Sunday, June 16, 2013

Zakka Towels

Holy crow!  I have my days so mixed up; it's a little bit hilarious.  All day today I was thinking, "Man I need to get these Zakka towels done by midnight so I can enter the giveaway."  The whole time I KNOW the deadline is Sunday night.  Yet I KNOW that TOMORROW is Sunday, Father's Day, Trip to Parents' Day, etc., etc.  I'm trying to crank out these towels today (which by the way are EXTREMELY time consuming).  FINALLY I get them done at 10:45 pm, take the pics, run upstairs with the Mac, and set to work uploading.  Suddenly the lightbulb goes "flick."  Uh...DUH!  It's only Saturday.  Jeez-Loueez!  Working for oneself is totally rad...except when the days of the week no longer have any meaning.  So Mr. Sexy Pants laughs at me.  At least I'm entertaining - even if I'm not the brightest Crayola in the box. 
Pattern from the new book, Patchwork, Please! Zakka 2.0

Anyway...Tah-Dah!  Here are the towels in all their linen-cotton glory.  

Quick de-brief:

  • I used all scraps for the appliqué and bindings.  (Hooray!)  
  • I got the linen/cotton blend (for the towels) at Hancock, because I am way behind on being prepared for this sew-along and haven't placed an order yet for the R.Kauffman Essex line that I'm so anxious to try.  
  • I tried two different methods for the bindings.  

  1. I made single fold (straight-grain) bias tape for the B & L towels.  (Is it still called bias tape if you don't cut it on the bias?)  I used my nifty Clover clips (which I fall more in love with every time I use them) to place the tape, and then I stitched through all the layers in one shot.  This worked pretty well actually.  I was careful to have the tape folded evenly over the towel edges.  The clover clips help immensely with making sure things stay put, and getting good mitered corners. 
  2. I made a double-fold quilt-style binding for the Dinner towel.  It's wretched.  I mean really really terrible.  However, part of this may be the result of rushing through it, because I was so worried about making the deadline WHICH ISN'T UNTIL TOMORROW!  ugh.  :)  Still - I wouldn't recommend that method for this particular project. 
  • I used an altered zig-zag stitch to do the appliqué (as recommended in the book).  I'm not going to lie to you: it ain't pretty.  If I did these again, I think I would try a satin stitch or small decorative stitch.  Some of the letters have sharp corners, and it is hard to get the zig-zags to look awesome.  Not impossible, but not easy.  I had to stitch at about a sixteenth of a mile-per-hour to get it right.  Or something like that.

Overall, the B & L towels are acceptable.  The D towel is rubbish because of the binding.  
Would I do them again?  My guess is: probably not the same.  I like the idea of making my own tea towels (or "cup towels" as the Maine-ahs say).  The linen is a nice change from ugly old terry cloth.  I love the look of it with the binding around the edge.  It's fun and a little fancy.  I am seeing more handmade towels in my future, but I think I'll be lazy next time and embroider them.  

Someone is getting these very towels as a gift for a new house, but I'm not naming names: DAD!  :)  Just don't go showing off that D towel.  People will think it was put together by a Kindergardener. 

If you want to find out more about this Sew-Along, click here to head on over to the blog belonging to an awesome gal I met at Sew South Retreat, Lindsey Rhodes.