Embroidery Library

Tea Towel Table Topper

 

Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.

Tea towels come in so many different colors and patterns, that it's a sure bet your tea towel table topper will be truly unique -- especially once you embroider it with designs of your choosing!

Whether you use it to serve tea, to place underneath a vase of flowers, or
simply to decorate a table, a tea towel table topper will add beauty and charm to any setting.

Read on for instructions to make one of your own!

 

Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.


Supplies Needed:

**Six tea towels or dish towels (mine are 17 1/2" wide by 27 1/2" high -- for top)

**
5/8 yard cotton fabric (for back -- I used quilter's cotton)

**22 1/2"
wide by 22 1/2" high piece of cotton batting

**Medium weight cutaway stabilizer

**
Temporary spray adhesive

**Needle and thread for some hand sewing
 

Designs used:

I used designs from the large and small size of the Royal Medleys Design Pack.

Designs from the British Birdie Bungalows Design Pack and from the Asian Inspirations Design Pack would be lovely on a tea towel table topper as well.

Finished size:
22" wide by 22" high

Tea towels and dish towels come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and textures. Have fun combining different elements to create a truly unique piece!

 

Free project instructions to make a tic tac toe game toss with machine embroidery designs.
 


First, I will prepare the fabric for the center diamond. Using an air-erase pen or other marking tool, draw a 12 1/2" by 12 1/2" diamond shape on the fabric. To do this, first draw a 17 1/2" horizontal line across the fabric.

M
easure and mark the center of the line by measuring and dividing by two. Draw an 8 3/4" vertical line along both sides of the horizontal line at the center mark (the vertical line will be a total of 17 1/2" long creating a plus sign shape on the fabric). Draw lines connecting the ends of the lines.

C
reate a paper template of the design by printing it at full size using embroidery software. Poke a hole in the center of the template and align it with the center point on the fabric. Make sure the design fits well within the shape; there should be at least 2" of space between the outer edges of the design and the edges of the shape.


Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Spray a piece of medium weight cutaway stabilizer with adhesive and smooth the fabric on top. Hoop the fabric and stabilizer together by aligning the marks on the hoop with the lines on the fabric. Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design. Move the hoop so that the needle is directly over the center point on the fabric. Embroider the design.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 


To prepare the outer corner pieces, draw a 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" diamond shape on the fabric. To do this, follow the same steps are you did earlier by drawing a 6 1/4" horizontal line with 3 1/8" vertical lines drawn out from the center point on the horizontal line.

Align the template of the design with the center point on the fabric leaving at least 1/2" of excess space between the outer edges of the design and the edges of the shape. Hoop the fabric with medium weight cutaway stabilizer and embroider the design.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Repeat the fabric marking, hooping, and embroidering process to create a total of four outer corner pieces. When all the designs have been embroidered, trim away the excess stabilizer on the backside of the embroidery.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Cut out all of the shapes.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

 
Next, I will add the corner accent pieces to the center diamond. Mark and cut a 9" by 9" diamond shape from the fabric by drawing a 12 3/4" by 12 3/4" horizontal line with 6 3/8" vertical lines drawn out from the center point on the horizontal line.

Cut out the shape and then cut the shape into four pieces along the inner lines (creating triangular pieces). Fold the long edge of each piece over 1/2" to the wrong side and press with an iron.

A
lign each piece with the corner of the embroidered center diamond piece with the folded edges facing towards the center of the shape. Pin in place and trim off the excess fabric along the outer edges of the diamond.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 


To prepare the inner folded border, cut four pieces of fabric to 2" wide by 9 3/4" long. Fold the pieces lengthwise and bring the long edges together, wrong sides together, and tack together by sewing a 1/8" seam along the long raw edge only.

Tuck 1/2" of the raw edges of the pieces under the folded edges of the corner accent pieces. Overlap the border pieces where they meet at each end and pin in place. Sew a 1/8" seam along the folded edges and the raw outer edges of the corner accent pieces as well as along the ends of the border pieces about 1/2" out from the inner edges of the borders. Trim the excess borders fabric along the outer edges of the diamond.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

To prepare the outer squares, cut a total of 12 squares to 4 1/2" by 4 1/2". I cut my squares from two different towels, four squares each and varied the positioning of the cutting to create two different patterns from the same towel.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Position the squares how you want them. Lay the center square flat and align the left square on top. Pin along the left side and sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge only. Press the back seam open.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Lay the squares flat and then align the right square with the center square, pin along the right side, and sew a 1/4" seam along the right side only. Press the back seam. Repeat this process for a total of four sets of three squares (one for each side of the diamond).



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Next, align two of the rows with two sides of the diamond (sides opposite one another), right sides together, align the seams and pin in place. Sew a 1/4" seam along the outer edges and press the back seams.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 


Lay the fabric flat and arrange the remaining two rows along the open sides of the diamond. Arrange the embroidered outer corner pieces how you want them. Sew the outer corner pieces in place by aligning them with the ends of the rows of squares (the rows that are not attached to the diamond), pin in place, and sew a 1/4" seam along the outer edges. Press the seams.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Align the assembled outer corner/row pieces on top of the diamond/side row piece, right sides together, pin in place, and sew a 1/4" seam along the outer edges. Press the seams.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

To prepare the outer borders, cut four pieces of fabric to 20" long by 2 1/4" wide. Align two of the borders along two of the sides of the front piece (sides opposite to one another), pin in place, and sew a 1/4" seam along the outer edges. Press the seams.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 


Next, to prepare the small corner pieces, cut four pieces of fabric to 2 1/4" by 2 1/4". Align the corner pieces with the ends of the remaining border pieces, right sides together, pin in place, and sew a 1/4" seam along the ends. Press the seams.

A
lign the border/corner pieces along the open sides of the front piece, right sides together, pin in place, sew a 1/4" seam along the outer edges, and press. To prepare the back fabric and the batting, lay the assembled front piece on top of the fabric (I used quilter's cotton) and batting and cut out the shape.
 



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

To prepare the corner embellishments, cut four 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" pieces from the corners of the towels (with two sides being the original hem of the towel). Lay the fabric flat with the right side facing up and the hemmed corner at the top. Fold the side corners in to meet at the center of the fabric and overlap them slightly. Then, fold the bottom corners in to meet at the center and overlap slightly. Pin in place and sew a seam along the center up from the bottom to tack the folds in place.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Lay the front piece flat with right side facing up. Align the corner embellishments at each corner, right sides together, with the bottom point extending out about 1/2" past the edge of the front fabric.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 


Lay the back fabric flat with the right side facing up. Align the front panel on top, right sides together with the batting aligned on top of the front piece. Pin in place and sew a 1/4" seam along the outer edges leaving a 6" opening for turning. Clip the excess fabric at each corner; be careful to not cut the seam.

Turn the fabric right side out between the front and back fabric (this leaves the batting inside the front and back layers). Press the seams and also turn the fabric of the opening in 1/4" and press. Hand-sew the opening closed with needle and thread.



Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.
 

Finally, quilt through all the layers by sewing along the existing seams. I used a "walking foot" which helps prevent the layers of fabric and batting from shifting during sewing.


Free project instructions to make a tea towel table topper.

And now your tea towel table topper is complete! Let your imagination run free with the different fabric combinations possible, and enjoy a topper sure to beautify any table.


Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

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