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Missouri Star Quilt Company Schools Handes of a Woman on DIY Aprons from Tea Towels

Missouri Star Quilt Company Schools Handes of a Woman on DIY Aprons from Tea Towels 0

Below you will find 2 videos from Missouri Quilt Company showing you how to make an apron from tea towels. Such a cute and easy idea!

  • These principles will let you make adjustable aprons, easily, to your heart's content. Many thanks to Summer and Jenny at Missouri Star Quilt Company for permission to share this educational primer on my blog! Links provided at the end.
  • Be sure to use a towel, or piece of fabric that you hem first, large enough to provide the coverage you want. Just hold it up to yourself!  And pockets placed at about hip level are easy to get in and out of.
  • Notes on my own apron project are after the videos!  





Notes on my project:



      Remember that oops towel I had a while back? I ran the towel's edge under the embroidery machine and had to cut and repair. Anyway, it left a fuzzy edge that I liked and here I used it on purpose.

  • My project is made for a child's full coverage apron; pocket is set just below waist tie level. For an adult smock apron place the pocket closer to the bottom, near hip level.
  •  I started with  a red linen cutter, 18" x 24", and hemmed it with a narrow double hem. Then I followed the video instruction. For the tie I used some red linen bias tape that was left over from another project.
  • Left over linen cotton canvas from an art towel provides the contrasting fabric for the applique and pocket.
  • The applique edge is raw and fuzzy. The fabric was tacked in place with a double row of tight stitches near the edge, then embroidered with a flower design made from the artwork of Alabama artist, Haley Brianna Atwell. Fabric was trimmed tightly on this one, washed and dried on hot, then trimmed again. Next time I will try leaving the fuzz longer.
  • My pocket is a single layer patch rather than double. Pocket was double hemmed at the top and turned in a scant 1/4" on the other edges. Top stitching was done at the edge and then a generous 1/4" in, finishing the inside of the pocket.
  • Stitching up the pocket center divides the pocket into 2 and provides support.
  • This cutie is already promised, but there will certainly be more of these!

link to Missouri Star Quilt Company: 

link to part 1:

link to part 2:

Happy Dance Embroidery Tip

Happy Dance Embroidery Tip 0

Who knew? Polyester, so useful and practical for many things, is the dickens to embroider with letters. I had no idea. It has taken over a week to get to my happy dance on this one. This fabric wants to move, as a unit and as threads, causing registration issues and a lot of wonkiness.

Here is what I found out:

  • Polyester moves.
  • Polyester moves.
  • Polyester moves;  you get the picture.
  • Adhesive did not help; the threads move.
  • Hooping the fabric itself did not help; the threads move.
  • Dense under sewing did not help; under sewing usually covers the whole region first, then the embroidery is done on top. Nope, registration lost that fast.
  • Pull compensation did not help; registration is so squishy that even .4mm of allowance would not cover the curves.
  • Oh, several of the trials looked fine from a distance in person; but posting on line and a brief zoom made me queasy.

So here is what worked for my project using block letters on polyester items that are going to get a lot of use and laundering:

  • floating will work with this method
  • use cutaway stabilizer
  • do not use under sewing
  • move letters close together and leave in the jumps within a word; this secures the start and finish of the letter well with less additional formatting by you
  • choose closest jumps; this forces the machine to do a minimal run of stitches to get into position, tacking down the fabric in the center of the space to be filled
  • choose a fill stitch instead of satin.  I used the default density on my machine which is 5 lines/mm. This is essentially under-sew-as-you-go; less fabric movement,  no hangy out under sewing, no need for pull compensation.

Diane goes LIVE!!

Diane goes LIVE!! 0

Watch, please. I am speechless. Received today.


 This is absolutely wonderful! You just never know what is going to happen every day when you get up. Diane and Mrs. Mary Alice....Y'ALL ROCK!!  Thank you so very much! This is just OVER-THE-TOP!!  Your friend, Cathy Murphy

"Because I Can" 2

Sneak peek at what's in the design studio. Prototype apron in progress. Apron itself is black linen; so nice to wear and launders beautifully.  And yes we will be testing other fabrics. Embroidery looks good; we will see how it does in the laundry with my husbands heavy denim work jeans. If it passes the laundry test it will move on to the next phase.

And yes this is by special request of Florida artist Priscilla Batzell of Expressionist art Studio Gallery. Let's drop it over there as a share and see what she thinks!


The Red Apron by Erin Murphy (Evie N Tually)

The Red Apron by Erin Murphy (Evie N Tually) 0

We love custom orders at Handes of a Woman; you might say they are one of our favorites. Here our cat's cradle has been made into something really special by designer and artist Erin Murphy. Check it out!

We hope to bring this design to market in 2020 in twill for workers and in linen as a shabby sheik fashion item. We will do as custom order till then.

Aprons and bar mops

Aprons and bar mops 0

Remember those aprons in development? Erin has in mind many places to stash a towel: waist band, pocket, bib loop. Our first bar mop/napkin has just been posted as best use of fabric and with our aprons in mind. Tuck one in a pocket, waistband or loop at the waist or on the bib. Keep one handy; fold in quarters and you can grab that hot pot handle right quick. At $4 each they are our best value on linen, and getting 4 gets you to Free Shipping.

neutral stripe bar mop here: