather you should start in the center and sew out towards the edge. This – along with your randomly placed pins – will keep your fabric from being smooshed to one edge or the other.
With Mister Domestic and Kate’s help the next few steps were smooth sailing. In fact, were it not for my *ahem* exuberant pattern mixing I’d have finished my mitt with no trouble. But alas, this was not to be.
I couldn’t help myself, and I decided to make my exterior lower band (Template C) out of two different fabrics. As such, the final binding (which goes around the mitt’s bottom edge) was only going to half match the cuff.
So rather than folding the binding once and slip-stitching as directed, I folded it twice so that it would be hidden inside the cuff completely and then slip stitched. Crisis averted!
Now We're Cookin'
And there you have it. Maisie’s wild, customized Hot Stuff Oven Mitt!
One of the things I ended up liking most about this project was its stash-busting potential! I was able to use some new quilting cottons while also incorporating a few old, but equally eye-catching, scraps.
Customizable, eco-conscious, and the point at which my two loves – baking and sewing – meet? This oven mitt is a true triple threat!