Growing up, my mother had a set of days-of-the-week hand-embroidered towels that we used for years and years. When she passed, I searched for the towels to no avail. The nostalgia they conjured was palpable, and I desperately wanted to re-create them. With the advent of machine embroidery, I was able to whip up seven tea towels in no time and make multiple sets to give to family members, furthering this tradition of sorts.
- Colorwork Days of the Week Collection; shopsewitall.com
Tea towels are a great medium for embroidery designs. They’re easily displayed as artwork or décor by using an intricate, elaborate design, or meant for daily use by using a simpler line-art design made to withstand multiple washings.
Design choice is the most difficult process when making personalized tea towels because anything goes. Think about the intended use when choosing designs, as a stiff heavy-fill design won’t drape well on a towel hook, nor will it clean anything particularly well. It’s nice to choose an entire collection and embroider different towels using coordinating designs so no two are alike. Leave the towels otherwise plain or add a strip of festive fabric to elevate the tea towel further.
- Retro Christmas Design Collection, shopsewitall.com
Tea towels make wonderful gifts, as they evoke memories of simpler times and last for years as cherished heirlooms. A bit of warning: You can’t make just one. If only my mother had made a second set!
Find the featured embroidery collections here.
Find the Tea Time towel kit, featured below, which includes a set of 3 solid white tea towel blanks, Riley Blake Designs’ Calico Days 10″ square stackers (24pcs.) and the exclusive Creative Machine Embroidery Tea Time Embroidery Design Collection (6 designs) here.