Practice makes perfect

In the past few months, I’ve seen quite a few posts and pins for DIY towels to use instead of the paper version. In preparation for my eventual painting of my kitchen to a fun, black/white look, I bought a bunch of cute fabrics and took a fraying towel out of my rotation.

Here’s my first attempt:


DSC_2108I forgot to take a close up, but hopefully you can see how the edges have started to curl up. That’s because I didn’t pre-wash the fabric. Don’t be like me. Don’t make this mistake if you want to make these. Let me say it again, especially to all of you who normally, like me, don’t pre-wash your fabric before you quilt:

PRE-WASH YOUR FABRIC!!!!! These are going to get laundered a bazillion times, so eliminate any shrinkage possible by a quick trip to the laundry before you make that first cut.

I also don’t recommend using a serger around the edges. It might be easy, and look good when it’s first done, but after a few washings it won’t hold up well. Take a look:

DSC_0007Maybe it’s my skills or my serger, but this ain’t good. However, I’m way too cheap to throw them away, so I’ll salvage them instead. Here’s how I did it:

DSC_0008I ironed them as flat as possible, and then I trimmed the side with the curled excess towel and the side where it frayed with my rotary cutter to ensure a straight line.

Next, I treated the towels like quilts and made binding from 2.5-inch strips of pre-washed white fabric I happened to have on hand, which I folded in half and sewed it on the front, pressed it and then stitched in the ditch to sew it on the back.

front Nothing fancy or hand stitched. Just enough to slap it on and go, and stand up to multiple washings. Here’s the back, where I used wonder clips instead of pins and so I know I’d catch both sides:

DSC_0006Again, hardly perfect, but for something used to clean up spills, it’s just fine.

Another recommendation I’d make is to stitch the layers down with some light quilting. You can see in the photo just above, I just did random straight lines on one and an asterisk on the other. I think it helps keep them flat in the long run.

I’ve also ordered some kamsnaps to attach to the ends so I can put them on my paper towel holder, once I get a full set made. I’ll show you photos once those come in.

Now, if only I’d get around to painting my kitchen!



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