Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tea Towel Talk

This past week I tried to get caught up on some of my tea towels for swaps. I seem to keep up with the stitching just fine, but don't get the hemming and trimming done as quickly as I would like. Recently I've tried a new technique that I'm pretty happy about. Old fashioned tea towels, aprons, and clothes-pin holders in vintage shops sometimes feature colored designs on muslin or flour sack fabrics. The embroidery add the outline. It's a colorful and interesting concept, but I wasn't sure how it was accomplished. I've always assumed a special dye was used; something no longer on the market for modern day stitchers. Amazon booksellers had a book on creating these vintage tinted linens; so I ordered it so I could teach myself. I was expecting detailed instructions with exotic materials, but instead received a half-page of 'how to's' and the remainder of a book filled with patterns. The half-page is adequate, though, as the method is very simple. Once the pattern is traced onto the fabric, coloring crayons are used to apply colors. Shading is done by the amount of coloring and layering done. Once applied, the colors are set and blended by ironing the fabric on low heat. I ironed directly onto the yardage, but the book recommends ironing between two layers of plain paper. Once the colors are set, the design is embroidered as desired. Both of these tea towels have been sent to ladies that belong to the tea towel swap group that I belong to and enjoy so much! Enjoy them, ladies. Tomorrow I'm working on two more --- just trying to get caught up! If you are one of my 'waiting friends', I'm scrambling and yours will be on the way soon!


  1. Believe me I am still searvhing for yours. But I have to go out of town !

  2. Lucy, you can relax on your search! Eventually one will show up, but please don't fret about it! Go with the flow. . .

  3. Yes, Clarice, the technique is so 'simple'. Some of the illustrations in the book show detailed shading, and that I have yet to master, but it will be fun trying.


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