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Alignment and Placement Continuous Embroidery Embroidery Tips & Techniques

Upscale Bed Linens – Tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets

I love embroidered bed linens. They are such a treat to slide between as you end a long day. Here are some tips for stitching gorgeous machine embroidery designs on sheets.

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Tips for Success

• Take the time to prepare the design and the sheets. It’s well worth the effort.

• Purchase an extra pillowcase to test the design before stitching on the sheets.

• Open the band before embroidering to hide the wrong side of the embroidery.

• My stabilizer of choice for sheets is fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer with a layer of tear-away floating under the hoop. Fine linens are a tight weave and benefit from a strong foundation for the embroidery.

• Insert a new, sharp needle.

• Consider adding a single-letter monogram to the center of the band. Then stitch from the center to the edge on each side.

• Allow some space at each end of the border for some breathing room (aka – room for error).

Here’s a case for prewashing the sheets. Normally, I don’t prewash blanks but sheets really benefit from this prep step. It eliminates the unwanted puckers that often appear after laundering embroidered linens.

Measure the band – from folded edge to stitch line and from selvedge to selvedge. If the band measures 4” (a common size), select a design that is 3” in height so that there will be ½” open space on each side of the design. Once you select a machine embroidery design that is 3” tall, make a note of its length. My design is 3” x 5” and my queen top sheet measures 90” from selvedge to selvedge. I’ll divide 90” by 5”. I’ll need 18 repeats to fill the band.

Hmm…90” is perfectly divided by 5 into 18 repeats. Frankly, that scares me because I’ll have to be absolutely perfect on placement for each of the 18 designs. So I’ll take a little artistic license here and set myself up for success by planning on stitching only 17 repeats. Not only will this relieve some stress, it will probably look more pleasing because the center of a design will be dead center on the band and not the join of two designs. Definitely more desirable in my opinion.

Not that I know how many repeats I’ll need, I will take a seam ripper to the band and release the hem. I know, reverse sewing but it’s so worth it. Next, it’s time to carefully press the band but I will leave the crease of the fold in place because it’s a built-in guideline for squaring the band (sheet) in the hoop.

Cut the fusible polymesh stabilizer into 4” strips and press it to the wrong side of the band.

Fold the sheet in half, selvedge to selvedge to find the center and place a target sticker to mark the center.

Print two templates of the design. Place one template on the target sticker. Make sure the template’s crosshair is aligned with the target sticker’s crosshair. Use a ruler to verify the design is flanked by ½” on each side (from fold crease to hemline).

Select a hoop that will accommodate the design – one or two repeats. Hoop the band with tear-away stabilizer. Center the needle over the target sticker and embroider the design. Place the template on the band, connecting the image to the stitched design. Move the needle to the template’s crosshair. Remove the template and embroider the design.

When it’s time to rehoop, use the template and folded crease to square the sheet in the hoop and continue to fill the band with embroidery.

Next week, we’ll look at some tips at the machine to ensure a beautiful continuous line of embroidery.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Urban Threads!  They are generously giving away a $100.00 gift certificate to!  What is your favorite home decor blank to stitch on?  Do you prefer towels, bed linens, table linens…?  Share with us your favorite by leaving a comment and you’ll be entered to win!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Last week we wanted to know what type of fabric you have a hard time stitching on.  The winner of Machine Embroidery on Difficult Materials is…Katrina H!  She said…

“I always have issues with different weights of cotton. Each one has a different hand. But I’ve had more success using an iron-on tearaway to help stabilize the stitches.”

Congrats, Katrina!




  • Debbie

    My favorite blank would be towels. I love how a simple towel can change the look of a bathroom and they are so easy to embroider.

  • Lyn

    My favorite “blanks” for embroidering on are kitchen tea towels. I usually order a dozen or so at a time so I have them on hand to stitch out a quick gift or try out a new design. I keep a stash of completed tea towels in my “gift drawer” so I always have a quick hostess gift on hand…

    I really like the examples of the embroidered bed linens – I’ll have to try that. Maybe something special for the bed in my guest room with some embroidered towels to coordinate…

  • Amanda

    Napkins are my favorite “home decor blank”. The stitching helps people to tell which napkin is theirs if you have many people over and embroidered napkins make great gifts- I have had several family members ask for them after seeing mine.

  • Denise

    My favorite home decor blank to decorate on is table linens. Setting the table with matching cloth & cloth napkins just makes it look so elegant, even if the meal isn’t!

  • Elizabeth favorite home decor blank to stitch on is…napkins!! My kids love them!!

  • Bonnie

    I will embroider anything that I can get my hands on, by my favorite household thing to embroider is bedding. Blankets and pillowcases.

  • Lyla Dyer

    I love to stitch on flour sack towels! They look best with designs that are not too dense. I also love to use my embroidered towels…they look great and are wonderful for cleaning as they are lint free!

  • Sara

    I love embroidering shower curtains! A gigantic single letter monogram with an ornamental border makes a beautiful focal point in a small room like a bathroom.

