Handmade Christmas #5 - embroidered dishtowels

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Handmade Christmas #5 is a throwback to childhood. As a child, I spent a lot of time with my Aunts, Dot and Emily. I think my favorite thing about spending time with them is that they both took their time to teach me something.

Dot had no qualms about letting me pull up a chair while she was decorating a cake and teaching me how to make flowers out of fondant.

Emily felt that every young girl needed to know how to sew, so at the age of five I was busy at her treadle model sewing machine creating skirts and shirts.

A New Love

It is through both of them that I learned how to cross stitch and embroider. The day that Emily died, I was wandering through an upstairs bedroom and noticed my first embroidery project hanging on the wall. I didn’t know whether to chuckle or shed more tears.

Handmade embroidered dish towels are perfect gifts

The Love Continues

As I grew older, I found that I love to collect vintage linens. One of my greatest finds were always the cotton dishtowels that someone had embroidered.

These were rare finds, as most women who owned them actually used them until they finally gave up and fell apart (the dish towels, not the women!). Considering how difficult they were to come by, I decided to resurrect my embroidery skills and make my own.

I finally found a pack of five cotton dishtowels at Wal-Mart, but I am going to be very honest here. These do not really do well at all.

They are loosely woven. They may be less expensive, but they are not conducive to embroidery and don’t seem to dry dishes very well.

Instead, I kept hunting, and finally found these dishtowels that were designed for just this purpose: Aunt Martha’s Dishtowels

They are a heavier weight and tightly woven, so they hold up well under a needle and are more absorbent when drying the dishes.

The wonderful part of embroidery is that you can use an iron-on pattern (Aunt Martha and Stitcher’s Revolution has large collections to choose from, and I used several of their designs for my towels.

Amazon also has these available, or visit your local craft store), or you can design your own and transfer the pattern using tracing paper designed for sewing. Both patterns will come off after washing so there isn’t any black lines on your finished project.

How to Finish

Once you have finished your dishtowel, it is best to hand-wash them in warm water. This sets the needlework, and if there are any knots that come out, you can quickly repair that section.

Hang them up to dry, and just before they are completely dry, iron the dishtowel on the back to get out any wrinkles. If some of the wrinkles are stubborn, mist the towel lightly with water and iron again.

If you don’t know how to embroider, don’t think you cannot learn. Here is a book that is easy to use and will have you ‘in stitches’ in no time! A to Z Embroidery Stitches

Embroidered dish towels

For encouragement, here is a sample of the Handmade Christmas #5 idea – these are several of the dishtowels I have done. They are going to make fun Christmas gifts for some of the people on my list this year!

As you finish a project, be sure to post a photo to my website so everyone can enjoy! Be sure to include your name so you can get full credit for your creativity!!!

Did you Miss a few Handmade Christmas Ideas?  Here are the links!

Handmade Christmas #1 – Psalms 91 Throw

Handmade Christmas #2 – Crochet Hats & Scarves

Handmade Christmas #3 – Knitted Kitchen Fun

Handmade Christmas #4 – Crochet Pot Scrubbers

Handmade Christmas #6 – Wooden Spoon Butter

Handmade Christmas #7 – Fresh Baked Trays

Handmade Christmas #8 – Gift Baskets

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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