Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm Sick and My Favorite Hostess Gift...

I haven't felt well in several weeks. I think they call it BlogFever. ;-) I can't stop reading the dadburn things. It's SO fun! And so inspiring!!! Today my victim has been Creative Little Daisy. I've just started reading some of her archives -- I'm feeling like she did a year ago when she first started reading blogs -- it's so overwhelming! I'm really enjoying reading her blog and I love her purses.

I thought I might share one of my favorite little projects. When I'm invited to parties that call for a hostess gift, I like to make a monogrammed hostess towel. They make a nice little elegant gift and they're fairly neutral, which is helpful when you don't know the style of your hostess. (And let me apologize for the lack of light in my photos. Since I work all day away from home, I never see the sun at home during the week. Not that that helps much -- it's been so gloomy this winter that there's not much natural light to take advantage of.)

So, here's how I make my little guest towels:
Cut a piece of cotton or linen 19" x 26". Stitch 1/4" in on all sides. (I know these pictures are sort of hard to see -- if you click on them you can see them larger. I also used red thread for easier viewing, but I'm sure you know to use thread to match your fabric. And Holy Cow! Try to ignore all the lint on that presser foot -- that sure shows you how bad my eyesight is!)

On each of the two long sides, press the fabric toward the wrong side along the line of stitching. Fold again and press -- this creates a 1/4" little hem.

Stitch these hems close to the edge.

On one short end, press the edge toward the wrong side along the stitching line, creating a 1/4" fold. Then create a 1 1/2" hem and press. Sew this hem near the edge like you did on the long sides.

Iron the other short end in the same fashion as the first short end -- first turn under 1/4" and then make a 1 1/2" hem and press. Put a wing needle in your sewing machine and select a decorative stitch. Stitch from the right side of this hem, right along the edge. (It will be easier to see this wing needle if you make this picture bigger -- sorry it isn't very clear.)

Clicking on this picture will show the detail of the wing needle stitching at the bottom of the picture.

Just above the wing needle stitching and centered on the towel, add a monogram. I happen to have one of those spiffy embroidery machines, but this step could just as easily be done with hand embroidery and a pretty alphabet.

So...clear as mud? Again, sorry for the dark pictures -- they really don't do justice to these little towels. The first time I gave one of these towels, we were invited to an end-of-season baseball party when our boys were on the HS baseball team. The grandparents of one of the boys hosted the party in their new seventeen thousand square foot house. Complete with acreage, a pool and a guesthouse. I decided to take one of these towels not knowing at all what this woman's house looked like. After we had been there awhile, the Grandpa asked if I'd like a tour. Would I? It was awesome. Sort of a giant Cape Cod style. They had designed the second floor for when their children (6 of them) and grandchildren visited. In typical Cape Cod fashion, the stairs were in the middle of the house and when you got to the top, you could go to the right (the boys wing with a full up master bedroom and large cowboy themed dormitory style bedroom) or to the left ( the girls wing with another master bedroom, laundry room and princess style dormitory bedroom.) The guesthouse was bigger than the first little house we lived in. It had two bedrooms, living room, kitchen and a laundry room. There were many more very cool things about this house but the absolutely best thing was that there were monograms everywhere. I had chosen the perfect hostess gift -- it fit in perfectly. So, there you have it...the start of my giving monogrammed guest towels as hostess gifts.

That's it for today....


autum said...

Thanks for sharing this, it's beautiful.
I've never heard of a wing needle. Neat.

Barefoot_Daydreams said...

I like it! I also have an embroidery machine but I don't know enough about. I didn't realize that was what a wing needle did. I will have to try it!


Dannielle said...

What a wonderful idea! I will definitely be copying! And thank you for showing what the wing needle does. I've always wondered.