Ramblings...

Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. I also am a licensed realtor with my hubby's company, which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Designing and dreaming of spring!

In this post: a tut on making a vintage linen hanging towel, and painting metal accessories to match your bath...and life as we know it, even though it is still cold out!

Have I whined enough this winter?  Finished the antibiotics and am still snorting...I'll leave that topic, I am making friends with a "neti" pot now, hope to say this works, and I can get on with my life. 

I enjoyed a quick trip to Oxford, Ohio last weekend to see my highschool/college chums Karen, Donna, Marlys, and Nancy last weekend, battling torrents of rain, and then snow on the way back.  Spring cannot come fast enough that is for sure! My hostess friend Karen, and her 2 other baby boys, seen on left, her lovely home she built with handy husband Dave on right.

I have been on a small buying spree, that began innocently last week, when I heard a smaller Joann Fabrics nearby was closing. This meant alot of fabric is 50 percent off and patterns only a quarter! I haven't sewn for myself much, but suddenly I am dreaming of designing new outfits from the batch of patterns and fabric I picked up. A nubby tan linen for pants or capris, and some embroidered linen in white and earth tones for a stylin blouse with a big bow, I'll make in black. I have to clear an area in my sewing room, but I think it will usher in spring to have some new clothes to look forward to.



Along with new projects, are some older ones that I have unearthed recently.  I have a number of linen towels, that need restyling and now that I have a guest bath again, I need some decent hand towels.  Here is a short tut on recycling those little gems, you might pick up at thrift or antique shows. 




Linen Guest Towel Restyle
Begin with a vintage narrow linen tea towel.  I keep a box of pieces and parts of needlework, stained or damaged that I try to re-fashion into a component of the hanging towel. I liked the tulip cutwork on this stained piece, on the right; I was hoping to make it useful again.

I centered the design, after excising the flaws and placed it on another piece of some coordinating darker calico, and cut two pieces the same size, as well as 1 piece of poly quilt bat, for a little stability.
  I checked the length of the towel, for this project it will be ok, but if the towel is really long, I fold it in half, and gather the center with 2 rows of stitching and apply my towel topper to it in the same manner I make my "Powell" potholder towels.  (I might have some examples in my etsy shop, or will soon as of this post!) 
 
 
 
 
 
Begin running two rows of gathers at the top of the towel, pull gathers so that the towel will stretch across the topper evenly.

After you pin and sew the towel to the front panel of the topper, right sides together of course, press,

 I then fashion the loop to hang it to a towel bar by making a rectangle out of the embroidered scraps, sew all around, turn to the right side.  Place raw opening on top of topper, machine baste across; it will be caught inside.  Not shown, turn the bottom of the triangle shape, the longest side under, clean finishing the edge. Sew all 3 sides,  then pull everything through the open side, then press. 
Finish the back of the hanging towel by sewing the open bottom to the towel layer, using an invisible slip stich.
I like to use a vintage button, to hide the fact that velcro is used as a closure.  But you can also make a buttonhole in the tab, and have the button actually function instead of just look pretty.

Voila, I like that this towel looks great in my new guest bath.  I knew that vintage piece of linen would end up being useful again!  Try this with your bits and pieces of linen and needlework, don't let them sit idly by when you can class up your bath or kitchen with some charm from yesteryear!
This gives me one more opportunity to show off my bath, which until this post was also missing a towel rack.  Here is another idea to use those miscellaneous garage sale finds to match your fixtures.  I found this wrought iron towel holder a couple of years ago, way before I knew what my colors or metals would be.  I bought the paint you see below, to try to match my oiled brass hardware.  I painted the iron, using an old brush, that would allow the black to show through.  It really matches my faucet and shower fixtures now, so I hope to hang my new towel on it real soon.
One more little show and tell item, I recently sold the Linen Rose Pillow (you see in my Linky Party Badge on top of my blog) through my Etsy site, Traci from Washington State sent a picture as it now sits proudly in her daughter's Adalyns nursery.  I just love how something made by my hands traveled across country to grace a little girls' room!  Humbling and awesome at the same time!

2 comments:

Julia said...

I love this idea for using vintage linens. I sometimes incorporate them into little girls' dresses.

The4Rs said...

Thanks for your kind comment Julia, I would love to sew for a little girl again, my 14 year old scoffs at anything handmade! Maybe in 10 years, I will have a grandchild to sew for, I can pray!

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