cook … eat … repeat tea towel

A couple of years ago I planned to make two tea towels. Somehow I only got around making one: the French cuisine tea towel.

This is the second one. It’s not a set and it is a faster project with a lot less embroidery. I’m also making use of my textured tutorials I posted as I’m using prairie points for the border.

Both tea towels make great gifts.

If you make one, I’d like to see it. Please upload it to my TeresaDownUnder Flickr pool.

Materials

  • Variegated stranded cotton
  • White fabric – I cut a piece 20 in x 5 1/2 in
  • Tea towel
  • 4 x 5 in charm squares – 3 for the trim and 1 for the embroidery sides

Kitchen towel size

32 x 22 1/2 inches. For a different towel size increase or decrease the pattern below when printing.

Embroidery

Embroidery stitch: stem stitch (stem stitch video tutorial - link will open in another window)

Download pattern

  • Teatowel lettering (pdf – 2 pages). When printing scale it down or up to match your tea towel width

Method

Print the pattern and stick matching the lines as per picture.

Place the strip of white fabric over.

 

Make sure the letters are centred and straight.

Trace with water soluble pen.

 

My variegated embroidery cotton matches the charms colours.

 

Embroider using stem stitch.

 

Press well.

When finished trim the embroidery down to 5 in wide. Then cut 3/4 in from each edge.

At this stage I wanted to add some colour to each edge so I used a charm square for this purpose.

Get a 5 in charm square and cut it in half and stitch each half to each side.

 

Press seams open.

 

Prairie points

For my tea towel I used 3 charm squares, i.e. 12 prairie points. If your tea towel is smaller or larger you may need fewer or more.

I will explain quickly how to make a prairie point here but if you need more visuals try my prairie point tutorial.

Cut each charm square into 4 2 1/2 in squares.

 

Fold in half. Then fold in half again and press the corner with your finger.

Then drag each side corner meet in the middle as per picture.

 

Stitch along each prairie point at 1/8 in from the edge.

 

 

 

Now make a 1/4 seam on each side of the embroidery strip.

 

On both sides.

 

Pin the strip aligned to the edge. Fold the edges in on both edges as per picture. Pin well.

 

Now place the prairie points between the tea towel and the embroidery strip. Pin well making sure everything is aligned.

 

Your will need to adjust the distance between prairie points depending on the width of your tea towel. A bit of overlapping is fine.

Stitch making sure that all three layers – embroidery strip, prairie points and tea towel – are aligned. Use many pins if necessary to avoid having to unpick the stitches as I had to do.

 

To finish stitch also the top of the embroidery strip .

 

Done!

 

Improv back of the quilt tutorial and self machine binding – Textured 4-patch quilt

Quilt back

Quilt front


Some points before I start.

For the back I decided to do some improv patchwork again after my Père-Noël zigzag quilt improv patchwork back of quilt because it is a good way to free yourself after finishing a structured quilt. It’s the back after all, you don’t have to see it if it doesn’t turn out well. But if it does it is an added bonus.

For the back of the quilt’s I made a strip of “pretty much anything goes”. I added fabric scraps with some failed textures and blocks as well as other fabric scraps I used on the front.

You will need about 3 yards of white fabric and fabric scraps for the improv patchwork.

Quilting through the bulk added by the extra textures in the back may be a challenge for some machines.

Improv patchwork visual process

As I said before, this is a very much anything goes process. The only rule that applies is that your seam allowance must be 1/4 in or less.

Start by stitching two pieces together. As you can see, they’re not the same length but it does not matter.

Just trim the excess after the pieces are stitched together. Do not throw the trimmings away as they may be useful later on.

Pick up another piece of fabric, the same length or longer and stitch to the previous piece.

Now get a different piece. It does not matter if it is a triangle or a rectangle. Even a curved piece though curved pieces need a different stitching method and I did not use any this time.

Stitch and trim off the excess fabric.

As you can see the point is to square every piece as much as possible after adding a new piece. Squaring out the piece will make it easier to keep adding pieces.

Same as before.

Just keep adding and trimming.

I even added pieces of blocks that didn’t work.

And textures I decided not to use.

Keep stitching away until you reach the length of the quilt and a bit over to allow for self binding.

The next step is to place your strip where you want it to go on the back of the quilt, either on a side or in the middle, and then cut two pieces of white fabric for each side. I can’t give you the exact size of the side rectangles because your finished improv piece will be different to mine but I used about 3 yards of white fabric.

If you intend to use self binding, make your quilt back square at least 2 inches longer than the top all around.

As you can see in the picture below I added a bit of black to the improv patchwork because I thought it added some extra interest.

Self machine binding

Once you have quilted the quilt sandwich, trim the quilt back fabric leaving a 1 1/4 in allowance.

Now fold the fabric as per picture.

And fold again. Pin.

Continue to do as described above until you reach a corner.

To do a mitered corner, fold the corner at 45 degrees as per picture.

And then fold the fabric again like before.

Pin and continue.

Then just top stitched as close to the edge as possible.

Self binding may not be as durable as regular binding but it’s quick and suitable for some projects that won’t have as much wear and tear.

Textured 4-patch quilt tutorial

This quilt has 16 x 10 1/2 in blocks.

Each block is a 4-patch block in greens and reds. The fabric manipulation is made in a cream fabric.

See all Textured 4-patch quilt tutorials.

See also my first Textured quilt sampler tutorial.

Share your pictures

Are you making this quilt? Share your pictures on Flickr’s TeresaDownUnder group.

Assembling the quilt top – Textured 4-patch quilt

IMG_6572


Cut:

  • nine 3 in squares in cream fabric
  • 24 rectangles 3 in x 10 1/2 in red fabric
  • 2 strips 5 1/2 in x 50 in
  • 2 strips 5 1/2 x 61
  • 2 strips 1 1/2 in x 48 in in red in red fabric
  • 2 strips 1 1/2 in x 50 1/2 in in red fabric

Placement diagram

Place the blocks in the desired order or as per diagram above. Then place the sashing between blocks and the squares in the intersections.

I stitched the blocks from left to right but you could well start from top to bottom or whatever way you’re accustomed to.

After stitching all sashing, add the first narrow border. Cut two strips 1 1/2 in x 48 in in red in red fabric and two strips 1 1/2 in x 50 1/2 in in red fabric. Stitch the 48 in long strips on opposite sides. Press seams and stitch the other two strips on the opposite sides.

Almost there.

Your quilt size after adding the sashing is about 50 in x 50 in.

The next and last step before quilting is adding a 5 1/2 in cream border all around.

The top is finished.

Textured 4-patch quilt tutorial

This quilt has 16 x 10 1/2 in blocks.

Each block is a 4-patch block in greens and reds. The fabric manipulation is made in a cream fabric.

See all Textured 4-patch quilt tutorials.

See also my first Textured quilt sampler tutorial.

Share your pictures

Are you making this quilt? Share your pictures on Flickr’s TeresaDownUnder group.