Since the linen towels turned out to be a bigger project than I had time for, I decided to buy pre-made tea towels to finish up the other two pay it forward gifts. J and T, please don't think I don't love you as much, ok? Because I wanted you to receive your gifts sometime this year and it just wasn't going to happen if I kept on with the linen.
First we have karamat's towels:
I purchased these tea towels from Colonial Patterns, Inc. They measure 28"x28" and have that crinkly tea towel feel. Just a heads up, though: some of the towels have little flaws, tiny colored threads woven in here and there. I was annoyed at first but now I think I'm over it. Mostly...
I made this set for anopeneye (J...I hope you got them already otherwise...surprise!):
Do you see the bird? That's my favorite scrap of fabric ever...and I gave it away because I'm nice like that. (In case you're wondering, it's Nuala from Jennifer Paganelli's Girlfriends collection.)
I got the idea for these three sets of towels here. Ashley pretty much says it all so click the link.
I was dreading ironing the patchwork strips...how was I ever going to make a nice, smooth strip? I decided to use an old quilter's trick...freezer paper (NOT wax paper). Cut a piece of freezer paper the same length as your strip but .75" to 1" skinnier. Iron the strip of freezer paper (shiny side down) to the wrong side of your fabric strip. Then use the paper as a guide to iron over the edges.
Then, when your edges are ironed, peel out the paper and give the fabric another good press. Then flip it over, wrong side down and ta-da...you have a patch that can be sewn onto your towel.
You can use this freezer paper trick to make an applique of any shape and size. You can even reuse the paper a few times before the stickiness is gone.
Ashley used a zig-zag stitch to sew down her patch...I went with a straight stitch. Just make sure you sew close enough to the edge to sew through the seam allowance. Fun, huh?