A Sweetheart of an Oven Mitt

oven mitt-9

About a year ago I came across this adorable heart shaped oven mitt on Pinterest and knew I had to make it. Valentine’s day is this week and we love all things heart-shaped this time of year. It seemed fitting for this oven mitt to be the first sewing project on my blog. I am not the most experienced on the sewing machine but that’s kind of what this blog is about; forcing myself to do the things that I want to do. Bear with me, I probably have some funny methods, bad habits, and a technically lacking vocabulary. I think as long as my method gets the job done then it doesn’t really matter how I did it. Right?

Since this post is quite lengthy and picture heavy, lets get right to it.

heart-shaped oven mitt

Supplies needed:

  • Sewing machine, basic supplies, walking foot (even feed foot)
  • 100% Cotton thread
  • Two different 100% Cotton fabrics (yes, I have a third fabric in the photo. Decided against it halfway through the project). Not all fat quarters from Joann’s are 100% cotton, check the label first.
  • 100% Cotton bias tape, ideally. Mine is about 40%, that’s all Joann’s had in the color I needed. I have used it several times and so far, no melty heart. If you are going to make your own bias tape make sure it is cut on the bias or you will really hate this project. Also, I suggest purchasing extra wide if you have the option. In the final steps of this tutorial you will be sewing bias tape through 3 layers of batting and 3 layers of fabric. It’s very thick and you have to wrap the tape around all of those layers.
  • Insul-Brite batting (sold at Joann’s by the yard)
  • Paper, pen, scissors, ruler

First, some tips.

  • Wash and press your fabrics before cutting.
  • Since your oven mitt is going to be subjected to high temperatures you really need 100% cotton for the thread and fabrics. Polyester melts if you look at it wrong so I am sure it would spontaneously combust while pulling something out of the broiler.
  • I made this with two laters of insul-brite in the main part of the mitt (the part that comes between your hand and the oven) and strongly suggest you do the same. I only used one layer in the top part of the mitt since it won’t be exposed to prolonged heat (you know, just the occasional knuckles-to-the-oven-rack fist bump I sometimes throw around).

Oven mitt pattern

To make your heart pattern (referred to as large heart):

  • Fold a piece of paper in half to mark the middle.
  • Unfold, lay flat, and place your hand on the crease (first pic). This crease is going to be the center of your oven mitt so you are looking to see how big you need your heart to be in order to fit your hand.
  • Draw an outline around one side of your hand, leaving space for seam allowance and wiggle room (middle pic).
  • Now fold your paper back together and cut along the heart-shaped line you drew. You might need to do some extra cutting to get your preferred heart shape.
  • Unfold paper and lay your hand back on top to make sure you aren’t cutting it too small.

Once you get your desired shape and size you need to cut a pattern piece for the top of the mitt (referred to as small  heart).

  • Fold another piece of paper in half.
  • Trace your original folded heart so that you have a duplicate.
  • Cut out duplicate.
  • Lay it on top of of the original heart and place your hand on the folds again (last pic).
  • Draw a straight line from the top center of the heart down to the side of your palm. This line is going to be the edge of the top mitt. You want it to cover most of your hand but have enough room that you can get your hand in and out of the mitt. If you are having trouble figuring out where to draw this line just pick up the paper in that hand, as if it were already an oven mitt, and you are gripping a pan with it.
  • Cut on line, you will now have two pattern pieces for the top of the mitt.
  • Lay them out on top of your original heart (picture below). These are your pattern pieces.

oven mitt2-5

BEFORE YOU CUT, I recommend to cut your large heart fabric pieces 1/4″ bigger, on all sides, than your batting. Just eyeball it. The batting is very thick and during the quilting the fabric seems to just shrink right before your eyes.

