Stacked Teacups Dishtowel

**If you haven’t entered the Pellon Giveaway for all the Stabilizer awesomeness – head over and enter – but check out the tutorial first. ;) **


I am kind of all about Freehand Stitching right now.

It sounds scary – but it’s soooo not!
You start out thinking you are doing it wrong. And that it’s a disaster. But then you keep going and it’s magically transformed into something cool and sketchy and awesome.

I wanted a new project to make with some freehand stitching – so I made another dishtowel. Shocker.

This towel has cute stacked teacups – and they are sewn on with this yummy freeform stitching.

I love how it looks “drawn” on! It’s so forgiving too – if you sew on a wonky line – you can just correct it on the next pass around and it looks like you did it on purpose!!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

Store-bought dishtowel (or you can make one)
Linen for base fabric – 8 1/2″ x 11″
Scraps of fabric for teacups and saucer
Fabric for tab trim on bottom – 5″ x width of your dishtowel)
Rick Rack and Lace Trim
Fuse-N-Tear fusible stabilizer

Start by cutting out an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of your fusible stabilizer. Iron it to the wrong side of the base fabric.

Cut out your teacups and saucer from the pattern. Cut on the dark lines. The dotted lines are there to show you placement.

Start with the saucer. You are going to sew it on with a free form stitch. You can either remove your presser foot and sew it that way (for an example, see the Shamrock Specimen Art, or you can lower your feed dogs and use a walking/quilting foot.
Sew the saucer close to the edge with three passes of stitching, then sew another three rows about 1/4″ away. You don’t have to sew all the way around, the top section will be covered with the bottom teacup.

The stabilizer is great for keeping the fabric stable and flat.

Check your placement, then sew on the top teacup. I sewed an extra line as a little decoration about 1/2″ below the top line of stitching.

Sew the second teacup on next. Here are some shots to show you the way the look changes with each line of stitching.
1st Line of Stitching:

(See how there’s a little bobble at the bottom of the cup? That won’t matter as you go around again, your other lines will cover up all that.)
2nd Line of Stitching:

3rd Line of Stitching:

Fun right? I love the sketchy look of the stitching.
On the second cup I sewed some little swoops. Swirls? Swooshes. Whatever.

Sew on the third teacup next. For this one, I outlined the two biggest flowers with stitching lines.

Here’s what the stitching looks like on the back – the stabilizer keeps thing so even.

Remove all the stabilizer. It tears off easily. If you have trouble in the small spots, I found a seam ripper works great to get things started.

Baste the fabric background piece onto the dishtowel, 3/4″ from the edge.
Add your trim over the basting line – I used a coordinating rick rack. Also a shocker. :)

For the base, I made a little band of fabric to sew under the hem of the dishtowel.
Cut a 5″ strip the length of your dishtowel, plus 1″. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and sew the short ends together, 1/2″ for each raw edge.
Trim off the corners.

Turn right side out and press. Press under the top raw edges 1/2″.

Sew the top opening of the band closed – right along the folded, pressed edge.

Place the band behind the front, hemmed edge of the dishtowel. Tuck some lace trim under the edge, between the hem and band of fabric.
Sew in place right along the hemmed edge of the dishtowel, and again 1/2″ away.

If you would like, treat all your raw edges with Fray Check to keep things from going crazy.
And you’re finished!!

So fun and sketchy looking right?

This little dishtowel is on its way to my sweet mom-in-law – she is a big fan of tea and this will match her kitchen perfectly!

What do you think? I’d love to know!!

I’m linking to Sunday Scoop, Today’s Creative Blog, Met Monday, Skip to my Lou, Tutorials & Tips Tuesday, Funky Junk Interiors, Quilt Story and the other fabulous parties on the sidebar – make sure you check them out!


  • Reply February 27, 2012


    SO CUTE!!! I’m not great with a sewing machine but these are too adorable not to try. Hope I have to patience to finish them :)

  • Reply February 28, 2012

    Cait L

    I love fancy dish towels! I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for new towels and this may end up being one of them :-) Thanks for the great tutorial!

  • Reply February 28, 2012


    Truly a tea towel! And a beautiful and creative one at that! I love the colours and patterns you have chosen. Wish list… :-)
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  • Reply February 28, 2012


    That would eb the perfect present for my tea drinkers .. are the tea cups raw edge?

  • Reply March 3, 2012


    Love, love, love, love!!! The stacked cups are just too cute! Great job Bev!! Another one of my Bev favorites!

  • Reply May 29, 2012


    I love to sew, this is a really cute gift. I LOVE the treats your new friend Emi brought from Japan. I can really get lost down the “rabbit holes” that your website leads me into with luring words “more fun stuff….” That short trip brings me to a question for you. I am looking to buy a new sewing Machine. Without a long drawn out response that might look like an advertisement, what kind of machine are you currently using? Thanks! email me if you like.

  • Reply August 3, 2012


    That is a cute towel! It has given me some ideas for a bridal shower. Thanks!

  • Reply November 18, 2012

    hannah borger

    Cute ilike

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    This is sooooo cute! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Reply June 22, 2013


    I love you work so much!

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