I often overlook one of the easiest ways to dress up the kitchen or the bath during the holidays. I’ve made a promise to myself to buy some new towels and stitch some really cute holiday designs this year. If you’ve been thinking about the doing the same, here’s some steps to make it simple. After all, not only do seasonal towels dress up your home, they also make great hostess gifts!
1. Buy quality towels with borders. They’ll look luxurious and will standup to repeated laundering. Towels with borders are easier to hoop than plain towels because the border is a natural alignment mark. In fact, I align the top edge of the border with the inside of my hoop and, voila! The towel is square in the hoop.
2. Use the right stabilizers for your hoop. Yes, you read that correctly – the right stabilizer for the hoop! If you’re using an industrial hoop (they are quite strong and rigid), hoop the towel and tear-away. Industrial hoops provide the proper grip for terry cloth and will hold both stabilizer and towel securely.
If you’re using a standard hoop (for a single-needle machine), you have some choices.
First choice: If time is on your side and you can launder the towel after embroidering, then hoop an adhesive water soluble stabilizer such as Floriani’s Wet N Gone Tacky. Remove the protective paper and position the towel on the hooped, sticky surface. Embroider the design then wash the towel.
Second choice: If time is not on your side (and it’s not normally on my side!), then use a combination of stabilizers. Adhesive tear-away in the hoop and a low-tack, iron-on, tear-away such as Sulky’s Totally Stable, adhered to the wrong side of the design area. Totally Stable protects the towel from the sticky, hooped stabilizer. Embroider the design, separate the towel from the sticky stabilizer and peel away the Totally Stable.
Third Choice: Hoop tear-away stabilizer and insert the metal frame of Magna-Hoop Jumbo in the hoop. Place the towel over the hooped stabilizer, place the acrylic frame over the towel and snap the magnets into the slots. The strong magnets of Magna-Hoop Jumbo firmly grip thick, terry cloth towels.
Top all embroidery on terry cloth with water soluble stabilizer. It adds lift to the stitches and keeps the loops from getting tangled on the embroidery foot.
3. Stitch designs that have been created for lofty fabrics. What does that mean? Generous underlay (often double the normal amount) permanently holds down the nap of terry cloth long after the water soluble topper has been washed away. You’ll be happy with the results. Monograms and designs that are stitched with wide satin columns with generous underlay will stand the test of time and use.
4. Use a template to ensure the entire set matches. I use the towel templates from The Perfect Towel Kit or The Perfect Placement Kit every time I stitch a towel. Since I developed those templates, I’ve never had to buy extra towels just get six to match!
On the prior posting, I learned so much about why you read this blog. Thank you for your comments – they really guide me when I’m creating content! This week, I’m going to dig a little further. Please tell me your favorite Designs in Machine Embroidery project. Your voice matters – and I want to know what projects were hits or misses! Leave your thoughts and you’ll get a chance to win a Mini-Perfect Placement Towel Kit and a set of three holiday towels!
Our last blog discussion topic was why you read this blog. Our lucky winner of the Designer Necklines is Mary Gordon. She said…
“I enjoy your blogs and the quite frequently accompanying videos because they are so informative. Through both, I have learned a lot about placement, how-to’s (like placement advantages – no matter what size hoop you have), how to set the project up for the best effect and outcome. Your tutorials definitely get me thinking outside of the box and ending with an “I can do this” feeling and attitude. I have also “learned” how to do things as a project I might not otherwise have thought of or taken on in the first place. Keep up the good work – you definitely have a fan here and I read and view everything that has your name associated with it. Mary”