  • Jessie G.

    I prefer towels, any kind. They are easy to buy, come in a ton of colors, designs and weights and best of all everyone has a kitchen and bathroom!
    Thanks to Urban Threads I finally learned how to use the embroidery half of my Brother machine and everyone is getting towels for the holidays lol.
    I just finished making my Mom a Mickey and Minnie themed kitchen towel set on some fun Marth Stewart spring towels and she loved it so much she started tearing up.
    Yeah embroidery made with love can do that 🙂

  • Debbie MacKenzie

    I love embroidering on towels. There are so many different effects you can get and they look so good when they are done.

    • Aggie

      I have problem with towels..they are to bulky for hoop and my thread breaks with the sticky stableizer…any suggestions would be appreciated.

      • Jan

        I embroider designs and lettering on finger-tip towels and sell them at craft shows. I have been very successful with this project and it has been profitable!!
        I DO NOT wash the towels. Hoop heavy weight tearaway stabilizer and spray with a temporary adhesive spray. Lay the towel (center of designed marked) over the hoop and press to the spray to hold in place, can further secure with a basting stitch, if you have one, or (I prefer) pin at each corner (if you feel it necessary)–longer straight pins are easiest to work with. Cover towel with water soluble stabilizer which you LIGHTLY spray. This allows the stitches to remain on top of the terrycloth and not be “lost”. Stitch design, remove from hoop, tear off both stabilizers and you will have a lovely towel. This is long to write but very fast and easy to do. Hope this suggestion helps you.

        • Patricia Chambers

          I am going through the sewing and embroidering helps that I saved awhile back and came across your advise on embroidering towels. I have had problems with that too. I am excited to try your method sometime this week. thanks so very much. Pat

        • g,lia

          Please e-mail the process to follow for hand elegant embroidery on bed linens and hand towels. I live the machine designs, but am hoping to do a first-time set of sheets, duvet, pillow cases and hand towels for the mother of my deceased boyfriend. I would need specific directions. I would do something simple and elegant. Please send templates, and designs which could be placed directly on the sheets and pollowcases as guides.

        • Irma Clements

          I loved your article, I also do lots of towels.Ihave never sprayed the water soluble with adhesive spray,will try that. Irma

  • Kelly

    Great advice in the prewashing! I love to embroider on kitchen and bath towels. My favorite, by far, are flour sack towels. They are super forgiving, and even just a little bit of thread makes for a totally personalized kitchen!

  • stitchfork

    Table linens are my favorite! They can be folded or accessorized endless ways. Plus you can show them off to guests!

  • Phil

    I think that tea-towel blanks make quick and easy gifts. I’m currently partial to cross stitch designs on them.

  • Toni Melton

    I like to embroider on all sorts of things, but my favorite thing to do is combine sewing/construction with embroidery. For instance, I love to make tote bags from window screen and duck cloth, with designs embroidered on the pocket. This lets me embroider AND sew a tote bag from scratch. These are really cool and always get comments; people are amazed I can embroider on the screen and then turn it into a one of a kind tote! Other fun projects are bibs and burp cloths made from flannel or minky, with embroidered designs added; clocks embroidered on duck cloth and boxed up in picture frames; purses of different sizes; and book covers for bibles, journals, sketchbooks…you name it!

  • MaryAnn

    pillowcases…followed closely by sheets.

  • Cathy Heinrich

    I prefer to stitch on towels. People are always impressed with a gift of embroidered towels. They think it’s soo difficult to do, if they only knew how easy. 🙂

  • Kitchen hand towels, definitely! Though right now, I am hand-embroidering a pillowcase.

    Thank you for the chance to win!

  • Sharla Green

    I love embroidering on beach towels! These are my go-to birthday gifts when my girls are invited to parties. I embroider the birthday girl’s name in a big girlie font, add a coordinating fabric pocket and handle to turn the towel into a self-contained tote, and throw in some flip flops and a swimsuit. The girls love this summer gift!

  • Rachel Phillips

    I love to embroider on towels (my sons bathroom is done in all sorts of rubber duckies from urban threads). I also embroidered on his sheets, curtains and framed a couple of designs for his pirate bedroom. His friends all love it and I get ‘orders’ from the all the time to embroider stuff for them!

  • Michele N

    As a machine embroidery beginner I haven’t embroidered a lot of home goods yet, but I have done a towel and a couple of aprons that I loved. I have some white cloth napkins waiting for a design inspiration/project to present itself. Oh & time to actually embroider to come into my life. lol

  • Jessa S

    To be honest, I would love to win this for my mom. She showed me the Urban Threads website when she was looking for some great designs that would fit my little family perfectly! I would love to surprise her with a $100 gift certificate! We LOVE Urban Threads!!! Thank you for this great giveaway!

  • Mary

    I am a big fan of embroidering towels. Easy to hoop and make great gifts! Thanks for a great giveaway. I love Urban Threads! Mary

  • becky friedrich

    I love doing Pillow cases they are fun , easy and make a great gift

  • Shanna S.


