July 2015 archive

Glisten tea towel tutorial

By Melissa LeRay

I had the pleasure of playing with one of the new holiday collections that Windham Fabrics has released, Glisten, by Whistler Studios.  There’s gorgeous golds and silvers, but I am very partial to the gold!  I’ve drawn up a tutorial to show you how I made this festive tea towel.

These linen/cotton blend tea towels are available in most online embroidery blanks shops.  For each towel you’d like to make, you’ll need a strip of accent fabric (the gold in this case) at 1.5″ x {1.5 x width of tea towel} in this case it was 1.5″ x 22″.  You’ll also need a strip of your main print, at 3″ x {width of towel + 1″}, and here that was 3″ x 15″.  If you’d like to add piping, measure that out at the same length as the main fabric strip.

Next you’ll want to pull out that dusty rolled hem foot and put it to work.  A trick for me is to begin by folding the long edge in a 1/4″, just once, wrong sides together, and sew for about a half inch to get the gold started.  Then I take that small section and position it under the rolled hem foot and I can keep it going much easier. 

Alternately, if you don’t have a rolled hem foot, you can create the same look by folding one long edge to the wrong side by 1/8″, pressing, then folding again an 1/8″ and sewing along the seam.

Once you have the rolled hem, fold in each short end to the wrong side 1/4″ twice and press. Stitch down to secure.

Now is the time to ruffle the accent strips.  I used my serger, but use whatever method you prefer.  A standard way to do it is to sew two lines of stitches 1/8″ apart adjacent to the raw edge, using a long stitch length, such as a 4.0.  Leaving tails at each end, gently pull on either the upper or lower threads and create gathers until you get the desired length.

If you haven’t already, press the towel flat since they usually come heavily pressed and starched. 
Take your main fabric piece and first fold in the short ends each a 1/2″ to the wrong side. Then fold the long ends in a 1/2″ to the wrong side as well.

If you’re going to use piping you have to prep the ends as well, and to do is you’ll want to pull out the cording  about a half inch, cut that half inch out, and then fold it to the back, as shown below.

Use a clip or pin to hold the piping ends in place until your ready to secure them. 
Now you should have your pressed towel, your prepped ruffle, piping and and main piece.  If you don’t already own 1/4″ two sided heat fusible tape, you should buy some promptly.  I use this constantly for so many projects.  Both Pellon and Steam-A-Seam make them, and I bought this at Jo-Ann’s in the fusibles section for about $5 before a coupon.

Now you’ll want to measure and mark at about 3″ on both sides of the towel. This is where the top edge of the strip will ultimately be placed.

Now is when you’ll be able to put the fusible tape to use.  You’ll want to add it to both of the long edges of the main fabric, on the edge folded in.  Then, add the piping to the top edge if using that.  Then add again to the piping edge.  

Peel away the fusible backing on the lower edge and add the ruffle, raw edges aligned.  Add the fusible tape to the wrong side of the ruffle as well.

Peel away both tapes and then place the entire strip where you placed your marks, and iron to secure.  Finally, top stitch around all four sides of the main fabric and re- 

Press the towel and enjoy!


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Flora Hour Baskets and an Instagram Giveaway!

By Melissa LeRay

I had the great pleasure of playing with Kelly Ventura’s new collection, Flora, for Windham Fabrics. These watercolor florals are so rich and saturated. To me, they’re the perfect balance of modern and classic.

I wanted to pick a project that would highlight the prints themselves, letting them stand alone instead of being incorporated into a patchwork, and I also wanted something that would be pretty enough and functional enough to sit out in my house at all times.  Enter the #hourbasket by Kelly Bowser (@kelbysews).  The free pattern is available on craftsy.

I picked two of the floral prints and paired them with two of my favorite smaller scale prints in the collection.  I happened to have some dusty pink webbing on hand, and it matched the subtle pink perfectly.

I did vertical quilting on the grey floral and horizontal quilting on the white.

I’m so excited about the finished product! These are so pretty and clean, and I feel like this genuinely adds to the aesthetic in our house.

Would you like to create with these as well?  Visit me on Instagram @ohhowsweetco to enter the giveaway that kicks off tomorrow morning! One lucky winner will get this pretty set of FQs!

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