Nov 2, 2007

recycled bath mat tutorial

I extend the warmest of welcomes to everyone participating in Sew, Mama, Sew's beyond brilliant November Handmade Holidays series! With no further ado, I present to you:

The Recycled Bath Mat Tutorial
For those looking to add a little color to their family's shower experience

patchwork bath mat

1. Dive into your scrap bag.
Using a card stock 2 1/2 inch square template and tailor's chalk or other water-soluble quilter's pen, trace around your template onto your scrap fabric. Cut out the square. Repeat this 87 times (you will need 88 squares, total.) Be sure to cut out a variety of complimentary fabrics. While making my mat, I stuck with reds, aquas, greens and yellows.

patchwork 017

2. Arrange your patches
First thing's first - clean your floor and ban all fabric-loving felines from entering. You'll need to spread out your patches, 11 across by 8 down, and you wouldn't want your work disturbed once you've found the perfect layout! Once you're satisfied, begin stacking, in order, the top row of 11 patches. Leave the other rows in their place on the floor, and take this "first row stack" over to your sewing machine.

. Sew together the patchwork strips.

recycled bath mat tutorial 1

Using a 1/4 in seam allowance, sew the 11 squares together. Press the seams to one side. Return this first strip to your floor layout. Now stack the second row, sew the strip, press, and return. Repeat for the remaining strips.

4. Sew the strips together

patchwork 031

Starting with the top two strips, place the first strip with the right side facing up, then lay the second strip on top of it with its right side facing down. Secure the right, long edge with pins. With a 1/4 in seam allowance, stitch down this long edge and press the seam to one side. Repeat this process with the rest of the strips, always placing the "loose" strip face down on top of the previous strip and sewing along the right, unfinished edge.

5. Embellish the top of the mat
While it is fine to leave the top of the mat embroidery-free, I couldn't help but break out the old-fashioned needle and thread. Here's how I managed the feet outline:

recycled bath mat tutorial 2

I used my own tiny feet as the model, but it would be great to use a child's footsies, or, better yet, the whole family's! Make sure the top of the mat is pressed flat, then trace around the feet using tailor's chalk.

I used the chain stitch with 6 strands of white embroidery floss because I wanted the outline to stand out from the background colors. With three strands of floss, I embroidered "clean feet" using a no-nonsense running stitch.

patchwork bath mat close up

6. Cut out an old terry towel for the mat backing
Cut out part of an old towel to the same dimensions as your mat front.

recycled bath mat tutorial 3

Pin the mat front, right side facing down, to the towel backing.

recycled bath mat tutorial 4

7. Sew the mat front to the towel backing
Using a 1/4 seam allowance, sew around the edges, leaving a 4 inch gap for turning. Turn the mat right side out and press. Topstitch along the entire edge, closing the "turning gap" as you go.

8. "Quilt" around your embroidery

recycled bath mat tutorial 5

Lengthen your stitch length slightly and machine stitch around the outside of your "feet." This serves the dual purpose of accenting the embroidery as well as securing the towel backing to the mat front, to prevent slippage.

That's it! I hope that you or your gift recipient enjoys this light-hearted addition to the bathroom!



snik said...

I love it! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love this bath mat. Our bathroom has just undergone a huge transformation and as of Tuesday we now have carpet so this will be the most fantastic addition. Thank you, thank you for being so generous and sharing this with us.


Holly said...

This is such a cool idea! How fun to step out of the shower onto something so pretty.

dutchcomfort said...

Thanks for the tutorial. The month of November will be sooo ful of inspiration!

Violette Crumble said...

Great idea and lovely photos as usual.

Stephanie Ozenne said...

I saw this when you posted the first pictures and figured I'd make one for me (so cute!). Somehow today it hits me - I can make these as gifts, too! So I'm making at least two more as gifts, now. Maybe three. Thanks for the inspiration, Meg!

Green Kitchen said...

I was just thinking about buying a bathmat. Maybe I'll make one. Duh! What was I thinking.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I found your blog through CraftBoom. I've been thinking of doing a blanket with squares, but a bathmat sounds more doable. (I recently bought a sewing machine.) Your bathmat looks great, nice colour combos. Glad there is a tutorial I can refer to.

Anonymous said...

That is simply gorgeous. Might even be simple enough for me to squeeze in between work projects! Love your tutorial too - great stuff!

Kacy said...

Love the feet! Now we need a shower curtain tutorial so our bathroom matches :)

Moni said...

That is so beautiful. Thank you for the tutorial. You make it looks so easy.... though I know I will be struggling to match up everything when I attempt to make one :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this lovely tutorial!

I just stumbled upon your site this week and I just love it! You have such an inspiring site. I've always been intrigued by the tiny bit I know about Montessori schools. I've decided I'm going to read a bit more on them because of your site.

Jennifer said...

This was such a fun idea that I had to make one... right away! Thank you for sharing not only your creations, but also your process - it inspires and directs (so very Montessori), and helps us to be creative too.
Picture at my blog - can't wait until you've got the gnome bag pattern made... (already made a mei tai carrier, and loving it)...

Dallas said...

I love the colors in this and the pattern doesn't look too hard. I will definately give this tutorial a try.

Gift of Green said...

Ab totally Fab!

Hashi said...

I made this today, and it turned out great! (Picture on my blog). Thanks so much for the tutorial! I simplified the patchwork and it was really speedy.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! Love it!

Anonymous said...

can't wait to try this one!

macati said...

hi... thank you so much! this bath mat is so cool!

Bern said...

Thank-you so much for your recycled bath mat tutorial. My bathmats are always getting very dirty and tend to wear out quickly in the clothes dryer. Replacements are quite expensive, so when I came across your tutorial, I now know not to replace my old bath mats with expensive new ones - I shall make my own! Plus, this will be a good use for lots of my scraps! Thanks again,

Bern in Australia

The Wooden Spool said...

thanks meg! so fun and easy!

timothyandlauren said...

i love this idea and thanks for the clear instructions. cute feet!

Cupcake Mama said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm going to make one today...

Daisy said...

I don't sew, but watching your lovely creations just might convince me to start.

Silvia F.Keros said...

What a beautiful patches with lovely colors!! Thanks for the tutorial!!

Anonymous said...

This is just too adorable! Thank you for the tutorial. I love your color choices!

Janice said...

Finally got mine made :) I used
5" squares though just cause I was lazy :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Mary said...

I was finally able to come back to this after seeing in at Sew Mama Sew before Christmas. Thank you so much for the tutorial and the wonderful idea!!! This rug is the perfect addition to my new bathroom design.

Anonymous said...

this has to be the cutest bath mat EVER!

this is the second time I have stumbled upon your blog...this time I'm saving the link...and I'm so drawn in by this bath mat that I di believe I am going to attempt to make one.

Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

Amber said...

That is so neat! Thanks for the tut!!

Elisa said...

OMG OMG OMG i LOVE this bath mat! i am totally going to use all my scraps and make myself an xmas gift :P


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