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Free EPP Pattern: Pool Party Tea Towel
Setting aside for a moment the fact that I can't comprehend how it's summer already, here's a cute summer EPP project for you! I was playing around with shapes one day, and landed on this embellished hexagon that looked just like one of those inflatable pool rings to me. So I added a pool and stitched it to a readymade flour-sack tea towel.
I wanted this to be another instant-gratification kind of project; something you could easily piece during a leisurely afternoon in your favorite summertime spot.
- • One cotton tea towel (If you can't find them locally, here they are online.)
- • Fabric scraps (more on that below)
- • Hand-sewing needle, white thread
- • Paper EPP templates (download 'em here)
- • Glue stick
- • Sewing machine (for the applique part)
This is an original EPP template I made. Just download this PDF, print it out, and carefully cut all the pices out on the lines. The more accurately you cut, the better your pieces will fit together later.
In terms of fabric, I used some little scraps of white and orange solid for my "pool ring," and Robert Kaufmen Metro Living Circles in Turquoise to represent the "pool." (I think you could also get away with plenty of other white-and-blue geometric or abstract prints.)
…And in fact, you could also use more colors than orange in the pool ring. Cool, right?
Okay. So you'll need to baste the fabrics to the templates as shown above. This video walks you through the basting process. For patches this size, I recommend basting through the fabric only, not the paper templates. (That's the first method covered in the video.)
(Yes, I am reminded once again that I really should take two seconds to apply hand lotion before photographing tutorials. Sigh.)
The easiest way to sew the pieces together is to sew one white triangle to each orange diamond first. But wait! There's a caveat!
It's important to make sure you're matching the correct edges together. So, when you're pairing up a triangle and diamond, take a moment to make sure their sides match in length. If they don't, try turning the triangle to another side, or try a different triangle.
With the outer units assembled, it's time to sew them to the central hexagon. I like to do this in two steps: first sewing all the pieces around the edges of the hexie, and then sewing all the little side seams between them. (If you need help with EPP sewing basics, there's a video for that.)
When the EPP is all sewn together, give it a good pressing with a hot steam iron. And press all those little fabric flags to the wrong side, so they're hidden from the front.
…Then you can take out the paper templates, and give the whole thing another good pressing. (Here's a video on how to remove templates, by the way.)
Now, cut a 6" square from your "pool" fabric. Turn under 1/4" along all four edges. Above is my lazy-girl way of doing that: I run a basting stitch 1/4" from the edges, and then use that as a guide for folding and pressing the edge under. Fold the corners over first, and then fold the sides over them, and you get a nice miter.
…And if you fold your basting just to the inside, like this, then you can get away with leaving it in there. (I mean, lazy!)
Machine applique the square to one corner of your tea towel. (If your towel has a hanging loop built in, then it makes sense to applique to the opposite corner.) Pin the square down securely, and stitch 1/8" from all four edges.
Lastly, pin the EPP unit over the center of the square, and stitch 1/8" from all of its edges to applique it down. As you do, try very hard not to disturb the sleeping cat behind of your sewing machine. He's had a long night, and needs his beauty rest.
...And that's it! Happy Piecing, and Applique-ing!