April 17, 2012

Embroidered Kitchen Towel

Well, I completed my first embroidery project and I have to tell you . . . embroidery is SO much fun, VERY relaxing, and it is probably going to take a little PRACTICE to make my final product look anything like the pictures in Alicia's book. But, that's okay. I'm willing and patient.

If you're looking to give it a try I have to tell you (geez, I have a lot that I have to tell you don't I?) . . . I loved the flour sack towel project. You can buy the towels for about a dollar apiece at Target so if you make a mess of things you haven't blown too much cash. Plus you can instantly display your work as soon as you're finished – just drape the towel over the oven door handle and viola! Your kitchen is a bit fancier.

Here are the steps I took. (It only took me a little over an hour from start to finish.)

1. Gather your supplies and print the design you plan to use. Make sure you wash, dry and iron your towel before you start. (I had to include a picture of the package of needles because they are so vintagy cool! They came from G's aunt Billie's sewing box and they say they're made in England which makes them even yummier!)

2. Hold your towel over the printed design against a sunny window and use a washable fabric pen to trace the design on your towel.

3. Using a basic backstitch (see tutorial here), follow the design in thread colors of your choice. I used two strands of embroidery thread on the main parts of the design and just one strand on the smaller flower details.

(Sorry no photos of the sewing cuz I couldn't figure out how to take a pic while sewing.)

A couple things caused some problems for me:

a. My main thread color (blue) almost exactly matched the color of my outlining pen which made it VERY hard to see what the heck I was doing.

b. Check the back of your work FREQUENTLY. I'd be sewing away like a mad woman and then feel a funky snag, turn the thing over, and discover a spaghetti-like mass of thread on the back. I don't know how I kept making such a thread blob but it happened several time.

Here's how the back looked when I was done. I'm guessing this is kind of a crazy mess but I don't have anything to compare it to.

Here's the finished towel! I love it!

Think you want to try? Don't hesitate! Start tonight! Good luck.


  1. Karin Clark-CassensApril 18, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    I LOVE embroidered tea towels Jenny!! Yours is so charming


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