This time last year we'd not long been told that the rental home we'd recently moved in to had gone up for sale. Life was quickly re-evaluated and much prayer sent heavenward as we carefully considered our options. Both in our 50's and now empty nesters, hubby and I had previously only ever rented because for most of our married life we'd traveled far and wide to see the country of our birth with children in tow - but this was all about to change.
We chose to save like crazy in order to give ourselves enough deposit to purchase our very first home and stepped out in faith with the Lord to achieve this goal.
So as we worked, saved and searched for a home we could afford, I chose to continue spreading love and welcome within the walls of the rental home we were in as long as it was our God-given shelter, and to hopefully infuse 'welcome' into every space.
That's when I designed this pretty Flowers, Books & Tea stitchery...
I purposefully stitched this design onto the lower edge of a large piece of flour sack fabric as I had in mind this would make a beautiful guest hand towel for our main bathroom and this morning it occurred to me that being creative in how we welcome guests to our home is very much part of living the gentle domestic life - so here's how I made my guest towel, just in case you'd like to sew something similar.
NOTE: You can use any stitchery/applique design for this project but it does need to be stitched directly onto the hand towel.
Actually, before I go on I must say, there’s something very comforting about stitching on flour sack, a sense that others have done this before you. I’m reminded that the old ways are not forgotten but being revived today with a new appreciation for what was once thought of as “poor woman’s” supplies.
Flour sack, feed sack, calico – each was thought of as fabric for those who could afford nothing better, cloth of necessity rather than choice. Yet today we tea dye calico for a ‘primitive’ effect in doll making, embroidery and decorating; we purchase flour sack to make fresh and bright kitchen towels; and we hunt down vintage feed sack fabrics for quilting.
I cherish the simplicity and beauty of these cloths and look for opportunities to use them, especially flour sack as it’s quite lovely to embroider on.
Have you tried it?
Now, let's make that guest towel!
Cut a piece of flour sack (or your chosen fabric) 20” wide x 24” high and trace the design so that it sits 6” above the bottom raw edge of the fabric.
Embroider the design you've chosen.
After the embroidery and/or applique has been completed the flour sack is trimmed by 1” on each of the four sides to measure 18” wide X 22” high.
NOTE: I always cut my embroidery background larger than I need to account for fraying, stretching (some fabrics will stretch) or other distortions which may occur during the hand embroidery or applique process. Once done I iron the fabric flat and can cut nice straight edges before continuing with the project.
A piece of 2” wide cotton lace is now sewn across the bottom of the hand towel.
Cut another piece of flour sack fabric the same size (18” x 22”) and pin the two pieces right sides together before sewing around the sides and across the top with a ¼” seam, which will close those three sides whilst leaving the edge below the embroidery open.
Cut a piece of contrast fabric, 2 ½” x 20”, and sew it along the open bottom edge of the hand towel with a ¼” seam. (this will now close the bottom of the hand towel)
Press it away from the lace, turn over and fold a hem back towards the wrong side of the hand towel (see below).
Press the hem over the raw edge of the hand towel, and fold in the ends before pinning in place.
Hand stitch the fabric edging down as you would a quilt binding and your decorative hand towel is ready to use.
As I said before you could use any embroidery or applique design for this project, or any fabric you like for the actual hand towel, but if you'd like to stitch Flowers, Books & Tea onto your hand towel you'll find the pattern ready to download here in my Etsy Shop.
Now on to this week's pincushion.
V is for Vicki, Veronica, Vange, Vivian...and??
Does your name begin with V?
I thought with this one I'd angle the V into the corner of a square.
The blue borders are cut 3/4" wide so once the pincushion has been pieced they are a slim 1/4" and just add a nice little accent to the centre embroidery.
I made the corners in flying geese fashion and overall this is my newest favourite pinnie.
I say that all the time, I know. LOL!
The little V shape is backstitched in blue and green; the petals are three strand lazy daisy stitches and the centre of the flower is a handful of french knots sewn close together.
The patterns for R and S are also free until January 31st and the links are in this blog post.
The pattern sets for A-E, F-I, J-N, and OPQUT are here in my shop.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway in this blog post because it closes Monday, and that post also kicked off our book study this year so have a read over it and if you have some lovely gentle domestic thoughts to share please do.
Another new thing in my Tuesday post is the Link Up.
Every week in the Tuesday book study post I'm encouraging readers and lovers of the gentle domestic life who have a current blog and have blogged about Living the Gentle Domestic Life this year to link their relevant post for others to come by, visit their blogs and be inspired.
I hope you'll join in!
That's enough for today. I'm a bit tuckered out after spending all morning with Blossom and her beautiful girls. We did the rounds of doctor's appointments, morning tea at the cafe, a visit to the pharmacy for scripts and then the very big grocery shop. What a wonderful time we had! Tiring, but wonderful. There's nothing quite like having Blossom pull up in her car and hear Cully May shout, "There's Nana!! Get me out of the car!!"
Once released, she flew into my arms and did not leave my side until lunchtime when we said goodbye. Such a blessing to be loved like that.
May the Lord remind you of HIS perfect and boundless love for YOU today,