Every year in January I replace all my kitchen tea towels and if you've followed along here for a while that will not be news to you.
It's also when I share a free tea towel stitchery or project, and why should 2021 be any different?
This year I have the 'Flourish' stitchery for you; a simple and quick embroidery that would be just as sweet sewn onto a variety of different displays but I love it sitting pretty on one of my favoured flour-sack towels and edged in soft florals.
One very important tip which has helped many of my readers and fellow stitchers over the years is to choose your feature fabric first, and then choose thread colours to blend in with it. Can you see in the photo how my thread choice matches the fabric colours?
It's also fun to throw in one colour that causes the stitchery to pop. For 'Flourish' I chose yellow and just that one small addition has brought the design into it's own so that it blends with the fabric but is also separate to the fabric.
In this free pattern I have also included a link to my tutorial for basic fabric trimming of tea towels. Use the download link below to access the Flourish pattern.
Most years I buy many of my new tea towels at Bed, Bath & Table during their after Christmas sale because the quality is gorgeous and the designs lend themselves to becoming beautiful backgrounds for contrasting trims, and can even be made into the sweetest aprons. Sadly, with all the import issues since Covid our local store had not been able to replenish their usual stock in time so I had to look elsewhere.
After a bit of thought and three days pacing the kitchen to think, I decided to purchase a few thick and inexpensive blue striped tea towels from Best & Less instead. I have this idea you see, to make over the kitchen in blues and lemons (think French Country?) and whilst that may not work given the rather drab caramel brown cabinet doors (they cannot be painted) I surged forward anyhow and finished one new blue tea towel.
The idea for a patchwork fabric trim across the bottom came about after an afternoon spent sewing a number of different snowball blocks for a project I'm including in The Homemakers Heart digital magazine.
I had made extra snowball blocks so that I could play around with their placement in the project and once that had been decided and the layout sewn together I had six blocks left over...so three became a feature on this blue striped tea towel along with a length of lovely white cotton lace for old country charm.
(Aren't the wooden spoons just delightful? They were a gift from my friend Margaret.)
It was only afterwards that I realised this is not going to blend with my dream blue/lemon country kitchen makeover during 2021, but it is just right for a friend.
I took some photos as I made the snowball blocks, just in case you'd like to make a few yourself.
To make one block you will need a -
One, 5.5" square of floral fabric
Four, 2" squares of contrast tonal fabric
Draw a diagonal line across the back of the four 2" squares and pin them into each corner of the floral square.
Sew along the drawn line and trim 1/4" outside that seam.
Press the corners away from the floral fabric to create a snowball block!
Make a few and sew them together for a larger project, or make one and it can become a mug rug or pincushion. You can also alter the size to suit your needs.
They are fabulous for scrap busting because they only use small amounts of fabric.
I also enjoyed the process of choosing two fabrics which blended so nicely together and knowing that I was reducing my stash of small leftover pieces gave me great satisfaction.
Now, something often asked over the years -
Question: "What do you do with all your smaller scraps of fabric?"
Answer: I keep them for applique.