Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Monday, August 02, 2010
Here it is, already the sixth Building our Homes Together over at Prairie Flower Farm. I am taking a detour from the more spiritually-minded posts I have been sharing. Today I am sharing something extremely down-to-earth and practical (and maybe to some, a little bit odd): condensation catchers for behind the toilets.
In our part of the country, summer can be very humid indeed. So much so that toilet tanks sweat, and it's pretty much a necessity to keep a towel or something else behind the toilets to soak up the condensation in hot weather. I have usually just used a neatly folded old towel, which works quite well and can be tossed into the washer and replaced quickly. But sometimes, especially in a small space, the towel gets sort of messy-looking. I wished for something equally effective, but prettier.
On someone's blog, I had seen a pattern for making a bath mat out of an old towel and backing it with cotton fabric, then trimming with an embellishment of some sort.
I had posted a link (I hoped) to that blog, Scent of Water, but discovered that it is no longer available, so took the link out.
Anyway, I decided to adapt that good idea to make a mat to go behind the toilet. I cut an old towel into 4 pieces vertically (after first cutting off the ends) and used 2 of them to make this mat. I backed it with part of an old muslin curtain and trimmed it with a shell-themed candlewicking design (which had resided unfinished in an old sewing box for years). I was pleased with how it turned out, and it looks great in my seashore-themed downstairs bathroom. This led, of course, to making another mat for the upstairs bathroom. And that inevitably led to the idea of making two more mats, for a total of four, so that I could easily replace them as they got soaked and needed to be washed.
So here are two more -- one embellished with the picture from an old calendar towel, and the other with a fabric napkin that had seen better days. As you can see, on the one mat the muslin tore a little bit (this is, after all, muslin that saw years of use as a curtain prior to this) but I just sewed around the tear and it's holding up fine even after going through the wash a good number of times. This last mat goes perfectly in the upstairs bathroom. The fabric trim is a scrap from a bag my daughter made one time. So those are my very simple condensation catcher towel mats. They are simple and very primitively sewn -- they are so thick, it is hard to sew them neatly -- but they are serving their intended purpose beautifully. In fact, we have had so much humidity this summer that I'm thinking about making two more. If you would like to make these yourself, it's very simple. From an old towel, cut 2 pieces the approximate size you want your mat to be. Cut a piece of fabric the same size -- I used part of an old curtain, but muslin or any cotton type fabric would work. If you wish to embellish the mat, stitch the embellishment onto this fabric at this time. Then stack the pieces -- the fabric one and 1 towel piece right sides together, then the second towel piece on top of that. Pin securely and stitch around the edges using a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving an opening for turning. The turning is a bit of a chore because the towels make it thick. Then hand-sew the opening closed. Press the finished mat neatly and then top-stitch as desired to hold the layers of the mat together well. Larger, similar mats make great washable bathmats and may be as decorative as you like.
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.