How to Embroider and Applique a Dish Towel
A really great beginner project to try out if you are new to embroidery, is something that is easy to hoop, like a dish towel.
Today I will be using a design from the new Machine Embroidery and Applique Designs Bundle.
- Dish Towel
- Hoop and plastic grid that came with hoop
- Tear Away Stabilizer
- Disappearing ink fabric marker
- Temporary spray adhesive
- Water soluble topper
- Fabric for applique
- Heat n Bond Lite
- Iron or Cricut Mini Easy Press
Hooping can be very challenging when you first start.
For this project, instead of trying to hoop the towel in between the 2 pieces of the hoop, we will Float it on top of the stabilizer.
Start by using the grid that goes with the hoop that you will use. Place the grid on the towel and use a ruler to find the center.
Once you have determined where you want the design to be, use a disappearing ink fabric marker to mark dots in the little holes in the grid, and then draw crosshairs.
Next cut a piece of tear away stabilizer that is bigger than your hoop.
Place the stabilizer in the hoop and tighten the screw to make sure that the stabilizer is tight.
Insert the grid into the hoop and make marks on it just like you did on the towel. Spray temporary adhesive on the stabilizer.
Use the placement marks on the towel to guide you to lay it directly on the placement marks on the stabilizer.
Once in place, rub the towel down onto the stabilizer so that it sticks.
Lastly, add a piece of water soluble topper to your towel.
Use pins outside of the embroidery sewing field to hold the topper and to further secure the towel to the stabilizer.
Load the hoop and design on your machine.
In appliqué designs there are 3 steps for each piece of fabric that is added; placement, tack down, and finishing stitch.
I like to start by doing all of the placement stitches.
Just use the step + and – buttons on your machine to jump around in the steps for the design.
You can use any thread color for the placement and tack down stitches, because they will not be seen after the final satin stitch.
Once you have all of the placement stitches done, take the hoop off of the machine and cut any jump stitches.
Then cut pieces of fabric that are slightly larger than the placement stitch.
Next, I like to iron a piece of Heat n Bond Lite to the back of the appliqué fabric to keep it from puckering after the item is washed.
After all of the appliqué pieces are cut and have heat n bond on the back, load the hoop back on the machine.
Go back to the first placement stitch and move ahead one step to the tack down stitch. Either hold the piece of fabric over the placement stitch or use some spray adhesive to hold the fabric in place. Stitch the tack down.
Next take the hoop off of the machine and trim the fabric as close to the tack down stitch with out snipping the threads.
When you are done, load the hoop back on the machine and repeat this process for each piece of appliqué in the design.
Use the step + and – buttons on your machine to skip the placement stitches for each step.
Once all of the appliqué pieces are tacked down and trimmed, it's time to let the machine do the rest of the work.
All you need to do now is change the thread color for each step.
I recommend planning all of your thread colors before you start, and just line them up in front of your machine.
If you have multiple steps that use the same thread color and no other steps interfere, just skip around on your machine while leaving the same thread loaded.
For example, the top of the camper, heart on the wheel, and HOME is all red, but they are not setup to stitch in that order.
So instead of changing my thread color for each step, I skipped ahead to HOME.
An example of where you can’t do this is the outline for HOME.
I did this in silver and since I stitched the silver bottom of the camper before I did my red items, I waited until after HOME was stitched, then loaded the silver thread back on and did the outline.
When the machine is done stitching everything, there is still some things you need to do to clean the towel up.
Keeping the towel on the hoop, use some small scissors to cut any jump stitches.
Then, take the pins off and tear off the water soluble topper.
If any topper remains, just spray some water on the area and wipe it off with a towel.
Use a tide pen to remove any placement marks that are still visible.
Next, pull the towel off the hoop and tear away stabilizer.
Tear away any remaining stabilizer on the back and trim loose threads. Do not get too scissor happy on the back of the design. Cutting too much may compromise your stitches and they can come loose in the front. Just trim long pieces and remember, no one is looking on the backside of the towel.
I hope this tutorial was helpful and you can use it to embroider and appliqué a number of items!
Follow along step-by-step with the video below and be sure to follow our YouTube channel:
Remember to check out the Machine Embroidery and Applique Designs Bundle which includes 125 Embroidery / Applique Designs and 6 Fonts!