Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Tea Towel Swap

The washing of dishes does seem to me the most absurd and unsatisfactory business that I ever undertook.  If, when once washed, they would remain clean forever and ever (which they ought in all reason to do, considering how much trouble it is), there would be less occasion to grumble; but no sooner it is done, than it requires to be done again.  On the whole, I have come to the resolution not to use more than one dish at each meal.

Nathaniel Hawthorne - 1844
 [written while Mrs. Hawthorne was away!]
The tea group, Afternoon Tea Across America, conducted an embroidered tea towel exchange several years ago. Some are requesting that we do it again, so I thought I would find pictures of some of the tea towels that I stitched or received so that any newcomers might see what we did. Each month, each participant would exchange a hand-stitched tea towel with their assigned partner. These heart tea towels were the first ones that I stitched.
This tea towel was one I stitched for Val for our November exchange. I chose a Christmas theme in keeping with the holiday season. I enjoyed stitching in "redwork". The towel is hemmed and then trimmed with red, checked bias tape and narrow lace trim.

Stitched for Karleen

This tea towel is stitched on linen. Usually I embroider tea towels on thin "flour sack" fabric, so it took me awhile to get used to the feel of the needle through linen, but I ended up really liking stitching on linen once all was said and done.

Here is the same pattern, but stitched on flour sack type fabric. The stitched design has been colored with colored pencils which were heat set after stitching.

And yet another of the morning glory pattern. This was stitched on cotton and colored with wax crayons and then heat set.

I stitched many primitive teacup tea towels. Each was unique with details that varied. This one has my initial stitched in each circle.

The vintage lady tea towels were stitched on linen. Vicki was my swap partner for each of these months. I found that stitching faces was a bit more challenging than flowers. But I really liked how these turned out.

A button on the top completed this teapot tea towel. I think this may have gone to Patricia.

Another teacup tea towel. This time stylized tulips were stitched instead of roses. I think this was an Easter exchange.

Same pattern, with colored roses and a new design in the teacup.

Stitched by Val

Stitched for Gwen

Stitched for Val

Stitched by Patricia

Stitched by Val

Stitched by Sandra


  1. I am in love with each one of these--absolutely beautiful!

  2. These are all really lovely tea towels. I think a tea towel swap would be a very fun thing to join. Love the primitive tea cups - the one with your initials in the dots is my favorite.

  3. These hand-stitched tea towels are beautiful. I'd never want to use them except for display. You are very talented with needle and thread.

  4. Love seeing all these tea towels. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. I love each of these tea towels. I have a wonderful set my sweet aunt made for me. One of these days I will share them on my blog.


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