Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tea and Tea Towels/ A Challenge

Well, I am getting a taste of what it's like to be a mother today. Little Berkley went in to be neutered yesterday, and has had a few issues with the medication. Add to it that he does not want to leave my side. And then I have Gracie, who is terribly afraid of the rain. Between fast trips outside, if you know what I mean :/, and 2 dogs that are wanting lots of attention, I've had a difficult time getting anything accomplished. But the rain will come to an end, and Berkley will heal, in the meantime, I'm just enjoying the fact that they look to me for comfort :)

Today is the first day of woven t-shirt challenge that Becky of Trail Balloons and I are doing as a collaboration. The fun part about it is that we have a specified challenge each week, but we have no idea what the other will be doing.

This week, the challenge was to work with tea towels. Becky picked up a lovely towel while on vacation and used it as the basis of her design. You can see her post HERE. It really turned out to be the perfect 'throw it on and go' top as well as an airy, 'stay cool through the summer' piece. For anyone who loves good tea, she offers a wonderful idea for making your own tea bags. 

I have a box full of vintage linens and tea towels that I have collected over the years. When Becky suggested using tea towels, I thought of a pile that I had found, all new/old stock, so, old but never used. And, all the same. They were especially wide, so maybe not really tea towels, but they would work for this project. 

I decided to use the free raglan tee pattern that I used in THIS post. The pattern plus my pile of towels resulted in this!      

I was able to turn the pattern so that I could use the finished edge of the towel for the hem of the top. There's a faint black accent line woven into the fabric, so I decided to use a piece of vintage black gingham as an accent. One corner was cut, turned on the bias, and then laid on top of the gingham to create the pocket. 

For the back, I used another corner to cover up an issue. While the towels had never been used, there were some age spots that I could not work around. For fun, I added a piece of the gingham to the back and topped it with some embroidered initials from another tea towel.

A lovely time when towels were monogrammed :) 

Below is the age spot that the back overlay covers up. I also used the black gingham to bind the neckline.

I felt that the sleeves needed a little interest, so I added a stripe of the gingham. Just stitched it over 1 of the stripes in the towel.

Not quite sure what I will wear the top with, maybe a pair of linen pants. 

And now for my recipe...

Like Becky, I love tea, and I have quite the collection. During the summer, I especially like a glass of lavender iced tea. While the tea is great to drink, it's also great to cook with! Believe it or not, it's the secret ingredient in my lemon bars. 

I begin with a box of lemon cookie thins that I get from Trader Joe's. If you don't live near a Trader Joe's, I'm sure you can find something comparable in your grocery store.

The cookies are crushed to make a  cookie crust.

Mashed into a foil lined pan and baked until golden brown.

All of the ingredients for the lemon/lavender filling are combined in a blender, and then poured over the baked crust.

The result is a lemon bar that is sinfully good!

Lemon Lavender Bars

Crust Ingredients;
8 oz. butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 cups crushed lemon cookie thins

Filling Ingredients;
8 large eggs
1 1/4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 3/4 cups lavender sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup flour

To Prepare Crust
Crush cookie thins. Add vanilla extract and melted butter. Mix well. Foil line a 9"' x 13" pan. Spray or grease the foil. Pour cookie mixture into pan and press out smoothly. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. 

While the crust is cooking, place eggs in blender and blend until frothy smooth. Add lemon juice, and continue blending. Add lemon sugar and flour and blend until smooth. Finish with the lemon zest. 

Once the crust is golden brown, pour the filling over the crust and place in oven, reducing the heat to 325 degrees. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until filling is set.

Remove from oven and allow the bars to cool. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. The bars will store well in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Lavender sugar can be purchased, but you can also make your own. I used the lavender tea to make mine. Use 2 tablespoons of crushed lavender to 3 cups of sugar. This is a very nice sugar to keep on hand. Use it in cookie recipes, as well as pancakes.


Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This


  1. Your tee looks great. I like your creative use of tea towels. Harney and Sons is one of my favorite tea companies. I’ve not tried the lavender tea. I’ll add it next time I make an order. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    1. I go back and forth between Harney and Mighty Leaf. Mighty Leaf has a green jasmine tea that I drink every morning.
      The tee was fun to put together. I was just a little scattered running between everything. This too shall end 😊

  2. Darling tee! Love the addition of the black check as it really makes it all pop. Lavender is so nice to cook with. One of my favorites is lavender ice cream, so lovely. I will have to try these bars. Thanks for the recipe, Rhonda.

    1. Thanks Bunny 😊
      The next time I make ice cream, I am going to add lavender. Thx for the idea 💡

  3. Hi Rhonda, Very creative and cute too. ;-) That lemon bar looks delicious.

    1. I got a few of the bars, but Mr. Carl ate most!!!

  4. So, so creative you are!! So cute! I'm sure you will enjoy wearing it--linen pants sound a perfect match for an outfit. Hugs to the fur babies!!

    1. You are too kind 😊
      I need to get the pants made as fall is coming. Although, you wouldn’t know it with the heat we are having. Reminds me of Texas weather 😉
      I keep pinching myself everyday as I just can’t believe how lucky I was to have Berkley come into my life, and that Gracie has accepted him as she has. We are a very happy little group!