Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tutorial - Fabric Border Dishtowels

Fabric borders are a simple, quick embellishment for dishtowels for the hope chest. This tutorial shows how to make a simple thick/thin border. Because I wanted to use this pretty border print, the contrast is subtle in these towels, but more apparent with other, more contrasting, fabric choices.

Materials for TWO towels: 1/4 yd. of 44-45" fabric A, 1/4 yd. 44-45" contrasting fabric B, matching thread, two flour sack dishtowels, tape measure, scissors, rotary cutter, ruler and mat, pins, iron and ironing board.

First, cut the hem from the bottom end of the towel. From both fabric A and fabric B, cut one 5" strip and one 2 1/4" strip. Measure the width of both towels from side to side. Trim a wide strip and a contrasting narrow strip to fit each towel width, plus 1 inch. You'll have to measure each towel because they will vary in width.

I'll continue to give directions for one towel. Just repeat with the opposite fabrics on the second towel. Press 1/2 inch along the top of the narrow strip.

With the right sides together, fold the larger strip in half. Use a 1/2" seam allowance to sew across both short ends. Clip the corners and trim the seam allowance. Turn right side out and press.

Pin the larger strip to the cut edge of the wrong side of the towel, aligning the side edges.

Pin the cut edge of the narrow contrasting strip atop the rest with 1/2" overlapping the edges on each side.

Sew the layers together, using a 1/2" seam allowance.

Fold the towel up and press the seam. This is the back of the towel.

Turn the towel to the front side and press the narrow strip up. Tuck the 1/2" overlap around the seam at the edge and press and pin the narrow strip across the front side of the towel. You may need to adjust a little to make the edges flush and neat.

Edgestitch around the three sides of the narrow strip, pivoting at each corner. Be careful to keep the seam line neat and straight and as close to the edge as possible.

Press the towel and clip any loose threads.

And it is finished!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pink and Brown Diagonal Dishcloths

These dishcloths are another item made for the Pink/Brown kitchen set that I am currently working on. I used the Diagonal Dishcloth pattern. After I finish this set, I have just one more fairly large kitchen set planned for the hope chest and then I am finished with kitchen linens. Then I want to do a few table linens. Soon I will need to start on quilts and some more baby items. Miss Abigail's hope chest is growing large. The actual chest is now overflowing to the secondary hope chest, which is a lovely antique four-drawer clothes chest. It may be true what my funny husband says: "Abby will need a U-Haul to carry her hope chest away."

BTW, a good friend of mine tells me that she can't understand this diagonal pattern very well, but can't express what is wrong with it. Has anyone else tried it and been disappointed? What can I fix about the pattern that would make it easier to understand, particularly for beginners. This dishcloth is so easy and quick to do. I certainly welcome any suggestions that would make the written directions better. Just email me!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Peek Inside: "Blankie" Scraps

Okay, I am a little ashamed to have kept this, it really should have been thrown away. But mom's can be pretty sentimental. About this, you ask!? Well, yes. This is all that is left from Miss Abigail's "blankie." Abigail herself says, "Mom, it looks like something you would push out the door with a stick." I have to agree. But, I have put these last shreds in a little box in the corner of the hope chest. She might get a kick out of it someday. BTW, she HATED me to wash the thing because then it didn't smell right and it didn't feel right. (Sigh...)

Friday, December 5, 2014

White Bird Serving Dishes

These pretty serving pieces were my gift to Miss Abigail for her sixteenth birthday. She helped me pick them out and I am glad she chose plain white. Such a nuetral color will make them versatile. We were thinking how pretty they would be on a "tea" table, or even on a mantle or lamp table with shells.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dotted Rick Rack Dishtowel

This towel turned out so cute! I thought it would be fun to attach the larger rick rack with French knots and and I love the way it looks. BTW, my favorite stitch for monograms is the chain stitch. This stitch creates a thicker line, which I like. I often find ideas for monograms from this site called the Daily Drop. There is just this one towel because the knots were a bit tedious, but still a fun addition to the pink and brown set for the hope chest.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Eyelet & Ribbon Dishtowels

I've started the next kitchen set - a pink and brown floral set. The fabric in the background is for the apron. These have to be the absolute easiest dishtowels I've made so far and I like them a lot. They are very simple, but still cute! All it took was to sew down the edges of the eyelet lace and then thread the ribbon through. I've used this technique along the hem of pillowcases for my own linen closet and you may remember it on this sheet set for the hope chest. They are so quick that I think I will make some for me!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Going Forward - My Beautiful Grandchildren

I guess I'll finish Family History Month with a picture of my beautiful grandchildren! It certainly took some doing to get such a great picture and I'm grateful to my three lovely daughters-in-law for their considerable trouble. Kate Mower is a truly talented portrait photographer. If you are in the Phoenix area or can drive there, you'll want to dream about what your own family pictures might look like.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Heirloom Cameo Pin

This is a cameo pin that belonged to my grandmother Aurora Kathinka Burke Bunnell. It is beautiful and I'm so glad that it came down to me. Heirlooms are wonderful aren't they? I think it is lovely that I have a few heirlooms to put in Miss Abigail's hope chest.

Aurora Kathinka Burke Bunnell 1903-1989

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Heirloom Crocheted Bookmark

In honor of Family History Month I wanted to show you this crocheted filet style bookmark. My grandmother, Minnie Irene Anderson Clements, made this for me when I was young. She made these bookmarks in different colors, for all of her grandchildren and many of her great grandchildren. It measures about 7.5 inches long and is about 2 inches wide. The thread size is probably 30 and the hook size was probably a 12 or 14. Very tiny and hard to work. This is a treasure to me.

