Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eight Shaft Twill Tea Towels

I put on this six tea towel warp to do some relaxing weaving and to have an easy project to work on while we were working on our house. House is complete and so are these tea towels, but I’ve got to say they were soooooooo boring to weave, it was a straight eight shaft twill and it got old pretty fast. I actually found it difficult to go to the loom, I just wasn’t into them at all! I've go to tell you that none of my photos came out with the right colour - they are much more yellow than they appear in my photos - mea culpa!I wove three of the towels with the same lemon yellow weft that was in the warp. I had alternated two yellows and this weft was one of them. These are really fresh looking and I like them well enough. I knew I had enough weft for these three towels and enough of the butter yellow for three more, but...As soon as I changed the weft to this butter yellow I knew this was destined to be the only one, it really looked peachy on the loom and I wasn’t sure I liked it. Turns out this colour became my favourite after washing! Go figure. I hunted through my stash and found this darker yellow and so this became weft number three. I liked it on the loom, but found that the stripes came out reading a different colour. I used the same green for my stripes as I used in the warp, but when it crossed this dark yellow it seems to read bluer somehow.
I didn’t love any of the new wefts and since this was my final tea towel I thought I’d take a chance and I switched my weft to a lime green. The lime had a bit of a blue tinge to it so I though it might work. I’m pleased with this one, it looks fresh and clean and now I wish I’d been brave sooner!

Needless to say I’m not in love with these tea towels and so I thought I’d forego my usual hand sewing on the hems and bring out the sewing machine. I’ve never done this before, but I just couldn’t see putting much more time into these tea towels that are now destined to be mailed to my son as they are the perfect colour to brighten up his apartment. I was really careful in my ironing before sewing and pinned the hems in place every 2 inches or so, but find that my stripes are not perfectly aligned, it seems to have gotten progressively worse as I sewed along the hem. Any suggestions on how to avoid this without purchasing a walking foot for my machine? Do I need to pin more frequently? I realize that it is the different speed between my feed dogs and the top layer of fabric, but if you have a fool proof method, please share!I also noticed after the fact that I’d hemmed one of the tea towels wrong side up and it’s really noticeable. Seems that this warp is one blunder after another!Here they are all together. From left to right is the lemon yellow weft, lime green weft, lemon yellow weft, dark yellow weft, lemon yellow weft and finally the butter yellow weft.

Here’s the draft:


FiberGeek said...

Great Towels. I love the asymetric stripe in the warp.

April Mae said...

When I machine-hem runners and towels I pin them up about every two inches but start sewing from the middle and work out to the end. Then I turn it around, return to the middle and sew toward the other side. This helps keep the mismatching of stripes to a minimum.

Susan said...

well, I love 'em! They will be work horses of his kitchen and last for years!

I also know he`ll think of you when he uses them (okay, cue the sappy music... but it is Mothers day after all.)

I just place lots of pins and hand sew. Hand sewing seems to give you room to tweak it as you go. I`m not much of a machine sewer so can`t help you with that.


Anonymous said...

At the top of your sewing machine, loosen the tension on the presser foot. I have and use a walking foot, but have found that loosening (unscrewing) the tension knob works just as well.

Judy said...

I bet that your son will love the feel of your handwoven towels and they will be the first towels that he grabs for when he needs one. Nice asymetric stripes!

Marion B. said...

I know what you mean about boring weaving but the result is very nice. About sewing stipes. with these wider stripes, stitch a pin at both ends of eacht stripe and pin them crosswise the hem. pin them in the fold and let the pin leave in the bottom fold. This way the fabric lays as flat as possible. Then very slowly stich over the pins. Be careful not to break your needle, I always wear my glasses when I stitch this way.
If you take out the pin first your stripe will never be aligned.
Don't make your stitches too small as the fabric is quite thick at the hem.
Hope this is of any help for your next 'boring' towels :)

Unknown said...

put in the pins perpendicular to the seem and LET THEM IN during sewing. Sew slowly, then the machine needle will slip over the pins.

I like your towels!

Amanda Cutler said...

These are very nice towels! I love your use of the stripes.

Anonymous said...

Try hand basting the hems before machine stitching with a long running stitch. I've found this method useful to ease in extra width at the hem also.

Anonymous said...

I use baking paper (grease proof paper in UK, like tracing paper if you see what I mean) underneath the cloth. It's a bit fiddly but it helps the bottom feed move at the same speed. Afterwards it just tears off. Particularly good for slippery fabrics,