Friday, August 1, 2014

Unfinished Business

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished ? Yes, work never begun.
~Christina Rossetti


Unfinished business is the story of my life. Yours? I told you weeks ago now that I would share a tea towel tutorial with you. Days and days went by with my neglecting it. The trouble was that I had started a different towel and now the photos didn't match. Then I washed one of the towels and the prairie points were never the same again. Then I learned that I didn't like this or I didn't like that. So today I'm sharing some photos, offering some suggestions, and letting it go so that I can delete the files of useless tea towel images and so I can finally keep that silly promise of mine. I feel guilty when I don't finish a thing or don't keep a promise. 
 



These two towels, one for summer and one for autumn, are heading for Abby's house. You can find tutorials on Pinterest and they really are very good. In the end though, I just looked at the pictures and did my own thing as far as fabric size, etc.




 The edge...if you take the stitching out of the tea towel you are embellishing, you can take your fabrics around making it look even more tidy and polished.



Using a seam ripper, you just open as much of the edge as needed to take the fabric around. Sure, you can just float the fabric on the top and stitch it all around, but this looks preferable to my eye.



Here's a better look at the autumn tea towel. My source for plain linen tea towels dried up. I created my own with painter's cloth, but depending on the painter's cloth, some were just too heavy to be practical.

 ↑
The fabric taken around the edge and restitched.

An example of a painter's cloth towel...too heavy by a lot.  This was made using some prairie points. I like the look, but once the towel was laundered those prairie points were never the same even with ironing. I stitched them down.




There are a couple of methods of prairie point making. The one where the fabric meets in the back is far preferable for the look of a project.



A wee corner of my sewing room...have I ever shared The Lonely Doll Learns a Lesson? Probably. At this point, I've shared everything. ☺

A wonderful August to you...



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44 comments:

  1. It's all Greek to me, I just buy my tea towels. :-) Yes, August already but the weather has felt like autumn for a couple of weeks. Another strange summer which makes me wonder what winter will be like as there are not a lot of berries on the trees like last year.

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  2. Happy August! The month for unfinished projects. ;)

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  3. No, I don't think you have shared everything and I'm nudging you in the direction of sharing that charming book. I think this might be the first time you've shared that darling little table and are those vintage books I see peeking out from the bottom shelf? I'd like to plop down in front of that sweet table and check it out :D.
    As for the tea towels, they may not have worked out as you had hoped, but they sure are pretty. I love the fabrics you combined.

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  4. Those are so pretty, Vee! I look at things and get ideas and then file them somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain.You actually do them! I do like that sweet corner of your sewing room. As far as already having shared everything, that is exactly how I feel. I've even kinda abandoned my Anglophile Friday because I know my readers have already seen the photos. Sigh. I'm not going to complain that my life is not exciting, because excitement isn't necessarily a good thing. I'll be content to continue to bore my readers. LOL Happy August to you too! I can hardly believe it's already here.

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  5. Good morning! I saw a tutorial on those prairie points and wondered how they'd look after washing, and now I know, lol. I would have sewn them down too. Yours came out really pretty! Love the little corner btw. Enjoy your week-end Vee!

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  6. I love the pretty fabrics you picked out! I've had great plans for sewing projects, but I can't get my butt in gear to do them. One of these days...

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  7. Those are so pretty! I couldn't make those points with my limited sewing ability. Love how you have them sewn down. Practical!

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  8. Those towels are lovely...and Abby is going to be excited to receive them!! The prairie points are charming, stitched down or no. Kudos to you for finishing! There are many unfinished projects around here. In fact, I am a little stressed that today is the first day of the last month of our summer vacation and I have much left to do. Ack...I never even finished cleaning out my school cabinet! Haven't placed my school order yet...only got halfway through the laundry room... So what am I doing sitting here drinking my second cup of coffee and visiting my blog friends?!!!