Minnie Irene Anderson Clements 1886-1978

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October - Family History Month

October is national "Family History Month" and I am chin-deep in organizing and working on our family history. I have created two scrapbooks for Miss Abigail of her baby and toddler years and am working on other projects related to genealogy. One project will eventually be a scrapbook called "The Women You Come From" with stories to go along with these pictures. I love these women. Each of them are strong, beautiful and inspirational. I want to tell their stories to my children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Peek Inside - Handwoven Tea Towels

Miss Abigail and I went to the Heart of New Mexico Fiber Gathering over the weekend and found these beautiful handwoven tea towels. We couldn't pass them up. Abigail is loving orange right now and my favorite color is green. I think they make a very pretty set for the hope chest!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pattern - Alternate Double V-Stitch Dishcloth

Here is the pattern for the Double V-Stitch Dishcloth pictured in the "Peachy/Green" kitchen set. The directions for the edging only seem complicated. I wrote directions for each side because the top and bottom are different from the sides. The key to an edging is to simply crochet evenly around all sides. If my directions seem complicated just put the stitches in evenly and call it good.

Alternate Double V-Stitch Dishcloth
 medium weight cotton yarn 
size “G” crochet hook 

Foundation: Ch 39 

Row 1: 2 dc into the 5th ch from hook. **Ch 1, 2 dc into next ch, miss 3 ch, (1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc) into next ch. Miss 3 ch. 2 dc into next ch.** Repeat instructions between ** across, ending last repeat when 2 ch remain. Miss 1 ch, 1 dc into last ch. Ch 3, turn.
Row 2: (Turning chain counts as first dc.) Miss first stitch.** Work (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) into next 2-ch space. Work (1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc) into next ch-1 space.** Repeat between ** across, ending with a dc in top of turning ch.
Rows 3-14: (or until fabric is approximately square) Repeat row 2. Finish off and weave in ends. 

Edging Round 1: Cast on in corner just finished with a contrasting color of yarn. Ch 2. Sc in space at bottom of ch-2. Ch 2. Sc in end of the last row worked. (Ch 2, sc) in end of each row across side, ending with a sc in the top of the beginning row. (Ch 2, sc) around dc post in beginning row twice. Corner turned. Ch 2. Miss the first stitch at bottom of double V-stitch. Sc in the next stitch at the bottom of the double V-stitch.*(Ch 2, sc ) in next two ch-3 spaces. Miss the next stitch. (Ch 2, sc) in next stitch at the bottom of the double V-stitch. Repeat from * three more times across the bottom, ending with a sc in the last stitch. (Ch 2, sc) around post in beginning row. (Ch 2, sc) in end of first row. (Ch 2, sc) in ends of each row across side. (Ch 2, sc) twice around post at beginning of the last row. Corner turned. **(Ch 2, sc) in top of double V-stitch. . (Ch 2, sc) in space at top of single V-stitch.** Repeat between ** across top. (Ch 2, sc in ch-2 space at beginning of round.

Edging Round 2: Ch 2, dc in same stitch. (sc, ch 2, dc) in each ch 2 space around. End with a sl st in the sc at beginning of round. Finish off.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pattern - Diagonal Dishcloth

Here is the pattern for the striped diagonal dishcloths that were shared in the post about the "Peachy/Green" kitchen set. The dishcloth in this picture was crocheted without changing colors. If you wanted stripes, you would just change colors at the end of a row. I am loving this pattern!  It is very quick and easy. I can make a set in no time at all.

Diagonal Dishcloth
medium weight cotton yarn
size “H” crochet hook

Row 1: Ch 4, (dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in fourth chain from the hook. (First 3 skipped chains count as the first dc). Row 2: Ch 3, turn. (ch-3 counts as the first dc in this and subsequent rows.) Dc in next dc, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-2 space, dc in next two dc. Row 3: Ch 3, turn. Dc in next dc and in each dc across to next ch-2 space. (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in corner space. Dc in each dc across. Row 4-12: (or until desired size is reached) Repeat row 3. Finish off and weave in ends.

Edging: Cast on in top corner. 3 sc in corner space. (Sc, ch 2 dc) around post at the end of each row across the side. (Sc, ch 2, dc) around post at corner. (Skip next dc, sc, ch 2, dc in next dc) evenly around next 2 sides. (Sc, ch 2, dc) around posts across last side. Slip stitch in sc at beginning of round.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Link - A Young Girl's Hope Chest

I found a lovely blog post about a young girl's hope chest this morning. Kristy Smith Howard shared her story at a lovely blog called Kindred Grace. If you are interested in hope chests, you'll be ever so glad you read it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Peachy/Green Kitchen Set

I made these dishcloths some time ago using yarn from my stash and my favorite granny square pattern. I liked the mix of colors so much that I decided to do a kitchen set for Miss Abigail's hope chest using these colors. The stack has grown over the last month. Here are the pictures.

Tutorial: Fabric Border Dishtowels

Pattern: Diagonal Dishcloths
Pattern: Alternate Double V-Stitch Dishcloths
Tutorial: Scallop Edged Hand Towel
Pattern: Vintage Design Ruffled Dish Mop
The pattern for the ruffled dishmop, using crochet thread is found here. I used a thin cotton yarn for this set and only put 4 rows on, plus the last single crochet border. The regular worsted weight cotton yarn is just too thick for this pattern. However, a sport weight cotton yarn, like Paton's "Grace" yarn or another "light"  worsted weight (#2 or #3) seems okay with fewer rows worked.

I have patterns written for the edging and the other two dishcloths. Watch for separate posts for these. Soon, I hope. (edit: see the links in the photo captions -km)

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