Double fun for holiday making

Hello! Wow, it’s been awhile since we’ve graced the blog with a post. It’s not for lack of desire, it’s mainly we find ourselves focused in the moment on taking care of our customers and students at the shop and studio, and online. However, if we could, we’d set an intention for 2019 to be here a little more. We love sharing ideas and hearing from you what you’d like to see more of from us. They may say no one reads blogs anymore but we disagree; we love having resources out there on the internets;).

All right, so who watches the Great British Bake Off? Many of us at the shop have loved watching it over the years as it demonstrates what competition and reality TV can be – good television but with friendliness and kindness. It might be overly tempting for wanting to eat yummy food while watching, yet, it’s so fun! Every time I’ve watched it, I’ve always thought how much I loved the double oven mitts some of the contestants use. Well, I carved out a little time to whip a couple versions up and it’s love! And we thought why not share with you how to make a couple the next week+ before the holidays arrive. Two versions are here – one that is more like a whole cloth quilt project and one where it’s faced. Both have their pros and cons when it comes to construction and time, so it’s up to you on what you want for aesthetic and time to completion.

Materials Needed (Quilted Version):

  • 1/4 yard of two fabrics or 1/2 yard of one (if less than 55″ wide you’ll want an extra quarter yard for your pocket fabric; contrast could be fun here too)
  • Two 1/4 yard cuts of wool batting or heat resistant material such as thermo-lam/insul-bright
  • Cotton Quilting thread or sashiko thread if hand stitching
  • 3 yards of bias tape
  • Walking foot for your machine (preferred)
  • Basic supplies to cut, measure and mark your fabric
  • Hera marker or non-heat setting marking tools (no tailors chalk)

Materials Needed (Faced Version):

  • Same as above but no bias tape or quilting thread required. You’ll probably still appreciate the walking foot

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Step One:

Cut your fabrics/batting – for the quilted version, you’ll want a little overhang so add an inch to the following dimensions:

  • From your fabrics:
    • Two cuts that are 9×35 inches
    • Two cuts that are 9×9
    • One cut that is 2×6 (for the loop) – for non-quilted version
  • From your batting/heat resistant material:
    • Two cuts that are 9×35 (remember to add an inch or so to these dimensions for the quilted version.
  • From the bias tape:
    • 2 cuts that are 9 inches long
    • 1 cut that is 6 inches long
    • Remainder will be used to bind project

Step Two:

  • Hem or bind your pockets.
  • For the hemmed version: Fold over 1/2″ twice on the top and top stitch 3/8″ from the folded edge.
  • For the bound version: We like Wonder Clips for this; sandwich the top raw edges of the pocket panel into the folded bias tape, clip or pin, then edge stitch along the bottom folded edge of the binding.
  • Repeat on the second pocket panel. Trim thread and set aside.

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Step Three (for quilted version):

  • Make your quilt sandwich: Put one of your long panels down on a flat surface, wrong side facing up. Next, stack your two layers of batting or thermal material on top. Finally, put your second main panel with right side facing up. Being careful to keep all pieces from bunching up or pleating, pin with pins or safety pins every few inches so that it’s basted for your quilting. Hand stitches can work here too.
  • Mark for quilted lines. We really love hera markers for this because you don’t have to worry about things washing out or getting iron set. However, use water soluble pens here or Frixion. We would recommend you don’t use a chaco liner or similar since any heat will set the lines, and no one wants that.
  • Get your machine set up for quilting with a walking foot. Install cotton thread if you have it and then increase your stitch length to get a good length that will keep the layers together but not be difficult for your machine. Using a test swatch is great here.
  • With no need to back stitch, you’ll follow the lines you made. You can be super symmetrical or just have fun. We found that having the lines  stitched a little closer together (as close as two inches with the wool batting) made for a more distinct pattern you could see on this size of project. Much closer and it might be come too thin to insulate from heat.
  • Ideally start from the center of the work and alternate working to the outside so that if you do experience any bunching, you can fix it in the moment versus being frustrated later.
  • Clip your threads and trim down to 9×35″

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Step Four (both versions):

  • Now you’ll want to cut your fabrics so that the four corners are now curved. The easiest way to is to take one of your pocket panels and fold it in half and press. Measuring an inch in from the corner, that will be your base point to create a curved line that doesn’t have a hard edge at the top or sides. You can use a tool like a hip curve or plot points then connect them.
  • Once you have the one pocket with the correct curve, you can lay it over the other pocket panel and trim to match. Repeat this on both ends of your main panels.

