Tea Towels…part one: Homemade applique decoration.

I love tea towels. I adore tea towels, I vow never to buy another dish towel and to only use tea towels for the rest of my life. I will still make some dish towels, occasionally, when the fabric presents itself. Beyond that though, all tea towels, all the time.

I have yet to make myself a tea towel, but over the holiday I made quite a few. They were for my beloved, disbanded book group. They love tea towels too. I didn’t take pictures of the creation process because I was short of time and indecisive about a post. Only written instructions this time and hopefully a re-do is in the future.

Here is a picture of the finished tea towels, with one missing that I had to send off early in a different box.

Here are the instructions;

Homemade Applique For Tea Towels

You will need; a plain tea towel (I know kick me here, I haven’t made a tea towel yet, but you can buy them for cheap, otherwise called flour sack towels),  an image, scissors, scrap fabric in your needed size, double-sided fusible interfacing, thread and a needle.

First you get your tea towel and wash it, then you will have to iron it. That is a hard task, as you can see my tea towels were still a little wrinkly.

Next find an image, online, in a magazine, in a picture. This is silhouette work here, you are going to want to cut out the image or shape, so that it is recognizable but not incredibly detailed. Shadow imagery.

Now get your scrap fabric and find a piece big enough to hold the image. Get some of the interfacing and cut it to the same size of your scrap fabric. Follow interfacing directions to fuse the interfacing to the fabric.

Now grab the section you just fused and trace the image onto it. I traced onto the interfacing, with just a normal pen. My mistake: See how one of the girls is facing the other way? The one on the bottom left. Ya oops. When tracing on the interfacing be sure to remember that it is the equivalent of tracing on the wrong side of the fabric and change the direction of your image. For example, for the bottom left towel I had the image top facing me, for the rest I had the image top facing the fabric.

Now cut the image out.

Following interfacing directions again, fuse the image to the tea towel.

Wait for it to cool.

Now grab some thread that matches you fabric and a needle and hand sew around the inside of the image.

Tie the thread off and enjoy!

You can see all the little stitches above. You can do a more decorative stitch, but I didn’t want to take away from my images and only did a running stitch. I also did a two ply of thread, which means, I pulled the thread through my needle and then kept pulling it and had it meet up with the spool, cut and tied off the ends together, so instead of just sewing with one long string. I had two piece of thread, looped through the needle and tied at the end.

In the end you won’t really even be able to see the stitching.

These were lots of fun and very easy too.

Happy Tea Toweling!

*Note on my image. It is originally a wood carving, I can not find the image or the site again and I wish I could, it is beautiful work.


2 responses to “Tea Towels…part one: Homemade applique decoration.

  1. These are so cute I’ve always wanted to use that fuse interfacing to add to the bodices of my daughters dresses but was always to scared to…your directions do make it seem very easy!! Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great day:)

    • It is very very easy and so much fun!!! The most confusing part is buying the interfacing, because at most craft stores they are just put all together without any distinction. So I would ask a clerk when you get a piece cut just to make sure that it is the double fusing interfacing. Good luck, I am sure their little dresses will be so so cute!!!

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