May 21, 2010

Patchwork kitchen towel tutorial



So, as promised, here is a little tutorial on gussying up a kitchen towel with patchwork. I have made towels like this before, but I did those by turning the raw edge of the patchwork under. This involved a lot of time ironing, and an occasional burned finger. This time around I couldn't be bothered to get out the iron, so I used twill tape to cover the raw edges of the patchwork. Are you lazy like me? If so, read on.


Supplies needed:
  • A kitchen towel of some sort. I used these "barmop" towels not because I like them (I don't) but because they were the only plain towels available at the store when I went. In my mind's eye I picture these patchwork strips sewn on a sweet linen towel but alas, they are harder to come by than one would imagine.
  • A patchwork strip the width of your towel plus 2"
  • Twill tape, twice the width of your towel plus 4"
  • Basic sewing and cutting supplies.


Lay your patchwork strip across one end of the towel, evenly spaced from the bottom. My strip is shown about 2" from the bottom. Pin in place.



Get the starting edge ready (don't worry about the far end). Turn the raw edge of your patchwork under 1/2" so it is flush with the side edge of the towel. Pin in place. Align the twill tape over one edge of the patchwork so that the raw edge of the patchwork lies underneath the middle of the twill tape. Turn the twill tape under 1/2", so that the folded edge is flush with the edge of the towel and the patchwork.



Stitch along one side of the twill tape, as close to the edge as you can. Backstitch at the beginning. This thing is going to get washed a LOT.



Keep the twill tape aligned over the raw edge of the patchwork as you go. These crazy barmop towels stretched out as I sewed, which is why I recommend leaving yourself a little wiggle room with slightly longer lengths of patchwork and twill tape than you think you will need.



As you approach the other edge of the towel, fold under the raw edge of the patchwork so it is flush with the side edge of the towel. Estimate the length of twill tape required to reach the side edge of the towel plus 1/2" and cut the twill tape.



Fold the end of the twill tape under so it is flush with the side edge of the towel and patchwork.



When you reach the edge, pivot, stitch across the short edge of the twill tape.








































Pivot again to return down the other side of the twill tape, again stitching as close to the edge as you can. When you reach the other edge, pivot to stitch up the remaining short side of the twill tape. (This step is not pictured!). Stop stitching, oriented to continue down the starting edge of the patchwork strip. Do not stitch yet though.


Set up the other raw edge the way you did the first, by folding under the edge of the remaining piece of twill tape, and centering it over the raw edge of the patchwork.



Now stitch down the side edge of the patchwork and over to the other twill tape. When you get to the tape, stop and pivot, stitch down the inner side of the twill tape (the side that overlaps the patchwork) close to the edge.



When you get to the other end, take the opportunity to sew down that loose side edge of the patchwork strip. I stitched down the side edge and then stopped and pivoted to stitch right back up over what I'd just stitched, to the remaining unsewn edge of the twill tape. (this step is not shown) Sew back up the final edge of the twill tape and the tape's final short edge, backstitch and you're done! (this step is not shown)



This is a pretty simple concept. I hope my pictures and attempts to explain haven't made it seem more complicated than it is. I would enjoy seeing anything you've made with inspiration from this tutorial!

6 comments:

Fiesta said...

wonderful!

Allie said...

It turned out so great!

West Michigan Quilter said...

What a clever idea. I love it! Thanks for sharing.

Megs said...

Nice tutorial...I see these in my future as Christmas presents for friends and family!

Karren said...

Mark Lipinski provided a link to your blog on FB. Glad to have discovered you! I love using the patchwork of fabric scraps to embellish towels. Rather than using twill tape, try grosgrain or any other decorative ribbon (Kaffe Fassett for example). Another idea is to cut thin strips of fusible bond and press to the outside edges to hold the fabric strip in place. Then with a wide setting, satin stitch the edges in coordinating thread. That way no tape or ribbon is required, the bonding agent holds the strip in place (as you stitch it and it doesn't fray.

Ruth Ann Hoy said...

I used colored towels from Target that color coordinated with my fabric.

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