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  9. I really like your fabric choices for these tea towels. They are beautiful and you should be proud of them. But probably what I liked most in this post was your mention of the lonely doll book! Dare Wright is sort of a home town hero who grew up in Cleveland as I did, though she was grown up when I was a child. She was on local tv several times after The Lonely Doll came out. So talented, but such an unhappy life.

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  10. I love it all.....just lovely, creative and will most certainly be enjoyed by the receiver!

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  11. The towels are wonderful!! Your work is always perfect. The coordinating fabrics you've used look so nice together. I struggle when deciding which fabrics look nice together. Do you buy your fabrics locally or order online?

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  12. So pretty! I need to come back to this for reference.

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  13. Love the color combinations on those towels. I'm always impressed with any kind of completed project that involves sewing. A very happy August to you!

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  14. They look wonderful and this post was just so calming to me. There is such peace in sewing, well when you aren't ripping too much. What great towels.

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  15. Those are very pretty Vee! I love fabric and putting different ones together to make something look wonderful!

    Too bad about the Prairie Points but I think stitching them down kept the look. It was a good solution.

    Deanna

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    1. This would make a fun project for your home ec class!

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  16. Vee your tea towels would never make it to hang on the front of my oven door. I would definitely make them centrepiece towels and put them right in the middle of my dining room table. I am spending time in my sewing room this summer, making gifts for my sisters and friends. I find sewing takes me back to a sense of calmness. Your tea towels are so pretty!

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    1. I suppose that could work, especially if one embellished both ends. I have had some trouble with nice tea towels on my oven door being used for hand towels! =D

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  17. Good morning, Vee! The tea towels you made are simply beautiful and so perfectly finished. I know dear, sweet Abby will love them :)

    Happy weekend to you!

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  18. I know you can only see those prairie points "that were never the same again" but I think these tea towels are just beautiful! I appreciate the tip about hiding the trim under the edging, great idea. I have wanted to embellish towels before but I hadn't thought of that little trick and never liked the look of the trim just randomly ending on the back. See? Great tute :>) Now aren't you glad you shared?

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  19. Ya Vee love those tea towels. Yes we are alike in so many ways. I agree with your quote. I am guilt of that often myself. My craft room is so organized now I hate to get things out for a project. I am spread out all over the place. I have to choose staying neat or diving into a project. Well right now the Journey Jewelry is my only project. My way of contributing to charitable works since I can't physically do the things I once did. So appreciate your visits.

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  20. Those towels are beautiful! I've made promises on my blog too that I need to go back and fulfill. I've been so busy working at our son's house and having fun with it too that my blog has suffered. I'll get back though.

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  21. A sewing room sounds like a happy place, Vee! Your tea towels are beautiful--i love the fabrics you used and the towel design. Glad you got an unfinished job accomplisehed, as I know how good that feels!

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  22. You and I seem to share this need to finish things, and for me, it's more in my mind than others who may have long forgotten. For example I've been meaning to finish that email of yours and send a doll pic,

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  23. Regardless, the towels are beautiful. Great job. Blessings

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  24. Lovely tea towels! Unfinished business or not, it seems to me that you have had some very good moments of life this summer. I have never for one day felt I was 'finished.' Sometimes I think maybe that's the day I will really be done -- in the meantime I will always be running behind:)

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  25. I think the tea towels are lovely.
    I have a counted cross stitch I've been working on forever. I want to start another one but won't until I finish this one. I also have a sweater I'm knitting that my mom started and has asked me to finish for her. I should have said no, but now I have to finish it. I keep putting if off but I should just do it. Tomorrow, I'll do it tomorrow. : )

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  26. Vee, the towels are delightful! You are quite the seamstress!!

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  27. I like the combination of colors/fabrics on the tea towels. These will brighten any kitchen! Wishing you a restful night and a good day tomorrow.

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  28. Vee, the bits you are showing are gorgeous. I would love to see the entire towels, though.

    You sew beautifully straight. I can't, I zig and zag too much, honestly most of the time I give things to hubs to sew - we each have our own sewing machines and he is really good at straight lines, haha.

