Friday, January 11, 2019

The V pincushion and a shabby chic style hand towel tutorial...

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 pattern for V is a free download until January 31st here or here.

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,



Little Quiltsong said...

Oh how I loved reading the love Cully May has for her Grandma. I too enjoy when my little grandchildren come and our oldest says - "Oma, I missed you soooooo much"! Always heartmelting :)! Beautiful guest towel and V pincushion.

Beverly said...

More things to add to my "to do list", which is growing ,just need the oomph to get started. I find that do difficult in winter.
I just love hearing about Cully May and seeing her sweet little face.

Farm Quilter said...

I certainly wish I lived closer to any of my grandchildren as I would love to be able to have weekly dates to spend time with them! When my girls were small, my mother would call me asking if I didn't need to go somewhere and she could have the girls. They were all so close to her and my dad. A blessing for grandparents and grandchildren. You are truly blessed. Thank you for the directions to make hand towels. I just may try to make them for Christmas gifts this year. Adorable pinnies...what a wonderful gift you have given all of us. When you have done "Z", will you group all your pinnies together and share a picture of them?

JeanneMc said...

I so love reading your blog, it instills in me a feeling of peace and gratitude. All those lovely little touches you put in your home are so welcoming, you are so inspiring to me.

Brenda said...

Hello Jenny, Such a wonderful post you have shared to today. In this past year, I have once again picked up flour sacks and began hand embroidering a variety of designs onto them and either using them myself or giving them as gifts. Flour Sacks were some of the first real projects my Grandmothers let me do. My Mother still has and uses a set of the ones I made. I need to get pictures and post them on my blog, I am just getting started on doing once again. I am looking forward to joining in and learning with you and everyone. Thank you so much for all that you do and share! Have a spectacular day, Jenny!!

Jenny said...

Grand children are such a blessing, and it is wonderful that you have these two living close by.

Dots said...

Hi Jenny, As I was looking at Cully May, where did the time go? I remember when you announced her birth and I saw her picture for the first time. Sigh...they grow up so fast.
I have six grandchildren, and one of them, always wants to stay all night with me. I'm retired so I enjoy having them. Making many memories together. We fix Buckeyes, and crochet, watch movies...and have pizza. Nothing better than spending time with them.
Thanks for sharing good things. I appreciate your blog so much. God bless!

Allie said...

Well hearing about Cully May's love for you brought tears to my eyes- I loved my own grandma like that, and hope to have a little one to love like that again myself! What a precious child she is. Thank you for the gorgeous projects - you always make my fingers ache to be stitching!!!!!

Createology said...

You are so very blessed to be Grandma to Cully May and Rafaela. Tiring day but oh so Priceless. Lovely hand towel for guests to see how special you make them feel. Thank you for Pinnie V...Virginia was my mother’s name. And...I am V for Virgo. Blessings Dear...

Debby in Kansas, USA said...

Flour sack towels were the first thing I ever learned to embroider and they've always been my favorite. I've learned that they're everyone's favorites, too! I make them for my close friends every couple of years. However, I've never jazzied them up with lace & fabric, like you did. Guess what they'll be getting next year?!
Thanks for the great idea.

Susan said...

Thanks for another pretty pincushion. Of course this is your newest favourite pinnie. The others are now "old".

Nanna Chel said...

I love the flour sack handtowel, Jenny. Very pretty. So lovely to hear about Cully-May. Such a sweetie. I can imagine though that you got worn out as children are so energetic and enthusiastic :-) I hope you get some rain and that it doesn't bypass Townsville.

Ondrea said...

Cully May is real little girl now. Babyhood has long gone. Such a beautiful child. Thankyou for the "V" pincushion pattern. I have been waiting for this one for a friend whose name begins with "V". I have just stitched J and K about an hour ago, and have nearly completed L. I have T prepared and just need to trace the V. I am making pincushions for my stitching friends who I see once a month. Hopefully, I shall piece them together this afternoon but I need to buy some walnut shells. I love your hand towel. I have used your other instructions to make a few decorated hand towels and I rather like the beautiful touches you have made to this one. You always come up with something really pretty and creative. Thankyou so much. Angel hugs.

Karen said...

Such dear, dear love!

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lin said...

Thank you Jenny. xx

Jenny said...

Thank you for another pretty pattern. It's hard to believe we're almost through the alphabet!

I look forward to the link up. I don't blog but I do hope to discover some new like-minded bloggers through the links.

My sweet grandson is 14 months old & I love how happy he is to see me now. His daddy (my son) brings him to my house every morning for me to watch him during the day. He knows his routine & when he's ready to come to Grammy's house he grabs his diaper bag, drags it to his dad, then grabs his hand & pulls him to the door. He wants to see grammy! He's not really talking yet but I know the words will be just as sweet as his actions. It is so precious how God gives us the love of grandchildren as we age & feel less useful to our children.

tereza said...

Boa noite,
Queria fazer um comentário no blog para entrar no sorteio e INDEVIDAMENTE entrei no lugar errado. Não sei inglês e errei. Por favor, tem como me excluir? Eu tentei e não consegui.
Inseri neste endereço:
Peço desculpas e agradeço.
Tambem tentei enviar para jennyofelefantz AT e não consegui


Jane said...

I have decided that this year I would like to make a few pretty things for my own household. I make a lot each year to give as gifts to my family. Some family members love what I make and some see my makings as me being 'cheap' and not wanting to spend any money. So this year I will make for my greatest fan, ME. I have been online and ordered some flour sack kitchen towels and am looking forward to them arriving. I have been through last years stitchery club and have chosen several that I will put on my towels. Thankyou for such a simple, yet beautiful, idea.

Sandra Miller Pitts said...

My husband and I too bought our first house together late in life. He retired last year,we bought a house and moved across the state. Whew so many changes. We love our new home and the very different state of mind to be home owners instead of renters. I am so enjoying my husband home with me, the quilt/craft room I now have and the time to be creative as I fill our home with the things we love. Your blog is full of inspiration. Thank you❣️

Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique said...

I always enjoy your designs Jenny and this hand towel is just so lovely.
Thank you for sharing it at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring this post at tonight party and pinning too.

Kippi O'Hern said...

Beautiful tea towel your sewing skills are impeccable. I LOVE your story about how much your granddaughter loves you!!! I miss my grandmother so much. Kippi #kippiathome