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Thread: Tea Towels - Alternative to Purchasing Pre-Made Towels?

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    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Tea Towels - Alternative to Purchasing Pre-Made Towels?

    I love, love, love machine embroidered Day of the Week Tea Towels, but I hate, hate, hate the prices -- even at wholesale -- for purchasing the blanks. I have an overlock serger and have experimented with a variety of fabrics -- mostly from Joann -- including homespun plaids which are fun for adding Christmas appliques. What do you use? (Please do not point me to your favorite shop for buying blanks. Not interested! Not.)
    Krystyna
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    I would see if there were any I could use from the $ store.

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    I googled toweling and got a good hit on http://www.fabricdepot.com/solids-basics?cat=69 but I think it's a little pricey, but then, I'm cheap. Another key word search could be "ticking".
    Hemming a kitchen towel was the first 4-H project that I did. (Back then, the towel and a gingham apron were what you sewed your first year.

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    I have used the five packs of flour sack towels, I get the pack at walmart. I then cut each towel in half. It roughly comes out to tea towel size. I then serge a rolled hem on two sides, the other two sides already have a hem on them. Then embroider on one side. Add oace trim or ribbon. Doing a tone on tone embroidery (heirloom/lacey) design makes a stunning towel. I usually keep one or two pairs on hand (tied with satin ribbon) just in case I need a hostess gift. It goes over very well

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    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Carolyn, I would love to see a picture of your towels.

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    I've purchased a bunch of flour sack towels at the ranch outlet store. They are all different sizes so will probably cut them down and rehem them before I machine embroider on them. Please post pictures of your towels -- I need some inspiration!

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    Super Member AngeliaNR's Avatar
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    Good muslin makes a very soft, absorbent towel--it isn't usually too expensive, and you can make the size you want.
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    Super Member nena's Avatar
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    Carolyn... Picture Please. Inquiring minds want to see. lol They sound so cute.

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    I make my own tea towels using osnaberg fabric that I buy at Walmart. I turn the edges down and sew them all the way around. They turn out really nice and very reasonable to make.

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    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I would see if there were any I could use from the $ store.
    No, no, no, no and no!!!! I want to make them!!!
    Krystyna
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    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakwoman View Post
    I make my own tea towels using osnaberg fabric that I buy at Walmart. I turn the edges down and sew them all the way around. They turn out really nice and very reasonable to make.
    I'll have to check that out. I wasn't familiar with the word osnaberg!
    Krystyna
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    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Here are a few I made in the past.

    The ladybugs are on homespun and have an eyelet lace edge. Unfortunately, I think they're mostly for show as the embroidery is quite dense.

    Name:  Embroidered Ladybug Tea Towel Set 1.jpg
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    Name:  Embroidered Ladybug Tea Towel Set2.jpg
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    Here are some Irish recipe ones I made for a fair a few years ago. They were done on a pale green toweling type fabric that I found at an estate sale. Some had rickrack and some were edged in lace.

    Name:  Irish Tea Cake Recipe Tea Towel 1.jpg
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    Name:  Irish Tea Cake Recipe Tea Towel 2.jpg
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    Name:  Irish Potato Candy Tea Towel 1.jpg
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    Then some "Busy Birds with Virtuous Sayings" which I'm using right now. Done one Muslin.

    Name:  Busy Birds Virtuous Sayings Tea Towels Red work 1.jpg
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    And I love these for kitchen or guest towels in the bathroom ... Fun with Santa!

    Name:  Fun with Santa Tea Towel Guest Towel Set 1.jpg
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    More on homespun ... crows!

    Name:  Country Primitive Crow Tea Towel Set 1.jpg
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    Krystyna
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    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    I love all your towels. So cute!

