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.



Wow, thanks! These are beautiful!

Oooh, Friday looks like a Le Creuset pot... I think we have that one :) I think those designs are really wonderful, I can see myself not wanting to use them either were I to have some in my home. I think a similar embroidery could be cute too for kitchen curtains - it would have to be modified some, but I think the general theme would be fun, maybe with scalloped edges or some lace or something :) Thanks for sharing these! It makes me want to cook a big pot of stew to go with the rainy weather :)

Very attractive without being over-the-top cute. I like them a lot. The binding really sets them off.

I'm so excited I almost fell out of my chair! Thank you!!!

Thank you so much--these are lovely and a wonderful treat. You really can draw well!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I was looking all over the place for cool dish towel designs, and all the ones at the fabric store were...well...rather ugly. I left the store all depressed that I couldn't find anything. And then you posted this! Thanks for saving the day!

Thank you!

oh thank you, thank you, thank you!

Oh thank you so much. These are beautiful!! I really love the Saturday coffee pot because I just bought a stovetop espresso maker just like this one. :)

Those are really cute. of course I had to save them! Thank you!

I *love* hand stitching binding onto things, too. I recently blogged about how I always always mess up when I piece the binding strips, making some backwards or at right angles to each other, whatever. But, oh well, at least I get to end with the hand stitching, the best part, right? I know for many people putting the binding on is the part that gets them stuck on a quilt, that makes the quilt languish and sit for months, unfinished. I wish I could make a living doing it for them!

Thanks so much for making these cute patterns available to everyone. So generous.

Ah beautiful - like all the best Grandmas :o)

thank you for sharing!! :) all this gramma talk, has brought back such sweet memories.

Oh gosh ....those are SO perfect...thankyou !! I cant wait to try them out. x

These are so awesome! My favorite is the pyrex bowl - you captured it perfectly.

truly darling!

Hooray! What a nice surpirse for a Friday. I've been wanting to try my hand at embroidery and was so looking forward to these since you mentioned them. Thank you!

Oh, wow, these are great! Thanks so much! Now I'll have to learn to embroider!

Oh! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!!! Love them :)

Oh my grandmother would so have loved these! I still have the ones she made back in the 60's with little scotties on one set and little housewives doing chores on the other! They are pretty old now but I will always love them. Imagine how many of these lovely little towels will be handed down to children not yet born! How cool is that??? Really nice job. I may have to make some for my own grandchildren to use someday.

You've done such a great job!!! I know I'd be nervous about attempting to draw these items myself, so I'm all admiration for your accomplishment. I esp love the casserole dish and the espresso maker. Brilliant :)

they are beautiful! thank you for sharing them!

(and the connection you have made between them and your grandmother touches me deeply...thank you for sharing those pieces of yourself and her)

Oh my goodness, thank you so much! I am going to make these--soon!

These are great! I love the cheese lady best, but they're all wonderful. I'm going to outline in black, BUT I'm going to color them in with fabric crayons. Just like back in my Crayola days! Thanks, Tina

These are absolutely the most adorable things I have seen in a long time!! Love it!!!

Now I just wish I had a sowing machine!!

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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