Debbie von Grabler-Crozier from Pretty Things is a writer and sewist based in England who contributes to magazines worldwide. Debbie showed us how to make a Summer Flowers Mat and now she has the Flower Shower Tea Cozy to carry you through fall and winter! This easy project would make a thoughtful gift (paired with your favorite tea) or a bright bit of color for your kitchen.
This project is classically English with Liberty prints and tea! You can use scraps of Liberty or other special fabrics and, because the flowers are on the back too, no one has to have the “bad side.”
- Liberty fabrics scrap pack or assorted leftovers in floral patterns
- 60 cm x 40 cm natural linen
- Tea Cozy Template
- Glue stick
- 60 cm x 40 cm thin wadding/batting
- 60 cm x 40 cm plain lining fabric
- Dark brown sewing thread for free motion embroidery (FME)
- 7 cm x 4 cm (W) taupe cotton tape
- Stamp(s) of your choice*. I have chosen a retro flower and a mini alphabet set in courier font.
- Ranger archival ink stamp pad: cobalt (or stamp pad/color of your choice)
- Sizzix Big Shot**
- Sizzix die: flower layers and leaves**
- Your usual sewing supplies
- Your usual sewing/free motion embroidery needs
* The stamp is just a “normal” paper craft stamp.
** You can also cut your own flowers without using the Sizzix machine.
How To Sew Your Tea Cozy:
Cut two linen pieces and two lining pieces using the template. Put the lining aside for now. With the Big Shot and your scrap pack, cut a random (but complimentary) selection of large and small flower shapes and round circles to go on them.
Tip: Aim to have some of the flowers off the edge of the linen, not all bang in the center.
You will need to have five large and five small per linen piece and both linen pieces are scattered with flowers so that there is no “back.” Use the glue stick to lightly adhere the flowers to the linen in a pleasing pattern.
Tip: So why a glue stick and not a fusible fabric bond? Well, for one, it is cheaper. It’s also more precise on small pieces and requires less messing around with irons so it is quicker. Don’t saturate the piece though; just use enough to make the appliqué piece stay in place while you sew.
Place the linen panels onto the wadding and cut out roughly with about 2 cm extra wadding all around.
Raw edge appliqué is the new take on an old favorite and it is even better because you don’t neaten the edges of the fabric shapes. There is no folding under and no buttonhole stitch. It is all done by machine. Best of all, there is no end to the amount of design possibility and it marries perfectly with free motion machine embroidery. Happy days!
Set your machine up for free motion embroidery; each machine is a little different so I will not give specifics here. Consult your operating manual or contact the manufacturer.
A word about free motion embroidery: All the rage at the moment is a raggy edged appliqué and contrasting thread over the top… A sort of doodling. Most machines can do this, and you just need a darning foot and either to drop the feed dogs on your machine or set the stitch length to zero. Slowly move the fabric around to achieve an outline in your chosen color. This embroidery looks best if you go over it twice and don’t try to be too neat. We will use the dark brown thread which will nicely define the flower patterns.
Embroider your flowers, working through the linen and the wadding/batting. Trim the loose threads away and trim the wadding/batting to the size and shape of the linen panels. Swap back to “normal” sewing.
Make the top tab. Cut a piece of one of the fabrics 16 cm x 4 cm and fold the piece in half lengthwise. Fold the raw edges in, and then fold the whole lot in half, enclosing the raw edges in the center. Topstitch down the length of each side.
Attach the tab to the top centre of one of the linen panels.
Make the label. Take a piece of tape and trim the ends if needed. Fold in half and stamp with your chosen stamp using the ink. Attach the label to the right side of the linen panel 5 cm up from the bottom. I stamped a flower on one side of my label and the word “tea!” in lower case courier font on the other. This is a nice touch when sitting at a table; no one has to look at the back.
To assemble simply take a lining piece and a linen panel, and sew right sides together along the straight edge only. Repeat for the other pieces. Now open the two pieces out flat and lay them lining to lining– outer to outer– also with the right sides together.
Leaving a gap in the lining, sew all the way around. Clip around the curves and turn out through the gap in the lining and slip stitch it closed. Stuff the lining into the outer and topstitch around the bottom.
© Debbie von Grabler-Crozier 2015 of Pretty Things
Liberty fabrics from Alice Caroline, Sundry items and other fabric available from good craft stores everywhere.