Instructables

Embroidery Tips and Decorating Plain White Dish Towels

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This instructable will teach you a few tricks that I have learned from my mother on how to turn an ordinary white dish towel into a beautiful master piece.

I am a very active person.  I can't sit still to watch a movie so I usually have some hand sewing near by so I feel like I am accomplishing something.  I keep a sewing bag in my car as well. Doing this I am able to finish a lot of my projects very quickly.  My mother taught me how to embroider as a child.  It is my way of winding down from the day.  
 
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Step 1: Supplies

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  1. Pre-washed  white cotton fabric for the embroidery design; cut several inches larger than your design so it will extend the edges of the hoop.  I used a 8inch circle.
  2. 1 Pre-washed printed fabric 2 inches wide and 24 inches long is what I used for the boarder on a towel or:
  3. 1 Pre-washed printed 8 inch square; folded in half for another towel.
  4. Matching thread
  5. Flour sack towels  Please read bottom note
  6. Embroidery hoop
  7. Embroidery needle
  8. Sewing pins not shown* 
  9. Scissors
  10. Seam ripper optional
  11. Embroidery thread
  12. Thimble optional
  13. Iron on embroidery pattern or iron on pencil for your own pattern
  14. Iron
  15. Ruler for square pattern 
  16. For the circle pattern I used a clear round plate
  17. Chalk or marker


I have not been able to find fabric suitable to make my own dish towels so I purchased  flour sack towels at Sam's but you can find them at a hobby store or Walmart.  They are called flour sack towels because; in the early days dry goods were sold in cotton sacks and women would make clothing and towels from them.  They have a loose weave and can be difficult to embroider;  so instead I embroidered a cotton cloth first and then attached it to the corner of the towel.  I was able to sew the design using smaller stitches which made it look better. 
 
sunshiine (author)  moesatriani2 years ago
I loved the link by the way! Denim is so pretty worked into embroidery. I have embroidered a shirt with a horse on it for my husband but he never really liked it much. He does not like to wear anything flashy. His wardrobe is jeans and flannel or modest western shirts. I am glad to hear you are practicing. Dish towels are a great way and cross stitch is pretty easy. I n my old age I have learned to take stitches out and rework a project if I am not happy with it. I also make small stitches. It takes longer but the extra effort makes a stunning piece. Here is a link to a video that shows a lot of stitches. Videos are most helpful with embroidery!  http://www.needlenthread.com/videos

Thanks for commenting and have a splendorous day!

Sunshiine
kcli2 years ago
Great timing and wonderful tutorial! I recently returned to embroidery after 40+ years of setting it aside (due to being an inpatient kid that didn't like threading needles) and recently finished my 1st embroidery project (ever!) and find it soooo enjoyable these days.
sunshiine (author)  kcli2 years ago
I had to chuckle about your comment! I was the same way. My mom used to tell me my stitches were not small enough. I guess patience comes with age. I would love to see your project if your interested in sharing. I find this craft very relaxing. I do not have a TV because we spend more time on the Internet than watching TV. I do have Netflix and will tune in to a documentary that I don't have to keep my eyes on the screen and sew away! I am finished with a project in no time. So I had fun 2 ways! Thanks so much for sharing your thought and have a splendorous night!
Sunshiine
786Ayesha2 years ago
You made my Day. I Love this Project of yours. Sewing is my Passion.is this Cross Stich embroidery?
sunshiine (author)  786Ayesha2 years ago
Thanks for commenting! Yes it is cross stitch and the leaf section is a running stitch. It is really not difficult to do. Have a great day!
Sunshiine
bajablue2 years ago
Wonderful tutorial, Sunshiine. You do beautiful work! I used to embroider a lot... before the age of the www. It's a fun, almost mindless hobby.

I even have a project going now, but I misplaced my one-and-only embroidery needle.

Got a spare you can mail me? lol...crazy request, but I really am serious because I won't get to town for a couple of weeks.
sunshiine (author)  bajablue2 years ago
Thanks bajablue for commenting and for your compliment! I would be happy to mail you one. Send me your information. Have a beautiful day!
Sunshiine
YGM... thanks so much!
sunshiine (author)  bajablue2 years ago
Glad to help out. Can't wait to see what your working one!
pecospearl2 years ago
You do such nice work. Thanks for sharing and passing on this wonderful craft.
sunshiine (author)  pecospearl2 years ago
Thanks for the compliment! This is one of my favorite past times! Have a super super day!
Sunshiine
Lovely
sunshiine (author)  porcupinemamma2 years ago
Thanks for commenting and have a beautiful day!
Sunshiine
canucksgirl2 years ago
Beautiful job on the embroidery, and gorgeous photos. Well done! :)
sunshiine (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Thanks so much! They are a gift for someone special.
Sunshiine
Whomever you give those to will be very impressed. Again very nice job. :)

I hope many others get to reading this ible.
sunshiine (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Thanks me too! Embroidery is a fun craft.
Sunshiine