Category Archives: Home Decor

Embroidering the Embossed Towel

FinishedTowelEmbroidered towels look great in your powder room or bathroom. They also make great gifts for showers, weddings, house warmings, birthdays, or the holidays. It is easy to embroider the towel if you follow a few easy steps.

Look at your towel. Most towels have a band on the front, and some on both front and back. Usually, there is a label on the back of the towel. Your embroidery should be on the front.

For the best results always mark where you want the embroidery to be placed. I learned that eyeballing the placement never works.  The embossed embroidery design is 4″ x 4 1/2″.  Always use the smallest hoop

1. Measure the width of your towel. My towel is 15 1/2″ wide.

measure 2. The bottom of the design is placed 1/2″ – 1″ about the band, if the towel has one. If the towel does not have a band, place the design about 3″ from the bottom of the towel. Since my design is 4 1/2″ high, the middle of the design is 2 1/4″. My design is 1/2″ above the band. Measure 2 3/4″ above the band and mark with a + or use a positioning sticker.  You can mark your placement with a water soluble pen, air erasable pen or friXion pen.  The center of the + is where the needle should penetrate the towel before starting the embroidery; the + lines show vertical and horizontal alignment. Note: Don’t use a water soluble pen, if you use heat n’ gone topping. The use of an iron will permanently set the mark.

center

 

3. Always use the smallest possible hoop for your embroidery. It saves on stabilizer but more importantly, provides better stability during embroidery.  I like to use Floriani Stitch and Wash Tearaway. Cut a piece of stabilizer about 1″ larger that you hoop. Place it in the hoop and tighten the hoop screws so that it is taught. There is no need to over tighten the screw.

InHoop4. Lightly spray the stabilizer with temporary spray adhesive. I like 505 because it does not leave a sticky residue on my needle when embroidering. Stray by putting your hoop into a box or trash can to minimize spraying all over the place.

5. Select a thread color similar to your towel. Wind a bobbin with the same thread so the back of your towel is not covered with white bobbin thread. If you embroidery machine uses a different bobbin case for embroidery change your bobbin case. Insert the bobbin and thread your machine.

6. Turn on your embroidery machine and open your design.

7. Place the towel on the hoop. Use the template that came with your embroidery machine to position your towel in the middle of the hoop. Reposition the towel if necessary.

templatem

7. Place the hoop on the embroidery machine. The design should be near the center of your hoop. Move the design around as needed. Lower the needle so that it penetrates the embroidery mark or sticker. Raise the needle.

needledown

8. Remove the position sticker if you used one. Place a water soluble topping or heat n’ gone on the embroidery area. Use a piece of Floriani Pink Embroidery Tape to hold the topping in place during embroidery. I sometimes use blue painters tape to hold the topping in place.

topping

9. Embroider the design. Remove the towel from the hoop. Tearaway as much stabilizer from the back as possible. The remaining will wash out. Pick water soluble stabilizer from the top. Use a spray bottle to remove stubborn parts. Use an iron to remove heat n’ gone.

Enjoy your towel!

Embossed Towel

As I mentioned, I am traveling in our RV.  Maybe traveling is not the appropriate word at the moment, since we are spending the next 3 months in Clermont, Florida.  We are a few miles from Disney World which has been one of our favorite places for many years. My sister-in-law came to visit from New Jersey. She is staying for 2 weeks. She enjoys sewing as much as I do, but has not done any machine embroidery. In our travels to the local quilt shops, we satowelw a towel with an embossed letter. I told her that I could make that. So we bought hand towels to embroider. I bought one. We don’t need many in the RV. Rose bought six, 2 for each of 3 daughters.

Back at the RV, I created the “embossed design” using Florian Total Control/U. I had 4 designs to create, A, G, F, and V.

I embroidered the towel using my Janome 9900.

Below is a link for the instructions on how to create the monogram using the Floriani Total Control/U software.

Embossed Monogram

Next post: Instructions on how to embroider the towel.

Easy Custom Tea Towel

I love having a towel hanging over my stove handle for spills or a quick hand dry. I made a quick and easy one to go with my home makeover using some scraps left over from the bolster pillow.

Image

So cute! The towel took me about 20 minutes to make, and if I had an assembly line going I bet I could do it even faster.

Image

I bought a 4 pack of ‘barmop’ towels from Target for a little over $4. I found them on the aisle with the kitchen linens. As a side note I love how they come wrapped up. It would be fun to make a set of these for a house warming gift or newlyweds and rewrap them in the original ribbon to give as a present. You could even embroider them!

Image

I cut a 5 inch wide strip of fabric that hungover both sides of the towel by half an inch.

Image

At this point you could press in a half in an inch around all the sides and just stitch around the edges, but my fabric wouldn’t press well. So what I did was pin the edges of the towel and the fabric right sides together.

Image

I used about three pins and overlapped about a half an inch as you can see through the chevron fabric. I stitched right along the edge of the towel being sure to catch it under my needle.

Image

Flip it up and make sure you caught it all.

