Warm Woolen Mittens


“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Brighton copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.”

When Drew Drew Buns (the inexplicable name I called/call my youngest) was 4 years old, he came in from the season’s first snowfall in tears and told me his “wrists were broke”. The coat and mittens he wore left a band of young, tender flesh exposed and vulnerable to the frigid temperatures. That evening, I stayed up until I had knitted him a new pair of mitts… ones that nearly reached his elbows when uncuffed! They needed to go on before his coat, so after he donned the mittens, he needed help getting dressed. I suppose we effectively postponed his learning to zip a zipper by a couple of years, but that was a small price to pay. He was now able to romp in the snow without wrist freeze!

He wore those bright red mittens for three years. Amazingly, he never lost one. (Of course, once on, they were nearly impossible to remove 🙂 When he finally outgrew them, I couldn’t bear to part with them. Instead of putting them in our community mitten basket, they made their way to our Christmas tree. Over the years, I’ve tucked those mittens into our family tree, and each time I do, I’m reminded of my little guy.

This Christmas, as two year old Little Lady was busy taking ornaments on and off our Christmas tree, she came upon the pair of her daddy’s red woolen mittens. She wanted to put them on. Although they were still too big on her, she ran around, clapping her hands together in glee. I suppose it’s only fitting that they should be handed down to Drew Drew Buns’ children… circle of life and all, but… I didn’t give them away. Oh, I’ll make Little Lady her own red woolen mittens that reach her elbows, but I’m hanging on to these, and the memory of my little boy with “broken wrists” 🙂   

I think most of us have mitten stories (just ask the 3 Little Kittens’ Mom :), so I decided to create a Mitten Applique Block. As always, it was designed to fit a 6″ x 6″ block, but can be enlarge or reduced to meet your needs. I’m thinking it would be kind of cute to cut out backings for the mitts, and add brooch pins to them. Then, you could pin them to a lapel, with a braided cording running between them!

The pattern for the Mitten Applique Block can be found HERE




The pattern for the Mittens Applique Block can be found HERE.



The tutorial on How to Enlarge and Reduce can be found HERE.

The tutorial on How to Cut Out Felt can be found HERE.

The Stitching Glossary can be found HERE.


DIRECTIONS – Refer to pattern and photo for applique placements and cutting instructions.

Make a copy of the pattern.

Cut out felt using material list above and transfer any embroidery markings.

Using a blanket stitch, sew mittens to block using 3 strands floss.

Using a blanket stitch, sew cuffs to mitts using 3 strands floss.

Using a stem stitch, embroider the 3 crossing lines of the snowflakes using 6 strands floss.

Using a straight stitch, add the snowflake details using 6 strands floss.

Using 6 strands floss, add a French knot to the 6 top ends of each snowflake.

Using 2 strands each of 3 colors of floss, thread a embroidery needle as if the 6 strands were one piece of floss. Chain stitch the line connecting the 2 mittens.

Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 – 2013. All rights reserved.

PHOTOS: 9-23-09






  1. I loved your story – memories like that are keepers – and the block is gorgeous. I really have to ask one question, though. Do you buttonhole stitch by hand, or do you have a sewing machine that will do it. I only ask this because your stitching is so even and beautiful, and my hand stitching could never be that could. (maybe I should practice more!) Thank you for your wonderful blog, Cheryl (the hedgehog requester)

    1. Hi Cheryl (aka Hedgehog Requester 🙂

      I do all my needlework by hand. I think it is a testament to how much blanket stitching I do that they come out looking like that!!! Although I never totally finished the tute (it's on my to-do list… really), I do share some pointers on blanket stitching. It can be found HERE.   

  2. I simply LOVE all of you applique blocks. I am doing a quilted wallhanging for Valentine’s and making a heart to put in the middle, but what do others do with these blocks????

    thanks for you generosity!

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