Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Appliqued Days of the Week Rags

In an effort to be more organized and economical, I decided that our method of using paper towels to wipe off children's messy faces needed to end.  When we first moved into this home, I purchased a whole stack of white washcloths strictly for the purpose of using them for the kids.  It didn't take long, though, before we were grabbing them from under the sink to clean up other messes and so my system didn't last long.  Somewhere in blogland (sorry I don't remember where and I didn't even read about what they were) I noticed a stack of cloths with letters on them, and it inspired me.  I could have washcloths, labeled with a letter, for each day of the week!  Brilliant!  No more mixing yucky cooking germs with kiddo germs!

I found two sets of 6 washcloths at Ross, for $3.99 a piece.  (Yes, I realize there are 7 days in a week, but packs only came in sets of 4, 6, or 9).  They've been sitting in my sewing closet for awhile now, but yesterday I finally tackled this project!

-set of washcloths
-letter stencils for each day of the week
-Wonder Under (find it with the interfacing in the fabric section of a craft store)
-scrap fabric 
-coordinating thread

First, I used my copy of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for my stencils (did you know that children's books are a great resource for stencils--both pictures and letters?).  These letters were the right size for me, but of course you could use another source.

I traced the letters onto printer paper and this became my stencil.

After I cut out my stencils, I placed the letter backwards on the wrong side of my scrap fabric piece, and traced it with a pen (my pen didn't leak through the fabric, but you would want to be careful of this).

Once the fabric letters were cut out, I attached the Wonder Under to each letter.
     1. Place wrong side of fabric onto rough side of Wonder Under.

     2.  Press with a dry iron, holding down for about 10 seconds.

After the fabric was fused to the wonder under, I removed the peel-back, smooth side of the Wonder Under

Smooth side should look like this

Peeling the smooth side off.  

I then placed the letter, right side up, where I wanted it on the washcloth.

To fuse the letter to the cloth:
     1. Place a damp rag over the letter.
     2.  Press the iron on the damp rag, holding down for 10-15 seconds until fabric is fused to washcloth.

I repeated this with all 6 rags.

I wanted my letters to have a real applique look, so I started off using a satin stitch on my sewing machine to outline the letters.  This was too frustrating for me because my thread kept bunching up (this always happens when I try to do a satin stitch!) so I opted to use a small zigzag blanket type stitch around each letter.  Much easier and less time consuming!

Set your machine to a zigzag stitch, then adjust the width of your stitch to a narrow width (top arrows on my machine) and the stitch length to a lower setting (bottom arrows on my machine).  You might want to test out your settings on a different piece of fabric until you get it right.

This is how they turned out and I'm so excited!

Since I only had 6 rags Saturday and Sunday share with a capital 'S'.

I used 'th' for Thursday to distinguish from 't' for Tuesday

The first set is for Isabella, who apparently likes purple now!  I gave her two choices of fabric, both blue/greens and she saw another scrap of purple in my stash and requested that.  She loves her new rags and I'm hoping this will also help her to learn the days of the week.  Now, I just need to make Mallory's set, using a different fabric, and my project will be complete!

I'll be linking this to:

Tutorials and Tips


  1. This is such a good idea!! It's environment-friendly, cute, and organized!! I love it! And so funny that all of a sudden Iz likes purple!

  2. Um, this is pretty much the best idea ever. If you ever need ideas for me or Charis or Judah for birthday or Christmas presents, this would be a good one. Oh, my bday is in a couple weeks! :)

  3. How fun! That is a great idea to spruce them up. Way to tackle that project that has been alluding you :)

  4. These are great. I love the fabric and the stitch you chose! Thanks for linking up with Lemon Tree Creations today!

  5. I love these! My daughter would have a fit over them too. She is only four, but is constantly asking me what day it is. What a fun, practical and cute way to teach her the days of the week!


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