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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ruffling Up A Little Bit of Sunshine

By my calculations, this is finished and blogged project number 17!!!
Some were big, some small, but they all took me time and effort :0)
I am so happy to finally be getting things marked off the to-do list.

These towels I have been dying to work on for months now.
In fact, I am not quite sure WHERE in the new house to put them, but I finished them anyway ;0}

Basically, I purchased a set of two hand towels from Target for about $3 a set.  A couple days later I went back for the washcloths, set of 8 for the same price.

I cut some yellow knit into 2" strips, then ruffled the whole pile of strips with my ruffler foot.

For the hand towels, I made the top one first, but decided I didn't like the ruffles meeting end to end.  I thought it looked too spaced out.  The bottom towel has the three rows of ruffles overlapping, each line sewn about 1" apart vs. the top towel with the rows sewn about 2" apart.

I think I would like the rows 2" if I had cut the knit only 1-1/2" wide.  I will have to try that on my next batch of towels.  I also have grey and white waiting for embellishment.

Once I had my two hand towels ruffled up, I experimented a bit with the washcloths.  This one was a flower type design using the pre-ruffled 2" strand of knit.  Cute, but not what I was looking for.

I really like how the rolled flowers turned out though.  Here is a washcloth with just one flower...

And here is one with three rolled flowers.

The last design I tried was a rolled flower with leaves.  I will show you how I made that one.  If you want to try it but don't like the leaves, just skip that step.  Like the ruffled towels above, all the knit was cut into 2" strips.

I took a 2" strip, folded it in half the long way, then made a origami-style leaf for each side of the flower.  While holding a leaf in place, I sewed the leaves to the washcloth with my sewing machine right across the bottom of the leaf.  I was trying to sew it on low enough that you would not be able to see the stitching once the flower was attached.  I also ran a quick machine stitch down the center of each leaf to give it that veined look.

OK, rolled flowers HERE WE COME :0}

Take your 2" strip of knit, fold it in half lengthwise and tie a knot in the end.
You will use the same basic technique for the rolled flower as you do with the hair flower type, we are just securing the fabric with the sewing machine instead of hot glue.  Also, these are more folded than rolled.

I recommend moving your needle all the way to the right, place your knotted end to the right of the presser foot {with the rest of your fabric strip under the foot and out the left side of your sewing machine.  Set your needle down, backstitch, then sew right over the strip, stopping with your needle down once you reach the end of the strip.

Please forgive me if the pictures are confusing or the instructions hard to read.  It is rather tricky to photograph or explain this process.

I am hoping you can see in the picture above that, with my needle down, I have lifted my presser foot, folded over the strip of knit, then put my presser foot back down to sew again.  I sew about an inch along the outer edge of the knit strip, then put the needle down into the fabric again, lift the foot again, and do the same thing over, and over, and over, and over, and over, etc.

Here are my pictures of that process...




I continued sewing, turning, sewing, until the flower is the size I want it.  When it was looking big enough, I snipped off the extra of the knit strand, folded the end under, and sewed the final one inch of stitching to secure the end of the flower. 

There you have it!  Rolled flowers on washcloths.  Now if you are a little nervous to try this on your own fine bath accessories, go ahead and try it on a piece of paper first!  Yep, and actually, you could sew the whole flower onto regular printer paper, tear away the paper, and just sew the flower to your linens by stitching all around the outside with your sewing machine.  I can see you getting the flower centered a lot easier that way.

Here are a couple files I made up just in case you want to try the paper method and want a guideline...
Basically I made a flower layout, traced the line you would sew on, and came up with the dark line above.  Below I made the flower in a couple different sizes and labeled them accordingly.


Here are sheets with all the same size flower on them...



Let me know if you need original files on those.

Here is a second look at my single and triple flower washcloths.

Such a fun project...and can I add low stress.  Especially with the cloth all yellow!  I LoVE me some yellow. It was like spending the afternoon ruffling up a little bit of sunshine ;0}





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