Crazy Quilting, Cross Stitch and Embroidery Blog


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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Vintage Style Kitchen Towel Challenge

So how would you all like another challenge? I know some of my readers are working on other projects but this one should be quick and hopefully, fun to do!

Towels are one of my favorite things to stitch! I hang them on the door of my Hoosier cabinet and change them with the holidays and seasons. And I make of them for gifts too!

Ok, here's the criteria:

Make a vintage style towel either from scratch or using a purchased dishtowel. I don't recommend terrycloth. I think cotton is easier to work with but I'll leave that up to you.

You can do embroidery, either by designing your own pattern or you can use an iron-on transfer design such as Aunt Martha's. You're welcome to use vintage patterns too like I do with my vintage Vogart collection!

If you prefer, you can do applique either by hand or machine. If you like crayon tinting, feel free to use that.

You're welcome to embellish it with vintage fabric, reproduction fabric, rick rack, crocheting, tatting or anything else vintage that you can think of.

The only thing I would prefer you not to use is counted cross stitch since counted work was not available in the 30's and 40's.

You're welcome to use any vintage patterns you may have like I did with my vintage style apron.

Here are a few photos of some of the towels I've made to give you an idea of what you can do and what vintage should look like:

Strawberry Towel

The strawberry towel is hand appliqued with blanket stitching and embroidery. The border is tatting.


This design is from one of my vintage Vogart patterns. The border is one of my reproduction 30's prints.


Another of my vintage Vogart embroidery patterns bordered with gingham check and rickrack.


Last but not least, another vintage Vogart embroidery pattern bordered simply with some blue rickrack.

All of these towels are made from scratch using white quilters cotton fabric.

If you remember my Days Of The Week Rooster towels, those were worked on Martha Stewart Days Of The Week cotton towels available at KMart. The days are already on there.

I will have my towel ready to show you tomorrow. Yes, I got the idea last night while I was stitching on a towel. Mine towel is actually vintage!

Anyway, when you complete you project, email me a photo along with a brief description of what you did to accomplish your vintage look such as what items or techniques you used and I will post the photos and your descriptions here at the blog. If you use vintage patterns and want to scan the cover photo, I'll be happy to include that as well.

I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Enjoy everyone!


Laren said...


You must be reading my mind. I was looking at towels at the supermarket last night with a view to making up a set for my sister as a present. Unfortunately, they had "Glass cloth" woven into the nice blue stripes. So I will have to wait until the weekend to go shopping for some plain ones. But count me in on the challenge!!


z_mnor said...

Hi Pam!

this is my 1st time visiting your blog and must say, am excited viewing the pictures especially the vintage embroidery patterns & aprons. Before this, I only knew that you are a XS designer. You are really a multi-talented designer & artist

Literary Lady said...

First time for me here, too. Great pics.

Curious as to why you say counted stitching not available in 30s and 40s seeing it's a technique that goes back to well, a verrrrrrrrrrrry long time ago.

Jenn said...

this is my first time visiting your site and everything is just wonderful. I am going to have to make some tea towels now! and you aprons are all beautiful!

Pam Kellogg said...

Hi Ladies! I'm so happy that you've found my blog!

I don't know if I need to slow down my typing or my thinking! What I meant to say is that cross stitch wasn't as available back in the 30's and 40's as it is now.

Being that I'm a cross stitch designer, I'm actually hoping that some of my cross stitch followers will be open to trying some new things.

Anyway, thanks for the compliments everyone! I could spend all my time blogging and sharing! It's been so much fun!

Gina E. said...

Hi Pam - hope you don't have a deadline for the tea towel Challenge! I bought an appropriate plain linen tea towel today, and have ironed on one of my vintage transfers. Got the floss out ready to go, then we had a visitor, so I couldn't even make a start on it! Hope to do it over the weekend.

ms*robyn said...

so can anyone join? Not sure how it works.
love this blog by the way * I am off to read more

Pam Kellogg said...

Oh yes, anyone can join in on the towel challenge! I have ideas for more challenges too! So glad you found us MS Robyn.

Gina E. said...

Pam! I have nearly finished my teatowel! It was so funny last weekend. Ken's Mum was staying with us, and I was showing her my latest linen acquisitions, and Ken said "Why don't you stitch your own things instead of buying it all on eBay?" So I thought - I'll show you, mate! I got my new tea towel out with the transfer all ready on it, chose the colours and off I went. I was still stitching at 3.30 am on Sunday morning when everyone else was in bed asleep, but I nearly finished it! Just have to make one or two small finishing touches and I will be able to scan it and email it to you.

Michele said...

I sent you a email with hopefully a scanned picture of my towel...this is my first attempt at crayon tinting and embroidery. Michele

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