Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Conundrum of Butterfly Porportion

This is a pair of towels that I made for the Lovely Ms M. She is one of the Las Vegas nieces and is so kind to our kitties when we are away. She is a fan of butterflies and so I wanted to make her some "especially for her" towels. (No spoiler, since I don't believe she reads my blog. She is a "My Space" girl, so our circles do not generally overlap!)

These are larger motifs than I generally use on towels. Instead of putting them in the corner, I centered them on one side.

I didn't have any transfers in my stash that I thought were quite right, so I ordered this Aunt Martha collection from an ebay seller. They were not as detailed as the packets of designs for days of the week, etc, but I like the more contemporary feel.

They are uncomplicated designs. If I were more artistic with my stitches, I am sure there could be more "interest" or "texture", but I like how they turned out.

Towels are simple gifts, though that is part of their charm to me.

I have seen (and bought) lovely towels and other linens at estate sales that were still in the gift boxes that they were presented in decades earlier. I imagine because the recipient didn't want to "spoil" them by use, they were put away in a linen closet or perhaps a cedar chest. So the only enjoyment that they brought was looking at them occasionally.

I hope my embroidered gifts are useful and used. I would like to think that whenever one is pulled out of the drawer for drying dishes or wiping counters that it might bring a smile. I use sturdy fabric, (except for the unfortunate "tea pot towels" - which are still WIP...) and try to make all the knots tight and close so the designs will last through use and laundry. I don't want them to be saved for an eventual estate sale (or garage sale!)

If they don't last, or an unfortunate run in with a paint brush or dip stick ruins them, I will just have to make a replacement!

One thing that I have been puzzling over lately is whether they are "dish towels" or "tea towels". I have always referred to kitchen towels as tea towels, but it doesn't make much sense, when I think about it. Mother always called them tea towels, but never drank or served tea, as I recall... If she ever did have a tea, I am sure the she would have used something more formal on the table.

What do you think? Are they dish towels, or tea towels?


Iron Needles said...

Tea or dish, the butterflies are lovely. Miss M will love them.

Perhaps they were referred to as tea towels because they were intended for drying teacups?

I am groping here, I know.

Martha said...

Wisegeek.com has a good description of a tea towel. Whatever you call them (I say tea towel), yours are very pretty -- love the butterflies.