Tag Archives: applique tutorial

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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  🙂

Ruffled & Embroidered Burp Cloth Tutorial

Ruffled & Embroidered Burp Cloth

I’m hoping I will get to see my beautiful sister and her new baby girl over the Christmas holidays.  If so, I’ll have this sweet little burp cloth ready just for her.

Here is a tutorial for making the Ruffled & Embroidered Burp Cloth:

For anyone who is new to machine embroidery, let me take a moment to say that any embroidery machine with a hoop size of 4×4 or larger can do this project.  You will need:  your sewing machine, your embroidery machine, some fabric, self -adhesive tear-away stabilizer, embroidery thread, regular sewing thread, a burp cloth, and an embroidery design that you want to put on the burp cloth.  I chose to do an applique, so you’ll get to see how that works if you read this tutorial.

By the way, feel free to post any questions you have about projects of all kinds.  I’ll do my best to answer you in short order!

#1 Making Ruffles: Cut 2 strips of fabric, 20"x5". Fold one of them with right sides together lengthwise and stitch a 1/2" seam along the short ends. Clip the corners. Repeat for the other strip.

#2 Turn the long strips of fabric right side out and press.

#3 Set your machine for a 4mm stitch length to baste 2 parallel lines next to the long raw edge of your fabric strip. Leave long thread tails at both ends of the strip.

#4 Anchor one end of the thread tails by winding them around a pin in a figure 8.

#5 Pick up the 2 thread tails on the front of your fabric strip and pull the threads to gather. Ease in the fullness of the ruffle to match the width of your burp cloth.

#6 Pin ruffle to bottom edge of burp cloth, adjusting gathers as needed.

#7 Stitch a 1/2" seam along the raw edge of the ruffle. Remove pins as you go. Then, zig zag the raw edge to prevent unraveling.

#8 Press your ruffle away from the burp cloth. Repeat steps 3-8 for the other strip of fabric at the other end of your burp cloth.

Next, comes the embroidery!  I chose to create a monogrammed applique for this project.  I got to use my new Monogram Works software for this and it was very easy to do!  You can get this software online or locally at Humble Sewing Center.  (Locally tends to cost a little less since most shops will meet or beat online pricing.)

First, find and mark center front of the burp cloth.

Decide where you want the design. I used a placement template from The Perfect Placement Kit. It's an easy way to get things just where you want them.

Once you know where you want the design to end up, you can use the grid template that came with your machine to help you with centering your project in the hoop.

I hooped a piece of self-adhesive, tear-away stabilizer and laid the burp cloth on top of it, placing as needed. Then, I stitched the outline of the circle applique with my embroidery machine.

Next, I laid a piece of fabric on top of the circle outline that I had just stitched and my embroidery machine stitched the circle again. This step tacks down my applique fabric.

Then I used my applique scissors to trim away the excess fabric around the circle. I was careful not to cut the burp cloth.

Lastly, I snapped the hoop back onto my Janome 350E and finished the satin stitch around the circle and stitched the monogram onto the fabric.

I hope my sister likes it!

The baby's name is Mikaelah. This is a font that comes with Monogram Works. LOVE IT!!!

Well, that’s all for now.  Except that since you hung in there and read the whole post, I’ll show you a picture of the 2nd thing I made with my new software…..

A monogrammed towel for my mommy! This font also comes with Monogram Works.... I hope she likes this!

Thanks for reading!

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Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny