When I had a look through my linen cupboard to find a suitable cloth for my new dining table I couldn’t find anything that was the right size. However, the neatly folded stacks of linen tea towels, with their unexpected combinations of stripes and checks, gave me an idea… here are the biggest patches in the book!
An average tea towel is 40 x 60cm. Instead of getting into any complicated calculations, the best way to work out how many you will need is to gather together all your old tea towels and lay them over the tabletop, allowing a 50cm overhang at each edge!
Encapsulating Cath Kidston's new and innovative take on traditional patchwork, Patch! combines the established techniques with a more contemporary approach to the craft. Mixing her own distinctive prints with vintage fabrics, Cath has designed over 30 original and irresistible projects including not just the pieced bedcovers that you might expect but also numerous accessories and homewares - bags, cushions, pillowcases and even a toddler's toy ball and Stanley dog. As with Make!, Sew! and Stitch!, this book includes a unique and exclusive giveaway kit; everything you need to create either the bag or cushion shown on the cover, including printed fabric patchwork pieces plus the fabric and tape needed to finish off the bag or cushion.© 2013 Cath Kidston / Quadrille · Reproduced with permission.
Pick out the smallest tea towel and cut away the hemmed edges and any selvedges. You can do this by following the woven stripes or by drawing guidelines with a fabric marker and a large quilting rule.
Trim all the other towels down to the same size, using the small towel as a template. Pin it to each one in turn, centring it over the design, and cut away ?the margins.
Neaten the edge of each towel by machine with a wide zigzag or an overlocking stitch. This will take a while, but it’s worth it in the end!
Clear the floor and lay out the towels in rows. As with any other patchwork, you should aim for a good balance of colour and pattern, so take time to shuffle them about until you are pleased with the arrangement.
Join the horizontal rows along the long edges with a 1.5cm seam. Press all the seams open (this makes the cloth flatter than if they are pressed to one side).
Pin the first two rows together along one long edge, matching the seams and corners exactly. Join with a 1.5cm seam and press the seam open. Add the other rows in the same way.
Press under a 1.5cm turning around the outside edge of the finished cloth. Mitre each of the corners (see page 21), then pin and machine down the hem 12mm from the fold.
use a mixture of old and new tea towels, but wash them all on a hot setting and press well before stitching: they might shrink at different rates which may distort your finished cloth.