Image

Next I turned under my fabric a half an inch on the remaining three raw edges, finger pressed and pinned in place. I used extra pins at the corners to be sure they would turn out neat.

Image

Here are my edges all pinned into place. Next I edge stitched around all four sides of the fabric.

Image

Be sure to pivot at the corners for a sharp looking corner. Also, when you are going across the top of the fabric take your time and straighten out your towel as you go.

Image

Your fabric should be edge stitched around all four sides. This would also be a fun place to try some decorative top stitching. And you’re done!

Image

Here is a shot of the kitchen with the tea towel hanging over my stove handle. It is a great accessory that matches my valance.

You can see more of me (and my four legged assistant) at Stacie Thinks She Can.

Bolster Pillow Tutorial

I just made a new cover for an old bolster pillow that had been sitting in the closet for years. It was a fast and easy project!

Image

Believe it or not this was the best shot I could get because my assistant there is blocking out the extreme  light coming through the window. I am loving the black out curtain linings!

Image

Here are the two pillows I had before. The purple one had a zippered cover and the red one was a cheapy just filled with Poly-fil. I pulled the bolster shaped filler out of the purple one to work with.

Image

I found a saucer that was a little bit larger than the round end of my pillow.

Image

I used my plate to make a circle for both ends of the bolster by tracing a line around the outside of it.

Image

Next I cut a piece of fabric just a bit longer than my bolster. After I measured around my plate I found my fabric needed to be 24 inches long plus one inch for adding the zipper.

Image

Sew your zipper right sides together with your fabric .

Image

Flip your fabric out and top stitch it down to your zipper tape.

Image

Repeat the steps to attache the other side of your zipper. Sew it right sides together with the other end of your piece of fabric.

Image

You will have to open your zipper up to top stitch along this side.

Image

Your zipper tube should look like the one above.

Image

Now place a circle piece right sides together with your zipper tube. Pin them together and go slow. It is a bit tricky sewing this circle on, but you can do it.

Image

I turned mine right sides out to check I had gotten it all sewn together. Before sewing your next circle on, open your zipper up some, so you don’t sew your cover shut.

Image

Sew your other circle to the open side of the bolster case. Again pin and go slow. As you can see mine is not perfect, but you can’t tell once it is turned right sides out. Once it is sewn turn it right side out and stuff it with your pillow form.

Image

And enjoy!

You can see more of me (and my four legged assistant) at Stacie Thinks She Can.

Dog Bed Makeover

I absolutely love my dog. She is my best buddy and super assistant, but I’ll be honest. She has hideous taste in sleepwear. I buy her cute dog beds with shaping or cool designs and she just is not interested. This has been her go to for years now:

Image

It is a big pillow covered with lumberjack chic fleece with a zipper along the side. It is the cheapest dog bed ever. I bought it for $10 at Walgreen’s and it is all she uses. She also has it in tiger print in the bedroom. She totally pulls that one off, but the plaid one is in the living room and no longer matches my new super cute curtains. Now it looks like this:

Image

Still lumpy, but that is what she likes. At least now it is a great print that is the same color as my curtains. Here is how I did it.

Image

I wanted to reuse the zipper because it is so long, so I ripped it out.

Image

Like my new band-aid? Patrick from Sponge Bob Square Pants would like to remind us all that seam rippers are sharp. 🙂

Image

I got one yard of each of these to match my other home decor fabric. I love the chevrons, but decided to use the polka dot for her bed because I think it would show less dirt.

Image

I used a chenille for the bottom and just cut it about one inch bigger than the inner pillow of the bed.

Image

I cute my top fabric the same size as my bottom fabric.

Image

Place the zipper right sides together along one short side of your fabric and sew down the edge using your  zipper foot.

Image

Then flip your fabric right side up and top stitch your fabric to your zipper tape.

Image

Now sew the other side of the zipper right sides together with your bottom fabric using the same process.

Image

I noticed a lot of fabric shedding while I was sewing my zipper, so instead of flipping and top stitching like I did before I used my serger to finish the edge of the zipper tape to the bottom fabric. You could just top stitch it like we did on the main fabric.

Image

Now open your zipper a bit so you don’t sew your cover shut and sew around the edges of the three remaining sides right sides of the fabric together.

Image

My zipper was plastic, so I just sewed right over it about three times to secure it. If your zipper is metal do not sew over it. Do what you need to to avoid the needle hitting the metal zipper teeth.

Image

I serged my edges when I was done to finish them, but you could just pinking shear them.

Image

Turn your case right sides out, and make sure your zipper works.

Image

Reinsert your pillow and zip up. You’re done!

Image

Well, almost. Make sure it feels right to your best buddy. Now her bed looks super cute in the living room. Thanks for reading, and as always I would love to see if you make one.

 You can see more of me (and my four legged assistant) at Stacie Thinks She Can.

Easy Panel Curtains

I had a friend come over and teach me how to make panel curtains. I used hardware I bought  from Ikea that the curtains clipped onto, so I didn’t even need to make a pocket for a rod. The results were beautiful, and I wanted to share her method with you.

