Heart Towel Applique


Hello!  Thank you for stopping by!

This post includes a tutorial with tips on doing applique and embroidery on a tricky item such as a towel.

Recommended Supplies anytime you are embroidering on a towel:

  • Water Soluble stabilizer – to be used as a topper
  • Self-adhesive wash-away stabilizer – to make it easier to hoop your towel

For those of you who like to jump to the punch line, here’s some photos of the finished towels that were completed during our MONTHLY machine embroidery club at Humble Sewing Center.

heartclub16heartclub14heartclub17

It’s been a while since I’ve written up a tutorial so, I’m feeling kind of rusty here!  Below you will see a step by step list of “How To’s” and I’ll include a photo whenever possible.

  1. Find and mark the center of your towel.  I use a straight pin to mark my spot.

heartclub2

2.  Lay the towel open and (if possible) use a template to help you decide where to place your design.  I used a software called Monogram Works to print a template with a cross hair in the design’s center.  I cut a hole out of the center of the template so I could mark the towel with a fabric marking pen.

heartclub6

3.  Peel the paper backing off of the self-adhesive water soluble stabilizer.  Lay the stabilizer on the table with the sticky side face up.  Lay the inner hoop on top of the stabilizer and then adjust the stabilizer so that it is taught on the hoop.  Yes, the stabilizer is sticking to your hoop and will leave a gummy residue.  You can rinse it in warm, soapy water afterwards if preferred.  In the meantime, you have hooped only the stabilizer and provided yourself a sticky surface…

heartclub1

4.  Next, lay the towel upon the hoop and apply gentle pressure to make it stick to the hooped stabilizer.  I like to use the plastic template grid that came with my embroidery machine to help me line things up in the hoop.  Believe it or not, there’s a hoop hiding under that towel!

heartclub5

5.  Remove the plastic grid.  Remove the paper template and any straight pins from your towel.  Use the toggle feature on your embroidery machine to make sure the needle is lined up with the center of your embroidery design (the cross hairs you marked your towel with.)

6.  At this time I will show you the next steps of this particular design in a brief series of noted photos.  Tip:  Be sure to lay a piece of water soluble topper on TOP of the towel before you begin embroidering a design onto a towel.  The topper keeps the embroidery threads from sinking into the towel and disappearing as well as preventing the towel loops from getting entangled in your needle and embroidery foot.  The topper is then torn away and also rinsed away as needed.

The tack-down stitch for this heart shaped applique has been stitched and the word Love & decorative swirl has also been stitched before trimming away the excess fabric.

The tack-down stitch for this heart shaped applique has been stitched and the word Love & decorative swirl has also been stitched before trimming away the excess fabric.

We removed the embroidery hoop from the machine but we did not remove the towel from the hoop.  We then used duck-billed applique scissors to trim away the excess fabric.

We removed the embroidery hoop from the machine but we did not remove the towel from the hoop. We then used duck-billed applique scissors to trim away the excess fabric.

Next, we returned the hoop to the machine and placed a layer of water soluble topper on top of the towel.  We resumed stitching out the design.

Next, we returned the hoop to the machine and placed a layer of water soluble topper on top of the towel. We resumed stitching out the design.

Here's a picture of a finished design with the topper still in place.

Here’s a picture of a finished design with the topper still in place.

Here's Cheryl, tearing away the topper.... what a great job!

Here’s Cheryl, tearing away the topper…. what a great job!

When the design is completely done stitching, remove the hoop from the machine and peel the towel away from the stabilizer.  Cut the excess stabilizer away from the towel.  This will rinse away the first time you wash the towel.

When the design is completely done stitching, remove the hoop from the machine and peel the towel away from the stabilizer. Turn the hoop over and cut the excess stabilizer away from the towel. This will rinse away the first time you wash the towel.

Lastly, pin and stitch a decorative trim or ribbon to the bottom of your towel.

Lastly, pin and stitch a decorative trim or ribbon to the bottom of your towel.

Yvonne used a pre-ruffled ribbon and chose a contrast thread and triple zig-zag stitch to attach hers.  Cute right?!

Yvonne used a pre-ruffled ribbon and chose a contrast thread and triple zig-zag stitch to attach hers. Cute right?!

Thanks so much for reading my post!

Have a great time on your next project and hope to see you soon!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny  🙂

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