I’ve always been drawn to those nifty kitchen towels with the crocheted tops that allow one to hang them from a handy hook on a kitchen cabinet or drawer pull – I think it’s because my grandmother used to make them, and we always had one around the house.  The only problem was that up until recently, I didn’t know how to crochet (this has since been remedied); discovering that you can sew a fabric topper pretty much opened up a whole new crafty avenue to me.

I had the perfect fabric in my stash: a cool, sparkly American flag-patterned cotton that’s a bit bold in large doses but adds just the right dose of flair to an otherwise utilitarian object.

Hanging in the backyard:

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I’ve put these for sale in my Etsy shop – I think they’d make a lovely hostess gift with the summer party/barbeque season heating up.

Thanks for looking! 🙂

(Typical Millennial: “Jerry who?”  Just Youtube “jerry lewis typewriter”, kids.)

It all started like this: my friend Jeanette is a writer by trade – and yes, I am terribly jealous – and has a writerly affinity for typewriters.  As the weather turned cooler and one could utter the word “Christmas” without being pelted by tomatoes, I started searching about for a suitable gift.  I had two criteria: it shouldn’t be too grand, so as to not embarrass the recipient or strain my budget; and it should be easily and inexpensively shipped internationally.

My first thought had been a Christmas ornament of some sort, but a quick search revealed that most available were either overpriced or underwhelming, or both.  Also, while a hard clay ornament might have been okay to ship internationally had an appropriate one been found, the thought of a blown glass one made me nervous.  I did see a cute necklace online, but that seemed just a little personal.  Could I make something instead?

Thank heavens for Urban Threads.  I found a simple hand embroidery pattern on their site, and a charcoal-gray tea towel in my stash.  And all households need at least one hand-embroidered kitchen linen, right?

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The picture makes the towel look lighter than it really is.  I chose the colours I did to really pop against the gray, with just a hint of silver metallic on what I believe are called the typebars, plus the little doohickey on the right hand side.  It came out looking really great, but my stars, the 39 little keys just about killed me!  Also, for any embroiderers or aspiring embroiderers out there: watch the surface you choose.  This particular towel has ribbing (or cabling?), and although it adds to the tactile appeal, those darned keys came out a little wobbly looking if they happened to fall on a cable.

And now, for a little comic relief:

Hidely-ho, grammarinos!

For the past few years, National Grammar Day has come and gone without my even noticing.  This had to stop!  I’m a huge grammar geek, and knew that this year I would have to do something to commemorate this holiest of holidays.  On Sunday, I took a break from my math lab (more scholarly and less financially productive than a meth lab, for what it’s worth), and came up with this:

bad grammar towel

The wording is hardly original, but I try not to let that bother me.  I typed the text out in Word, then traced it onto my towel and went over the words with Aunt Martha’s ball-point paints.

Now I just need another grammar quote so that I can make a partner for this one…

Christmas Presents Ahoy!

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!  I could offer the standard excuses for not updating sooner (I spent the entirety of November pounding out a novel!  I stitched my little fingers to the bone!  I got abducted by a herd of rogue Simmentals!), but instead, I think I’ll just show off all the stitchy Christmas presents I managed to finish.

For my friend Rachael in Eng-er-land, some easy-to-stitch, easy-to-ship Animated Kitchenware tea-towels:

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There they are, posing sweetly on my oven door.

Avon lady and dear soul Heather got a small Margaret Sherry design:

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I was so happy to have an excuse to use my opalescent aida cloth!

My parents each got a custom shirt from me.  My dad used to work for the railroad and is still very much into trains, so I made him a Chessie shirt using a pattern that I found online:

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It was stitched onto the pocket of a denim shirt using waste canvas…I do like the colours!

My mom collects all things hedgehog, so I used the Sublime Stitching Forest Friends pattern to come up with this:

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It’s just a plain blue t-shirt from Michael’s, but sufficiently jazzed up now.  Also, Sublime Stitching’s T-shirt Stabilizer is a godsend!

Last but not least, this Subversive Cross Stitch pattern (I tweaked the colours and omitted the border) seemed just too perfect for coworker and co-conspirator Sue.  It’s now sitting on her desk, spreading sunshine and lollipops to all who venture past.

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Thanks for looking; as always, if you have any further questions, please feel free to leave a comment!

Naughty or Nice?

October 12, 2008

I do apologize for the long-time-no-posts….I’m going to blame work for this one, but I’m hoping to be posting a lot more soon, what with the holidays rapidly approaching.  At any rate, on with the crafty goodness, yes?

I had purchased the Lisa Petrucci designs from www.sublimestitching.com some time ago, though I hadn’t yet committed them to fabric.  Then my friend Dan got her own place, and decided to go and have a birthday shortly thereafter (inasmuch as one’s birthday can be determined by free will, of course :P), and somehow, a set of hand-embroidered tea towels seemed like the perfect housewarming/b-day pressie.  Especially when they’re this cool.  I particularly like the devil – clearly, being bad is more fun than being good!

Hanging side-by-side on the oven door:

And close-ups:

And now, of course, I want to do the devil again…for myself!