Tea towel love.

A few months ago I painted a watercolor of the home of my dear friend.  I took some photos before mailing the painting to her.  I thought at the time she might want to use the image for personalized cards or mailing labels.  I am also interested in finding multiple ways to use anything I paint, and digital photos are fantastic for manipulating and making duplicates of art. S. Macera Custom Home Portrait  I especially love the idea of putting my work onto fabric.   I found ink jet color fast fabric at Hobby Lobby.   Sew-In Colorfast Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers My plan was to make my friend a set of tea towels.  Rarely do I have time for big projects,  but a few tea towels seemed manageable over the weekend.

I copied my image and reduced the size to allow four tiny houses to fit on a single sheet.S. Macera Custom Home PortraitI followed the directions for the colorfast fabric sheets, ironed and rinsed, dried and pressed – then washed by hand and dried and ironed a second time, just to be sure that it really was color fast.  Not a single issue with color fade!  Next I cut cotton fabric using (a tea towel from my kitchen drawer as a size guide). Tea Towel   I folded a 0.25″ hem, folding over twice and ironed to mark the guide I would stitch along when complete.20140404_223934I framed the house with a striped border on all sides, then selected a floral fabric and bordered it on top and bottom in the same dimensions.Tea Towel, S. Macera
Next, I found the center of the floral panel by folding, then cut and placed the little house in the center and sewed right sides together.Tea Towel S. MaceraPlacing the panel upside down on the tea towel (right sides together again), I sewed the bottom edge and flipped the panel over and pressed. Little House Tea Towel S. Macera
I sewed the top of the panel in place and then added a red burlap style trim to finish and hide the raw edge.  Next I trimmed the panel sides even with the raw edge of the towel, and folded where my previous pressed hem line was.  Pressing the panel with steam and pinning made it easy to sew the four edges of the towel down. Personalized tea towel, S. Macera

I like the way it looks hanging on the stove.  I finished two of the four towels and now that I have my plan in place, think the other two can be made quickly and sent off to their new home next weekend.S. Macera, Tea TowelThe truth about this project:

I thought I would use scraps, but didn’t have any that really flattered the image.  I didn’t have enough scraps or ribbon to make the towels all the same.

There is no such thing as “running to the craft store”.

The fabric sheets are expensive, so use your coupon on this item.  I found a packet that had 3 sheets and was only $8.99.

You can buy pre-made tea towels, but they are also a bit pricey.

Spend the money and buy the yummy fabric that feels good on your hand when you use it.

It might be a quick sew for some, but for me, this took several days to complete.

Nothing hand made is fast or easy – or cheap.  That is why finishing a project is such a pleasure.  Enjoy the journey!


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