Our Welcoming Home!
by Jolene Hanig-Jones
I have a retired teacher friend who told me her neighbors all tease her about her seasonal/monthly decorating. She always decorates her front walk with a seasonal garden flag and other appropriate yard decor items. Inside, she changes her tea towels and knickknacks and sometimes even the duvet bedding. The screened-in porch gets a little makeover, too. The neighbors think it is something left over from her teaching days. Teachers are always changing out bulletin boards and classroom decor. Now, my friend, has just transferred decorating her classroom to her home and yard. I never looked at it like that before. Admittedly, teachers are very calendar oriented, but I just thought everyone decorated around Flag Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and on and on. Regardless, when I heard my friend changes out her tea towels, it gave me the green light to "make" new spring tea towels.
These towels were quite simple to do.
Basic Materials Needed:
I was lucky enough to stumble upon Dunroven House towels in a quilt shop while on vacation. I really like the quality of these towels. CoCo Kitchen and Home is a source for Dunroven House towels that I found online. Some sites will carry a few choices of these towels, but this sight carries many choices and colors. I love having lots of choices and the lime green border is a favorite of mine!
I chose Avery Iron-on Transfer Paper for Light Fabrics. This can be found at most office supply stores. (After the young store clerk helped me select the right product, he confided in me that his grandmother usually buys her iron-on transfer paper at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts. JoAnn's has a plethora of choices for iron-on paper and they have coupons!)
There are wonderful artists and bloggers offering clipart for free. Some ask that you subscribe to their site and or acknowledge them in any credits. Please be respectful and read the terms for personal and commercial use. Etsy also has some wonderful artist selling clip art for very reasonable prices. The clip art I used for the spring tea towels is from Keren at Free Pretty Things for You: www.freeprettythingsforyou.com.
The mason jar clip art came from Free Pretty Things for You.
Keren, site author and artist,offers initial monograms free for subscribing to her site.
Keren has so many things to offer at www.freeprettythingsforyou.com.
There are some important "details" to remember when using iron-on transfer.
Step 1: Prewash towels. Do NOT use fabric softener in the washer or dryer.
Step 2: Select clipart. Follow the directions on the iron-on package for printing on the iron-on transfer paper for your printer. The main thing to remember is to make sure you flip the image of the initial monogram to mirror image in your printer settings, prior to printing. This will insure that your monogram will be transferred correctly to your tea towels. Any image that is not symmetrical will need to be "flipped" prior to printing.
Step 3: Trim the iron-on paper according to the directions on the packaging.
Step 4: Center and iron-on the transfer according to heat and pressure directions and cooling times. The directions I used, recommended ironing the towel for a minute and then putting the iron-on transfer face down on the towel..
Step 5: Most iron-ons will recommend letting the transfer cool. Then, peel the iron-on paper away and admire your handiwork!
Follow the iron-on transfer package directions for heat settings, timing, pressure and cooling. The directions on my package specifically said NOT to use your ironing board as the flat surface. They recommended using a board covered with a pillowcase. I had this piece of laminate shelving left over from another project. This has served me very well for these iron-on transfer projects.
I used the same basic process to make some recipe towels for my mom and my sister for Christmas. These would be great gifts for Mothers' Day, birthdays, Christmas, or a hostess gift. I chose my mom's banana bread recipe towel for my sister. This recipe has become part of our Christmas morning tradition at my mom's house. Now, Mom has taken to making banana bread any time any one of us is home. I also made one for my Grandma Marshall's sugar cookies and angel food cake. Grandma Marshall was always in the kitchen and she was a fantastic baker. I have fond memories of pushing a gray chair up to the counter and chatting with her while she rolled pie dough or whipped together an angel food cake.
You'll notice that there is a slight coating observable left over from the transfer paper. The iron-on transfer directions said this will lessen with washings. It is recommended that you don't iron directly on the iron-on image after washing. Use a damp cotton cloth if you want to iron over the image on the towels.
I think these would be really sweet to do for grandmas and moms for Mother's Day using original artwork by grandchildren and children. I hope to experiment with this and do another post on gifts for Moms.
Some of My Favorite Sites