Thursday, March 3, 2011

Afternoon Tea with Suzy

It's always nice when two to-does can be accomplished at once!

A brief excerpt from my seemingly endless to do list =

To elaborate, two of the things I HAD to do this week were:
1. Introduce the adorable creations of Suzy Ultman, our next guest designer and announce her visit to the shoppe, coming up Saturday, March 12th.
2. Make an anniversary gift for a coffee loving couple, my brother-in-law and his wife.

So in the spirit of killing two birds with one stone, I've set out to check off these two to-does, with this one blog post!

First of all let me just start by telling you how adorable Suzy Ultman's fabrics, papers, softies and illustrations are! Her work is very popular in the paper and craft industry. In fact you may have seen it without even realizing it. Her creations have been published by Chronicle Books and her list of clients rang from Crate & Barrel to Oopsy Daisy and many more.

All 5 images above of Suzy Ultman's work are from

Her first two fabric lines for Robert Kaufman are just the tip of the brilliant iceberg which is Suzy's portfolio. She is certainly one to keep an eye on, and I personally can't wait to see what her next fabric line brings!

Suzy Ultman will be at our shoppe Saturday, March 12th  from 2-4PM, for an afternoon visit and trunk show. She'll be bringing samples of her precious work, some great giveaways and a sneak preview of her upcoming fabric line.

Now for my second  and the reason I can so perfectly combine these two tasks.
Suzy's current fabrics for Kaufman's Metro Cafe collection are all about coffee and there is certainly nothing better suited for my coffee obsessed relatives than these!

Suzy Ultman Tea Towels

For these fun and simple Suzy Ultman Tea Towels I used Robert Kaufman's Essex cotton linen blend, a 45% cotton and 55% linen cloth base and embellished them with raw edge appliqués, stitching and ruffles. The end result is a sweet set of unique towels that I really hope my relatives enjoy.

To make 2 towels you need:

2/3 yard of a cotton/linen cloth, toweling, woven, or twill
1/4 yard of Suzanne Ultman's Espresso Beans
1/4 yard of her Retro Mugs
and 1/4 yard of her Retro Perk
plus 1/4 yard "Wonder Under"
cream and brown thread
and a fabric marker or pencil

Prewash all fabrics (gentle cycle will help prevent fraying).

I made my towels one at a time so I have also written these instructions in the same manner, but for a set of two towels simple follow all instructions 2 times :)

First cut your main fabric (toweling or other) to be 19"x24". Next cut the Espresso Bean print to 36"x4", this will be the bottom ruffle of the towel.

Finish one 36" side of the Bean fabric by ironing down 1/2", reopen, fold raw edge into crease line then refold and iron flat, creating a 1/4" hem, edge-stitch, backstitching at beginning and end. This is now the bottom of the ruffle.

Next sew a gathering stitch along the top edge at 1/4" seam allowance.
Pull bobbin threads and gather until ruffle is 19 inches long.

Attach ruffle to towel with a french seam: Pin ruffle WRONG sides facing to towel material, sew with 1/4" seam allowance, trim to 1/8", iron seam allowance up and then fold ruffle over so that right sides are now facing, pin and sew, backstitching at beginning and end.

Iron ruffle down and seam allowance up toward toweling. Topstitch towel 1/4" above ruffle to keep seam allowance flat, backstitch at beginning and end. Then finish sides of towel the same way as ruffle botton; iron 1/2" to wrong side, unfold, fold raw edge into crease line then refold and iron flat, creating a 1/4" hem, edge-stitch hem in place, backstitching at beginning and end. Hem top of towel the same way.

Now for the fun part!

Cut your Wonder Under to the size of one or more mugs and iron to the wrong side of the Retro Mug fabric. Cut out mugs leaving about 1/16"-1/8" of white all around. Do the same for one or more of the Perkalators.

Play with your appliqué layout. Make some small markings were your mug and coffee pot will go, set them aside, then stitch freely back and forth in brown thread to create a faux bois like surface to rest your mugs on. Next remove the paper backing from your Wonder Undered mug and pot appliqués and replace them on towel, iron to glue in place and finish by stitching around each appliqué 2-3 times.

Now have a cup of coffee and enjoy, or wrap them them up with a bag of good beans and gift them to someone who loves their joe.


Julie said...

I love Suzy's fabric designs... and the great tea (or coffee, in this case) towels! I have a coffee lover friend who would just love these. Guess I will be in to buy some fabric now. :-)

Beth said...

Love that tea towel! I'll try to be by on the 12th!

Bflymommy said...

LOVE THESE!!!!! :-) Thanks for the tutorial.

Anita Bowman said...

Oh my... I love these April. I hope these Suzy fabrics are not sold out because I am going to have to make these tea towels.

Kunklebaby said...

Those are SO cute!! Love the towels & the fabric!! I totally have to try & stop in for that!

Lesley Grainger said...

Love these tea towels!!

jodydeschenes said...

omg, april, i just bought some of this cup fabric on #THEGREATFABRICDESTASH for penny (and me) - love it & your towels, so cute!!!!!