After waiting for 14 years for a new kitchen, we finally have one!
It's still not quite finished, but most of it's done and it's useable. So I can have some fun now making some things for my nice new kitchen!
One of things I wanted to make was a tea tray cloth. In the old kitchen, I used bicarb and vinegar to get the tea stains of the laminate work tops, but I don't want to use anything that harsh on my nice wooden ones.
So I decided to make a cloth to line a tray.
There was a slight problem in that all the trays in my house are currently holding half finished lego and I didn't get around to buying another one.
So the tray cloth is more of a tea mat.
To make the tea mat, I used Linen Fabric
, partly because I love it but also because it's tea coloured already so any stains will hopefully not show!
I've paired this up with some pretty fabric. The great thing about a Fat Quarter Fabric Pack
is that you know already that the different fabrics will all go together!
I chose one of the floral prints for the teapot, the other floral fabric for the bias binding and the spots for the backing.
I also used a piece of sew in Interfacing
to give the whole thing some more weight.
If you didn't want to make the bias binding, you could buy some as it is a bit fiddly, but for a project where you only need a small amount, it's worth making your own.
Instructions For Making a Tea Mat
You Will Need
Linen fabric, a fat quarter pack, sew in interfacing, fusible interfacing, usual sewing supplies. A Bias Binding Maker
is useful if you are making your own.
You will need to cut an A3 sized piece from the linen, the spots and the sew in interfacing.
For the teapot, you will need a piece of the floral fabric roughly A5 sized (you can download a template for the teapot and the lettering here
). Add a piece of fusible interfacing to the wrong side before you cut out the teapot.
Making the Bias Strips
1. Take the floral fabric with the roses and fold one edge over to make a triangle.
2. From the folded edge, measure 2.5 cm all the way along. Draw a line.
3. From that line, measure 5 cm and draw another line.
4. Cut along the lines. This is easiest with a rotary cutter. If you're using scissors, make sure you use plenty of pins!
5. You should now have 3 bias strips, all 5 cm wide. Cut the ends off so that they are square.
6. Take 2 of the strips and put the ends together at right angles. Check that the print is running the same way! Sew across the square from top left to bottom right. Add the third strip in the same way.
7. Cut the corners off and press the seams open.
8. Fold the bias strip in half lengthways and press. If you have a bias binding maker, you can use that to finish making your bias binding. There's a tutorial showing how to use one here
If you don't have a bias binding maker, fold the raw edges into the middle and press. Fold the strip in half and press again.
Now put your bias binding to one side while you make the rest of the tea mat!
Appliqueing the Teapot
1. Before cutting out the teapot, make sure that you have fused the interfacing to the wrong side first.
2. Take the linen and the piece of sew in interfacing. Position the the teapot on the linen and pin it on, through the linen and the interfacing.
3. Applique the teapot using a straight stitch.
4. Add the extra details like the lid and the base using machine embroidery. If you've never done this before, use a short stitch and an embroidery foot if you have one. The embroidery foot is not essential, but it will allow you to see more of your sewing.
Embroidering the Letters
The letters are in the same file as the teapot, which can be downloaded here
1. To transfer the letters to the fabric, I traced them onto the interfacing, then used a plastic box and a torch as a homemade light box to trace the letters from the interfacing to the linen.
2. Starting at the end of the cross bar of the tea, embroider the letters. Each word will need to be worked separately, but all the letters of each word are joined up so you can do each word all in one go.
This is a bit fiddly! Use a short stitch and go slowly. Be ready to move the fabric and pay attention to where there are curves and where there are points.
3. Once you have embroidered the letters, go over them again.
1. Pin the piece of spotty fabric to the back of the linen and the interfacing.
2. Fold over one end of the bias binding by about 1 cm. Starting at the bottom, pin the bias binding to the wrong side of the tea mat so that the raw edges are together.
3. Sew the bias binding to the wrong side, keeping close to the fold. When you get back to where you started, overlap the ends and sew them in place.
4. Fold the bias binding over the raw edge. Sew it in place on the right side, taking care to fold the corners when you sew them.
Run the iron on it, trim away any threads and your tea mat is ready to keep your worktops stain free!