How to Use Small Fabric Scraps? Quilted Dish towel Tutorial

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Picture of Ingrid Alteneder

Ingrid Alteneder

Hey there, I love fabric, sewing, quilting and most of all Foundation Paper Piecing. Welcome to my blog!

You know I love recycling and reusing. And you know I looove recycling and reusing fabric.
I roam through flea markets, garage sales, second hand and thrift stores and almost always find some pre-loved piece of fabric.

fabric scrap dish towel

And I always buy old fashioned flat sheets, they’re most often made of really thick cotton, or a cotton/linen mix, which is absolutely perfect for all sorts of sewing projects.
Especially dish cloths or napkins, but I also use them in quilts, key fobs, pouches and much more.
I wrote a whole blog on fabric recycling in case you want to know more. Today I want to show you how to make the cutest dish towels with recycled cotton sheets and left over fabric scraps.

Materials/fabrics needed for 2 Dish Towels

– 2 pieces of white fabric ( I use cotton table cloth or flat sheets for this, they’re pre-washed so many times, that they work perfectly as dish cloths as they dry dishes very nicely) 20.5″x 27″.
– 40 pieces of 2.5″x 2.5″ fabric squares.
– 2 strips of fabric 2″x 5″ for the hanging tab

materials for sewing dishtowel

materials needed for #dryinstyletowel

Sewing the Dish Towels

1. Cut your fabrics as mentioned above.
2. Sew your fabric squares into 4 strips of 10 squares each ( two strips per towel)
3. Press your seam allowances.
You can either separate your seam allowances and press them each separately, or press the seam allowances in opposite directions before joining your fabric square strips. This is really easy and quick. (photo 1)

You press one strip in one direction and the other in the opposite direction, this will help with nesting your seams and having accurate corners and matching points. The seams sort of fit together automatically ( photo 2). You end up with a perfectly flat fabric square panel. ( photo 3)

nice and flat 'square panel'

4. Fold over the long raw edges of your square panel 1/4″ and press again
then pin or clip in place.

pin 'square panel' in place

pin ‘square panel’ in place
5. Place this panel on one of your white fabric pieces at 7″, measured from the bottom raw edge of your kitchen towel and pin in place.
6. Stich this panel in place with a small seam allowance. I also added some diagonal seams.

position square panel at 7" from bottom edge
squares stiched in place

7. Sewing the hanging tab for the tea towel:
– Fold the 2″x 5″ strip in half lengthwise and press. Fold in 1/2″ seam allowance on each long raw edge and press again.
– Stitch with small seam allowance.
– Fold the tab in half and clip in place at the center of the back of your kitchen towel top edge.8. Fold over the raw edges of your dish towel 3/8″ twice and pin or clip in place.
I did just simple corners on these tea towels, but if you want to get really fancy you could do mitered corners as well.

hanging tab at the center of top edge
regular corners

9. To finish stitch all the way around your kitchen towel.

What do you think about these kitchen towels? Don’t you agree they’re …… :-)?


Now I cant wait to see all of your tea towel versions…
use #dryinstyletowel on social media, so I can find your makes …. happy sewing.

Ingrid xx

2 Responses
  1. Hey Ingrid, great Blog with lovely designs and tutorials! I really like this simple project here but I fear the colors of the small blocks will bleed when being washed, how do you handle that?
    Thank you, Jo

    1. Hey Jo,
      I used these myself many times and the fabric did not bleed, that being said, if you use a color catcher (those fabric pieces, especially made for the washing machine to catch bleeding color, they do work!) you should be absolutely fine, or you can always wash the fabric beforhand.
      I hope this helps,

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