Thursday, September 18, 2008

dish towels & cloths


I happened upon this little project quite by accident. I found some waffle weave muslin at JoAnn's in the remnant bin and I chucked it into my cart thinking I could use it for something.
I'm so glad that I did! It works perfectly for dish towels and dish cloths.

For a dish cloth:

cut one piece of waffle weave muslin 10" square

cut a piece of fabric (plain old cotton) 2.5" x width of fabric (42")

fold in half lengthwise and iron
this will be used for binding

using a walking foot, attach the binding to the square as you would quilt binding

it should look something like this

hand stitch the binding to the back and you are done!

for the dishtowel, use the same technique but cut a rectangle 17" x 21" from the waffle weave muslin and cut 2 strips of binding fabric instead of one

a few things about this project:

I am not a pre-washer, normally. I did pre-wash the muslin, but I let it air dry. After I used the towel, I washed it and then dried it in the dryer. It shrunk quite a bit. The yellow one was washed and dried. The red one is the original size.

I was surprised that it shrunk so much. So, my word of advice is to wash AND dry the fabric in the dryer before cutting the muslin. I did not pre-wash my binding strips.

And one more thing...if you have an aversion to binding, (I do not) this project is not for you.

I can see doing a whole stack of these for a stand-by gift, because everyone needs dish towels. And if you need dish towels, why not make them pretty, right? And how cute would it be to make some of these for each season?

I am planning to make many, many more of these. Lucky for me, I like binding. :)

65 comments:

Amy Hodge said...

These are great! And I really enjoy hand-stitching binding for some reason too. You go girl! I'll have to make these for some folks, since I still have tons and tons of dishtowels from wedding gifts 11 years ago....gotta find me some of that discount waffle weave! I don't have much luck at my Joann's remnant bin, but there IS always the coupon....Thanks!

audreypawdrey said...

These are adorable! I am starting to think of the holidays, and these would be so cute as part of a handmade kitchen set with matching potholders and placemats. Thanks for the tutorial!

melissa s. said...

i like binding, too. thanks for the tute!

SuzyQSparkles said...

This is *yet another* very cute idea!

I'm not fond of hand binding, but I could always machine stitch it down when you turn it to the back. :D

Anina said...

What fun! You can always machine stitch the binding if you don't like hand sewing. I've done that on one or two occasions.

Gretchen said...

Super idea! One of my favorite parts of quilting is the binding - it means I'm nearly done!

Will have to have a few of these on hand this Christmas!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Good to know since I hardly ever prewash. I've got some waffle weave too. That is a good idea. Thanks, you are a gem Amanda.

Danetta said...

I am loving this one. I have a great plan in mind to use this tutorial. You are the best!

Amy said...

I've always enjoyed binding also. I have some waffle weave muslin that I found recently but I don't want to use it up - there's something about it I love so much - I just want to keep it in my stash forever. Ridiculous, I know.

upstateLisa said...

cool! Not sure I have ever seen waffle weave muslin! They are almost too pretty to use as dish towels!

sarahmurray said...

You're so full of great ideas! Thanks for sharing so many of them with us. Your tutorials are much appreciated. x

TAYLOR MADE designs said...

Great tutorial!

I have a couple of dish clothes made from that material and they sure do shrink when washed!

Thimbleanna said...

Very, very cute! And great idea to do them for each season!!!

Jessica said...

This is a great idea! I'll have to find some of that waffle fabric at jo-anns this weekend.

Cindy said...

Can I just say that you are one Crazy Quiltin' Mama? I just found your blog about 2 weeks ago and I'm going nuts because I want to try all of these projects and I just can't get enough time. I have learned so much. Keep these crazy tutorials comin'.

Philigry said...

beautiful! this will be a good project for me to pratice my binding!

sarah, rsm said...

these are great and i love the idea of using them for holiday gifts.

What is a "walking foot" and what does it do?


i know i asked this before but i don't remember when/where so i'm not sure if you've already answered. if so, i apologize for the repeat! :-D

elliebelle said...

