Thursday, May 15, 2014

Houses and homes...

In yesterday's blog post I showed a few online tutorials I was going to have a play with, and one of them was Kerryanne's simple, but gorgeous, raw-edge applique tea towel.
I loved that she had no pattern templates, just an instruction to cut all the applique shapes by hand with no actual form - just letting the shapes be random and fun. The other bonus was that it was more an idea that she was sharing as opposed to an actual pattern, so therefore no two tea towels will look the same.
With 'fun' in mind, I gathered a washed white tea towel, some of my pretty Tanya Whelan "Petal" fabric stash, and declared my afternoon playtime officially underway!
I decided to go with five houses like Kerryanne had done on her tea towel, but drew my shapes smaller as I had an idea in mind for the finished project...

Once I'd cut out my house pieces and fused them in place along one end of the tea towel I used the sewing machine to applique them.
Because I do hand applique in all my own designs, having a play with raw edge on my machine was incredibly fun - with no need for straight lines I could just let the needle go where it wanted. If you're a perfectionist like me this is a good lesson in 'chillin' out'...

 I don't free motion quilt, so you won't see any swirls here, but I did add some interest to the row of houses with trees and fencing...
I decided against using ric rac under the houses as Kerryanne had done, and added an uneven strip of fabric instead...

The final touch was butterfly buttons...

Cute, huh!?

Now, as I said earlier, I had a project in mind for my 'houses & homes' tea towel once it was finished.
You see, we lived without a microwave for six months and just the other week we went and bought a little one for Blossom to heat her meals when she comes home later than usual.
The spot where the microwave now lives used to house my mixer and blender, so they were moved to the top of my little white bookcase - and truly, they just looked clunky and unattractive in full view of the dinner table.

So, this is what I did with my new 'houses & homes' tea towel!

Way better view, right? After I took this photo I machined down both sides of the tea towel and it sat perfectly over the mixer.
But that blender is still an eyesore.
So what is a girl to do? Find another tea towel and start stitchin' again...

Just one house this time, with a sweet little letter box...

...and turned along the wider side as I needed this cover to be narrow and high when it had the seams sewn.
How much sweeter is the view now?
 But wait!
I needed a runner along the top of the bookcase; one that matched the covers on my appliances. Fortunately I had some 'Petal' yardage, so I quickly quilted a nice long runner, with pockets across both side overhangs...

 One side holds my shopping list, a pen, and some glasses, and the other is perfectly placed to hold our iPhones when they are charging...
Loving the finished result, and all this took was three hours and one coffee. 

Do you want to know what Mr E was up to while I was playing working?
He'd just arrived home from another trip away with his job and Princess Sophie wasn't about to let him out of her sight...

Are you going to make some tea towels?


  1. WOW Jenny! I had seen Kerryanne's tea towels and thought they were lovely. What a great idea you have had to use the towels. Your new appliance covers look fantastic. Hugs, Christine xx

  2. How adorable.. I love it.. nice tea towels.. with love Janice

  3. What a glorious idea! I see tea towels in my future.

  4. They look awesome Jenny - and all that in less than 3 hours.......weekend off coming up - I wonder what I could achieve?

  5. Oh Jenny Jenny Jenny, I just love these! I just love the sweetness of the things you create! You made my day :) :)

  6. I love this Jenny - really really love. :) blessings, marlene

  7. So cute Jenny, love what you have done with the tea towels, thank you for sharing your creative talents once again, given me a great idea for my mix master which sadly just has a tea towel draped over it in a corner of the bench, now just have to find a plain tea towel and check out my stash, but it will need a mate, you are so clever. I have just finished making a sewing wallet which holds felt pins and needle book and small scissor, tape measure and stitch unpicker pockets as well as couple pockets for needles, feeling very pleased with myself as used a doiley on the back of it, (embroidered by a soon to be 102 year old grandma for her granddaughter's birthday who is my god daughter). Her mum gave me a few of grandma's doilies she embroidered a long time age so I am thinking of items I can make for them to be keepsakes as the doilies would not be used otherwise. Also crocheted a small pouch and small shoulder bag to include with the present so off to the Post Office now, feeling very chuffed with myself, sorry just had to share. Inspiring to see your work, Judithann :-)

    1. Judithann, what a gorgeous use of those precious doilies! x

  8. Hi Jenny, Oh I just adore what you have done with the whole shelf - I am most keen to try the teatowels as I have some white teatowels stashed away somewhere that I remember I was just waiting for the "perfect project" to use them. Thanks so much for sharing & I am very happy to see that Mr E & Princess Sophie did such a good job of supervising you from the couch!!!!! Hugs, Julie x0x

  9. Love your work! I enjoy reading your blog, I have been in a bit of a creative slump but the last few days I have been sewing whilst Ive been under the weather. Im wondering now if I have any tea towels in my linen press......

  10. they look awesome Jenny,well done.xx

  11. Love your tea towels and your take on my shabby house project Jenny. Adore that fabric too!!
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  12. I love what you did with Kerryanne's designs! You are just marvellous! As Shez said " awesome"!

  13. Oh I love what you did. That runner is so cute and useful...And what a fabulous idea. Love how your towels/ appliance covers turned out. That is super cute fabric.

  14. Cute, perfect in your kitchen. What a great idea.

  15. I adore how you took another tutorial and still made it your own style. Very sweet and a wonderful improvement to cover appliances. Love the pockets that serve purposes. Creative Bliss...

  16. Brilliant afternoons work Jenny. xx


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