I made these towels today.

They are a gift, and haven't actually been given yet, so I probably ought not post this yet, but if I don't do it now, I'll never get around to it. Plus, I won't mention the intended recipient, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't read this very often. In any case, I'll take my chances.

The nice thing about sewing projects is that they often go quickly. I made these from start to finish today.

The sucky thing about sewing projects, for me at least, is that the only place I can set up the machine is on my kitchen table, which is usually covered with things like dirty dishes, sticky jam smears, half-eaten snacks and the like. Finding a block of time when I can work uninterrupted is truly a challenge, and since we sit down to eat at the same place I sit down to sew, well, it's just very inconvenient. Today, oddly enough, my children not only got along with each other, they were also not very demanding of me (usually I spend most of my time breaking up arguments, fetching snacks, and assisting with whatever game or building project they have going with the couch cushions), so I was able to make these towels in a couple of hours, and only part of that was while they were parked in front of the TV. I don't expect my luck to hold.

Anyway, back to the towels. I got two yards of white linen/rayon fabric and cut it into six pieces roughly the same size. The only waste was selvedge and raw edges I had to trim off. I'm not sure how big each towel measures out to be, maybe 20"x24" after hemming.

For the appliqués, I found fabric with a really large, wild print design at Stitchers Crossing and just cut out around the designs. The coffee-themed fabric in the top picture is leftover from some project several years ago, but all the other appliqués are from another fabric.

The idea isn't mine originally. I have a sewing book with instructions for appliquéd kitchen towels with cupcake and fruit shapes, but I thought following the lines of a large print would be easier. I followed the same basic instructions, though. For the appliqués, I used this peel-off iron-on paper and it worked quite well. You iron the paper on your fabric, sticky side on the fabric, cut out the shape, peel the paper off, place the shape on the background fabric (the linen towel, in this case), iron again, then stitch around the edges with a tight zigzag. It's like making giant stickers out of fabric. The result is a little stiff, but not nearly as stiff as double-sided interfacing, so hopefully these towels will actually be useful and not just pretty (well, I think they're pretty).

I'm really quite pleased with how these turned out. I hope the recipient likes them!


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