Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tutorial: Granny Square Edging

I want to show you the simple edging I've been using on my granny square dishcloths. This first picture shows the completed granny square. This pattern is Abigail's 4H granny square dishcloth, with a couple of rows of contrast colored yarn included in it. End the square and weave in the ends.

Attach contrasting colored yarn in any corner and chain three.

Put 2 dc in the corner space immediately below the ch-3.

Put a sc in the next space.

Chain 3.

In the same space, put 2 dc.

Sc in the next space.

Ch 3, 2 dc in same space. Continue across the side putting (sc, ch 3, 2 dc) in each space until you reach the corner space.

Sc in the corner space.

2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in the same corner space.

Continue around the edge of the dishcloth, putting (sc, ch 3, 2 dc) in each space and (sc, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in each corner space. When you reach the last (technically the first) corner, put (sc, 2 dc, ch 2) in that space. Finish off with a slip stitch in the top of the original ch-3. Fasten off and weave in the ends.

That's it!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tutorial: Simple Tea Towel

Here is another simple tutorial for a handmade tea towel. Choosing to make a towel from scratch gives me control over the fabric, size and color. These factors can be important. The styles of purchased towels are sometimes not very appealing to me, and I often can't find the color I need, so I like being able to make my own. This tutorial gives directions for a very simple hemmed towel. You may already know how to do it, but just in case you don't, I'll illustrate the steps.

Start with 7/8 yard of fabric that is 100% cotton or linen. Natural fibers are more absorbent and release stains more easily. I've used a "bottom weight" cotton ticking stripe fabric. Bottom weight is thicker than a regular cotton print. The term describes fabric that is heavy enough for a skirt or pants (garments worn on the bottom.) Cut a piece of fabric 20 inches by 31 inches. This will make a finished size of 18 by 28, a common size for kitchen hand towels. Fold the long side of the fabric over 1/2-inch and press. Repeat with the other long side.

Fold the fabric over again 1/2-inch. Press and pin.

Fold and press 1/2-inch along both of the short ends of the towel.

Fold up 1-inch on each end of the towel and pin.

Sew close to the edge all the way around. The closer you can get to the edge, the more professional the towel will appear.

If you wish, attach a trim such as this pretty cotton Cluny lace. Cut a length that measures the width of the towel plus 1-inch. Measure up 1 3/4-inches from the bottom edge and align the trim with this measurement. Pin to secure it to the towel. Turn the ends under so that the trim is flush with the edge of the towel.

Sew carefully near the edges of the trim.

Press the towel and you're finished.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tutorial: Folded Fabric Hot Pads

I stumbled on a sample of these pretty folded fabric hot pads and thought they would be a perfect quick project for the hope chest. They are really easy. You'll need: 1/4 yd of color/print A, 1/4 yd of color/print B, 1/4 yd of Insul-Brite, thread to match primary fabric, 2 buttons to match, rotary cutter, ruler and mat. This is a great project to use with scraps as well, as long as they are at least 9" square. Five different fabrics would be just as cute as the co-ordinated pair I've made here.

Once you have your materials, cut 5 (8 1/2-inch) squares from each fabric and 2 (8 1/2-inch) squares from the Insul-Brite. Iron 4 squares from each fabric in half, making a total of 8 rectangles.

Now you'll make a stack. Place the square of Insul-Brite batting on the bottom. Place an 8 1/2-inch square with the right side up on top of the batting. Place one folded rectangle (A) across the top of the stack, with the cut edge to the top and the fold toward the middle. Stack a second folded rectangle (B) with the cut edge toward the right of the stack and the fold toward the middle. Place the third rectangle (A) on the stack with the cut edge to the bottom.

Place the last (fourth) rectangle (B) on the top of the stack with the cut edge facing to the left. Tuck the top of the fourth rectangle under the left edge of the first rectangle. The rectangles will appear woven together with the cut edges on the outside and the folded edges coming to a point in the center.

Pin the edges and corners well.

Make sure to pin carefully at the point where the folds come together. They shouldn't overlap.

Sew carefully all around the edge of the hot pad, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. You can use a walking foot if you wish - I didn't.

Cut the excess fabric from the corners and trim the seams so that the corners will turn more easily.

Turn the hot pad right side out. Use a point to make sure the corners are pushed completely out.

Press the hot pad so that it lays nice and flat. Topstitch 1/2-inch around the outside edges and sew a button at the center to help secure the center folded point.

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