Your cut list:

  • 1 large heart backing fabric piece
  • 1 large heart front (top) fabric piece
  • 2 small heart backing fabric pieces
  • 2 large heart insul-brite batting pieces
  • 2 small heart insul-brite batting pieces

Once you have your pieces cut out it is time to make your quilt sandwich (stack your layers). You only need to stack the large hearts at this point.

oven mitt-5

  • Lay backing fabric face down.
  • Stack two layers of insul-brite batting on top.
  • Place top piece of fabric on stack. You should have 4 layers.

oven mitt collage2

 Lets quilt these layers together!

Tip: When quilting it is best to start stitching in the middle of the project and work your way out (middle pic). As you go your fabrics will adjust a bit so pushing them out from the center will help to keep your layers even. Also, I like to use a long stitch length for all top stitching (the stitching that you can see on the finished product). I use stitch length 3-4, longer for thicker layers.

  • First you need to decide at what angle you want your quilting to go. I have no rhyme or reason for this, I just picked an angle that I liked.
  • Mark your first line of quilting. I like to mark the line with the edge of tape (left pic) since it is so easy to peel off. You could also use a fabric pencil (test your fabric first to make sure it comes off in the wash). I lay my ruler on the fabric then place the tape right against the edge of the ruler.

Once you have your first line marked it is time to quilt it. Using the walking foot sew along the edge of the tape. Peel away your tape and you now have your baseline for the quilting (top right pic).

  • When marking your next line, make it parallel to the first quilted line. I chose to space my quilting out 1″ since it is so easy to see on the ruler. Most walking feet come with an adjustable width guide but mine does not. I need to mark each line before quilting. If you have the guide you can adjust it to the width you prefer and line it up with your first quilted line and go.
  • Continue to quilt in one direction across the heart until you get to the last line (middle pic).
  • Starting back at the middle and working upwards, quilt the top half of your heart. So far your quilting should look like the last picture.


oven mitt collage3

Once you have the first part of the quilting done it is time to change directions with your lines. Note, I intentionally placed my ruler to the side in the pics so I could photograph the lines.

  • Lay your ruler on top of quilting so that the 1″ lines lay directly on top of your quilting (top right pic).
  • Mark line with tape.
  • Quilt this line.
  • Continue to quilt, creating squares, working from the center outward.

To quilt the top of the oven mitt (small hearts):

  • Top small heart insul-brite batting with small heart fabric piece, face up.
  • Pin together making sure that the edges line up (this forms a 2-layer quilt sandwich).
  • Lay this quilt sandwich on top of the large quilted heart, making sure edges line up.
  • Pin in place.
  • Mark your first quilting line by laying your ruler along the quilted lines of the large heart (middle pic). You want your small heart quilting to line up with the large heart quilting.
  • Remove quilt sandwich from large heart and quilt your first marked line.
  • Continue to quilt the small heart as previously done on large heart.
  • Lay quilted small heart on top of large heart. It should look like the left pic and your quilting should line up.
  • Pin in place.

To mark the quilting for the other half of the top piece:

  • Top remaining small heart insul-brite batting with small heart fabric piece, face up.
  • Pin together making sure that the edges line up (this forms a 2-layer quilt sandwich).
  • Lay this quilt sandwich on top of the large quilted heart, making sure edges line up. It should now look like an oven mitt.
  • Pin in place.
  • Mark your first quilting line by laying your ruler along the quilted lines of the large and small heart (bottom pic). Again, you want all your quilting to line up.
  • Remove quilt sandwich from large heart and quilt your first marked line.
  • Continue to quilt the small heart as previously done.

oven mitt collage4

Once all your quilting is done the next step is to bind the small hearts.

  • Cut a strip of bias tape a little longer than the straight side of your heart. I always cut a little extra just in case…
  • Unfold the tape. If you measure, or just look at it, you can see that one fold of the tape is smaller than the other (1.5/8 and 2/8 inch). If you pin the smaller fold to the back of your heart the larger will wrap around to the front. When you sew the front fold down, in theory, you will only have stitching on the bias tape (no stitching on the back of the fabric next to the tape.)
  • Pin 1.5/8 inch fold, right side down, to the back of the small quilted heart (right pic). You should have raw edges together.
  • Sew using a 1.5/8 inch seam allowance (sew in the 1.5/8 fold line closest to the raw edge).
  • Wrap bias tape around to the front of the heart, keeping the raw edge folded under so you cant see it.
  • Pin and sew.
  • Trim excess bias tape, it works well to leave about 1/8 inch. Your heart should look like the left pic.
  • Repeat steps for the other small heart.