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    Your towels are really cute. I would probably not use any of them except the ones on muslin. Where dish towels are concerned I'm very practical. I buy a dozen flat diapers and keep them in the kitchen cabinet. I pull at least one, sometimes more, every day for use in the kitchen. Once a week they all get subjected to hot water and bleach and the cycle starts all over again. There is nothing, IMO, that rivals them for drying dishes.
    Pat

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    Senior Member LITTLEOLDME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeliaNR View Post
    Good muslin makes a very soft, absorbent towel--it isn't usually too expensive, and you can make the size you want.
    I use muslin also for dish towels,works fine.
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    Sorry, but as cute as all those "tea towels" are, in my world they would take up precious drawer space or simply collect dust hanging on something.....my kitchen towels are just like my hand towels in the bathrooms......except " kitcheny". Good idea about cloth diapers..did not know they are still available......don't do much shopping in baby dept.......also have dishwasher so no need for wiping dishes......only use kitchen towels to wipe hands while handling food, cooking......

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkys_mom View Post
    Your towels are really cute. I would probably not use any of them except the ones on muslin. Where dish towels are concerned I'm very practical. I buy a dozen flat diapers and keep them in the kitchen cabinet. I pull at least one, sometimes more, every day for use in the kitchen. Once a week they all get subjected to hot water and bleach and the cycle starts all over again. There is nothing, IMO, that rivals them for drying dishes.
    are these what we used to call Birdseye diapers?

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    I look for cotton damask table cloths at the thrift store. I can get about 4 to 6 out of one depending on size. I usually pay $1 to $2 for one. I only need to do a minimal amount of hemming but then I can embellish them with ribbon or embroidery. Also look for all cotton remnants or linen blend remnants that be cut to size and used.
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    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Walmart has packaged Aunt Martha's tea towels white or striped. They are hemmed, ready for embroidery. They are about $8 a package. I have received a few thin towels for gifts that lasted just a short time after use and laundry. The hems came undone, the embroidery started to break and ravel because the fabric started to rip around it. The Aunt Martha's towels I have are years old and still look nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    Walmart has packaged Aunt Martha's tea towels white or striped. They are hemmed, ready for embroidery. They are about $8 a package. I have received a few thin towels for gifts that lasted just a short time after use and laundry. The hems came undone, the embroidery started to break and ravel because the fabric started to rip around it. The Aunt Martha's towels I have are years old and still look nice.
    Thank you, but I am looking for types of fabric. I prefer to make my own.
    Krystyna
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  21. #21
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    The last few tea towels I have gotten as a gift, I can tell from the fabric they won't hold up to use. I use them as one time towels for potlucks. They do look nice just won't hold up.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

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    Super Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    Muslin, the thin cheap one, is the best thing I have found to make dish towels. It is only 36" wide, so use the sides for your ends, and hem the long sides (I cut mine about 18" wide, so have about a 15" wide dish towel for using. That is for the ones to be used for drying towels. A heavier type cotton fabric (I think some folks use it for counted cross stitch) I cut into about 12" squares--my hands aren't very big, so can't squeeze out a big dish rag--and they are hard and rough for awhile until they get that used feeling to them, but it works for me. Do you knit or crochet. Some of my favorite dish rags are made by friends of mine who give them out at meetings, etc. as door prizes and little thank you gifts for cooking a dessert or some such. Just be sure to use pure cotton thread. Good luck. Please post your efforts in the future.
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    Super Member sak658's Avatar
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    I love Missouri Star Quilt Co...tea towels, they are so big and nice and only $3.50 each...I have made two aprons out of them, using her tutorial...having trouble posting pics....

  24. #24
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Here you go toweling by the yard.

    http://boltfabricboutique.com/shop/

    I have some I bought a while back, but haven't had the time to make them up yet. I also like to use the linen fabric you can gleen from old tablecloths.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 08-02-2014 at 01:07 PM.
    RedGarnet222

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolynMT View Post
    I have used the five packs of flour sack towels, I get the pack at walmart. I then cut each towel in half. It roughly comes out to tea towel size. I then serge a rolled hem on two sides, the other two sides already have a hem on them. Then embroider on one side. Add oace trim or ribbon. Doing a tone on tone embroidery (heirloom/lacey) design makes a stunning towel. I usually keep one or two pairs on hand (tied with satin ribbon) just in case I need a hostess gift. It goes over very well
    Me, too, only I get mine at Sam's Club. And because I don't have an embroidery machine, I applique something on them or put a ribbon of cute fabric on them. froggyintexas

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