Image

The fabric is the same color blue as my table cloth and valance. They make my living room feel bigger and   finished.

Image

Here is the before shot. There was nothing wrong with the old curtains, but they were so dark. They were also thinly lined and that window gets direct sunlight in the afternoon. I also have a window next t the brown couch you can’t see that had no curtains at all. It’s just one of those things I always meant to get around to.

Image

There wasn’t a specific method to measurement on this, but I would estimate we cut the fabric and lining 10 inches longer than the length of the window. I did not cut the width of the fabric. I used the full panel. Both the fabric and the lining measured 54 inches. I used two full panels on my 75 inch window and one panel cut in half on my 36 inch window.

ImageI placed the lining fabric on the floor and smoothed it out. I used a blackout lining which felt kind of like plastic and was afraid to press it. In the end all the wrinkles worked themselves out. I placed the lining with the right side facing down.

Image

Next place the fabric on top right side facing up. Your lining and fabric should right wrong sides together.

Image

Then I pinned the fabric together along the two long sides and one short side.

Image

Next slowly baste the fabric and lining together along one short side and one long side. It was nice to have a second person to help me deal with that much fabric. It wasn’t hard to do, but it was heavy. Also, I found sewing with the fabric side up kept me from stretching out the lining as I went.

Image

Now lay it back out and check the pins on your remaining side. If any ripples formed readjust the pins and continue basting the other long and short side. As you can see, I got some ripple in mine. Once your fabric is basted you will treat it as one piece of fabric.

Image

If you are making two panels out of your one piece of cloth this is the time to cut it as needed and go ahead and baste the fabric together again on the newly cut edge.

Image

Trim off any excess fabric or lining that may happen. I did not get very much of extra to trim off. Next I double folded the fabric to hide any raw edges and pinned it around both long sides and one short side. Because I had striped fabric, I cheated. I did not measure. I simply followed the edge of a stripe to ensure it would be straight. Making striped curtains really has its benefits!

Image

I can’t resist a shot of my assistant wondering if we will ever get to stop pinning! When you are finally done pinning go ahead and sew all the way around where you just pinned.

Image

 I laid the panels out again at this point to check for anything weird, but everything looked good.

Image

Now go hang your panel up. You finally get a peek at how your curtains will look! This is also how we hemmed them.

Image

Pull the bottom of your curtain a few inches out from the wall and pin along the bottom where it is touching the floor. My friend Holly said that is how you get a hem that will just skim the floor. It worked! If you look closely you can just see a pin on each side. If you are hemming a wider curtain you will want more than two pins. For some reason I just got better pictures of the thin paneled curtain hem.

Image

Take the curtain back down and head to your machine to hem it. I left my pin in and simple double folded the curtain so that my pin was still at the bottom. Next I stitched all the way across. Again, with a wider panel we used the same concept. We just pinned more and went a little slower.

Image

Now you have custom made floor skimming panel curtains! I completed this project over two evenings. I would say total time spent on all curtains was about five hours. It is not hard just a lot of fabric to contend with.

Image

Here is the view of my side window curtains from behind my monster television. I have not jumped on the flat screen trend yet. I just love the look of the final results! I find myself standing in my living room and just looking at the difference these curtains made. I can also see my dining room from the living room and my living room from my kitchen, so having this blue in all the rooms provides a nice sense of continuity. I have some more leftover fabric again, so expect to see accessories!

Image

Again, here is the front window with the large panels. Thanks for reading, and I hope you will share pictures of you make any of the projects featured here.

To read more from Stacie you can visit her personal blog here.

Kitchen Valance Tutorial

After my table cloth success, I decided I would make a little valance for my kitchen window. It changes the feel of the whole kitchen! I love it!

Image

And it looks great from the dining room, where the same fabric makes up my new tablecloth. As you can see I have a narrow little kitchen, so a valance was the best choice for me. I feel like anything bigger would have been too much.

Image

Here is what I did I cut a piece of fabric about 25 inches by width of fabric. I wanted my valance to be about a foot tall. I thumbtacked my fabric up over the window and eyeballed the width.

Image

I added about 2 inches past the width of my window and cut the excess fabric off. Take it down and get it back into the sewing area!

Image

I pressed both the sides of my valance in a half inch and pressed. I then sewed that half inch in along both edges.

Image

In this picture I have sewed down both sides. On the right side I just pressed in my selvedge and sewed it down. Then I took the piece of fabric and folded it right sides together.

Image

I sewed a seam all the way across the top. I reversed it at the beginning and end of the stitch.

Image

You should have a fabric tube with no raw edged. Go ahead and turn it right side out.

Image

I pressed that seam open, then I pressed it so that it was even across the top.

Image

I used a cheap tension rod from Target that required a one inch opening. I followed along my guide to make a one inch seam below the top of the valance.

Image

Your valance should look like this all the way across the top.

Image

I slipped my tension rod in the top and hung it up! All steps included this probably took about 20 minutes to make. I can’t believe I did not do this sooner!

Note 2 our Readers:  Find even more adventures from Stacie at her personal Sewing Blog