Saturday February 5, 2011

I’ll be honest.  I’m not entirely sure what a tea towel is, or if these towels meet all the “tea towel specifications”.  I mostly just like saying “tea towel”.

I like having nice kitchen towels to hang up when company comes over.  Not the everyday towels that have crusted cheese sauce, and burn marks on them… but pretty towels.  So I made these Valentine’s Day inspired towels.  I used plain white cotton towels that I purchased from my local fabric store, but you can use any kind of kitchen towel you prefer.

To make the red and pink pieced towel, I raided my fabric stash and pulled all of my red and pink scraps out.  I like using a variety of hues and patterns.

 *I apologize for the quality of these pictures.  I made these towels while we stayed at a cabin and I didn’t have a lot of natural light to work with.*

First I cut all of the fabric into long strips.  They ranged in width, from 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches.

After that I cut all of the strips into 5 inch lengths.

As you can see from this picture, the pieces are different widths but all 5 inches tall.  I arranged my pieces in the order I wanted to sew them together.

Starting from the right side, I picked up my first two pieces and laid them right sides together.

I carried them over to the sewing machine and made a 1/4 inch seam on the right side of the blocks.

Iron them flat and keep adding pieces (right sides together) to left side of of the fabric.  Be sure to iron each piece, before you add another.

Keep going until it is just slightly longer than your towel.  It needs to be at least a half an inch longer than your towel.

It should look like this.

Next fold the top and bottom edges of the material down 1/4 of an inch and iron it flat.

Fold the right and left and sides under as well and iron them.

I used my ruler and pencil to trace a line along the bottom edge of the towel (it’s about three inches from the bottom).

Then I lined up my strip of pieced material with the line I had traced, and I pinned it in place.

Topstitch all around the edges of the material.

I used a variety of embroidery thread and and hand stitched down the length of each individual piece.  If that sound unbearable tedious to you, then I give you permission to use your machine   I do think this step is necessary though.  Otherwise, after a few washings your material might start to droop and pucker.

I  wouldn’t mind having these hanging on my oven when company arrives

I didn’t do a complete tutorial for this towel.  But if you are interested in making this version, it’s super simple.  I gathered up about a dozen different coordinating fabrics and ironed a 5 x 5 square of
Heat ‘n’ Bond (just like I used for the heart clips on day 2) to the back of the material.  Then I cut heart shapes out of fabric, and ironed them in a row along the bottom edge of the towel.  I hand stitched around each heart using embroidery thread, but again, you could simply use your machine to stitch around each heart (I think a zig-zag stitch works nicely for this).  I also added a row of teal rick-rack just below the hearts. 

I also thought it would be fun to turn these into aprons.  Add a calico sash to the top and you’ve got a spiffy looking apron!

Have a great weekend and happy sewing!

13 thoughts on “Saturday February 5, 2011

  1. fruitloops115

    Hey there, I found you by way of Amber (grace2be)’s blog. I just wanted to say, you  are so clever and creative!! I’m having alot of fun looking at all your sweet little v-day things, too cute!!  I am your new biggest fan

  2. SpazzyMommy

    I’m doing this one!! I already have the new tea towels on hand! :) Yay  me! 

    And- because I wasn’t sure what actually qualifies something to be a tea towel either….I looked this up. ; )

    It says that a tea towel has to stay spotlessly clean. I guess I’ll have a tea towel for 1 day. Ha. In a house with four kids- nothing stays spotless long!

  3. inanorchard

    @SpazzyMommy - HA!  I love it!!  It looks like my towels do (for the time being) meet the “tea towel specifications”.  I’m relieved.  I can’t wait to see your towels!  You will, of course, be posting pictures.  Right?


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