" ". The Smiling Cat: July 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Simple Kitchen Tea Towel Patterns from Sew4Home & The Purl Bee

  Scrappy Moroccan Style Deco-stitch Tea Towels-Sew4Home

I came across this free pattern at Sew4Home, one of my favorite sewing sites.  This is such a simple & fun pattern, that I wanted to share.  I liked it because it uses the decorative stitches we all have on our machines, but seldom use.  I started looking through Sew4Home's other projects & found a couple more Tea Towel patterns to share.

Click to Enlarge

Tea Time Kitchen Appliqué: Banded Linen Napkins-Sew4Home

This is a simple applique pattern, great for beginners.  This project has easy step by step instructions, and doesn't require special tools or supplies.  It uses freezer paper for the applique, but you could easily use fusible web instead.  For instructions to use the fusible web, see my previous post HERE.

Click to Enlarge

   Old Fashioned Tea Towels in Modern Mode-Sew4Home

This last pattern is a previous version of the same pattern with a simple change of style.  I like them both.....
After finding these patterns, I went my another Home Sewing site, The Purl Bee, and found a few more good ideas:

Molly's Sketchbook Super Simple Dishtowels

These towels were made from a woven, double-sided fabric The Purl Bee sells.  It is beautiful fabric, but any heavy, woven fabric can be used.  This pattern is 'Super & Simple' as promised-You could make quite a few in just an afternoon.  I would mix up the colors-not make them all blue.

Molly's Sketchbook Liberty Tea Towels

This pattern uses linen & a pretty cotton print. I love the soft colors & the floral print. Together they have a happy, English Cottage look.

Corinne's Thread Vintage Tea Towels

I particularly like this pattern, because it starts with plain, solid colored fabric.  Then it uses the sewing machine to 'Thread Paint', stitch the pattern on the fabric.  So many possibilities......!  This first picture shows only a red thread pattern........

Why not pink or yellow.....?  Why not use more of the decorative stitches on your machine...?

I hope you try one of these patterns.  Why have boring kitchen towels when these are so easy & inexpensive to make?

Well, that's all for now.  Hope you're having a great day-Carole

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pretty Pink & Blue Floral Double-sided Napkins and So Simple Quilted Place-mats

 DSC03408 (1)
Lately, I’ve been looking for ways to cut my grocery bill.  I’m sure many people can understand why!  I’ve been trying to limit the amount of disposable items, such as napkins.  Cloth napkins are not only Earth friendly, they’re also budget friendly, and just nicer in general.  So, I started looking around the www and found loads of good ideas. 
1 (2)
I came across many tutorials and decided to start with these two-sided napkins.  Not only are they easy to make, they don’t wrinkle as much when laundered.  They have a nice, heavy weight and give you some fun options in mixing and matching fabrics.  For everyday use they don’t need to match, so it’s a great way to use up some remnants.
I went through my considerable fabric stash & picked out a pretty pink & blue floral cotton for the napkins. I also picked a nice solid blue cotton to make some matching place-mats.  I like the standard 20”x20”  size napkins.  Usually, I would cut out two 21-1/4” squares to sew together for each napkin.  But, because the floral fabric has a secondary grid-like pattern, I decided to cut out a single 21-1/4”x42-1/4” rectangle.  I thought it would be easier to keep the white lines straight. 
Because the fabric was 44” wide, it was quicker to measure a 21-1/4” length, and just make one cut across the fabric, and trim a little off.  I folded the rectangle in half and pinned it all the way around, including the folded edge.  I left a small opening to turn it right-side out after sewing a 1/2” seam all the way around.  I always add the extra 1/4” for the seam when turning a project inside out.
I back-stitched at the beginning and the end of the seam.  Trimmed off the corners, and turned it right-side out.
I used a small plastic tapestry needle to push out the corners, being careful not to punch through the fabric.  You could also use a knitting needle.
Then, I carefully pressed the turned napkin.  It’s hard to press out the edges completely.  So, I keep a small bowl of water handy.  I wet my fingers and roll the edge between my thumb & fore finger to push the edge all the way out.  After pressing, I pinned close the opening and topstitched all the way around the edge.
I followed these same steps to make the place-mats.  Only I cut two fabric rectangles & a piece of quilt batting at 15-1/4”x21-1/4”, to make a finished 14”x20” place-mat.  Then:
11  22
After pressing the place-mat, I used a pencil & my quilt ruler to mark the quilting lines.
I just marked & quilted it in quarters both ways.
Then, I stitched a line of quilting beside each of the first lines, using the width of the presser foot as a measure.  I’m very pleased with the way they turned out-

I made another set, with a bright, summery strawberry print on one side, and solid black on the other.  I really like the contrast of the fabrics, I think it gives them a modern look.


Well, that’s all for now.  Hope you are having a great day!   -Carole