I wanted to make this a page to make it easier to find than it is in the feed. As always, I welcome comments.
There are now loads of people offering alternatives to paper towels on Etsy. They are made out of many different fabrics and can add a nice touch to your kitchen. They also make a nice house-warming gift for that frugal friend. I had a stack of squares of flannel leftover from more than a few projects and decided it was time to hem the squares and share my process.I always press my fabrics prior to cutting. This helps me cut straighter. I cut my squares to 11.5" by 11.5". This will yield a towel about 11" by 11" after hemming. You will get three towels out of 1/3 yard of fabric and maybe have enough left over for a couple little (6" by 6") towels, too. Cut them to any size that works for you, just realize that you need enough size to hem them with the serger.
For speed and a nice finish, I use my serger. I set up for a narrow 3-thread rolled-hem. I use a Polyarn from Superior Threads for the top looper to make a smooth rolled-hem. Check with your manual to set up your machine. I practiced with a few scraps to get the hem I liked best. You may like a wider hem that covers more of the edge. Do what makes you happy.
I stop with the needle about 3 inches from the edge of the fabric so I can round the corners.
About 3 inches from the corner is where I grab onto the fabric to pull it across the bias to guide it through the machine. The machine will continue to feed the fabric. Keep hold of the edge and guide it around the corner.
I didn't round the last corner. Instead I just stitched right across the edge. I might add a loop to these in the future, but I figure as an un-paper towel it really just needs to be a rag that doesn't unravel during use or going through the wash.
There really isn't much waste when doing this with the serger. I put the cut away fabric around the finished towel to show that you only lose a couple square inches when you round the corners.
I worked through my stack of squares and even made some little ones (6" by 6") that will be good for wiping small things or used as a coaster.
If you decide to use these directions I would love to see photos of your project. Make sure you are not a no-reply blogger if you leave a comment on this post. If you are a no-reply blogger I won't be able to reply to your comment to get you my email so you can send in a photo.
You can find my tutorial for cloth napkins in the side bar or here.