“In Two Camps”

Every person who sews has their own way of doing things.  I’m no exception, but my approach to most any sewing project is usually eclectic and conditional.  In this case, I am embroidering towels for my two nieces.  Well, not really for them:  for their new dogs.  Each towel set fits the décor of the house in which the dog lives and will make bath time a very special treat.  There are two ways to stabilize towels when using embroidery.  Camp one says you use a tear away stabilizer on the back which is discarded after the embroidery is finished stitching out so nothing shows on the back of the towel.  Camp two says you use cut away stabilizer on the back of the embroidery which is left on for the life of the towel.  I am in both camps since I use both methods, depending on the towel and on the embroidery design.  If I am embroidering a kitchen towel, like a flour sack towel, and the design is light and airy, I use tear away stabilizer and discard it once the towel is stitched.  For this project, I am using very fluffy towels and a dense embroidery design, thus the cut away stabilizer.  This stabilizer will be seen on the back of the towel, but I think the stability the stabilizer will give the stitches over the life of the towel is worth it.  This type of project is fast and fun and, depending on the cost of the towel, very inexpensive.  This is how I did it.

I started by using an 80/12 titanium coated needle…
and Floriani polyester embroidery thread in the needle and in the bobbin. I think this looks best from the back. Polyester thread is great for this application since it stands up to frequent washing and even chlorine!
I used Inspira’s Cut Away Light for the back and Sulky’s Super Solvy for the topper. When embroidering a towel you need this topper so the loops of the terry cloth do not get snagged during stitching.
Remember, you never hoop terry cloth directly, so I hooped up just the cut away stabilizer…
…and sprayed it with KK100 temporary spray adhesive. Please never spray your fabric, just the stabilizer!
I used the hoop template to help me align my design. On the hand towel the bottom of the design is 2″ from the bottom and for the bath towel it is 4″ from the bottom.
Once I had aligned my design and put the hoop on my Brother machine, I turned off the snips. Whenever the back of your work will show, the thread snips should be turned off for a neater finished product.
I next basted the Super Solvy topper and towel to the cut away stabilizer in the hoop and it was time to embroider!
When embroidering something heavy, like this bath towel, it is best to keep the weight off the embroidery arm of the machine. I did this by holding the rest of the towel up while embroidery was in progress.
Before removing the work from the hoop, I like to remove the basting…
…and apply a seam sealant to the threads where the knots are before I cut them to clean up the back of the embroidery.
Once all the threads are cleaned up I cut the stabilizer to about 1/4″ around the entire design.
Here are the finished towels for Queen Zoe and King Max.

This was such a fun and fast project. I hope, if you have an embroidery machine, you give this a try. I picked up these towels at Walmart and Target so my investment was more in time than in dollars!

This is my last blog entry for 2020. Look for the blog to begin again the first week of January 2021. Happy Sewing!