Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Spoonflower, Kitchen Towels, and Mitered Corners
If you haven't visited Spoonflower.com before, this is a fun project that will get you started and brighten up your kitchen, too! Spoonflower is a company that prints your designs onto fabric. Yep - you get to be the fabric designer! And you can buy other people's designs. Each month they have a fabric designing contest with a different theme - and each fall one of the themes is calendar kitchen towels. For the past two years I've ordered a couple that others have designed and hemmed them up - a fun way to start the new year. Today I'll walk you through how to do that. And I'm working on a tutorial on how to get started designing your own fabrics!
Follow this link to find the calendar towels that were designed for 2013 - there are also towels with no calendar on them. Find a design you like and click on it. This is what you should see.
There's a view of what your towel will look like. Notice in the middle section there's a box that says "Fat Quarter" and a drop down arrow next to it. For kitchen towels, you want to buy a fat quarter. If you were buying other fabric, you could chose the yardage you want - and when you select another amount of fabric, the picture of the fabric changes accordingly. Give it a try!
There's also a box in the same section that says "Basic Combed Cotton." That's the type of fabric your kitchen towel was designed to fit. Personally, I like linen towels, so I get the linen/cotton blend. Notice though that it does change the picture of what you'll get - it's okay since you'll be trimming the fabric before hemming anyways.
The site is easy to order from, so I won't walk you through that part. You will have to sign up and give your e-mail address. That's okay - they don't spam you! You'll get a weekly email giving you the link to vote in that week's fabric contest. When your fabric arrives, wash and dry it and you will have this:
One of the towels I ordered was designed for the linen-cotton blend and fits the fat quarter with no repeats. You still have to trim the edges up, though.
The other towel was designed for the basic combed cotton, which is not as wide as the linen-cotton, so there is a small amount of repeat.
Just trim it off.
Iron the towels and you're ready to hem. Hint: if you ordered the linen-blend, ironing will be easier if you use a spray bottle to first mist the fabric with. Iron each edge under 1/4 inch.
Open up each corner and cut diagonally right at the point where the two ironing marks meet.
Fold down 1/4 inch (or a teensy bit more) and iron in place.
Re-iron each edge so you have it turned under 1/4 inch again. Fold one edge over another 1/4 inch and iron in place.
Repeat with the other side. Notice how the two sides meet - sometimes you have to play around with it a bit to get it to do this.
Pin the corners in place and iron the whole edge under another 1/4 inch.
After you've done this to all edges and corners, sew each edge close to the turned under side. I like to sew it with a little longer stitch - a topstitching length, which on my machine is a 2.5 to 3. And to get a straight line, I put the turned under side along one of the edges on my presser foot.
Now my kitchen's ready for the new year!
Happy Creating! Deborah