Pleasant Kitchen Dishtowels

comments: 248


Here they are, my dishtowel designs! I decided yesterday to offer these little designs as a freebie, in honor of my sweet Grandma Ieronemo, and all of our grandmas, really. I drew things I have (or want to have, in the case of Sunday's Cheese Lady, ahem . . . someday) in my own pleasant little kitchen. Please click here to download the pdf (you will need Adobe Reader to view it).


I enjoyed making these so much. You could add color to these, or some further decorative stitches, but I really love the simplicity of simple black line art lately. Alas, for now you'll have to transfer them yourself using a light box or a bright window (they are not iron-ons), but I really just wanted to get them out there. I will probably start doing some embroidery kits and transfers later this year, when I get a little more caught up with things, I promise.


Should you need dishtowels, I've heard that these are very nice. I used the cheapies from the fabric store myself, but after seeing how much work went into these, I kinda wish I'd gotten some better ones. I trimmed all the edges straight with a rotary cutter before transferring the designs, 'cause they are so not square. Be sure to wash them (and your trim fabric, if you're going to make some binding to edge it all) before sewing. Or don't, and just get to work. They're just dishtowels, after all . . . ish. (See below.)


I used a Micron 0.1mm marker to transfer the images, and a water eraseable very-fine-tip fabric marker to transfer the text (so I didn't have to draw each dash; I just drew a solid line and then embroidered dashes with running stitch, washing the marker out when I was finished). You could use a fabric marker for the pictures, too, but I prefer the Micron myself. The line is so fine it can be covered with one strand, but I don't have to worry about it fading at all. I just find it easier to use in general. I have a pretty steady hand with it, but if you're nervous, just use the fabric marker. Be careful using an iron-on transfer pencil to trace these in reverse and iron them on; when you print them, you'll see that the design details are quite finely drawn (as in skinny) and I'm not convinced that one strand of floss would cover the transfer pencilmarks, as they tend to be a bit wider and don't wash out, at least when I use them. Yours might be different, but just be careful there.


I'm on the run this morning, but next week I'll do a little binding tutorial, and give you some resources for further embroidery patterns, books, and kits. I used simple backstitch and running stitch on these towels, almost exclusively, and those stitches are very beginner-friendly. My computer is not happy with me today and apparently isn't going to let me look up links here, and I'm moving too quickly today to fuss with it and reboot my computer seventeen and a half times like I did yesterday, agh.


I think my grandma would be happy with these dishtowels, but I can tell you right now that she would never in a bobillion years have attached binding to a dishtowel by hand, as I'm doing. (I'm doing a different calico that reminds me of her on each one.) I'd be a little conflicted about it myself if I didn't enjoy attaching binding so much. It's a fancier, more precious-seeming treatment, and not super practical. That's okay since I've now decided we'll only be looking at them, and not using them. Ev-er. Andy saw one of the towels in the kitchen last night and said, "Can I use this?" and I was suddenly, surprisingly, like, "Er . . . um . . . um . . . um . . . no, give it here." And I took it and put it in the living room. Hrmmmm.


I know. Not very typical of "oh-good-grief-who-cares!" me when it comes to functional crafting. I say use it, baby. But these make me want to not only clean the kitchen, but completely remodel it so that it is worthy of these precious floursacks. Sigh.



I started downloading before I even read that they were FREE! Thank you for that. I printed them out on velum paper, I am going to give them to my Mother for her b-day. She is an incredible embroider. She does the old lost art of Iron set crayon color with her embroidery. She will love your simple but cute designs. Oh and what issue of Country Living are you in?
Michele in Napa Valley

These are so sweet. Alicia, you make me miss grandmother. I grew up across the country from her. Several times a year I would get a package in the mail filled with special hand made items. I now understand the love and work that went into them. I know her love for me was put into every stitch. What sweet memories. I think I will take these out of storage soon and treasure her memory once more.
Thank you dear sweet fellow Portlander for reminding me of one of the most amazing women in my family.

You are so talented & sweet to share these with everyone! Can't wait to see what they look like with the binding. They are adorable!

Thank you Alicia for such an adorable project! My daughter is getting married and these will make the cutest shower gift!

These are lovely Alicia!! Thank you for your generous gift in rememberance of grandmothers everywhere!!

all the designs look great! i love the sunday one it reminds me of my polish pottery cheese lady.

What wonderful designs. I 'll hav eto try them. Thanks for offering them as a freebie. What a delightful surprise when I opened my Country Living magazine and there you were. Congratulations on being one of theor entrepeneurs of 2008!

I am SO excited about these... i obviously re-organized my floss just in time!

Thank you for sharing! I love them all but I'm feeling partial to Wednesday and Sunday. :)

Those are so adorable!

Oh my gosh, these are fantastic! Thank you SO much for sharing your lovely creations!

Just Love 'EM!

Thank you for sharing these with us!! We just started a crafting group in my town and I think I'm going to bring these to the meetings to work on. They are just adorable :D

so stink' adorable. roses to you and grandma. new visitor here :-


you really are too good for your own good : )

I love these so much, but I certainly could not use them as dishtowels, either!

Perhaps I could make a whole set and frame them and then hang a new one each day... I can never remember what day it is anyway. Hrm...

I am all for honoring grandmothers! Thank you so much!

Bobbie Lynn Duran says: February 08, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Oh thank you Alicia. They are so neat and you made my Friday. Have a nice weekend.

These are darling! Well worth the wait!

For some reason, these towels remind me of my grandma too, but I don't really remember her having them. Must be somewhere in the back recesses of my memory there. It is very likely because she was a frugal grandma, who reused flour bags, and decorated them with her handiwork.

I wondered whether you would really use them - looks like that is a NO...

Thank-you so much for this lovely pattern - this is going to be fun.

I love Sunday's Polish cheese lady. I love Polish pottery and have been eyeing up of of these sweet pieces for ages. It looks adorable on the teatowel, as do all your designs!

Angie Ricci says: February 08, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Alicia, thank you so much for these beautiful patterns! I can't wait to get started on them.

Thanks for sharing the love Alicia! My particular fave is the espresso pot!

They are adorable!!!!!

Thank you for making these embroidery patterns a freebie! That's very generous of you! I look forward to making a few to add to my embroidered dish towel collection!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at