Hobbies: A tea towel with personality

Scripps Howard News ServiceSeptember 6, 2013 

In my studio, I have many bins filled with fabric scraps – bins overflowing with colors and patterns, and I try to find ways to use up every pretty little piece. For this project, sewing strips of scraps in varying widths onto a plain tea towel created a multicolor masterpiece!


• One plain tea towel

• Fabric scraps at least as wide as the tea towel

• Scissors

• Sewing machine, or needle and thread

• Pins

Step by step

1 Gather fabric scraps that you think look lovely together. They can be a fun mix of florals and geometric prints in many colors. Arrange them a you choose (you may decide to only have bands of fabrics on the ends of your towel, or go from top to bottom).

2 Snip and then rip each piece of fabric so that it’s as wide as the tea towel, and somewhere between 2 inches to 4 inches high, with frayed edges.

3 Pin one strip straight across the tea towel, right side up. You can do one at a time, or pin multiple strips if you prefer to sew that way. You could leave a gap of an inch or so between fabrics to let the original tea towel show through, or line them up on top of each other. You don’t need to turn any of the edges under; the frayed sides add appeal.

4 Using a sewing machine makes this a very quick project and also makes the towels stronger when thrown in the wash. But if you would like to sew the strips on by hand, you can do that, too. Simply sew around all four sides of the strips, about 1/4 inch in from the frayed edge.

One great plus in sewing the fabrics on top of old tea towels is that they cover stains or small holes, giving new life to the useful kitchen cloths. You could also adapt this project to the ends of your fabric napkins or to your apron, creating a whole new feel for your kitchen linens.

Fishbein: denadesigns.com

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