Whenever I mention my penchant for mending tea towels, I get a lot of comments. Many people are inspired but others ask: “Why bother?”

Well, you could say that. But I love to love the stuff I own, and I think tea towels are a lovely, colourful way to cheer up the kitchen. They’re like tiny, inexpensive artworks (if you find ones you like) and are good excuses to practise some more offbeat mends or try new techniques.

I don’t buy tea towels I don’t love, and I intend to keep mine going as long as possible. So mending it is!

This particular tea towel is a favourite of mine, purchased years ago for $1 in a clearance bin at a department store. It had started to develop holes, worn spots and stains, so I decided to refresh it.

Using confetti as my inspiration, I patched it with even more dots, made from fabric scraps, fusible web (Steam-A-Seam) and a 20-cent piece as my guide. Then I used sashiko thread* to stitch along the patch edges and bring it all together. The fusible web on its own is probably enough to last through another few years of frequent washing, but because I like to hold onto my things for as long as possible, I thought a little extra support couldn’t hurt.

The best part is that I know exactly what to do if any more stains or holes appear. A pattern has already been established!

Do you mend your tea towels?

*I stitched while on a plane and it was very relaxing! You can’t take scissors on board, but I was able to take a needle and pre-cut lengths of thread with no problems.

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