Project: Two-handed Mitt

Pandora Station: Coconut Records

Pattern: McCall’s Home Decorating

Fabric Used: 100% Cotton

New to Me: Quilting

Trips to Store: 2! Once to buy the fabric and once to see if they could help a sister out (with the pattern).

Loved one: My sister Ursula, chef extraordinaire.

Day by Day…

Saturday, July 2:

Score. Hancock Fabrics was having a 4th of July weekend sale. Great timing. I must have had the 4th in mind when picking out the fabric – red, white, and blue.

And I have been crazy about polka dots lately.

A bit of trivia (thank you, Martha Stewart):

“To capitalize on the popularity of the polka in the late nineteenth century, one enterprising American textile manufacturer coined the term ‘polka dot’ to describe the dots on one of his fabrics. The name stuck…”

It was my lucky day with the sale. Will it be a lucky week with the pattern? Ready, set, go.

Sunday, July 3:

I have been eyeing pinking shears for the last several months. I couldn’t resist (since they were on sale). Although used to help avoid fray, I am strictly using them for a decorative touch.

This pattern also had 5 pieces (lower front, guide, upper front, back, band). I spent the day placing the pattern pieces, and cutting.

I didn’t realize this when picking it out, but the polka dot fabric is by Robert Kaufman, a fabric supplier carrying designers such as Anne Kelle, Caleb Gray, and Monaluna.

Monday, July 4:

I got an early start, and since all pieces were already cut out from yesterday, I was able to get right to stitching.

The first step in the instructions was to stitch the batting to the back side of two (of the four) pieces of  “the band,” then stitching those two pieces together. Because the fabric has a nap (stripes in one direction), it was a little tricky. But when I sewed the two pieces of the band with the batting together, the lines lined up, thankfully.

Then I did the same for the remaining two piece of the band (without batting), but it didn’t line up. This is a learning experiment, right?

Tuesday, July 5:

Sending a SOS. Ms. Paula, are you out there? When quilting, the fabric is gathering. I need to figure a way around this. The batting is making me batty.

Just took another look at the instructions (doh!): “To prevent layers from shifting on large fabric sections, beginning at center, baste along lengthwise and crosswise grains, smoothing fabric as you go, leaving ends free for easy removal…Beginning at center, baste diagonally to each corner.”

Saturday, July 9:

This morning, I tried tackling the thumb part of the mitt. This is where the second trip to the fabric store came in. I couldn’t figure out, based on the illustration on the instructions, how to line up the thumbs. But after two hours (thumbs down) and a little common sense, I figured it out. But thumbs up to the lines on the fabric lining up.

The project was coming together. Added the trim and the contrasting fabric, and learned a new term: edge stitching. I have been doing that all along, but never knew the proper name. Thank you, The Nine Line.

And voila, done:

Project Wrap-up

Sew Happy:

  • Sewing is teaching me to be more trusting. Right when you think the pattern is leading you astray, it all comes together. Everything always ends up a-o-k.
  • I had extra batting left over from the baby blanket to use with this project…and future projects.
  • Now that I understand this pattern, I can get really creative with fabric cuts, etc. I am always so inspired by Anthropologie.

Not Sew Happy:

  • The fabric kept gathering while quilting.
  • Sometimes, you just need to use common sense. I was trying to follow the pattern, closely studying the illustrations and not using common sense.

Helpful Hints (to self)

  • I may wait until I have a few more projects under my belt before using the pinking shears again. It made it tough to line up the fabric and to stitch with the proper seam allowance.

Update

The mitts got some use. Ursula suggested a mylar batting for the next mitt project.

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