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Topic: Tea towels for embroidery  (Read 2167 times)
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mamarose22
« on: August 12, 2008 09:28:42 AM »

What do you use for embroidering tea towels?  I saw some flour sack towels in Walmart the other day.  Are they suitable for embroidery?
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bookwormbethie
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2008 10:15:45 AM »

yuppers they are, kmart and target sell the same kind of flour cloth tea towels, usually around 28x28.  you can also buy aunt martha brand at hobby lobby's or hancock fabric stores or online at www.colonialpattern s.com

you can even make your own tea towels out of any fabric that would be suitable for stitching on, cotton, linen, etc... and can handle going through your washer and dryer
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2008 01:18:06 PM »

I usually buy my tea towels from herrschners.com . . . pretty good prices, especially when bundled with some aunt martha transfers. 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008 01:30:30 PM by sonjabegonia - Reason: misspelled herrschners » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2008 08:51:35 PM »

Be careful when you buy certain tea towels. Some of them are pretty cheaply made and your stitching will look "loose" or pucker. Check out the weave and make sure it is tight. I bought some from Target and they were horrible.
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mamarose22
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2008 06:34:26 AM »

Thank you all for your advice.
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bookwormbethie
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2008 08:52:59 AM »

Be careful when you buy certain tea towels. Some of them are pretty cheaply made and your stitching will look "loose" or pucker. Check out the weave and make sure it is tight. I bought some from Target and they were horrible.

yeah, i saw some cute ones at target in the $1 bin,and the colors were so cute, solid pink and purple, but the weave looked pretty loose.  are those the ones you are talking about?
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008 07:25:12 PM »

I didn't see those, they do sound cute! I got plain white ones that came in a pack.
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shroomgirl
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2008 06:48:29 PM »

I just got some organic flour sack tea towels from target and they weren't too bad, but boy do they get wrinkly. 
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2008 05:25:56 PM »

Are you all going to particiate in the tea towels swap?
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Lilyvanilli
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2008 09:16:16 PM »

Are you all going to particiate in the tea towels swap?

Yes! You should! The link is in my signature!
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bookwormbethie
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2008 06:03:29 AM »

I figured instead of adding a new topic, I'd just add a reply here.  Has anyone attempted to make their own tea towels?  I use Aunt Martha ones, sized 28x28, but I do wish they were a bit smaller.  The ones on sublime stitching are fab, sized at 16x28, (I have 1) but at 2 for $10, it's a bit out of my budget.  If anyone has made their own tea towels, is there any special fabric you sought out or did you just buy regular cotton fabric???   
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2008 07:25:34 AM »

I thought about doing that. Maybe a muslin or something in that fabric family.
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mamarose22
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2008 07:31:08 AM »

I was thinking the same thing.  I'm not sure muslin is suitable.  I don't think Joannes has that old fashioned striped edge toweling.  If they did, I would just cut it and have only a top and bottom hem to make.  Maybe they have some linen or linen type fabric that might be suitable; I'll have to check it out.  It's the only fabric store in my neck of the woods.  No Hancock Fabrics out east, and Walmart has significantly reduced their fabric department. 
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Lilyvanilli
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2008 08:47:07 AM »

I haven't ever made my own, but if I did I'd go for 100% cotton. I think that's what the ones I buy are. Right now I pay $2.50 per towel, which isn't bad, but I know the craft store I buy from marks their stuff up considerably so I'm working on finding out who the manufacturer is so I can just start buying wholesale. They sell their canvas bags for $4.99 and once I got one with the manufacturer tag on it and discovered they only pay 99 cents per bag! So I'm sure the tea towels are like 50 cents or something crazy.
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bookwormbethie
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2008 02:11:25 PM »

i bought some 100% cotton fabric at hobbly lobby for a different project.... just to have around to stitch stuff on and frame as gifts for xmas... anyway, the fabric is nice,suitable for projects to frame, it's been laundered and ironed but it's not like "soft" like how you'd want a tea towel to be.  i guess there are big textural differences in 100% cotton?Huh  i wrote down that is was 'kona cotton' and 'bleached white.'  anyone have some tips on that for me?Huh?

regarding muslin or linen, didn't someone recently say they had color bleeding issues with that fabric?  like they stitched on it and the DMC floss bled and stained the fabric when they washed it?HuhHuh

mamarose22, you aren't missing out by not having a hancock.  they are a bit "fancier" than joann's.  or at leat the one in my neck of the woods is.  my hancock carries tons of clover brand quilitng/sewing/embroidery supplies whereas joann's i think prefers to carry dritz or some other brand.  and my hancock sells imposter DMC thread, but joann carries the real thing! 

and regarding the "old fashioned striped edge toweling," aunt martha (www.colonialpattern s.com) has a version of this tea towel now.  they are a great size, like 18x26 or something.  i saw them at hobby lobby and the texture felt okay but the weave seemed loose, not too loose, but not what i was expecting.   

lilyvanilli, well my hobby lobby sells packs of 2 aunt martha tea towels (sized 28x28) for $5.49, but i usually wait to buy them until they mail me a 40% off coupon.   the mark up isn't too much cuz i think wwww.colonialpatter ns.com sells the plain tea towels for $1.95 each. 
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2008 02:15:05 PM »

I go to a Hancock fabrics for a lot of my supplies, and the one in my neighborhood is kind of crazy.  They have a store mix of newer fabrics/yarns/DMC floss, combined with stuff leftover from the 70s, and then throw some home decorating materials in for good measure.  They also seem to have ~1/3 of their store on sale at all times.  I've learned to go there regularly and just buy stuff on sale -- no matter what I thought I wished to buy before going to the store.