Lets assemble this thing.

oven mitt-2

  • Pin 1 small heart on top of the large heart making sure edges line up.
  • Cut a piece of bias tape that is long enough to go around one side of the mitt plus about an inch of overhang at each end.
  • Pin bias tape to the back of the large heart like you did with the small heart above except this time you need to reeeally pin it.
  • After making another oven mitt I decided that it is much easier if you pin your bias tape a little past the center of the heart (a little farther than half way around). For example, you want to sew around the point of the heart about 1 inch. This will give you plenty of room to overlap your final piece of bias tape.
  • You definitely want the longest stitch length here. When your machine has to sew through so many layers you lose some of your stitch length (or maybe this only happens to me).
  • Sew the tape using 1/8″ seam allowance. Since you have to wrap this bias tape around so many more layers this time you need a smaller seam allowance. Sewing through all these layers was pretty tricky with my walking foot. I had to give it a little tug now and then to get it going. It’s ok if your stitching isn’t fantastic here, you won’t be able to see these stitches in the final product.
  • Wrap the tape around to the front of the heart.
  • STOP! Check your seam before moving on. If you missed a spot don’t panic (pic below). Put the seam ripper down, everything is going to be alright. Unwrap the bias tape so it is at the back of the heart again. Put the section of the seam you missed back under the machine and sew, just make your seam allowance a little bigger. You just need it big enough to catch the loose fabric. Keep the shape of your heart in mind here. If you just sew a straight line your heart will have a straight section in the final product.

oven mitt

  • Once you have the first seam stitched to your liking, wrap the bias tape around to the front of your project again.
  • After double and triple checking your seam pin the bias tape down with the raw edge folded under. You may have to give it a little pull here and there to cover all the raw edges. Also, if there is a section that just won’t go under the bias tape you can trim the edge of the batting. As long as you don’t cut into the stitching you just created on the tape you will be fine. Again, keep in mind the shape of your heart when trimming. Keep it rounded.
  • Sew the front of the bias tape down being careful to keep your seam allowance nice and tidy. Go slow! Any wobbly stitches will show since you are working on the top stitch.
  • You should have some extra bias tape at each end (two pics above).

It all comes together…

oven mitt collage7

When sewing the last piece of bias tape on I struggled to hide the raw edges of the very end pieces. I decided to fold over the corners and press before attaching the tape to the project (above pics). It worked but if you have a better way to finish off the edges I would love to hear it.

  • Cut the final piece of bias tape, with an extra 1″ on each end.
  • Fold each end of the bias tape over 3/4″, wrong sides together and press.
  • Fold the raw edge of each corner in to the first crease and press (left pic).
  • Pin your bias tape to the back of the heart starting at the top. It needs to overlap the tail end of the previously sewn bias tape in order to close the gap. I overlapped about an inch.
  • Sew the bias tape. Extra backstitching will add security to those folded corners.
  • Again, stop and turn your bias tape right side out and inspect your seam. If you missed a spot (two photos above) put it back under the machine and sew that area with a slightly larger seam allowance.
  • Just like before, once you have the seam stitched to your liking, wrap the bias tape around to the front of your project.
  • Pin the bias tape to the front of the project with the raw edge folded under. Pin that folded corner well, you don’t want it slipping around on your final stitch.
  • Sew the front of the bias tape down, being careful to keep your seam allowance consistent.

That’s it, you are done!

oven mitt-8

oven mitt-5-2

I would love to see how yours turned out. Post your pics in the comments section!

-Thanks for sticking with me. This was a long one!