    I would love to be entered in this weeks contest for urban threads! My favourite to stitich on is table linens such as napkins that way everyone gets to see your beautiful creation every time they eat! Thanks!

  • Lisa

    I prefer to stitch on reusable grocery bags.

  • Theresa Lamon

    My favorite home decor linen are towels-kitchen towels, bath towels, holiday towels, etc. A little stitching gives them so much character and they can be used in so many different ways!

  • Kari

    My favorite thing to stitch has to be Valances! What a great way to add a professional touch to a room!

  • Michelle, from Aisle 3

    I finally got my embroidery machine up and running a couple of weeks ago (long story!), and am catching up on projects for my Etsy shop. but But BUT…I have a bin full of vintage doilies that I’ve been collecting to embroider on with some Urban Threads designs I’ve downloaded. I absolutely cannot wait to start!

    Do you have any suggestions for embroidering on delicate fabrics?

  • Daphne Parker

    Thanks for the timely (to me) advice. I am getting ready to do some pillow cases for me bed. And some toss pillows, too. Now, I might think harder about sheets! My favorite home decor blanks are towels. I keep a selection on hand to use for quick gifts, or just to brighten my own space when I need a quick pick-me-up!

  • Bobbee Gerson

    My favorite home dec items to embroider are hand towels. Kids love having one with their name and a design that reflects their interests.

  • Morning Tempest

    I love giving embroidered towels as gifts when my daughter has her birthday party, we have a pool. Each girl has her own design and name embroidered on it. Urban Threads is where we get all of our designs.

  • Kathleen

    I love to embroider on Kitchen towels!

  • Deb Cosby

    I have definetly done more towel sets than any other home decor project. I made matching towel sets for all my nieces and nephews for Christmas last year, and some for myself, which is always a pleasure. I have learned some tricks by just doing it over and over.

  • sarah

    I love putting small designs or letters on my towels. It is a fun way to practice, Yet it looks so rich.

  • Erica D

    Pillowcases 🙂 not just for their original purpose but also because you can turn them into easy & reusable gift wrapping with a personalized touch.

  • Natalie

    I love embroidering on tea/dish towels! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Anne

    I like fabric napkins to embroider on. I’m going to embroider my first pair of pillowcases this summer for a wedding. I’m all about hand embroidering though. Any tips for that?

  • wendy Padget

    I love to stich tea towels. They make great last minute gifts and so many design choices – The possibilities are endless!!

  • Quilted Memories

    I LOVE using throw pillow cases…so many different uses, i.e., living rooms, bedrooms, kids’ rooms, etc!!!!

  • Martina

    I love it to make embroidered pillow cases. The great thing about them is, every new one changed the look of your room.

  • Katie R.

    I love stitching on flour sack towels

  • Paulette Doyle- Scott

    I prefer to work with micro-fiber fleece blankets, I keep a couple made up so if I go somewhere and spend the night I have a wonderful “Thank You” gift. Also my friends and family Love to cuddle up with the ones I have already given them. It requires having two layers of a Good tearaway stabilizer on the bottom and a layer of clear wash-away film stabilizer on top..

  • Babbette

    My favorite blank is pillowcase. I remember my grandmother having embroidery on her pillows. I love the homey feeling they give.

  • dawn betts-green

    I think table linens…I’m a holiday decoration junkie, so I can make all my own weird table decorations!

  • Patty

    I prefer to use embroidery on table linens. Since I don’t use them as often (only for good company ;-), they don’t get as much wear as towels or bed linens – so the design lasts longer. Also, there’s less of a chance of me waking up with the design imprinted on the side of my face!

  • Sara

    Ooh, I love towels. But I also really like shams. I know most people don’t, but when I can successfully embroider them without sewing the back to the front, I have accomplished something 🙂

  • Marla Wagner

    I like to embroider on towels. Add an embroidered topper for a one of a kind gift. Fun to personalize too.

  • Gianna

    My favorite is fleece blankets. Names and a picture that has meaning makes it the perfect gift.

    • Ronel

      I love this – we awalys paint on canvases and embroider, but not together in my kindergarten class. Must try!!!

  • Erich Campbell

    My favorite home decor blank would have to be curtains. Then again, I’m a commercial machine embroiderer, as well as someone who embroiders for themselves, and I can cover a lot of ‘ground’ quickly. 🙂

  • Marie

    I have only just started with machine embroidery, but I have found that I really like the old-fashioned look of embroidered table linen, perhaps because I used to hand-embroider them with my great-aunt when I was a child! I remember working for ages on a tablecloth and matching napkins, and how proud I was of them when she used them for tea one day. I now hope to do something along the same lines, combining my love of sewing and my love of baking 🙂

  • Jolene Ehret

    I haven’t yet but would love to do towels, have done pillow cases though. Nothing fancy, mostly experimenting. But I sure could use some stuff from Urban Threads, they are so cool.


