diy quilted dish drying mat
It must be Germany fabric week around here, because this project features another fabric from the pile I brought home last summer. This is an American fabric, not German or even European, but it’s still a special reminder of that trip.
I made this dish mat for two reasons: first, I wanted the mat to fit perfectly underneath my drying rack; and second, I was getting really tired of spending money on furnishings and supplies for my apartment (it’s like the list never ends!). This was a quick and easy project that helps me showcase a beloved fabric in a super useful way.
I took an old white kitchen towel that wasn’t so white anymore, chopped it in half and cut off its binding. I used two layers of towel in between my cotton outer layers.
I quilted along the lines of the spatula pattern, and everything shifted while I was quilting. It was a mess! But I just trimmed the edges so they were square again. No worries.
As you can see, the stripe of the towel shows through on the yellow side of the dish mat. That’s the bottom, so I don’t care!
I cut my own binding from the yellow cotton – straight binding, not on the bias. Because of the thickness, I used Heather Bailey’s Quilt Binding Tutorial, a great way to flawlessly bind quilted items, especially when you’re using homemade binding.
After stitching the binding right-to-right to the front of the mat, I decided to go for it and secure the binding to the back side by machine, rather than hand-stitching. I used a ton of clips and managed to catch all the binding, which always feels great.
Of course, in day-to-day life, the mat hides underneath my dish rack like this. But the cheeriness of the bright spatulas manages to peek through my mountains of dishes, and my countertop stays dry. A win for sure. I’m planning to make another to have on hand for baking days, when I have too many dishes for the dish rack and am forced to lay them out on a towel on the counter. This is a much more elegant solution!
I love this project! I still have the fabric in my stash (oh how I wish we could meet in Berlin again to go fabric shopping together – it was so much fun!) but seeing your cute project and how bright and cheerful it looks in your kitchen, I’m itching to come up with a project to use mine :)
Thanks for tutorial! Your mat turned out super cute! You should be able to order a walking foot for your sewing machine which will help with the puckering on the back when you quilt. I use blue painters tape to hold the bottom fabric of my smaller quilt projects to my cutting mat then layer batting, or towels in this case, and top fabric right side up for my quilt sandwich. Then I pin baste with curved basting safety pins before quilting and that helps prevent the puckering on the back. Hope that helps for future projects. Keeps up the great work!
Brilliant. I found this looking for a better solution to laying a towel on the counter or buying an expensive drab looking drying mat. Thanks very much for this tutorial. Not only did you make a super cute mat, but also reused an old towel. I have lots of similar towels that could use a makeover!