"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My new kitchen towels (and a pattern)...

Every January I restock my kitchen with with a fresh supply of kitchen towels (tea towels).
This ritual brings me a lot of satisfaction because January, to me, is the time of year when I most desire to give the kitchen a deep clean and mini-makeover.
And I always begin with new kitchen towels.

At the beginning of last year I shared a tutorial (here) for adding pretty fabric trims to new tea towels, and throughout 2015 there were a few blog posts showing some I'd decorated with embroidery, but this year I'm adding applique for a change...


 Back in 2012 I purchased a set of six Dunroven kitchen towels from the USA with the intention of adding a different stitchery embellishment to each one. These towels are 'gorgeous' and their quality is like nothing I've yet found in Australia so I didn't want to be hasty in decorating them.

Sad thing is that these six lovely green, red and blue striped towels have been sitting neglected in my box of 'project ideas' all this time because I couldn't make a design decision, but as I'm shaking up my homemaker ways this year the time had come to 'use or lose' them.
So 'use' it is!

I began by drawing a bird and then a pot and finally three flowers and stems.
Then I chose fabrics from my Tilda scraps for each section of the design, traced the shapes onto Vliesofix, and fused the shapes behind my allocated prints.
After cutting away the fused shape and peeling off the Vliesofix I used the pattern sheet as a guide for positioning each shape in place on the tea towel...

Tweezers are great for correct placement of applique shapes...


You'll notice that I do not overlap my applique shapes as it the usual manner.
If you'd like to know how I do this you'll find one of my tutorials HERE.
 
After choosing coordinating threads for each of the fabrics I used blanket stitch to secure each shape to the towel. Always applique the tiniest shapes first...

Final touch was a double line of running stitch inside the striped edge of the Dunroven towel.
Simple things like running stitch add that little extra detail to a project, and it's so quick to do...

Now I have only five more kitchen towels to design and decorate! 
But I'm not in a rush as these are relaxing projects to stitch in front of the telly with a Poirot or Marple, a mug of chai, and a nice thick slice of cinnamon loaf, don't you agree?


The pattern for "Bird in a Pot" is HERE in my shop.

Over the course of however long the other five 'yet to be designed and appliqued' patterns will also find their way to the blog. 

Maybe I should sew a matching apron? Or tea cosy...

hugs

28 comments:

Sherri said...

Oh wow! I love your tea towels. Those will certainly spruce up a kitchen. Here in the States, it is 20's F, so your towels remind me of warmer days.

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. This is a nice design that certainly makes your towel look lovely. When you make towels like this, do you use them? Or do you just decorate with them?

janice15 said...

I love your tea towels they are really nice. question is applique sticky on the back side or is it just materials that are regular that you chose ? with love Janice

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I use them, Michelle...which is why I make new ones every January. :-)
Sometimes I use them as hand towels for the bathroom, also.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Janice15, I use fusible applique paper. :-)

Jacqueline said...

Sew cute. You get so much done.

Little Quiltsong said...

This is so lovely. You have a special talent, Jenny!

Little Penpen said...

How pretty! I would probably think it is too pretty to use. ;)

shirley flavell said...

These are so lovely Jenny.I love them.

Leeanne said...

Prettinessxxxxx

Victoria said...

Yes, too pretty to use. I always love your birds! I bleach my tea towels each time before they go into the wash so these would have to be for "looking-pretty" only. Like you, I have some tucked away to do some embroidery on...but I love your pot idea.
Wouldn't a couple of these be nice to do & have tucked away for a gift, maybe with a jar of jam?

Christina said...

Very cute. I have some Dunroven House towels waiting for me to add something to them as well.

shez said...

wow this is so pretty Jenny,you are very clever my friend xx

Ondrea said...

How gorgeous is that! I am always a bit worried about constant washing of appliqued tea towels. Do you use a normal machine wash?

desertskyquilts said...

Lovely design. You don't actually USE these towels, do you? They are too pretty to use!

Maria said...

Gorgeous !

Águeda said...

Es un diseño muy bonito y un precioso tutorial. Me alegro mucho de tu mejoría. Besos.

Phil Pogson said...

too nice to use...........

Christine Barnsley said...

Hello Jenny and a Happy New Year! Your tea towels are beautiful! Does the applique withstand being washed or are they just for decoration? Lovely whichever! Christine x

Reyes ♥El telar de mi abuela♥ said...

Maravilloso.
Saludos desde Tenerife

Annerose said...

Das sieht ja wunderschön aus, toll hat du das gemacht und deine Stiche sind so schön ordentlich. Kompliment.
Liebe Grüße AnneRose

Brenda said...

Good Morning Jenny! What a splendid idea for your tea towels! My Grandmother taught me hand embroidery on solid white tea towels (also known as flour sacks) and I have used them ever since. Applique is my favorite technique in quilting, add in hand embroidery stitches and it is definitely a A plus pattern. I have never done applique on tea towels, but it is a brilliant adornment that I am going to have to try. Your pattern that you designed is so precious and makes me think of Spring. My Daffodil bulbs are already showing the tips of their stalks, so Spring is peeking around the corner! Thank you for sharing this great pattern and project! Have a fantastic creative day!

Radka said...

So pretty :-) I like your idea of having new tea towels in January, we all need something to kick the year into a start. And thanks for the tip re not overlapping applique, I like that, so much nicer not having the bulk there.
xx

Deb said...

Lovely Jenny, and so pretty. Isn't it funny I could feel the relaxation in your post, so I hope you are feeling relaxed as well.
Happy New Year my dear friend.

Noela said...

Gorgeous Jenny. A very good start to the year. Hugs.......

Baa. xxx said...

The t-towel looks great! Love the little birdie! So sweet. I really must get some good t-towels to sew on

Createology said...

I do agree and such a lovely gift to give your kitchen in January. Love your appliqued flowers, pot and birdie. Yes, those two little lines of straight stitching really do finish off the perfect Gentle Domesticity kitchen towel.

Allie-oops Designs said...

That is just precious, dear girl, thank you!