Back in the day, recipe cards were pretty much a thing. Now with the internet and Pinterest, you can find and share recipes quickly. No one really hand-wrote recipes for someone anymore.
If you are organized like me, you might have put your recipe books somewhere. On my computer, I have a list of recipes from my mother and grandmother that I typed out.
While cruising Pinterest one day, a pin from SpoonFlower’s blog came across my page, where the designer, Emma Jeffery, took photos of her grandmother’s hand-written recipe cards and had some fabric custom-printed using Spoonflower.
She would then cut out the pieces and sewed a hem around the edges.
The result was a spectacular heirloom of her grandmother’s handwriting and a great set of tea towels for her kitchen. She also made one for her mother to have!
This was inspirational, so I set out in search of my mom’s recipe box. It took a long time to find the recipe box, a while to find it, but I recognized it when I saw the 1960s-yellow-and-green-floral-contact-paper cover.
This box has been stored for who knows how long. It has been stored in different parts of my mom’s kitchen for the entirety of my memory. The book contains full recipes from my mom, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunts, recipe books, magazines, and other family members.
I went through to find the ones that were written by my grandmother and my great-grandmother.
When my great-grandmother passed away after I was born, my mom got her box of recipes. I could quickly identify her handwriting and discern it from my mom’s.
I already knew what my grandmother’s handwriting was, but I was only able to find two recipes written by her. I also went ahead and borrow recipe cards from my mother, dad’s mom, and other family members over the years.
I also grabbed some recipes that I wanted to try and test.
Once I got home, I scanned all the recipe cards my great-grandmother wrote out and set about arranging them in a nice-looking collage.
I included three recipe cards that were clipped from her newspaper. I liked the charm they added to the designs since I know she used to adhere recipes from the newspaper onto her 3.5″ x 5″ cards with rubber cement so they would fit into her recipe box and not get lost.
Next, I open Adobe Photoshop to delete the backgrounds on each card and adjust the color and contrast to my liking. Once everything was to my liking, I dragged all of them into Adobe Illustrator and set up the file to one-quarter the size of the full yard of linen-cotton canvas that SpoonFlower sells.
You can use other programs if you prefer, like Photoshop Elements, Publisher, PowerPoint, or online using Picasa or Gimp.
For the towels, I gave a little bit of blue edge and some red edge. The reason for the colors is that I knew coordinated with the kitchens of my mom and my aunt; the people who would be receiving these as Christmas gifts.
Once my file was done, I uploaded it to SpoonFlower’s website to be tiled, so four towels fit on one panel of fabric. You can do whatever way you like!
If you want a sample before getting the real deal, you can ask for a fabric swatch. If you don’t have time, you better pray it comes in beautifully.
In about a week and a half, I was super excited about my fabric. The print quality was better than I expected to be honest.
After putting the fabric in the washing machine and dryer, there was a bit fading. However, it gave the towel an “aging” look to the colored edges which enhanced the look of the fabric. Either way, the printing quality was not a big deal.
Next, you can iron and trim the edges to make them look neater.
With my iron, I created a rolled hem around the edges. Then I did a simple stitch all the way around with my sewing machine.
To make the Christmas gifts extra special, I gave two towels each to my mom, aunt, sister, and cousin, along with one of my favorite cookbooks.
This gift doesn’t need to be for Christmas. You can give these as mother’s day or father’s day gifts too. The best part about these towels is that once they are worn, you can make more printed.
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