Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Marketplace: Bella! Dish Towels

Bella! Dish Towels
Bella! Dish Towels

I really did work up to the last minute before my Open House and then through the following week, and even the beginning of this week, and all the work really paid off, literally, to help fill the “kitty”. And not only that, I’ve had so many ideas all year but physical and financial constraints really slowed me down, so when I finally got to this event, even though I have a lot of items already, I knew I’d feel so much better about all of it if I had something new that I had worked out and that others seemed to look forward to. I had wanted to make the accessory bags, an idea I’ve had for months that was just burning to be done. I was right, and I’m so glad I took the time!

There was another project too, though, the stenciled Bella! dish towels that are simple except for one little difficulty that’s been holding it up all year, that difficulty being the towels themselves. When I first printed the Bella! tote bags I had also ordered a collection of flour sack dishtowels and printed them along with the bags. But it seems when I choose a material that I want to continually order for a product it seems I jinx it because for months after that the flour sack towels were on back order. Trying to find blank white towels to print on is more difficult than you’d imagine because many bricks and mortar and online stores carry them, but they don’t have many, they are also on back order, and they are often a different size and even different quality fabric each time they show up. Keeping things consistent just makes my whole process so much easier so I just gave up on the flour sack towels to simply decide on a cloth I could buy by the bolt and make my own darned towels. Even though I don’t really want to spend the extra time to cut and hem all the towels I want, it seems to be the best way to make my ideas a reality.

But I had found a package of three flour sack towels earlier in the year and decided to print them when I printed the new Bella! totes and accessory bags. Only three towels, two black and one ginger based on the popularity of the tote bags. I had polled friends about whether or not to include the button eyes (I probably wouldn’t want buttons on my dish towels no matter how cute) and most said they like the silhouette even though the eyes were totally cute. But not handsewing the eyes saved me time. It was worth the effort to introduce them, and like the accessory bags and everything else I introduce I’d see how they were received and make more based on that.

Bella! dish towel in black.
Bella! dish towel in black.

Those three towels sold almost immediately with promises to make more. All the accessory bags sold too. When I purchased zippers for more accessory bags I found packages of flour sack dish towels twice as big as the ones I’d just printed, so I decided I’d cut them in half and hem the sides, and with that I had enough towels to make a whole dozen! Making a dozen new accessory bags and dish towels was one of the projects that kept me too busy to post, but the sales were worth the effort, and that ensures that you’ll be seeing more of many of these items in the coming year!

Sunshine and Mariposa inspect my work.
Sunshine and Mariposa inspect my work.

Purchase Bella! Dish Towels

Bella! Dish Towels
Bella! Dish Towels

I apo9logize for how blurry this photo is; I still haven’t had my DSLR repaired (soon!) and my cell phone is inconsistent in how it captures images.

These dishtowels are printed on premade 18″ x 32″ flour sack towels with my “Bella!” silhouette stenciled on the bottom edge. The design is 8″ wide so that you can fold the towel in thirds and still see the entire design. The towels are $10.00 for the first towel then $5.00 for each additional towel.

You can find them both on my page of Hand-printed Art, Housewares and Apparel (once I print more designs of dish towels these will have their own page like other items in my Handmade Gift Gallery), or you can click on the two images below to go directly to the post for each color. Bear in mind that I have limited quantities of each one, and that’s likely to remain the case for a while, so you may get a “low inventory” warning or the “add to cart” button won’t work if they’ve all been purchased and I haven’t been able to make a note of that in the product yet.

Bella! dish towel in black.
Bella! dish towel in black.
Bella! dish towel in ginger.
Bella! dish towel in ginger.


Small Accessory Bags

I created my own “fabric” swatches by printing the pattern on linen fabric using a fabric transfer, the kind often used for t-shirts and other garments, and the ones I use for various other projects like ornaments, coasters and tiles. I used my heat press to ensure even coverage. The pattern is clear and bright, true to the original, and I can see a lot of potential for this process! And with a tortie supurrvising my process, how could it go wrong?

