Gratitude and Joy

Gratitude and Joy

JOY finished (800x460)

Wow.  How is it possible that it’s Thanksgiving Day 2015 in the United States today?!?  How did that happen?  Last time I wrote something here was in July, with a promise to follow up with more Texas adventures.

Those seem to have fallen by the wayside, and now I remember why.  About two years ago, Better Half invented a handy little gadget for me.  One thing led to another and before we even knew what it us, we’d been convinced to mass produce that little gadget.  The development of that is probably several posts long so I won’t go into it here.  I mention it now because shortly after I got home from Texas in July, our first production run completed and we had to pick up 2500 of those adorable little gadgets (the parts for them), take them home, set up shop in the basement, assemble and ship over 1200 of them for which we’d taken pre-orders.  And much of our time since then has been taken up with that little enterprise.  (If you’re curious about it, you can see it here.)

That’s where some of this morning’s gratitude comes from:  the enthusiastic acceptance of a product we created.  From “scratch”.  Without any prior design, engineering or manufacturing experience to fall back on.

And some of the gratitude comes from not having to prepare the enormous feast I usually love hosting on Thanksgiving Day.  This year we’re going to some friends and they’re doing most of the work.  All I had to make was my Sweet Potato Souffle and a pie.  I’m a happy camper this morning!

Which brings me to JOY.  I wanted to take a little hostess gift to our friends but wanted it to be sort of special.  So I decided to sketch out a design and use it to applique a tea towel.  Better Half was impressed.  He said, “You should share that – other people can make it for their friends this season!”  So here’s a little tutorial for you, with a wish for Joy and Happiness (capitalized on purpose) for you and yours this holiday season, along with time to make cute little hostess gifts like this.

JOY Fused-Applique Tea Towel Tutorial

Supplies needed:

  1. Blank tea or kitchen towel
  2. Fabric Scraps:
    • Bright Red(letters, bow): 6” x 9”
    • Tan Print (wreath): 4” x 4”
    • Dark Green (leaves): 3” x 3”
    • Dark Red (berries): 2” x 2”
  3. Fusible web (I used Print ‘n Fuse to avoid tracing the designs)


Begin by pressing the tea towel and fabrics to ensure all wrinkles have been removed. If using fusible, race or print the reversed templates (page 3) onto the fusible web you’ve chosen. Following the manufacturer’s directions, press the fusible to the WRONG side of your fabrics. Cut each applique piece along the lines and set aside the bow, leaves and berries.

Position the “J”, wreath and “Y” near the bottom of the towel. When you’re pleased with the layout, press/fuse the pieces to the towel, then sew along each raw edge using your favorite stitch (I used a satin stitch, but an applique or button-hole stitch would be pretty as well).

Joy first sew watermarked

Next, position the bow along the bottom of the wreath. Position the holly leaves at the top. When you’re happy with the positioning of all, press/fuse and sew.

Wreath with leaves watermarked

(Oops – I took the picture before I applied the bow!)

Finally, position the three berries on top of the holly leaves, press/fuse and stitch.

Joy Staged 2 watermarked

Voila! You have completed a pretty little tea towel that will make a lovely hostess gift for someone special this season!

Want to see the back? I used a very narrow, short stitch zig-zag stitch to create a “satin” stitch. It’s not perfect but it’s not bad:

Back of towel (800x448)

If you’d like to make one (or some) of these yourself, here’s a printable tutorial that includes reversed and unreversed templates for all the motifs:  JOY Tea Towel Tutorial

Wishing you and yours JOY throughout this season!

4 responses »

  1. Your binding winder is so cool – what a smart invention! (And I see you even have a bargain for shipping to ‘us Canajens’ – awesome!) I’m sending your links to my quilter friends now. 🙂

    • Oh my goodness Diane – thank you so much! Now if you can help Hellhound become a quilter instead of “just” a crocheter …. Heh heh heh! (Hey – a girl can dream, right? And Hellhound is my idea of the perfect man.)

      • LOL! I’m not sure a sewing machine would fit as neatly into his backpack as a crochet hook does, but I’m delighted to find another member of Team Hellhound. I love writing him! (He’s kinda my favourite, but don’t tell the others.) 🙂

  2. Ha! I thought about that after I posted my comment. Crocheting is far more portable in many ways. However, I think I’m just the right person to get him hooked on Hexies – easy, portable, and invaluable in creating intricate mosaic-like designs. Oh. Wait. Okay … I’ll just fantasize about doing exactly that while he’s growling sweet grumblings in my ear (“darlin’). (And of course your secret is safe with me.)

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