Many of us have collected a cute tea towel or two over the years, and there's a great new book out I'll bet some of you will enjoy as much as I do: "Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Tea Towel" by Nathalie Mornu. This is a great "idea book" for fellow crafters, but even if you don't enjoy crafting I'll bet some of you would enjoy the wonderful information on tea towels in this book. So first things first, what IS a tea towel? "Just think of it as a term for a fancy kitchen towel," Mornu says. In one of the sidebars, she goes on to say this: "The eighteenth-century meaning of the word described a cloth used by the mistress of the house to dry china tea-sets too fragile to be handled by careless servants."
Mornu points to the wonderful graphics as one of the reasons behind the resurgence in tea towel popularity. The book discusses such sub-species as Calendar Tea Towels, Souvenir Tea Towels, Recipe Tea Towels and Embroidery Kit Tea Towels. I couldn't resist taking this opportunity to show you a new tea towel that was a gift from my friend Liz's store, a category I would call Sassy Tea Towels! (Click the link and scroll down to see some of the other fun designs.)
For those who can bear to slice into their tea towels -- and let me say right now I'm not sure I'm ready! -- the projects in Mornu's book are cute-cute-cute! A skirt for a little girl, a woman's belt, a toddler's bib, and a woman's halter top are some of the clothing projects in the book. There are also tote bags, aprons, an eyeglass case, and my favorite, the "Madeleine wristlet," which is a small beaded envelope purse in which the design is bead embroidered right on top of the tea towel's graphics. (I do have a duplicate of one teapot design tea towel, so perhaps I can turn it into a project or two.) Mornu includes lots of helpful sewing tips, and while you don't have to sew to enjoy this book, if you do, sew much the better!