    My favorite blanks are dish towels! I always have extras on hand to make up a quick gift. Right after that are t-shirts. I stitch up a new t-shirt for ANY occaision. Urban Threads has really cool and unique designs.

    Kathy in B-town 🙂

  • Melissa Swearingen

    My favorite home decor blank to embroider on would have to be a piece of canvas. I love to then stretch the canvas out on a frame and hang it up on my wall. It adds a personal touch to the room and I’m able to show off my work!

  • Christie

    I love to embroider quilted place mats which I then make into casserole carriers.

  • Carolyn Rollberg

    One of my favorite blanks to embroider on is a velour fingertip towel with fringe. They make great guest towel gifts and also these are the towels I use to cut a hole, insert t-shirt binding, and make baby bibs. They are always a hit at baby showers when embroidered with the baby’s name.

  • Darlene Warren

    I love the versitility of towels…all kinds of towels…beach towels/totes for grandkids, kitchen towels for gifts, and monogramed bath towels for wedding gifts. I like to make gift baskets with kitchen towels, matching apron and pot holders…add a little bottle of wine…you can’t go wrong. There are just so many endless possibilites with embroidery!

  • Tonia Jeffery

    I love the fun things that can be done with towels.

  • Diane Kunowski

    I like to embroider towels most. You can buy a plain towel and make it coordinate with you decorating scheme or for every holiday. An inexpensive way to decorate. They also make great gifts that eveyone can use.

  • Sherrie Davidson

    I love the fonts and your choice of “frames. I have never tried “continuous” borders, so your advise is timely.

    I really enjoy embroidering on hand towels. With a pretty font, some fun designs, a bit of ribbon, and trim, I can decorate all day long and not repeat myself. I have done towels for my hairdresser, my nail salon, a friend’s “French” powder room, sea side themes, wild animal themes, young children themes, holidays, and very traditional decor. Good hand towels are inexpensive and come in a multitude of colors – which adds to the fun!

    Urban thread designs are a real hit as my nieces and nephews become teenagers and receive towels to take to college!

  • MB

    Placemats! Already stabilized, they are easy to embroider for beautiful place settings, however my favorite use for them is for ALL SORT of bags, totes, clutches…with all sorts of embellishing including embroidery, tassels, lace, gems… They’re quick to put together and I can have a beautiful container to fill with other gift items for beauty, kitchen, baby…in less than a couple hours! I pick them up when they’re on sale; usually for $2 or less, so I don’t even have to leave home for a special, personalized, one of a kind item!

  • Corkie Maus

    I love doing personalized aprons! They make great gifts and it’s such a delight to see the receiver’s response! I also like to do accent pillows…this is a great arena for creativity! They also make quick, easy and well received gifts. At home, they are an inexpensive way to change the look of a room, to match the season or your mood.

  • Lorraine Allers

    I love to work on towels. I am new to embroidery and looking forward to learning lots.

  • Beth

    I like to embroider towels, all kinds, kitchen bath etc!

  • Linda

    I started embroidery by doing kitchen towels. They were quick, an overall size I could control, (sheets still scare me) and provided much needed instant gratification when I wasn’t too confident with my machine yet. I still enjoy making them, and give them for little gifts and donate for fund raisers. The most fun towel project I did was a purchased beach chair cover with a matching pillow. I placed bright, whimsical, beachy-themed designs strategically all over it. It looked so cute that I plan to make more for our next family get-a-way.

  • jenny tribout

    my favorite thing is to embroider on 12×12 random fabric squares, then i use them to make pillows, tote pockets, hot pads, and appliques! always ready!

  • Jackie

    I love embroidering towels!!! Such a simple accessory forth kitchen or bath, comes in a ton of sizes weights and colors… And by far the easiest to change on a decorating whim (or change of season!). 🙂 I am going to try done linens soon though!!

  • Gerrie englade

    I love embroidering children’s bibs. There are so many, many cute designs and quotes.

  • Fruitbat

    I’m yet to try stitching on home decor items, as I’m always worried about them getting damaged if used – something I need to get over I think!

  • Connie Gozdan

    My very favorite thing is window treatments. Nothing gives me more pleasure than embroidering on curtains and sheers. With solid painted walls, I love the extra customizing of the room. Nothing beats that personal choice. It is very time consuming but oh so worth it all. Of course I love embroidering all the other linens, etc.

  • Pam

    I love pillowcases. They make such lovely gifts. They sometimes take people back to their grandma’s bedroom 🙂

    • Cat Munn

      I am very very new to this. I saw you loved pillow cases and I thought that would be something to give as Christmas gifts. I don’t know what stabilizer to use – What do you use?

  • Janet

    Flour sack towels are the best!

  • Christi Davenport

    I will embroider on anything I can. My favorite is on towels. I like the nap giving it that extra dimension.

  • Frieda Evaskis

    I also like to embroider anything I can get my hans on but since I have to choose,…
    My favorite home decor item are hand towels for kitchen or bath. Right-sized, easy to hoop, quick gifts.