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Step Five: (Both versions)

  • Make your loop. With fabric you’ll want to fold the piece in half lengthwise and press. Then fold each edge into the center crease, pressing each time, and then fold it in half so that it’s completely hemmed. Edge stitch along the double folded edge to secure.
  • With bias binding just fold in half and edge stitch along the edge.

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Step Six (Quilted Version):

  • Place the pocket panels on each end lining up all the raw edges. Pin to secure them and then stitch a pasting stitch along all the edges to make binding easier (much like a quilt). You’ll this to be a scant 1/4 inch from the edge and a longer stitch length. We also trimmed the seam allowance a little further so the bias binding would be easier to install.

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Step Six (Faced version):

  • Place your two layers of your batting/thermal material on a flat surface. Next take one of the main panels and place right side up. Next place your pocket panels on either end, matching to the raw edges. On one end, pin your loop to the apex of the curve (you’ll install it when you attach the panels together so no need to hem the edges). Follow with your last main panel, right side down. Pin carefully making sure your layers are all flat, your loop raw edges are secure and flush, as well as all raw edges match.
  • Mark about a six inch opening on one of the straight sides. Then, back stitching at beginning and end, sew from one opening mark to the other a 1/2″ seam allowance, taking care to sew through the loop too.
  • Trim threads and your seam allowance down to a 1/4 inch. Then carefully turn right side out so that your two fabric panels, not batting show on the outside. This next part will take some time to push out all the seams so that they’re flush again. A point turner or chopstick works great here to get them pushed out through all the layers. Press carefully and reshape the opening to that it looks nice and even. You can cut out some of the batting here to reduce density.

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Step Seven (Quilted Version):

  • With the basted panels, pocket side up, place your loop on the apex of one end of the mitt and pin in place.
  • Next, along the raw edge, near the center of the panel (before the pocket panel starts), unfold on side of the bias binding. With about six inches of excess before you pin or clip it, line up to the raw edge and clip or pin in place for a few inches. With your needle lined up to the crease (which should be about at a 1/2″), backstitch and then sew the binding to the top panel, taking great care and ease around the curve. Think Ross from Friends and pivot like crazy so it remains a curve. continue down the straight side and remaining curve edge and then stop and back stitch about six inches from where you started. You should have several inches of excess – don’t cut that yet.
  • Take your two tails of binding and figure out where they should meet so that you would have one continuous piece of binding, if they were sewn together. Match them with a mark of chalk on both pieces and then unfold both pieces completely. Pin in place and then go to your machine and sew the two pieces together, matching the chalk lines. Before you trim the seam allowance make sure that it will lay flat on your piece. Once you’ve confirmed, trim and press open seam and then attach it to the main body of the mitt, being sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.
  • Because we love it when you can’t see any stitches, we attached the other side of the binding by hand. Perfect for a showing of your favorite holiday movie and beverage of choice. If you want to use the machine, you’ll want to be extremely diligent in how you pin or clip and make sure it covers the ditch of the original seam. Then you can stitch in the ditch on the top side and catch the binding on the other side. If you’re still learning, just be patient. Photos show the ladder stitch which we used to attach the binding.

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Step Seven (Faced Version):

  • Once your opening is reshaped and lying flat with raw edges matching, pin and then start opposite of the opening with an edgestitch (about 1/4″ or less from the edge). Backstitch and both beginning and end, taking great care to leverage Ross-like pivots around the curved edges. When you get to the pocket panel, be sure the top doesn’t fold back. You’ll want to keep the stitch length longer here too.
  • When you get to the loop, fold it toward the body of the project so that it’s topstitched down and not stick out the end, which would get in the way of grabbing hot things;).

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Step Eight (Both versions):

  • Give a good press to get any wrinkles that might happen. Be sure to go without the steam if you’re using wool batting, which could cause it to felt.

Step Nine: You’re done!

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A few other tips and ideas. When we make these again (for which we’ve already picked out more fabrics), we plan on making loops on both ends for easy hanging.

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