Sienna keeps an eye on me and my work.

But I started with something small and easy to sew. I have always thought little bags were neat things and I’ve received some as gifts. Of course, these became an object for study when I immediately pictured my artwork on them, which is where most of my gift items begin. I had given purchased accessory bags a try a while ago but found the fabric transfers didn’t comform well to the seams and hems and such, leaving some areas unprinted and some distorted.

That meant I’d need to transfer the pattern to flat fabric and sew the bags myself. That’s not too hard, and I love to sew. I finally managed to dig out my sewing machine from under a lot of things that were overflow from my studio—all that recent cleaning and reorganizing has paid off. Equipment, inks and other items I moved to the basement left room for the overflow in my bedroom moved back into the studio, and I can sew again!

I used linen fabric for these because, along with reusing and recycling many other things in manufacture and packaging, I also reuse or recycle household goods, like old tablecloths, draperies, and other fabric items that can’t be donated (if I don’t use them for TNR). The linen has such a nice drape, but the transfer gives it a little stiffness that works well for these little bags, and likely for larger bags too, and it’s very sturdy.

I’m going to add some sort of a zipper pull too. I’ve had several ideas for ones I’d make by hand. We’ll see what I come up with, and I’ll add that to the product post.

These small bags are $10.00 each, including shipping and handling.

The first two designs

While I also picture these with single images, I started with two of my favorite patterns for these two bags. Click the image to visit the post and purchase.

I have many other pattern ideas to offer as well as handpainted ones. They are found on the page for Totes, Accessories and Purses.

Inscrutable Patterns Small Accessory Bag

I’ll let you know right now that I sold out of this design, “Inscrutable Patterns”, and finding zippers of any color in time to make new ones would probably make me miss a shipping deadline for Christmas. However, feel free to order them if you’d still like to receive them after Christmas.

Inscrutable Patterns small accessory bag.

This pattern is based on one of my daily cat sketches I titled “Inscrutable”. Read about the pattern here. I added a purple zipper just for fun.

22 Cats

I still have two of these (as I’m composing this post). If I’ve sold out you’ll get a notice the product is unavailable if you try to order it. I will also do my best to add that to this post so that you know upfront.

22 Cats small accessory bag.

There are 22 cats in this pattern who all appear in the commissioned portraits included in my book, Great Rescues Day Book“. Read about the pattern here. I used a gold zipper for all the ginger colors in this pattern.

Bella! Accessory Bags

I made a couple new things with the Bella! design—accessory bags and dish towels. Click the images below to visit the product post and purchase.

Bella! Accessory Bags in Housepanther and Ginger Kitty
Bella! Accessory Bags in Housepanther and Ginger Kitty

I make each 5 x 8 bag from reclaimed natural linen fabric, stencil my “Bella!” silhouette and embellish with buttons sewn on by hand. Natural zipper closure.

I’m going to add some sort of a zipper pull too. I’ve had several ideas for ones I’d make by hand. We’ll see what I come up with, and I’ll add that to the product post.

These small bags are $10.00 each, including shipping and handling. Click the image to visit the product post.

Where to find the accessory bags

They are found on the page for Totes, Accessories and Purses.

Discount through December 31, 2019

I’ve set up a slideshow of my display so you can see what I have here, but everything that’s available is on my website,

including sale items

• 25% OFF all Original Artwork
• $10 Boxed Dozen Holiday Cards
• 2 for $25 Gift Items

Use the coupon code CREATIVECAT25 in your shopping cart.

Visit and start browsing! I am currently adding the unsold items to my Handmade Gift Gallery, and making more items to replace what was popular and sold. You can also preview items in my Open House Newsletter.

Get on my list!

If you are local, please let me know if you’d like to hear about my open house events. These are separate from my other newsletters and mailing lists.


Mariposa says, “All these kitties in here and not one of them looks like ME!”

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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