I don’t know about y’all, but I am up to my eyeballs with spending right now. After the holidays, it is always eye opening to see how much I am actually spending versus what I need to be spending. Well, I started thinking about all of the money I spend that is for products that actually wind up in the trash. At the top of that list – paper towels. Now, don’t get me wrong – there are some spills and messes that occur when you have a toddler in the house that no self respecting dish cloth should ever have to face. With that in mind, I decided to make myself some “un-paper towels.” Do not mistake this as the Momleficent house hold turning to cloth bathroom tissue, cloth diapers, no – no – no. But I am interested in cutting down our waste and the number of dollars that are wasted along with it.
I had some lovely dark blue paisley print in my fabric stash, so no additional cost there. A quick trip to Joann Fabrics in my little town, and I had some pale yellow terry cloth to use as an absorbent backing. I decided that I didn’t want my towels to be on a roll, or quite as big as standard paper towels, so I actually cut my fabric to measure 9X9. Once I had both my blue and yellow squares cut, I lined them up with right sides together. When all was said and done, I actually had 24 complete sets of squares.
Once the pile of sets was assembled, I sewed three and one half sides of the squares together taking a 1/4 inch seam on each side so that the final towel was 8X8. The half side that I left unsewed was so that I could turn it later. 24 sewed and turned squares later, my towels were well on their way to being cute little waste busters. A quick seam down the side with the unsewed portion and the towels were almost done.
Once the seams were all together and all four sides were securely sewed, I decided that I might want to take a few minutes and sew large X’s in the middle of the towels in order to keep the fabric from turning or separating in the wash – I have high hopes for these little beauties.
The X’s actually added to the aesthetic more so than I thought it would. The little white stitches gave it a bit of a quilted look in the end. 12 towels fit in my holder, and it rests on the counter near the regular paper towels, within easy reach every time I have needed them. I like the terry cloth on the back as it was tremendously absorbent and really added to the functionality over using coordinating quilting fabric. I have a lot of blue and white in my kitchen, so the blue paisley coordinately well, and the pale yellow looks nice as a coordinating color. White terry was an option, but I couldn’t imagine white lasting long in my world – as clean as it looks, and as much as I love it, it always fails me. There will be time to have white anything when the tiniest are grown, so for now, I’ll be glad that I have tiny little squeals, huge messes and even bigger hugs to fill my days – one day I will miss all of those things and the house will be unsettlingly quite. Believe it or not, these messy, rowdy, crazy days fill my heart with joy.