    Love your choices of colours and design, looks wonderful!

    Have a wonderful weekend and month of August, dear friend.

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  29. Vee, I think all of your t-towels turned out great.
    If I went for perfection, I would have to quit doing any of my projects!!
    I know what you mean about feeling like you've shared everything, there have been no words to write lately....

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  30. Lovely glimpses of those t-towels. Will we see them in their full regalia one day?

    I'm typing this comment as I'm listening to the Anne track you've got in your sidebar. I've been watching the Anne movie of late and enjoying seeing it all over again after a long time since I watched it last.

    Wishing you a happy August and a wonderful weekend,
    Brenda
    xox


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  31. The towels are very pretty and it looks like you are a very good seamstress. I do understand very well the "unfinished business" since I have so many unfinished things here. Oh well, as Scarlett always said, "tomorrow is another day". Enjoy your weekend!

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  32. I would love to hear about the lonely doll! And your tea towels look lovely.

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  33. Vee I love your towels - and I know how it is when one is a perfectionist in their sewing. I have taken out a lot of seams over the years. That's what happens when one had a teacher (my dear mother) who sewed for a real Queen!!!!!

    Very pretty fabrics.
    Happy weekend.
    Mary

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  34. EVERYONE has unfinished projects! That's what we work on when we don't have any NEW projects!
    Love your beautiful tea towels......I would only hang them for display. TOO PRETTY to USE!!! You should see my tea towel drawer.....shabby and rugged things in there.......

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  35. I'm still lingering on the part about promises not kept and unfinished projects making you feel guilty.

    That's the story of my life these days, and it has been dragging me down. I keep thinking about a quote: "There is nothing so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. " I can't remember who said it (should probably google it to see if I have the words right, too.) It's so true though. I wake up in the morning tired from the lingerers and go to sleep tired because they linger still.

    As to your tea towel, it is really lovely, and I have neither the talent nor the ooomph to do something so pretty. I would want to, though. (Glad you mentioned that the drop cloth was too heavy. I'm the kind who would be prone to rushing out to the store to get some with good intentions which just end up "fatiquing" me. Ha!

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  36. As I've grown older, I'm not nearly as hard on myself as I was years ago. I just try not to worry about getting something finished. Most generally, if it's something I REALLY want to do, it gets done.
    With all that being said, however, I am freaking out a bit about a post that must be finished and published on the 11th. I say MUST because I committed to it. I am pretty sure, tho, that it will get done..just hoping to finish it up today, get it in draft scheduled to publish and thus not worrying about it all these 10 days.

    Your tea towels are very pretty.

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  37. I think your towels turned out beautifully. I don't like unfinished business either, but the older I get, the more it happens!

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  38. I have a whole room full unfinished business, sorry to say. Your towels are very lovely and you do beautiful work! I started making aprons from gently used linens from the Goodwill...curtains, bed ruffles, pillow cases & shams, etc. and I have stacks and stacks that are still waiting on me to re-create them. Someday....someday...

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  39. the tea towels are lovely. makes me want to start sewing again. maybe when my wrists heal. (both are sprained and HURT - owie). hope y'all are well. ~:)

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  40. I love your tea towels Vee! I have been wanting to make some for myself but haven't gotten around to it. I too feel guilty about promising something in a blog post and try to follow through as a rule, but I feel like we are all a pretty forgiving bunch! LOL! Now I should go and finish some of my unfinished business which sadly cannot be completed in a day. Have a lovely week!
    Linda
    Mysewwhatblog

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  41. Vee, thank you so much for the comment you left on my blog. It was so thoughtful of you. I really miss blogging. I do follow your blog and enjoy it so much. Never quit blogging. You brighten my days. Charli and I are doing well and enjoying this beautiful summer.
    With warmest regards, Carol

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  42. So beautiful...your completed tea towels! I know all about un-finished projects. :)

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