 
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mamarose22
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2008 02:43:00 PM »

I remember many years ago (before some of you were born) I used to buy the striped edge towels and sometimes I got them with a stamped pattern or else I would buy transfers and iron them on myself.  I still have some iron-ons, but I'm not sure how well they'll transfer after all these years.  My sister still has one of my towels that she salvaged from my mother's stuff.
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bookwormbethie
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2008 04:24:06 PM »

I go to a Hancock fabrics for a lot of my supplies, and the one in my neighborhood is kind of crazy.  They have a store mix of newer fabrics/yarns/DMC floss, combined with stuff leftover from the 70s, and then throw some home decorating materials in for good measure.  They also seem to have ~1/3 of their store on sale at all times.  I've learned to go there regularly and just buy stuff on sale -- no matter what I thought I wished to buy before going to the store.

 

yeah between my hobby lobby, joann crafts, and hancock fabric, there is always a sale going on.  my hancock is a litlte bit farther out than the other 2 stores, but i've bought my clover chacopy there and i want to go there soon to browse clover's line of washable transfer pens
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IamSusie
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2008 04:00:11 PM »

I've found a huge HUGE range in the quality of various "flour sack" towels. 

I recently bought a pack at WalMart and realized right away that they were really too thin to be suitable for embroidery.  I've done had some KMart Martha Stewart ones in the past and thought they were pretty good, but not totally perfect. 

Sometimes I find that the towels are just way too large or are not quite square so I trim off the edges and roll over a new hem or bind them with a contrasting cotton fabric.  The ones I've done with the fabric binding are very cute. LINK

Right this minute I'm washing up some towels I found at Cost Plus World Market.  They seem to be just right: not too big, just thick enough to last, and densely woven.  The package was $10 for a set of 4.  I hope to stitch on one as soon as our Tea Towel Tour 4 is over later this fall.

My opinion is that regular quilters cotton is not really thick enough to make a suitable dish towel or tea towel, but you can try another fabric.  You'll probably have to buy little swatches and wash them up to see how you like them.  Years ago I made a large set of napkins from some sale home dec cotton checked fabric I found at JoAnns.  They are pretty much the perfect fabric for dishtowels, but that fabric has not been available there for a long time.

I have recently noticed that it is linen/cotton blends that really have that vintage soft, thick feel of grandma's linens. 

Finally, I've been stitching with DMC floss for years and years and it has never ever bled.  It's usually cheaper off brands that bleed.  DMC is a superior brand and you shouldn't be concerned about it.  I have also found that JP Coats is another good brand of embroidery floss.

 Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2008 04:18:45 PM »

My DMC on linen bleed like nobody's business. I only use DMC too so I was really surprised.
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IamSusie
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2008 04:49:08 PM »

My DMC on linen bleed like nobody's business. I only use DMC too so I was really surprised.
I'm glad to know this because I was just thinking of getting some lined and stitching on it to see how it is as fancy-pants hand towels.  Huh  What do you think is best to use with linen fabric?  Do they sell linen embroidery floss?
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2008 06:55:25 PM »

I'm not sure. I think I am going to try it again and see if it was the material or maybe just a bad batch.
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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2008 08:55:11 PM »

I remember many years ago (before some of you were born) I used to buy the striped edge towels and sometimes I got them with a stamped pattern or else I would buy transfers and iron them on myself.  I still have some iron-ons, but I'm not sure how well they'll transfer after all these years.  My sister still has one of my towels that she salvaged from my mother's stuff.

I love those stripe edge towels. They reproduce them now. I bought some of the yardage online.

Also the dollar store has towels sometimes very suitable for embroidery. Once washed and machine dried the weave tightens up and they work really well.

I embroidered this on a dollar store towel.
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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2008 08:14:47 AM »

Be careful when you buy certain tea towels. Some of them are pretty cheaply made and your stitching will look "loose" or pucker. Check out the weave and make sure it is tight. I bought some from Target and they were horrible.

uh-oh. are these the 30x30 6-pack?
i was going to use these for a swap i'm in, but now i'm not so sure...
and they were crazy wrinkly after i washed them!

*xo...
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« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2008 08:22:36 AM »

I can't remember. I think they were in a 3 pack. It was a few years ago. I remember they were called "flour sack" towels.
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« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2008 09:01:20 AM »

I bought a pack at Target but I havent used them yet..

are you folks using stabilizer..
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« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2008 09:06:39 AM »


I'm glad to know this because I was just thinking of getting some lined and stitching on it to see how it is as fancy-pants hand towels.  Huh  What do you think is best to use with linen fabric?  Do they sell linen embroidery floss?

Yes, DMC has a linen floss line. There are 24 rather muted colors (from what I've seen). I'd never heard of the cotton floss running with linen, I'm so surprised.
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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2008 09:10:24 AM »

I bought a pack at Target but I havent used them yet..

are you folks using stabilizer..


I didn't at first but with those I probably would now. I think it would work out fine if you used some sort of stablizer behind it.
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IamSusie
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2008 12:07:55 PM »

I never use stabilizer.  I just rely on my hoop.  I usually prewash my fabric before stitching it.
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