If you enjoy handwork, pick up your needle and follow me! Creating a small embroidery project of simple stitches and pretty colors is a perfect way to say “you’re special.”

Last fall I was itching to create some original embroidery design motifs. I’d spent the last couple of years doing needlepoint and knitted projects, however, and decided I should really start by working on my rusty embroidery skills. So I chose a pattern and got back in the swing of embroidery.

Just for fun, I bought a few more packages of embroidery transfers and cotton tea towels and proceeded to get totally caught up in the creative process. I enjoyed selecting motifs that reminded me of my friends and their interests. Projects went quickly, and I decided to let them become some my holiday gifts this year. You may not be looking for an “immersion project” this close to Christmas, but have confidence. You can make one or two in a couple of days!

I found everything I needed at Michael’s or Joann Fabric and Craft Stores, where I could see and touch the towel fabric and compare and select thread colors. I’ve also purchased towels at Margie’s Country Store and pattern transfers at L&L Yard Goods here in Madison, Indiana.
Here’s what you need to get started.IMG_3944~photo-full
  • Tea Towels
    Although I love flour sack towels, I enjoyed using the weightier Retro Stripe Towels for these projects with the heavier threads I selected
  • Threads
    My Mom & grandmother always used embroidery floss, but I prefer to use DMC Pearl Cotton 5. The embroidered design stands out so much more with the heavier thread. And the variety of colors is wonderful.
  • Needle, needle threader, scissors
I used just four stitches – stem stitch, satin stitch, running stitch, and French knot. If like me, it’s been a while since you’ve done any embroidery, you can refer to stitch instructions with the DMC Embroidery Stitch Guide or watch a variety of online tutorials. And don’t worry, it’s way easier than riding a bike!

Here are a few examples of this year’s gift tea towels. Towels for the baker, a hostess gift with baked goods, a hostess gift with home-canned goods, something for the culinary gardener, and a towel for the canning enthusiast.

I had an early Christmas lunch with friends last week, and so far, the towels have been a hit!

TransferPaper_PencilI really enjoyed these embroidery projects, and I think I’m ready to jump off the deep end and create something original. I’ve purchased tracing paper and hot iron transfer pencils – now I just need to come up with some original designs!
I hope you’ll check back with Sally’s View and see what I come up with. Good luck, and have fun with your own embroidered tea towel projects.

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.