Great towels! I'm tagging you for a little six random things about me meme thingy. If you'd like to join in, you can check out my blog to see the rules. But no pressure! :)
Ellie

amandajean said...

sarah, rsm,

you did ask before, but I don't think that I have responded yet.

A walking foot is an attachment for your sewing machine that enables smoother sewing when using several layers or fabric. It provides an extra bit of hold from the top that works with the feed dogs below the fabric, pushing the fabric during the sewing process. It "walks" the fabric. It also works well with slippery fabrics that may need control not available with the feed dogs only.

(i copied that little blurb from an about sewing website. I couldn't describe it nearly as well.)

let me know if you need any more info.

aj

The WoodLand School said...

What a cute project! And just perfect for an upcoming road trip :) Thanks for sharing!

Lynn said...

This is a great tutorial! If we can't find waffle weave muslin - do you have any suggestions? Thanks so much for doing this.

Julie said...

amanda
these are great!! i was just at my joann's tonight but I just might have to go back tomorrow and get some with my coupon...
I just love all the tutorials you are doing, I might even be done with Christmas gifts before halloween thanks to you.

MichelleB said...

These are adorable! I love the polka dot binding.

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

Cute! I love this! And y'know, I never knew there was such a thing as waffle weave muslin so you learn something new every day! lol! These would make great gifts...an apron, some dish towels and a pot holder set....

Jessica said...

Hey Amanda! I am absolutely LOVING your tutorials! I'm planning on making a set of your bins for my kids' teachers for Christmas.

I love the dishtowels, but binding is not my friend. I think its because I've never actually been taught a "proper" stitch. I always just wing it. Your tutorials make so much sense to me, I feel as if you are right here talking to me ~ do you think you'd ever care to do a quick, basic binding "how to"?

Sarah said...

Those are too cute! I don't mind binding...I may have to give one a try. :)

Roxanne said...

I love the look of binding, it's just that whole "hand stitch the back" part that gets me! I think I need a long trip in the car to work on this project! These are adorable though, of course!!

nicolette said...

Towels for every season. Great idea! They look great.

I’ve just put an old waffle fabric bathing wrap on a stash of who-knows-what-I-will-ever-make-of-these, so...

Now all I need is a same sized stash of time!

Tine said...

These are beautiful! I would love to sew something like this for Christmaspresents!

Kathie said...

great idea!
thanks, I will have to go to Joann's ! Ijust hope they have this fabric at this Joann's!
thanks...
I will be making some of these as gifts this year!
Kathie

Liz said...

I'm going to hunt for that waffle fabric too. Those will be perfect to make for my mother-in-law and my mom. Thanks for the hint on prewashing. I never would have expected it to shrink that much!

Chris' Greetings from the Shady Grove said...

What a wonderful idea. I'm always looking for great Chrismas gift ideas.

Louise said...

They look fantastic - thanks for another good idea! You could do a bigger one as a wrap for a baby too.

Victoria said...

Great idea! They look great!

El Almacén de Telas said...

Your blog is amazing! So many wonderful tutorials!! Thanks for sharing all your creativity and experience!
I've added your link in my blog, hope you don`t mind. If you don't like the idea please let me know.
Hugs!

Patricia from argentina

Debi said...

Great idea I will have to look for some of the waffle weave muslin and make some of these. Thanks!

sarah, rsm said...

Thank so much for the walking foot info. I will have to look into one!

Sarah said...

Once again I am amazed at your tutorials! You are the reason I finally bought a sewing machine and started my first quilt!

2 quick questions. I've never made it to the binding on a quilt. Why do you have to hand stitch the back? Also, if I don't have a walking foot, will the standard foot work? I assume with the texture of waffle weave walking is better, but that's another $35 I can't spare at the moment. Thanks for the inspiration! These will make great X-mas gifts.

DiddleDaddleDesigns said...

This is a great idea. I like hand binding too. I find it very relaxing. Thanks for sharing.
Teresa

mtelizabeth said...