    My second choice would be pillowcases where I attach a custom made band and then embroider them.

  • Sharon Thomas

    I enjoy doing hand towels for guests the most. When I realized my adult children never seemed to have clean hand towels for guests, I started making those for them. I try to either do something that will fit their bathrooms or their personality or a hobby. My Dad plays golf and is a shrine clown….he got a couple with golfing clowns. They have a cockatoo…they got towels. My MIL loves cardinals. My hubby golfs. BUT, I did tell everyone they were to be USED, not left for a rainy day. It gives me great pleasure to walk into one their homes and find my handiwork hanging in the bath. I also have done kitchen towels for them all. What fun to help with the dishes and use one of my towels.

  • Evalynn

    My favorite blank is pillow cases. They are perfect to whip up as a quick gift. For kids, I embroider their name in glow-in-the-dark thread and they go nuts over it!


  • Karen Rilstone

    I guess towels is what I have done most. There are so many occasions that they are suitable for such as weddings, baby, graduations, going to school, etc.

    Also love to do bed linens….having a luxurious place to sleep is wonderful.

  • Lori Irlbeck

    I love stitching on hand towel blanks. They’re great as gifts and they’re always appreciated. =o)

  • Becky

    My favorite blank is towels. They always turn out beautifully and they make a quick and easy gift that will always be appreciated.

  • Judi Stevens

    I love to do couch cushions/pillows, with Monograms of the newly weds initials or the person(s) name(s)

  • Dee Bratcher

    I love to embroider on aprons and tea towels – using either the same design (different sizes) or coordinated designs. They make great gifts and the possibilities are limitless.

  • Kris Garst

    I love towels- I’m working on a variety of tab topped hand towels for the kitchen and bathrooms!

  • Amandine

    I love embroidering lovely pillowcases for children !

  • Deb

    I like to embroider pillow cases, they make nice gifts….. All my towels have embroidery on them too, I go to some up scale stores and see what kind of ideas I can get for my own!

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    My favorite blank is terry cloth towels. You can embroider anything with them, they’re easy to do, change the look of a room quickly, and people love to get them as gifts.

  • Kathi Miller

    My favorite household blanks are towels. They stitch out quickly and make wonderful hostess gifts.

  • Jo Devany

    Of course, I’ve embroidered towels, bath mats, kitchen towels, sack cloth towels, and aprons. Love to put my ‘mark’ on hand bags. All were fun but my new venture is an embroidered table top quilt. Now my mind has so many ideas, I may make several!

  • christine

    I like tea towels. They are a quick, useful, go with every decor and pretty much instant gratification and we all need some instant gratification now and then!

  • Robbie Oros

    I really like making golf towels for the ladies on my golf league. Some have their names, others are golfing pictures or course names. After embroidering, I place a grommet and shower curtain ring for hanging on their golf bag. I also embroider the pockets of totes which I make for the ladies to carry all the necessities to the golf course!

  • Eileen Charette

    I have two favorite blanks. One is towels. You can change an entire bathroom just by changing the towels. The best ones I did were a set for my daughter’s bathroom. They both said “MINE” and had a crown hanging from the “E”. The other blank I like are window sheers. What a great way to make a window dressing totally yours!

  • Cindy

    It’s towels, towels, towels! I love to give personalized towels as gifts – everyone loves them! I don’t limit myself to monograms, but try to find unique designs that really say something about the person receiving it.

  • Susan Freebery

    My favorite home decor blank would absolutely be very good quality cotton or linen kitchen towels. I always buy good quality blanks and then wash, dry and iron and iron prior to embroidering to eliminate that “first washing pucker”. If you keep a quanity of good blanks (ready to embroider) on hand then whenever you need a quick gift or wrap for that homemade banana bread, you can have one ready in no time at all!

  • heather breaux

    I love to test stitch onto plain white canvas blocks of about 12×12. From there I can make a nice stuffed pillow, a cute little zippered pouch for storing things, use as a pocket on a new tote bag or beach bag, staple it onto a wooden frame to make a piece of artwork, use as a quilt block, etc.. The possibilities are endless. I can also insert grommets and attach these pieces onto key rings and use as a way to show folks my work.
    I made a zippered bag for one of my customers to contain some pillowcases I had embroidered for her. She wasn’t expecting it, and I’ll bet it was a nice surprise when they arrived. The design was the beautiful steampunk butterfly.

  • dmjmouse

    I have a couple of favorites. towels and embroider buddies. great gifts for newborns or birthdays! very easy to machind embroider on!

  • Nancy

    I love to embroider on towels, pillow cases and sheets. I give them as hostess gifts. I took the Chicago team logos and embroidered them on towels for my son and he uses them all the time. Now it is the bulls and the cubs so he is in season I M having so much fun doing these and it keeps me out if trouble. Ha!
    2 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…

  • Dana Payne

    I love to embroider on towels, especially tea towels. I love to surprise my mother with kitchen towels. She never uses them, but she really enjoys getting them and showing them off to her friends. This generates a little extra spending money for me, which is great for me!

