These fun birdhouse kitchen towels are machine embroidered towels with designs by Charming Station Embroidery. These towels sparkle because of a secret ingredient! Keep reading or watch the video to find out what it is.
I found these birdhouse machine embroidery designs while at a quilt show and couldn't resist. I ended up purchasing the set of birdhouse designs and also some cute foxes and Christmas reindeer designs. Charming Station Embroidery has hundreds of designs and they all sparkle. Look at the end of this article for links to their site and these designs.
I decided to use the birdhouse designs to make machine embroidered kitchen towels. These towels will make wonderful hostess, Christmas, birthday, or other holiday gifts. I love giving embroidered kitchen towels for teacher gifts as everyone can use a kitchen towel.
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Your question may still be, how do these embroidered towels sparkle? Your first guess might be that I used sparkly or metallic thread. Well, that's not it!
These designs are made to use with Mylar. Mylar is a thin plastic iridescent sheet and it adds a wonderful sparkle to your embroidery designs. When machine embroidering with Mylar, you must use designs made to be used with Mylar. These designs do not have as dense of stitching which allows the Mylar to show through. The Mylar is put down at the beginning of the pattern and tacked down similarly to machine applique embroidery. Then the thread colors are stitched over the Mylar and this leaves spaces for the Mylar to shine through.
WHAT YOU NEED for embroidered dish towels:
- Kitchen or Bathroom Towel Embroidery Blanks
- Charming Station Embroidery Designs - Birdhouse designs
- Machine Embroidery Thread
- Embroidery Machine
The Charming Station Embroidery designs include instructions on how to embroider the birdhouse designs. They have a Mylar Embroidery Designs page which talks about Mylar and how to machine embroider using Mylar.
The towels I used above have a pattern of blue checks and tan herringbone. In order to use these patterns on these towels, a piece of blocker material must be used first underneath the Mylar. Charming Station suggests using white Mylar, "Hide It", or stabilizer.
I tried a couple of items for my blocker. First I tried to use a layer or two of white cotton material. I also tried using a stabilizer (either cut-away or tear-away) underneath. I found that I preferred to use the stabilizer as the cotton was harder to trim and the finished product ended up with small threads showing around the edges.
STEP 1: Hoop the Kitchen Towel
Hoop the towel as you would for any machine embroidery project. You can also float the towel if you prefer. Remember to put a tear-away stabilizer behind the towel as your project will still need stabilization.
If your towel is fluffy, a wash-away stabilizer may be needed on the top, but since the Mylar will be there, it probably is not needed. My towels were flat, so no topper was necessary.
Thread your machine with a neutral color or one that will blend with the design. The bobbin should be filled with white or bobbin fil.
STEP 2: Add Blocker
If you need a blocker fabric or stabilizer, cut a piece larger than the size of the design and place it down on top of the towel. Stitch the first color. This color is the outline of where to place the Mylar.
Remove the towel from the machine and trim the stabilizer very close around the stitching line. These patterns do not have a satin stitch around, so it must be trimmed closely or it will end up showing after the towel is completed.
STEP 3: Place Mylar
Before sewing step #2, place a piece of Mylar over the stitched outline. Be sure it completely covers and extends a little past the outline. Stitch step #2 and this will stitch an outline to tack down the Mylar.
Charming Station suggests to not trim after this step. Leave the trimming for after the whole design is stitched. I found that the Mylar comes off easily after all of the stitching is completed for the design.
STEP 4: Stitch remaining colors
Finish stitching out the remaining colors in the pattern as directed by the color chart. The machine will stop for each color change.
STEP 5: Finishing up
Once all steps have been stitched, remove the hoop from the machine and gently pull the Mylar back towards the stitching to remove it. If there are any tiny pieces, use tweezers to remove them.
Clean up the back of the towel by trimming any hanging threads. Remove the tear-away stabilizer close to the stitched design. If cut-away was used, carefully trim around the design.
Once your towels are complete, they can be used as kitchen towels, washed, and dried as normal. If you need to iron them, use a pressing cloth over the stitching to keep from melting the Mylar or the thread.
For an extra special gift, turn these kitchen towels into hanging towels that won't fall on the floor. Click our tutorial on Hanging Hand Towel with Kam Snaps to find out how to easily convert any towel into a hanging towel.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
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These Easter and Spring designs make super cute machine embroidery towels. These are machine embroidery designs by Bird Brain Designs. Click to find out more.
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