Easy Machine Appliqué Tea Towels

The finished camper tea towels

Easy Machine Appliqué Tea Towels

Bring a little summer outside activity to your kitchen with this Campin’ tea towel pattern by Patch Abilities. I had the pleasure of meeting the creative mind behind the Patch Abilities patterns and knew I wanted to try one of her patterns! This Campin’ pattern speaks summer — trips to enjoy nature and trees. Looking for a quick project to brighten your home? These easy machine appliqué tea towels are perfect to spark a little creativity!

I picked up a pack of Patrick Lose fat quarters — love the bright colors! Thought they’d be perfect for some bright and cheerful new kitchen towels for summer. I found nice big Flour Sack Kitchen Towels at World Market. I was looking for some linen towels with a nice stripe, but these were perfect. You can use any kitchen towels you find at home stores. The Flour Sack Kitchen Towels were so huge, I actually cut one in half for this project, and hemmed the sides that I cut.

Hemming the tea towelsTo hem the sides, I folded the fabric over twice, about 3/8″, pressed carefully and then topstitched. This was similar to the other sides of the towels, and made them a perfect size for this project.

The traced pieces for the appliquéFirst thing to do is pull out the pattern and get a piece of freezer paper about the size of the paper with the pattern pieces. Carefully trace each of the pieces onto the dull side of the paper, then cut them out. Now you have patterns for your fabrics.All of the pieces cut out on freezer paper

Take a look at the final layout and the # of the pieces and where they fall. Dig through your fabrics and decide which fabrics you want for which pieces. This is the fun part – a time to make it your own!

Pressing the freezer paper on the fabricOnce you have figured out which fabrics you want for each part of the camper and tree, go to your ironing board. Heat your iron to a medium setting. Place your fabric right side up on the ironing board and gently press the shiny side of the freezer paper to the fabric. It will lightly stick to the fabric, making it easy to cut out.

Securing the pieces to the towelWhen all of the pattern pieces are ironed onto the fabric, cut out your pattern. At this time, the pattern calls for spraying the wrong side of the fabric with fabric adhesive. I was out, so I just carefully peeled the background off the freezer paper and pinned my pieces onto my towels. Since I had two towels, I played around a little and decided to make two! I ended up reversing the 2nd camper, so they were mirror images, and flipped the colors from pink to orange for the stripes on the camper.

The camper all pinned downOnce your pieces are secure on your towel, whether you use fabric adhesive or pins, its time to go to the sewing machine. You can’t mess this up! In fact, messy sewing sometimes looks better on projects like this!

I like to use black thread and let the lines show! So I stitched around each piece 3 times, to give it a sketch look. I sewed about 1/4″ in from the raw edges.

What makes this great is that you want the raw edges! Now to make them nice and fluffy. Take a pair of scissors with sharp tips and clip every 1/4′ or so around each of the pieces. 

Toss your new kitchen tea towels in with your next load of laundry (or run a quick and special one to see how these turned out!). The edges will fluff up and get better every time your wash them!The finished camper tea towels

Enjoy your new Campin’ easy machine appliqué tea towels!

Browse through our other sewing projects on Create Whimsy.


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