Oh, those are cute! And now I have something to do with the rest of my waffle-weave!!
Last year, I found it and got the idea to make burp rags for the coming baby. I didn't wash it beforehand and they shrunk considerably when I did wash them. I did the binding by wrapping the edges and sewing both front and back on at once with a zig-zag stitch. That worked alright, but it was a pain to pin it all on. That waffle weave is tricky stuff! So next time I have the time, I'm going to make wash cloths like you and do the binding quilting-style.

Cami said...

These are great, I'm going to have to try some of these. Thanks for the idea and tutorial. I was also wondering if you could do a tutorial on how to square up your quilt after you have quilted it? You know when you have extra batting and backing material hanging off the edges. I really struggle with this part of quilting. I don't know why, maybe I'm doing it out of order. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

TaraB said...

Can I send you my quilts that need bound??? These are really cute!

Lizzie said...

Love this great idea. Good job!

amandajean said...

sarah,

about the binding...traditional double fold binding (found on most quilts) is first machine stitched on the quilt and then the binding is wrapped around the back and whip stitched by hand into place on the back of the quilt. this hides all the raw edges.

I think that this project could be done without a walking foot...give it a shot.

lera said...

Those are seriously cute, girl. I have never seen waffle weave at the fabric store. Not that I ever looked, but I still never happened upon it accidentally.

Oiyi said...

So lovely! I think I am afraid of binding.

Beth said...

Thanks for the idea! I too, like binding...I can do the hand stitching in front of the TV with hubby.

Linda said...

I have never seen waffle muslin - that is too cool!
Your dishtowels came out great!
Linda

Andrea said...

You always have so many fun projects! One of them inspired a gift I got in the mail from Carol at giraffedreams.blogspot.com, so I am particularly grateful for your creativity inspiring other. Thanks for sharing!

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Love your blog.I am so wanting to use up my stash...and finish projects.

belly said...

yes. i agree with you, if we need dish towel, why not make them pretty.
thanks for a wonderful idea.

Rebekah said...

this is such a great tutorial! I love my waffle weave dish towels and I never really gave a second thought making my own...thanks for the push

jacquie said...

i hope i can find some of the waffle weave muslin...my mom would love these. thanks...another inspired idea.

Julie said...

amanda
got the waffle weave fabric but it seems rougher and not so soft as the red waffle weave i bought a few years ago.
you said you washed yours... is yours soft or rough..
julie

Lizzie said...

Over the weekend I made two of these waffle weave towels. After reading your blog I first washed and dried it in the dryer and then when cutting I used the waffle's as a guide so they would be straight. The first one I did the binding by hand and the 2nd one I just did a zig zag. Great idea! Now I am wondering what else we could use this fabric for. I as thinking it would make a great scarf. thanks for your idea!

Lizzie

Lizzie said...

oops, to see the 2nd one check out my blog.

Lizzie

amandajean said...

julie,

the muslin that I bought wasn't rough or soft...kind of in the middle. it may soften up with several washings.

jlevy3 said...

Awesome! I was just at Joann's and remembered your tutorial...I looked in the remnant bin and sure enough, there was some waffle weave muslin, 1/2 yard for $1.43! I love doing binding so this is perfect, thank you sooo much!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is such a fantastic idea! I could totally use a bunch of these. I'll be linking to this!

Clair said...

I like the dishclothes. I think I will have to look for some of that fabric next time I am at Joann's.

Debi said...

I loved the idea so much, I knew I had to make some of these. I also posted on my blog about your tutorial with a link to this page. Thank you.

sulu-design said...

These are just adorable. A couple years ago, a blog friend made me some lovely dish towels using the same type of towel, adding a cute little patchwork strip detail to one end. I use it all the time. The little splash of color makes it my favorite kitchen towel. I can totally see myself making these.

Toiling Ant said...

This post inspired me to make similar washcloths and dishtowels for my mom for Christmas- she was delighted!

Linda said...

Love this simple idea! Now to find that weave muslin! Thanks.

bpwin said...

If you like to "upcycle" you could make these with old cotton sweaters from the thrift store (or your closet). I serge around the knit and then crochet a pretty edging. You could probably bind them if you used a lightweight stretchy fabric.