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Canning Day Quilt

Motherhood and a Dishtowel


My much needed moment of Zen for the day...

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.  – Jill Churchill

I really need to remember this quote on days like today.  My kids got up at the crack of dawn… I went to bed late… not the best combination.  It was just one of those mornings.  Back packs and books were missing, the favorite shirt was in the wash… and even with the early start, the kids barely caught the bus as it was driving away.

After school, I served the kids a healthy snack.  When I left the kitchen to go vacuum, Ben decided he wanted something not so healthy.  He climbed the pantry shelves, to the top shelf and the cookie jar… and accidentally knocked my newly filled container of powdered sugar off the shelf.  It burst open and powdered sugar went everywhere.. all over the boxes and cans of food, my wheat grinder, Bosch and waffle iron, walls and floorboards.  Ben ran to the sink and grabbed a wet dishtowel.  Bless his heart, he wanted to get it all cleaned up before he was caught.  When the dripping wet rag hit the piles of powdered sugar, he ended up with a nice sticky wet glaze all over everything.

These are the moments when it is wise to count to ten… then breath.   I wanted to yell, I wanted to scream, I wanted to bring back old fashioned switchings…

But then I remembered the “good mother” quote… and I thought, what would a “good mother” do right now?

So I brought the shop vacuum in from the garage and calmly told Ben to do his best to clean it up.  He did the best job an 8 year old could do.  And tomorrow I get to scrub down my pantry for real.  I’m looking at the bright side.  At least I will have a really clean pantry.  And even though the day didn’t start out so hot… at least I made a little progress in the motherhood department.

Now for the dishtowel, I have another easy idea for a Mother’s Day gift.  Have you seen the darling dishtowels from Anthropologie?  They are wonderful… and expensive.  Some cost as much as $24 for one towel.

Last week my mom and I were visiting quilt shops and I found lace and rickrack trim from American Quilting that looked just like it belonged to an Anthropology towel.  So I bought a little.

Here’s how I made the towel:

1. Cut your fabric into a rectangle.  I cut my fabric 20″ wide by 26″ high.  The finished towel is 18″ by 24″.



2. Using a fabric pen and ruler, mark a two inch square on all 4 corners.


3.  With wrong side of the fabric facing up, press each corner of the square in half, making a triangle.


4.  Press a 1/4 inch hem all the way around.


5.  Now turn hem 3/4 inch and press all the way around.  This will now make a mitered corner on each corner.  Make sure all sides meet evenly at the mitered corners.


6.  Trim away the small bit of the triangle that is showing at each mitered corner.


7.  Pin to secure.  Stitch all the way around. Remember your stitching will show on the front of your dishtowel, so keep your stitching an even distance from the edge of your towel.


8.  Pin your lace to the front of your cloth just covering the bottom seam.  img_1882

9.  Bring the lace around to the back and tuck into mitered corner.  You may need to unpick a few stitches at the corner to make it fit neatly.


10.  I stitched my lace into place by using a straight stitch along the top edge of the lace.  Experiment on a small piece of lace to find what works best for the lace you have chosen.  Some may require hand stitching with blind stitch.


This project was a cinch to make and was a fraction of the cost of an Anthropologie dishcloth.  Luckily I have enough fabric to make two.  One for me and one for my Mom.  If you haven’t checked it out, I really love the tutorial on Freda’s Hive for a wonderful waffle dishtowel.  I think it will be my next project.

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19 Responses to “Motherhood and a Dishtowel”

  • Very clever. My daughter and I just saw vintage rickrack like the one you used at the antique mall. Hummm, I have never seen it before. Guess we will need to check it out. Thanks for sharing the cute dish towel.

  • Jenny:

    I am SO impressed with your domestic skills Calli! I wish I had some of those:) I love reading your blog and seeing your darling kids and the fun things you are doing. What a great mom! And thanks for the quote. Love that too.

  • Don’t you just love anthropologie linen. Somtimes I go to the website just to be inspired. The towel is so lovely. What a nice job. Perfect really. You are a good Mom Calli. I wish I had been that patient when mine were little. I remember the day an entire gallon of milk was spilled on my wood floor in my kitchen. I couldn’t believe how sticky and how milk was EVERYWHERE. Really. It slid across the entire floor – large floor – and I don’t remember how I cleaned it up. I just remember being stunned. And yes, I did cry over spilled milk that day. I’m not sure which is worse, powdered sugar or milk. At least it wasn’t both!

  • Hi. Amy (Diary of a Quilter) sent me here. Thought I’d check it out… I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog.
    I laughed about the dirty sink. Mine always looks like that (2 boys, 2 girls)! And I have also switched to using natural cleaners. I now use baking soda in my dishwasher and rinse with white vinegar. Baking soda is an amazing all-purpose item!
    And I adore those skirts you made your girls. I’m very new to quilting, so my stash of scraps is not very large. When I get enough, I would love to make those skirts for my girls.
    Have a blessed day!

  • Oh how beautiful, I love this project! Anthropologie has such pretty home goods. I love your version, I’ll be linking.

  • Very cute! Love that fabric!

  • mom:

    This is the first time I have ever sent an email. You have always said I was a child of the fifties and I am. I love your blog and can’t wait to read it everyday. keep up the good work and you will suc-ceed!

  • gigisthimble:

    So cute. Love the gold trim. Thanks for the great Mother’s Day gift ideas.

    O.K. I have a question. I am wanting to start a new blog for my pattern business and a few friends recommended WordPress. Because you are the only person I have ever met that actually uses WordPress, I thought I would ask you what you think of it? I made an account, but cannot navigate around in it for the life of me. Any thoughts? Do you think it would be o.k to just use Blogger since I already know what I am doing there?

    Amber Johnson

    • Hi Amber, My husband owns a web development company and he liked WordPress a little better. I trust his judgment and went with WordPress. I have heard that Blogger is easier to use at first… but I am not very technical and I have set everything up for my blog so far. I think it has been pretty easy. I am anxious to move to my own domain… which is something I should have done from the start. I am happy to talk to you about navigating around WordPress… just email me at callimakesdo@gmail.com and I will send you my phone number. All the best, Calli

  • Dishwashers are all very well if you have the water supply and don’t care about your carbon emissions. Both, though, are major concerns where we live in Australia. All hail your humble (but beautiful) dishcloth. I look forward to making it.

  • Adorable! I love the mitered corners. Very, very pretty.

  • beautiful! What weight of fabric is that? It looks heavier than quilting cotton…

  • Cam Overstreet:

    What a great idea for friend or teacher gifts!

  • I like your take on the Anthropologie towel. Their products are so lovely, but indeed so expensive! Thanks for sharing!

  • Meg:

    Ah the powdered sugar ! This morning my children got a full bag and made it snow in the livingroom dining room and hallway then tried to clean it up with the swiffer and used the entire full bottle of solution in the process. My cleanup process also involves alot of patience and a shop vac . It will probably also involve a tooth brush to get the goop out of the cracks between the hardwood floorboards :)

    • Oh Meg, I feel your pain! I found that the hotter the water the easier it was to clean the powdered sugar… but there is no short cuts, it’s just a mess. I wish you the best of luck. Maybe someday we’ll laugh… now that I think about it, the image of my son completely dusted in powdered sugar with his dripping wet rag was a little funny. Cheers, Calli

  • [...] Turn your hem a second time, and press a 1/2″ hem, making a mitered corner.  I have another tutorial showing the same process, which may be easier if you are sewing a mitered corner for the first [...]

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