    My embroidery machine was down for a little over a year due to software issues. I recently got it working and I have been catching up on a lot of projects that were delayed.

  • bea saxe

    My miner-towells (I hope you know, what I mean) are well known in this German area and I won 2 prices with them when I placed wonderful embroidery designs on this kind of towells.I`m living just in the western part of Germany near Düsseldorf , where in former times coal miners worked very hard. They used to dry their dirty hands and faces with special blue-grey cotton towells. These are the favourite places for my embroidery:) Greetz from old Germany!!

  • Carolyn H.

    I love to embroider! What ever suits me at the time. Last year I did bath towel sets and kitchen towels for Christmas gifts. Jeans are just plain janes without embroidery. My next project is white pants I am makinig.

  • Michele P

    I love to embroider on bed linens. I especially love to make personalized pillowcases for children. It really makes them feel special!

  • Kathy Myers

    I really love the look of linen table runner and tablerunnner. These make great blanks to embroider on.

  • Karin

    I love to embroider for other peoples’ homes – I’ll do placemats, towels, aprons, napkins, whatever! I usually put a band of coordinating fabric on the edge of my tea towels and hand towels, just to make ’em a bit spiffier.

    I just finished an order of 25 handmade brown linen napkins, monogrammed for a new bride. She was planning to use them under teapots filled with flowers on her reception tables….afterwards, she’d have nice linen napkins for her personal use. She was thrilled with them!

    I keep a stock of towels (tea & hand) in the closet, in several colors, just in case I need a quick gift for a friend!

  • Betty

    Kitchen linens – tea towels, placemats, and napkins. My all time favorite was a set of holiday placemats and napkins. The placemats were red, white and green plaid, and on the plaid bordered red napkins I embroidered the titles of various Christmas carols in white. Fun and festive!

  • Heather

    My favorite is tea towels. I love making them and people love receiving them 🙂 Makes everyone happy!

  • Melinda

    I love to embroider decorative items for the home. From sofa pillows, framed wall hangings, and sheer curtains in the living room, to towels, aprons, and potholders in the kitchen. My favorite would probably be kitchen towels. I use both the flour sack towels and terrycloth towels in my kitchen. I enjoy all the possibilities that machine embroidery gives us for personalizing the home.

  • Charlotte

    I love to embroider on the square pillow cases that I buy from the dollar stores. I just take out my handy seam ripper and open up the sides. I use a cutaway or fusible stabiliser. They make such great gifts and are ready in no time at all it seems.

  • Cheryle

    My fav would have to be thick thirsty bath towels. Gorgeous bath accessories! Thanks for the chance to win this awesome prize.

  • Gaile A Heimbuch

    I really want to try this, they are just beautiful. Of course I would love to win designs from Urban threads, they are one of my favorite sites, have a Granddaughter who loves their edgy and cute designs.

  • Shirley R

    My favorite so far is denim. I made a set of placemats as a Xmas gift for my daughter, backed with a complimentary cotton fabric on the reverse. I embroidered 2 different poppy designs placed strategically on the placemat itself and on the pocket of the jeans which had been removed from the jeans and used as a napkin and silverware holder. Second would be flour sack towels. Such fun to use the vintage designs that I saw on the flour sack towels Mom used to have in her kitchen, as well as a coffee-themed set of designs for my granddaughter who works at Starbucks.

  • Mariah W

    I love embroidering kitchen towels and woven blankets. The woven blankets i have done, I embrioder the bride and groom’s nanes and their wedding date in the corner. Both make great wedding gifts.

  • Tina S.

    My favorite thing to embroidery is towels. The simplest embroidery can make a towel took beautiful

  • Edith

    I have some “bar” towels that are non-lint on one side and terry on the other that I love to do.
    I also did a couple washcloths that were fun!

  • Diana

    I like throw blankets. I love Urban threads designs on throws

  • sylvia

    I would have to say curtains/window treatments, because that’s the home decor item I’ve done the most embroidery on. I figured out that the valances in my living room used over a kilometer of thread for the embroidery!

  • Terry Colucci

    Usually, I prefer to do towels, because they are less time consuming, and frankly, less of a worry for error…and they cost less. However, after reading this, I think I just might have found the confidence try a set of bed linens for my own bed. If they turn out well, who knows where that could lead? Thanks so much, Nancy! I always enjoy your insight and expertise!

  • Debbie

    Linen Tea Towels- I embroidered linen tea towels for my daughter and her roommates who live in the city of Philadelphia. I used the funky LOVE design and the love birds on the fence from Urban threads. They were fun and quick to stitch out! They loved them!

  • Donna G.

    I’ve embroidered towels more than any other home decor item, but my favorite are bed linens, especially sheets. Eileen, your blog gave me so many great pointers I can’t wait to do some more! Urban Threads designs rock! My grandsons love picking out their designs for me to embroider on t-shirts, jackets, and even towels!

