Guest Author - Lili Pintea-Reed
Recently I was at a friend’s house and noticed she had some really cute guest towels with seasonal symbols (holly, Christmas trees, etc.) embroidered on them. I complemented her on them and got the name of the store which sold them… Later in the week I popped in the store to make a purchase… Yikes! They cost over $20 dollars each (with tax added!) This was waaaaaaaayyyyyyy out of my budget.
However, as a confirmed do-it-yourself person I decided to se what it would cost to appliqué my own fancy guest towels –for myself and gifts. I found you could get red or green towels for around $2 each at a dollar-type store and plain white ones for a dollar each. All of these can have holiday cut outs appliquéd to them.
At the discount rack of a sewing supply store they already had embroidered Holiday items on clearance. This way I did not even have to cut some holly leaves and Christmas trees out of green cloth. I also bought a product called Stitch Wiz, which is a type of sewing tape which when ironed adheres cloth together. So to appliqué place the Wiz under the item -- and just iron them onto your towels. This was also on sale for just a bit over a dollar.
The more traditional way is to clip the designs out of contrasting fabric, turn under the ends and then sew it on with very tiny stitches. This is the cheapest method for the truly frugal. It produces some lovely complex work.
The second cheapest way to adhere the appliqués is to sew them down with a sewing machine. You can turn under the edges and straight stitch them down, or you can just cut the shapes and bind the edges down with a tight zigzag stitch.
The easiest, but most expensive method is to buy pre-fab appliqués and iron them on with Stitch Wiz or a similar fabric glue product.
In any case, THEY STILL WILL NOT BE REMOTELY CLOSE TO $20 EACH! I still can’t get over how much they charge for seasonal goods like these. And you know they’ll be in the 80 percent mark down rack in just few weeks. Of course, a frugal non-sewer can stock up for next years gifts!
So stitch away. Any yourself and friends some really nice gifts!
Here are some Web sites with patterns for the holidays:
Free Applique Patterns
Free Quilt Patterns (Applique)
The Applique Society