A few weeks ago, some friends came over for a BBQ. My husband and a guy friend were in charge of the fire. While my husband went into the house for something, the guy friend leaned in and asked for a towel, and my husband grabbed the first one he saw and threw it to him.
Then I walked by the window and saw him mopping the front of the greasy BBQ with my dainty white hanging kitchen towel made with out-of-print Amy Butler fabric. I kept calm and didn’t say anything…it wasn’t til later when we were cleaning up did my dear husband apologize without my prompting. “I’m so sorry honey, I don’t know what I was thinking!” he said, as he rushed to soak the towel. The towel is fine by the way, except for the covered button that melted off!
Later he grunted at me: “Yeah, I need some manly towels. No girly dainty white towels for my BBQ!”
So I set off to make him two BBQ-worthy hanging towels. I knew I wanted to put a steak on one, but wasn’t sure about the other. So I asked the experts: my girls.
- Mama: What is Dada’s favorite BBQ food? How about a chicken leg?
- Girls: No! Dada likes ketchup!
- Mama: Ketchup? But this is for the BBQ…how about a hamburger?
- Girls: No! Ketchup!
- Mama: Hot Dog?
- Girls: NO! KET-CHUP!
The experts have spoken so ketchup it is. For that I found an image by searching for “ketchup clipart” and traced that onto a piece of paper. For the steak, I was inspired by one of my girls’ kitchen play toys.
I cut out the steak and ketchup bottle into individual pieces to make the applique. I didn’t photograph the steak because I was too excited and forgot! But for that, I cut out the whole thing in one red piece, and layered the white “fat” (eew!) and the black bone on top. For the ketchup bottle, I cut out the top and neck of the bottle, the red part, the label and the tomato separately (the tomato is just a circle at this point…will add the green leaves later). Then following the directions, I cut out the pieces with Steam-A-Seam2 adhered to it.
I fused the pieces onto the towel, layering the label and tomato over the red piece.
I put a piece of tear-away stabilizer on the back and sewed a small, tight zig-zag stitch around the outline of the bottle.
Then I just used some straight stitches going back and forth to make the leaves. Practice on a scrap first.
Remove the stabilizer from the back.
All done with the appliques! Okay they’re not totally manly. I mean, the word “applique” is so girly in itself, it can’t be helped.
I wanted to keep the hanging part of the towels simple and used super manly ticking fabric instead with a muscular Velcro closure (grunt, flex biceps). I found this strap in my scrap pile…it was the excess length of the hanging strap from my Christmas wreath. I made the other one in another color. Start out with a 3-inch wide strip, fold it in half lengthwise and press, then fold the sides in to meet in the middle, then fold again down the middle.
Fold over one raw edge at the end and sew to the top middle edge of the towel, about 3/4 inch or so down.
Then sew one piece of Velcro to that end.
On the other end, fold over the raw edge and place the other Velcro on top and sew it down. Super easy and simple.
And you’re done.
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