Here’s a fairly simple way to add a bit of free motion embellishment without alot of time investment. I love to buy the pre-made, decorated hand towel (and I have made them too). Great gifts for the girls at the office, and for any other gift giving need you may have. It’s really cool to make them fun, as well as unique, combining free motion, fusing, and embroidery, as well as bit of “fluff” with a ruff…ruffle, that is!
The best part is adding the ‘unexpected’ embellishments! Another example of how you can add a touch of free motion to any project, and make it very special!
I had a great batik in my stash (oh imagine that!)… so started by cutting a 5″ or 6″ strip of it, doubled up, and then ruffled it. Doubling a ruffle makes it more professional looking in my opinion; it hangs nicely, is finished off nicely, and it also runs through the ruffler foot quite smoothly too! (Makes you look like a star!) Attach to your towel, by laying the ruffle underneath the towel, and stitching along the towel’s already existing hemline makes it easy to line it up!
Adding the lovely crocheted trim makes a statement of country style on top of the ruffle. But you don’t need to stop there… I was pretty sure I had a lovely ribbon somewhere in my stash and found this beautiful blue rayon ribbon that was the perfect accent for the towel. I top stitched it right above the trim using my ‘triple straight stitch’— in black thread of course! Why choose a plain straight stitch when you’ve got so many others that are fun to choose from? I was tempted to use a flower-y decorative stitch instead of the triple straight stitch, but decided the three little batik flowers were enough, and didn’t need any more… but it would have been cute, either way!
I used a black thread: King Tut 40 weight cotton for that, and also black cotton on my bottom in a 50 weight Masterpiece; both threads made by Superior threads). By the way, this particular towel was embroidered first.
THEN comes the funnest part for me, and that is to add a little fused flower — which was a very basic five-petaled flower I drew free hand onto fusible web, cut it out, fused it on, then added a bit of yellow wool, fused into the center. Using black thread for the free motion motif made a bold statement, but in a very light-hearted,swirly, curly-q’d and leafy meanderings, tiny little circles, all following somewhat, the curves of the petals. Such fun FUN thread play with black thread to match the embroidery design.
Inspiration is everywhere… and for me it came from the embroidered design “ZENSPIRATIONS” from Bernina. I’m not an advanced embroiderer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love the ‘plug n play’ of USB sticks in my machine. So quick and easy! And I fell in love with the whimsical nature of the words and their STYLE!
So I repeated some of those same design elements featured in the embroidery as my inspiration for the free motion motif on the flowers. You can too! Practice on a bit of paper first, if you are hesitant to go straight to your machine. It’s really great to go off the line, and give your quilting a sketchy look!!! Smiles everyone! No need to be… dare I say it… “perfect?”!!! Absolutely NOT. It’s charming, fun, fast and easy-breezy girls!
KNOW that the stitches will be a little ‘off’ tension-wise on the back side, because the towel is not real thick, and so it doesn’t have alot of stabilization to the fabric. And that’s OKAY! We’re not being perfect – we don’t need to be… this is fun, loose and FREE!. Just be sure to loosen your top tension, match the color of your top and bottom threads, and try to hold the fabric firmly with your hands without gripping so tight you can’t free motion! If you prefer, use a spray adhesive, and attach some of the wash-a-way type stabilizers on the back. However, I DID NOT. and you can see the results. After all… it’s creative, and above all… it’s FREEly done!
I hope you found some inspiration…and FREEdom here! Add your own special touch, and enjoy adding to your skills, and making a quick project, not to mention a wonderful gift to have on hand.
“Freely, Freely, you have received… Freely, Freely, Give.”
Oh Robin, thank you for making a comment and letting me know you are inspired! That's what it's about! Great idea for picking up linens, too! I'd love to see what you DO!
Soooo pretty! I love your work! You've inspired me – I'm going to pick up some old linens at the local thrift shop, and give it a try!