I love hand embroidery. It is my very favorite go-to craft and handmade gift, and most evenings you can find me curled up in the corner of my couch with a needle and floss in hand. There is something so calming about pulling threads through cotton! Hand stitching also makes for an excellent take-along travel project, as the pieces generally take up very little room and are easy to stop and start as needed with little stress. Here is one such project, which we first shared in our Spring 2013 issue with a free template. Below, find complete instructions to make your own Home Sweet Home towel.
Home Sweet Home Embroidered Towel
What you need:
· Embroidery template (provided below)
· Plain linen or flour sack towel (sample shown was created using a ready-to-embroider hemstitch linen towel from Martha Pullen Company)
· Thin blue water-soluble marking pen
· Embroidery floss
· Embroidery needle
· 4-inch embroidery hoop
· Optional: Print cotton fabric, pins and sewing machine
How to create:
1. Use thin blue water-soluble marking pen to trace embroidery design onto plain linen or flour sack towel in desired location.
2. Hoop towel in embroidery hoop with design centered. Backstitch over design in desired colors using two strands of embroidery floss. NOTE: Backstitch directions can be found below.
3. Remove towel from hoop, moisten with water to remove blue markings and press dry and flat with iron.
4. If desired, add a strip of print cotton fabric to bottom of towel as follows:
a. Measure desired height of fabric strip and add 1/2 inch to determine length A. NOTE: Fabric strip on sample shown was cut to cover bottom hem of towel up to existing hemstitched line. Measure width of towel and add 1/2 inch to determine length B.
b. Cut a piece of fabric measuring length A x length B. Place fabric strip on ironing board with wrong side facing up. Fold down top edge 1/4 inch so that wrong sides are together and press to crease; repeat with bottom edge, then repeat with both short ends of strip.
c. Pin fabric strip to bottom edge of towel with right side facing up. Use sewing machine to topstitch fabric to towel around all sides.
How to backstitch:
The backstitch is very easy. It is stitched just like it sounds, and it works great for stitching simple outlines.
1. Bring the needle up through the fabric at point A and instead of inserting the needle forward, insert the needle backward at point B.
2. The second stitch will come up a short distance in front of the previous stitch at point A, and the needle will be inserted into the hole at the end of the last stitch at point B. The stitch length on the back side will be twice as long as on the front.
For more great sewing and embroidery projects, check out Alyssa Thomas’ new book Sew & Stitch Embroidery. The book includes 20 simple sewing projects (and 20+ variations!) and 30+ embroidery designs.