  • Shannon

    I don’t think anyone can have too many kitchen towels. They make the perfect gift, one size fits all. They are super easy to personalize for any holiday or special event. Along with embroidering, you can really jazz them up with a bit of lace, rick-rack or any other leftover trim from other projects.

  • Katrina H

    I can’t believe I won, thank you!!!

    • Katrina H

      Also, I enjoy working with towels. People really love receiving them and everyone uses them… Also not too personal asking people what size bed they have 🙂

  • Michelle H

    I am just learning embrodiery so I haven’t done much home decor embroidery yet. I am definitely thinking about doing some bed linens for xmas gifts this year

  • SharRon in Texas

    Great tips. I usually shy away from items like sheets, thinking they were too difficult and I was afraid of ruining a perfectly good and most times expensive item. But now I’m excited to try with these helpful hints. I really liked the ides of purchasing an extra pillow case on which to experiment. I love to do towels, in fact I have six sets I need to get busy on. They were supposed to be a last years Christmas project. Do you think I procrastinate just a little? (HA) Love the blog.

  • Kathy Schmidt

    My favorite linen to embroider on, right now are Towels, they are about the only ones I have done so far, but after reading your blog, I am itching to try bed linens now too! Love the blogs with all the helpful & fun information they give plus the bonus of the comments. Glad to know I am not the only one out there who is sometimes afraid to try new things! Happy embroidering to all.

  • Samantha


  • Lynn Swanson

    Love love love monogramed sheets and pillow cases, they are my very favourite. However I have embroidered all of my hand towels, and they become a favoured gift for showers, and pressies.

    Great article and lots of tips

  • Ellen Perry

    I really love doing towels and pillow cases my favorite. I have been embroidering for about 10 years…
    I am going to start doing napkins….
    Love urban threads…I introduced my daughter in law to embroidery and she really loves urban threads…

  • Donna Carroll

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s “favorite!” My favorite thing to embroider on is blankets/throws. I personalize them with family names and/or designs suitable to their personality. I also love any kind of linens. One thing I have done that I haven’t heard of anyone else trying, is to embroider on satin blanket binding. Open it up and press before embroidering. It’s great for a towel or something you want to be extra classey. After embroidering, just attach as a trim. They look beautiful! Thank you Urban Threads for such a generous gift to one of us. I had never visited your site before today, but will definately “be back” to do some serious shopping! I loved what I saw.
    Donna Carroll

  • Wendy Scott

    I like towels. and bibs.

    I have used designs from Urban threads, my daughter loves them.

  • Gail Beam

    My favorite blanks are towels, beach towels, baby blankets, and pillowcases. My grandchildren love their personalized beach towels and pillowcases.

  • Nancy Colpitts

    Well done! Bravo

  • Greta

    My favorite blank is towels- bath towels, hand towels, dish towels… does not matter! They are easy to personalize to each recipient’s personality. I have made them with all sorts of designs such as embossed initials, mermaids, bugs, sports, guitars, food items, and sea life to name a small portion. They work for anyone from baby to grandma, teacher to best friend. They are not too expensive, but you can make them priceless additions to someone’s home. Towels!! Love them!


  • Beverley Hilton

    My favorite items are embroidered placemats and napkins. It’s a fairly quick and inexpensive project to do, it can be designed to be a wonderful gift for any occasion, and you can make multiples of two to fit the needs of any size family or group.

  • Kay

    My favorite items to embroidery are homemade fleece pillowslips. Everyone loves a fleece pillowslip to snuggle on a cool night and they are so much fun to personalize.

  • Michele Cariveau

    I really love to put designs on bathroom towels, both the large ones and the hand towel. They really brighten up the bathroom, esp. when you have the same design on both towels. Plus, I love when people say ” where did you get those beautiful towels? ” and I can say I did them myself!

  • Nancy

    I like to embroider on anything I can, but my current favorite are cloth diapers. I like to do sweet baby designs to make nice burp cloths from them.

  • Mitzi

    I enjoy working with tea towels; quick, easy, nice gifts or to keep for myself and brighten my kitchen

  • Janice Beitz

    Pillow cases and Kitchen towels

  • Peggy Schroeder

    I like to embroider on many things, but my favorite is a toss up between tea towels and burp cloths. I also did a set of bright orange towels with blue names and the Dutch flag on them for four of my grandkids for Christmas. The “other” grandparents are from Holland and they had all been there visiting just before Christmas. They look great in their bathroom, and each child loves having their names on them. Burp cloths are fun, the new parents love them, but I guess I really do like the tea (or dish) towels the best. I just finished four sets of towels and wine bags to match to send to a friend in Grenada. I trim the towels with the same fabric I make the bags out of, add a little “bling” to the ribbon, and it makes a really nice gift.

  • Gail G

    I love to embroider on baby bibs and aprons, also kitchen towels are fun and quick to sew. I need some new sheets and will try these tips.

