Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Richelieu Embroidered Tea Towels

Here in Northern Colorado there aren't many SAGA chapters to join, in fact, I have to drive two hours to just south of Denver to attend a meeting. So I've joined two EGA chapters here, Centennial Chapter in Greeley and Rocky Mountain Chapter in Ft Collins. I was reading the Regional Newsletter back in August when I saw that the Turquoise Trail Chapter in Albuquerque was having Marian Scoular in for three classes over Labor Day weekend. I've taken a couple of classes with Marian over the years, and I jumped at the chance to take another, Richelieu Embroidered Tea Towels. So we drove down a day early, and spent some time looking at the petroglyphs, basically ancient graffiti by Indians and Spanish travelers.

And of course, I couldn't leave out this guy, a real road runner! They are really neat birds. They will eat snakes, and since they often can't get a whole snake down in one go, they will run around for several days with a piece of snake hanging out of their mouths, digesting it over time until it's all gone. That's a tough bird. We used to see them on and off in Southern California.

Marian drew the design onto the tea towels, so we were able to get right into stitching. The embroidery is done in blanket stitch, with bars floating in the flower center and one of the leaves. We had the loveliest Ulster linen and embroidered the design with DMC floche, one of the nicest threads for embroidery. This is the towel before cutting and washing. You can see how crumpled the linen gets. The folded area on the bottom right was my trying out Point de Paris for the side hems. I decided to go with just a simple blind hem. Our kit contained size 140 sewing thread, which is much too delicate for Point de Paris, as it kept breaking and driving me nuts.

I was fairly nervous about cutting the fabric, after all the work I had put into it. But the duckbill appliqué scissors make this a breeze!

I got these a few years ago as a Christmas gift and they are just what's needed for appliqué. You can get them at Joann's.

Finished towel, washed, ironed, and with all the little thread ends trimmed. The circle in the rose was a new technique. We were instructed to wind the floche around a finger a few times, then work the blanket stitch on the ring. I ended up using a marking to get the right size, and it only took two tries to get it right. It's a bit hard to see here, but I padded the blanket stitching right around the center of the rose, to give it a bit of dimension. 

As usual, I ordered a companion piece, a darling hummingbird. I'll probably do a bit of padding on the wings. Then when I got home, I ordered two more linen pieces for towels and the few colors of floche that I didn't already have. 

I can't wait to hang these in my new house.


  1. Gorgeous work, Cynthia! I definitely can see your raised area and it is a lovely emphasis. I never thought of looking for an EGA group locally. I will give that a try and thanks for the idea.

  2. It's a lovely technique - simpler in concept than in execution.I'm sure you will very much enjoy working the others!

  3. These are really beautiful, Cynthia. Definitely worth a drive!

  4. Your Richelieu worked tea towel is beautiful. Great idea to add padding to the petal tips around the center. Very effective.
    Enjoy your new home and exploring the region. Isn't it exciting?

  5. Well done, beautifully stitched :-)


I love to hear from readers! Please let me know what you think of my posts. If you ask a question, I will reply here on the blog, so others can see the answer.