One of the things I love about quilting and sewing is enjoying handmade items in use around the house. I asked the question, “Do you use your handmade items?” a few years ago and the answer was a resounding “Yes!”, which I am so glad to hear. Because if we can’t enjoy them, then what’s the point?
Many years ago, I embroidered a number of tea towels with some simple line drawings by Alicia Paulson. I did the Monday, Tuesday, and Friday designs. Those tea towels are absolutely ragged with use and I thought that I’d refresh the pile with some new ones.
Aurifil has challenged the 2019 Artisans with using a wide variety of Aurifil products, so I chose Aurifloss for this project. Aurifloss is a 6-strand embroidery floss. It comes wound on a wooden spool, which not only makes it charming but keeps it from getting tangled. Who among us doesn’t have an old wad of tangled embroidery floss? Well, no more!
I happened to have a couple thrifted tea towels in my stash, and then went looking for design inspiration. My friend Minki recently published a book called Diary in Stitches, which is chock full of charming designs. Though she uses these designs for embellishing projects with sewing illustration–they are absolutely perfect for hand embroidery as well. Regretting that I only had two tea towels, I selected a couple of kitchen-themed designs.
When Minki and I were working on Sew Illustrated, we came up with a super-easy way to transfer designs to fabric. Take a photo of the design with a phone or tablet (preferred). Zoom in to get it the size that you want to transfer. Then crank the brightness up on the device as high as it can go, lay the fabric on top and trace away!
I love clean, simple lines in just about everything, and embroidery is no exception. In keeping with the aesthetic from tea towels I embroidered years ago, I did a simple backstitch to just outline the designs with three strands of floss. My go-to is black thread, but I also tried a redwork one as well. If I had had a third towel, I would have done a navy one. I’m still a little sad about that.
They were great evening handwork projects–each took just a few nights. As I’ve talked about before, I love handwork–it’s such a simple way to unwind and let your brain rest and process. Whether it’s hand piecing, embroidery, knitting, or whatever–I’m a better person at the end of the day if I’ve got a needle in my hand. (Did that come out wrong? ha!)
I’m looking forward to getting these new/old towels into rotation in the kitchen. I don’t use them as dish towels, but more often to dry lettuce and other veggies.
Honestly, it makes me happy every time I reach into the drawer to grab one of these while I’m making dinner. I guess I’m easily amused.
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