  • Cindy McCarty

    What I have embroidered most on, as far as home decor goes, is probably pillows. Although, I recently finished a quilt that I went crazy embroidering on. I loved the article because I have some really beautiful sheets that I just bought to embroidery on. So, it was a really timely article. Thanks!!!

  • Molly

    Towels, though I love acquiring antique ones, too!

  • Jean

    I am new to embroidery and haven’t had a chance to do much home dec stuff yet. Am looking forward to doing some pillowcases for Christmas presents.

  • Cindy McCord

    My favorite home décor blank to use is cloth napkins. They are so versatile and they make an awesome inexpensive gift. You can personalize them using a monogram or another alternative is to use an embroidery design to reflect the personality of the recipient. The price of cotton continues to increase which has caused the price of towels to increase dramatically in the last 4-6 months, so cloth napkins make a great alternative gift. They can also be used as a bread cloth by adding them to an inexpensive basket. Also, by using the Snap-Hoop or Magna-Hoop, you can use “tear away” stabilizer so you don’t have to spend extra time removing the sticky stabilizer.

  • Carla Chapman

    My favorite home dec blanks are bed linens. How timely of you to have this great article just as I was about to monogram my niece’s wedding gift. I have struggled with several of the items you mentioned. I find most people want the monogram on the hem but I have not been happy with the finish, even when adding a topper stabelizer to cover the backside. I finally decided to unsew the hem, use a backing as you suggested and restitch. I look forward to seeing how this turns out. I was about to convert all my future bed linens to sition position just below the hemline as your illustration shows. Why go to all the trouble to create luxury linens and have the unfinished backing, probably puckering.Thanks for pushing me one step further.

  • Carla Chapman

    My favorite home dec blanks are bed linens. How timely of you to have this great article just as I was about to monogram my niece’s wedding gift. I have struggled with several of the items you mentioned. I find most people want the monogram on the hem but I have not been happy with the finish, even when adding a topper stabilizer to cover the backside. I finally decided to unsew the hem, use a backing as you suggested and restitch. I look forward to seeing how this turns out. I was about to convert all my future bed linens to position just below the hemline as your illustration shows. Why go to all the trouble to create luxury linens and have the unfinished backing, probably puckering. Thanks for pushing me one step further.

  • Teresa Davis

    I love towels of any type and I love the urban threads site. Thanks for the contest!

  • Sherrie Lilly

    So far I have only had the courage to do tea towel and hand towels. After seeing this article I now want to do new bed linens. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and for recommending new sites.

  • Evelyn Gonzalez

    There’s nothing more luxurious and sumptuous than sliding beneath my silky, cotton-ey embroidered sheets! I fall asleep knowing that my long hours and hard work to get the embroidery just right will send me off to a very relaxed, refreshing sleep! So, I guess you could say I’m kinda nuts about enbroidering sheets – for myself and for gifts!

  • Amy

    My favorite is towels…kitchen towels, bath towels, towels for kids, washcloths… there are TONS of sizes and shapes of embroidery designs that work so well on towels. They also make great gifts for the holidays, housewarmings, new babies (washcloths with adorable little animals), etc.

    Kind of a sucker for towels and stitching up new designs!!

  • Elizabeth Keller

    Favorite blanks are towels. I can decorate them anyway I want;o)

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  • Cathy Dykes

    I love to embroider on baby blanks with burp cloths being my favorite. It allows my creativity to run wild and can be personilized for the child or the particular likes/hobbies of the parents.

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  • Colleen

    It’s hard to pinpoint one particular item for the home. I do a lot of pillow cases. They are a great gift and easy to do. I also love to do kitchen towels and napkins. All gifts that are affordable and can be very special with embroidery! 🙂

  • Palma Rubino

    It can be so frustrating when you open your linen closet to get a set of bedsheets out and you end up spending the next 10 minutes trying to decipher if the sheets you grabbed are for your full size, queen size or king size mattress. Instead of easily grabbing what you need, you end up making a bigger mess in the closet! Not fun.”

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  • Lisa McDonald

    My favorite blanks to embroider on are flour sack dish towels. I keep a nice supply of these in sets of 4 in case I have a last minute housewarming or hostess gift. The possibilities are endless and then I’m not searching store after store for something to go with the recipients decor. Also, they are so simple, clean and in a flash be turned into something the recipient will look at and cherish for many years to come.
    These are the best and mind you…space friendly blank for my taste. Love them and I give them often:)
    Thanks for the amazing blog by the way!

  • Maxine Macal

    my favorite blank is a mantel scarf

  • Mary Gorges

    Thank you SO MUCH for the tips. I recently bought my first Bernina and am trying to find my way with LOTS of new projects. I really appreciate your tips. Happy sewing!

  • Robyn Matthis

    I love to do towels for the bathroom and tea towels for the kitchen. People LOVE getting them as gifts!!!

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    stitching is a complete art, thank you Eileen for these useful tips, they would be very much helpful about my embroidery project and the patchwork we do