(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?

typetowel

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:

I made my parents a toaster bag for their anniversary.  A what?  Toaster bag.  Due to a severe lack of counter space in the kitchen, the toaster lives in the pantry when not in use.  In the interest of keeping dust off it and keeping crumb-tray detritus off of everything else, it was generally stored in a repurposed bag from some store or other.  And, you know, the plastic bag worked just fine, but it lacked pizazz, so I decided a sturdy, washable fabric bag was in order.  When I presented it to them they were pleased (really!), and then my mom made an offhanded comment about having a cute toaster embroidery pattern “like the pot you did” (referring to the Aunt Martha’s “Animated Kitchenware” pattern I did on an apron for myself).

Aunt Martha’s “Animated Kitchenware”, alas, is limited to pots and pans and their ilk; no fancy plug-in appliances.  I checked out Sublime Stitching’s “Krazy Kitchen” sheet, but no toaster there, either.  Boo.  And then…I remembered downloading a peanut butter and jelly pattern from Urban Threads some time back.  Of course!  A bread-based design would work just as well, wouldn’t it?

The hearts make it so anniversary-appropriate!  This was my first attempt at crayon tinting, and I’m really pleased with how it came out.

For a better idea of the whole project and its dimensions.

Being used for its exact purpose.