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“One of my earliest memories is of seeing my mother in her beach chair, reading a book under an umbrella by the water’s edge while my sisters and I played beside her. Of all the life lessons she taught me, that is one of my favorites: to take time at a place I love, restore my spirit with books and the beach.”Luanne Rice, author of several novels, including Follow the Stars Home.

My annual vacation starts with a large selection of books loaded onto my e-reader. Before the e-reader came into my life, I had at least 12 paperbacks, in two tote bags, ready to take along to the lake.

For two weeks, I’m blessed to park myself in a comfortable spot at the family cottage and immerse myself in literary suspense, intrigue, romance and adventure. And, sometimes, I take a dip in the lake to cool off. The cool breeze can sometimes accelerate the cooling process. A towel can be a good stop-gap measure, but what if the sun starts to set and you’re not quite finished the chapter? The chill can set in.

That’s the idea behind my Day at the Lake throw. Made from waffle weave cotton, with quilted bands top and bottom, let’s think of it as a “quiltowel“. It’s a soft and cozy cover for a day spent lakeside.

This project is a great scrap buster, and you can also use orphan blocks from other projects.

It’s also embellished with sweet little yo-yos for fun and fancy free reading or dreaming at the beach. You’ll be getting requests for these from your fellow beach readers and dreamers, I promise.

Let’s get started on your quiltowel.

 

All set up for a day of reading at the lake, where cool breezes call for a lightweight throw.
All set up for a day of reading at the lake, where cool breezes call for a lightweight throw.

 

Waffle weave know how:

 

The waffle weave fabric has ragged selvage and the cut edges will need to be zigzagged before washing. Washing is important before you begin because it will shrink.
The waffle weave fabric has ragged selvage and the cut edges will need to be zigzagged before washing. Washing is important before you begin because it will shrink.

 

 

Fold over the selvage edge, pin, and then press before sewing. These pins have heat resistant heads and won't melt under the heat of the iron.
Fold over the selvage edge, pin, and then press before sewing. These pins have heat resistant heads and won’t melt under the heat of the iron.

 

Use Clever Clips to turn under the side hem of the waffle weave. Space them wide enough so that ...
Use Clever Clips to turn under the side hem of the waffle weave. Space them wide enough so that …

 

...the iron can pass through, while avoiding the Clever, but somewhat melt prone, Clips.
…the iron can pass through, while avoiding the Clever, but somewhat melt prone, Clips.

 

Finish the side hem close to the folded edge.
Finish the side hem close to the folded edge.

 

The waffle weave MUST be prepared and washed before beginning this project. It will shrink and become more puffy after washing and drying.

First, square off and straighten the cut edges, top and bottom. Then, set your machine to a wide zigzag stitch. Zigzag the top and bottom of the waffle weave.

(You don’t need to zigzag the salvage sides.)

Wash the waffle weave in a gentle detergent like Soak in Lacey (it’s a softly girly scent. I’m kind of in love with it.)

Dry the waffle weave on a warm dryer setting. Remove the dried fabric promptly from the dryer.

Turn under a ¼” hem on both salvage sides and press. Stitch the hem. Press. Turn under a second time, press and stitch close to the turned under edge. Press again.

Now you’ll have a piece of waffle weave that will stay true to its measurements.

Come back tomorrow when we get on with making the quiltowel bands.

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2:  Chambray fabric is perfect for the quilted towel

Nancy Devine is a self-confessed craft-crazed blogger. She is a regular contributor to A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, one of the administrators for The Craft Café, a Facebook page devoted to the international sharing of the creative life, and a curator of an impressive collection of fabrics, notions and seam rippers. In her spare time, she wrangles dust bunnies and writes a blog called Nancy Dee Needleworks. Understandably, her house is a mess.

4 Comments

  1. Cecile Botes

    Hi Nancy,

    SO nice to see your page, which seems so helpful.
    Please class me as a beginner 🙂 I haven’t done sewing in years. I am now retired and hope to start serious sewing in approx 2 months. I’m going on a two month holiday first.

    I have 20 meters of Waffle weave and many little blocks left from a previous attempt of a quilt for my grandie-girl. I need to start sewing with this waffle weave and I’m looking at variousw ideas of what to do with it.

    Till next time.

    Blessings and kind regards

    Cecile

  2. Mary Jordan

    Water and relaxation and looking at quilt books is a perfect way to spend day at the beach

    • It’s just the best, right?
      Thank you for visiting QUILTsocial and taking the time to leave a comment.

  3. Lorraine WIlson

    Oh, I am new to this site, but I will definitely be back- some really lovely ideas!!!

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