Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Using what I have, more tea towel challenge ideas, and a free design for you!

It's a lovely cool Sunday and that's because we've had a few days of rain, the sky is dark and gloomy, and the temperature has dropped to just 30C (86F)...total sewing bliss! I don't know how long this reprieve from the heat will last so it seemed a good idea to do some more budget decorating - after all, making this house a home will take a while, and every cool day is an opportunity too good to ignore.

Firstly, I should explain that as a family we're trying to be better citizens of planet earth and avoid using plastic or plastic products as much as possible this year. Our old  shower curtain died recently and I really didn't want to purchase a new nylon or plastic one, so we've been showering without a curtain at all. Fortunately it's hot here, so a quick mop of the floor afterwards and it's dry in 5 minutes. However, bathrooms look much nicer with a shower curtain, and it would be nice not to mop 4 times a day. ;-)

When I was reading Kaari Meng's "Home Sewn" the other day she mentions using lovely old linen for shower curtains. I don't have any old linen on hand, but I did have a few metres of lovely faded blue floral cotton that had been waiting in my stash for the last 3 years to be used.
I was able to make a lovely shower curtain, and remember when I used my old towels to make bathmats?  I still have some old towels to recycle so I made another bathmat with some of the fabric offcuts for trim.
Once that was finished I started on another Tea Towel Challenge project!
I had this lovely Donna Hay tea towel that I got free with her wonderful cooking magazine, and the colours were perfect for using in the kitchen (my kitchen is predominently blue, red and mustard).
This years calendar had been looking for a home so with the tea towel, an old stitchery I did back in 2006, and the softest cream vintage ric-rac....
...I made this!
I also made some new kitchen curtains, using pretty blue and red "Momma's Apron Strings" fabric. The new calendar is hanging near the back door, so this is the view as I walk in the kitchen now...

I still need to make some top curtains, but Mr Elefantz needs to purchase a curtain rod first. Hopefully later this week the window dressing will be finished.
Not much hand-sewing being done at the moment but I did sketch this little bird in the rain, then stitched it on a piece of Rural Jardin...
I'm going to use it in a giveaway prize next month here on my blog. I love the simplicity of redwork and it works beautifully withKaari's French General fabrics.
If you'd like to stitch my Rain Bird, you can download the pattern HERE.
Only 5 days left to enter my January Tea Towel Challenge!
As you can see above, today I used a tea towel to make a Calendar hanger, but look what Manda made with her tea towel...
...a home for her Eastern Blue-Tongued Skink, "Buffy"!
Buffy travels everywhere with Manda, but usually in a pillowcase. Manda says that Buffy is much happier in her new, thicker, cloak!
What have you made with a tea towel this month?



  1. You have been busy. I love the calendar idea.

  2. You have made some lovely things for your home Jen - I especially love the calendar hanger. Your free birdie stitchery is super cute too

  3. When I read that you didn´t have I shower curtain, I knew you would make one like the one in the book "Home sewn". It turned out very nice, and I love the matching bath mat. I envy you for having 30 °C, we have -3°C and new snow today.

  4. You have been a very busy lady Jenny. Your new shower curtain looks great with the matching bathmat. How well does the curtain stop the water? The tea towel calender holder is gorgeous.
    Thank you for sharing your birdie stitchery.

  5. Jenny thanks again for sharing a lovely pattern with us. I just love small quick stitcheries to get me reinspired. Great shower curtain and bathmat- clever gal! The calendar is a great idea too and I especially like that stitchery on it.

  6. You know what? Face washers are even easier to make into Buffy bags. No cutting involved, just fold in half and sew up two sides! But she likes the first one I made her most. Maybe it's the colour? I dunno, funny little lizard!
    I adore your calender hanger! You should totally make it into a pattern!
    thankyou for sharing your little birdy too.
    It was only overcast here today, I think it's the first time we've been hotter than you guys for ages now!

  7. Such wonderful new uses for tea towels. Many years ago I made a fabric shower curtain with grommets at the top for the kids' bathroom. Love how you added a bit of the curtain fabric to the floor mat. What's a mop? (just kidding)

  8. How fun! I love red work, too. It really captivates me. And blue work, too. *grin* Thanks for sharing the bird pattern with us! My favorite tea towel use was for the skink; *that* is thinking outside the box! :)

  9. I like the bird in the rain. It make me think of the dove of Noah's Ark looking for a tree. Do you know the story?

  10. Is that a snake?? yikes!!! Tea towels are on the march,, just love seeing all the projects.. I made another one with the cupcakes and am sending it off to my son and wife today.. We have a dusting of snow and 14 this morning..

  11. It's such fun to see the improvements you're making in your home. The homeyness is almost palpable. Charming. Thank you for the Rain Bird pattern too. It's sweet.

  12. You are a genius! Love all your ideas. I especially love the bird and I am printing off a copy right now. Love it. thanks.

  13. Eek 86 is a cool day? At that temp I'd be melting in front of the a/c....love your new shower curtain and mat, dear Jenny, you are so clever and creative! The calendar is fabulous as are your new curtains, but what did you do with the old ones?
    I adore your little bird, oh what can I put her on....wheels are turning! She's the sweetest little bird ever!
    Don't think I could possibly ever warm up to a skink...

  14. Thanks so much for the rain bird pattern.

    Poor skink...I hope she doesn't ever get lost!

  15. Love all you new "home" additions--you are very clever and creative around the home--not to mention all the other things you stitch and create--the rain bird is sooo cute!!! I love the tea towel ideas--except that last one--you may keep that idea all to yourself---
    Happy day!! Hugs, Di&co

  16. Such beautiful ideas Jenny... so lovely is the calendar holder....and your little birdie in the rain is good.....
    Hugs Dawn x x

  17. Love the calendar Jen, and the vintage ric rac is just delish. How cool is the blue tongue in the tea towel!!??! Now THAT's a novel way to use one LOL!!!
    Joy :o)

  18. I love everything you have made.. especially the calendar and the curtains.....
    Cath Ü