Monday, December 5, 2011

Tutorial: Fabric Embellished Dish Towels

For today's Holiday Gift Tutorial we've got the fabulous Jeni from In Color Order.  I  know I seem to say this a lot, but she is amazing!  We are so glad she created a tutorial just for our readers!  If you've not been to In Color Order, where have you been???  She's a fabulous  modern quilter and offers some awesome tips, series and tutorials.  I really love her Single Girl Quilt, so great and modern.  And I also really love her recent lined drawstring bag tutorial.  On to her tutorial for today...thanks again Jeni!!

Here are the Holiday Gift Tutorials past and upcoming:

November 7th: Amber from A Little Bit Biased Tutorial: Holiday Table Topper
November 14th: Quilt Story :) Tutorial: Winter Tree Table Runner
November 21st: Bev from Flamingo Toes Tutorial: Linen Jewelry Travel Bag
November 28th: Corey from Little Miss Shabby Tutorial: Hope Canvases
December 5th: Jeni from In Color Order
December 12th: Melissa from Happy Quilting Melissa
December 14th: Gentri from Little Lulu's Nest
December 19th: Erin from Why Not Sew?

Fabric Embellished Dish Towels

Hi, I'm Jeni! :) A big thank you to Heather and Megan for having me here today! I blog at In Color Order, about my sewing adventures, thrifting finds, and pet bunny George! I have been trying every holiday season to make as many gifts as I can, but my budget is still small! I picked up these plain dish towels on clearance last year and have been saving them for the right project! These embellished towels don't cost a lot of time or money but look awfully sweet!

This is a super quick, scrappy project, if you know the basics of using a sewing machine, you can make them! I'm showing you how to embellish towels three different ways, but the possibilities are endless! Here are the three we'll be making:

The Patchwork Towel

The Strip Towel

The Hexagon Towel

My towels are 18"x24", I added the fabric embellishment across the short edge. You can add or subtract patchwork or hexagons to accommodate your towels! If you're super ambitious you could make your own towels, linen ones would be especially lovely! The Purl Bee has a great Quick Dish Towel Tutorial! Now, let's get started!

- Fabric scraps
- Plain dish towels
- Coordinating thread
- 1" paper piecing hexagons (I print my own here, just put 1" in hexagon size)
- Water soluble pen (optional)

Seam Allowances: 1/4"

For the Strip Towel, Cut:
- (3) 1.5"x18.5" strips

For the Patchwork Towel, cut:
- (9) 2.5"x3.5" pieces

For the Hexagon Towel, cut:
- (11) 2.5" squares

1. Assemble your fabric into a strip.

For Patchwork: Sew together all 9 pieces into a long strip, along the 3.5" sides. Press.

For Strips: Sew together all 3 strips, along the long sides. Press.

For Hexagons: Create hexagons and stitch together in a long strip. For more on paper-piecing hexagons, I recommend this tutorial!

2. For Patchwork or Strip towels, turn under 1/4" on all four sides. My trick for making this easier, is to draw a line 1/2" from the edge with my water soluble pen, then fold the raw edge against that lines. Helps you get a straighter fold!

For Hexagons: Press your strip gently, then remove your basting threads and the papers. Press again.

3. Now it's time to pin your pieced fabrics to the bottom edge of the towel! Carefully topstitch around all the edges. For the hexagons especially, take advantage of the needle-down function on your machine so that you can pivot easily! :)

Voila, you're done! These would make a great holiday gift on their own or along with a cookbook or some cute spatulas/spoons!




Teje said...

Wow - thank you for a fantastic idea! So simple and I haven't thought anything like that!
Have a wonderful Christmas time!
xxx Teje

jmday said...

A classic! I've been doing this for years!... but of course these have Jeni's special twist (and color sense!)

Lisa @ Sixmunchkin Stitching said...

Great tutorial! I need new towels, I may just do this eventually, ya know after the holidays!

Needled Mom said...

Soooo cute!!!!

Beverly {Flamingo Toes} said...

These are sooo cute!! I love the different versions - what great gifts!

Snoodles said...

Yay! I was wondering about the best way to do this, and now I'm ready to make Christmas gifts with the towels I ordered, and my scrap bin of fabric! Thanks!

harleywife57 said...

thanks for the easy gift makings !