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Thread: Tea Towel question...

  1. #1
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Tea Towel question...

    First, can you buy then at say JoAnn's or a LQS? Second, are they just a heavier cotton than normal quiliting fabric? I have only seen them online so I don't know how they feel.

    The reason I am asking is that I watched Jenny's from MSCO tutorial on how to make an apron from one tea towel, and some matching fabric for the ties. I want to try to make some this week while my DD is at the grandparents so I don't really have time to order online. I am planning on visiting some stores today in hopes of finding some. But if I can't, what fabric would be good to use as a substitute? I am assuming tea towels are thicker so would just a thicker quilting fabric do or would I need a lightweight home decor fabric?

    Thanks!
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
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  2. #2
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Tea towels is a lighter weight fabric than the quilting cotton. I think it's a muslin. You can find them at most JoAnn's and I've seen them at Michaels in the past. They're NOT thicker --- think of having to shove one into a glass to dry the inside. Do NOT use home decor fabric. Way back, when I was a kid, my mother used my diapers as tea towels....the fabric was about the same. However, I know most young people nowadays have no idea what a cloth diaper is. LOL

    If you're making an apron -- just substitute with any 100% cotton....or even a cotton/poly blend.
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  3. #3
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Thank you!!! I was hoping they weren't thicker as I have some really cute 100% cotton fabric that would be so cute as an apron. Thanks again!
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sew N Tune's Avatar
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    If you have a TJ Maxx, look there. Sometimes they carry a wide assortment of towels, at a reasonable price.
    The one who dies with the most fabric wins.

  5. #5
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    You're welcome, Sabrina --- be sure to post pics when done!
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  6. #6
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I didn't find any tea towels on my venture today...though I did find some wonderful fabric, spent WAY TOO much.

    I will post pics when I get done...it will be this weekend or late tomorrow before I can start. Need to get the house cleaned first...darn chores. lol
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  7. #7
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    http://lazydaisycottage.blogspot.com...1_archive.html

    Here is a good site for tea towel aprons. You will need to scroll down

  8. #8
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    I bought some nice weight kitchen towels at Dollar Tree (the kind of store where everything is $1). WalMart would also carry them as well as Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc.
    Nikki in MO

  9. #9
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    If there is anywhere that you can get the big single thickness 'gauzy' cloth diapers these days, those are 'the best' tea towels! Haven't seen them in years tho...even when my kids were babies they seemed to have disappeared.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Ellen's Avatar
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    Basically, tea towels are made from what appears to be Homespun cotton . They aren't really smooth and not thick, just perfect to embroider and dry dishes with. Mine came from a little store in Aguilar, CO....seems like it was an Alda store or something like that.
    Ellen......I'm gonna go play now

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  11. #11
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6 View Post
    If there is anywhere that you can get the big single thickness 'gauzy' cloth diapers these days, those are 'the best' tea towels! Haven't seen them in years tho...even when my kids were babies they seemed to have disappeared.
    I've been looking for a long time....I can't find them either. So much for "going green"!!!!!! You can't convince me that using paper diapers is cheaper NOR good for the landfill. (enough of my rant). I'm down to 2 tea towels, aka diapers, and will have to start looking again!!!

    BTW -- I use tea towels/diapers for rolling out pie crusts and biscuits!! Does anyone else do that?
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  12. #12
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I believe that tea towels are at Hobby Lobby and Joann's but they are in the cross stitch section
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  13. #13
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Well I didn't think to look there today. lol Might have to venture back tomorrow.

    But I already have a lot of projects to do so I might wait.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  14. #14
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    I use tea towels to roll my pie crust and biscuits on, too, just like my mom did. Funny how some things stick with you, isn't it? I bought a bunch of white feed sacks many years ago and still have some to make towels out of. Love, love them!!

  15. #15
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Tea towels that I'm used to are sold by Herrshner's. They're made from linen type fabric and have nice stripes on the side. Nice hostess gifts or great for the apron idea. Have fun!
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  16. #16
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tngal22 View Post
    Thank you!!! I was hoping they weren't thicker as I have some really cute 100% cotton fabric that would be so cute as an apron. Thanks again!
    We'll be waiting for pictures! This sounds so neat!
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  17. #17
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DixieDoodle View Post
    I use tea towels to roll my pie crust and biscuits on, too, just like my mom did. Funny how some things stick with you, isn't it? I bought a bunch of white feed sacks many years ago and still have some to make towels out of. Love, love them!!
    Oooooooooooh... white feed sacks are the best, aren't they?!?!
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  18. #18
    Super Member quiltnut4ever's Avatar
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    I found tea towels at Old Time Pottery, 2 for $3.99 and they had a blue border (gingham) with blue crochet at the bottom. Nice size too.

  19. #19
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tngal22 View Post
    Thanks everyone! I didn't find any tea towels on my venture today...though I did find some wonderful fabric, spent WAY TOO much.

    I will post pics when I get done...it will be this weekend or late tomorrow before I can start. Need to get the house cleaned first...darn chores. lol
    The fabric would work but you'd have to cut and hem it. The advantage to using tea towels is it's quicker.

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma View Post
    I've been looking for a long time....I can't find them either. So much for "going green"!!!!!! You can't convince me that using paper diapers is cheaper NOR good for the landfill. (enough of my rant). I'm down to 2 tea towels, aka diapers, and will have to start looking again!!!
    Amen to that sister!

  21. #21
    Senior Member tngal22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltsRfun View Post
    The fabric would work but you'd have to cut and hem it. The advantage to using tea towels is it's quicker.
    True and I have thought of that. I will see if I can find any tea towels this morning when I go get some batting, if not I will hem the fabric I do have.
    Sabrina
    Mommy to a 6 year old little girl, 3 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 fish. lol Life keeps me busy but when I have a moment, I love to sew
    http://ataleofamilitaryfamily.blogspot.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/HugsLove

  22. #22
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    A tea towel is actually a small kitchen towel...its name more about the size than the fabric content.
    I think what is being referred to here is a flour sack towel, I find them thin and often with permanent creases that I just can't get ironed out even after washing.
    Here's a large selection of embroidery blanks of all kinds

    http://allaboutblanks.com/Kitchen_Goodies.htm

  23. #23
    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    [ Way back, when I was a kid, my mother used my diapers as tea towels....the fabric was about the same. However, I know most young people nowadays have no idea what a cloth diaper is. LOL

    You can buy Birdseye or diaper fabric by the yard from fabric.com. Very reasonable price and some of it is only 18" wide so very little hemming is needed as you have the savages, just the top and bottom. Or you can search the thrift shop for those old white damask table cloths...mostly all cotton and make wonderful tea towels for a fraction of the price of specialty fabric or premade towels. You just cut, and hem. Or you can get some inexpensive linen, fabric.com, and cut and hem. All these options are cheaper than buying premade towels. A half yard of linen with make two towels. I know because I just finished some. I hemmed and added a bit of trim and a hanger and it was done in an afternoon.
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  24. #24
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Kellen -- thanks for the heads up -- I think I'll go shopping!!!
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  25. #25
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    Target, Kmart, Walmart, ShopKo all carry them. But check the label: sizes and quality vary. I've seen some very very thin. I've gotten decent ones at all 4 of these stores. (better than I found at Joanns.)

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