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7 Ordinary Towels – One Fabulous Gift Part 1 of 2

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Vintage Elegance

Elevate a humble days-of-the-week towel set with charming embroidery, ruffled trim and ribbon.  The fun is in the making – truly – I had a blast working on this set of towels.  Hidden in a drawer for ages, the days-of-the-week towels popped into my mind just as I was scrambling for the perfect bridal shower gift for a young, kitchen-comfortable bride!

The bride, my niece Kim, has been an avid cook since she first learned how to make homemade pasta at the ripe old age of 8. And she’s got an arsenal full of kitchen equipment. So it’s natural I thought of her kitchen –and the joy she derives from cooking up concoctions in there when I wondered what gift I would give.

These towels are as charming as Kim. A multi-talented, humorous, intelligent woman, no plain-Jane simple terrycloth towels for her. Oh no, her towels need to make a statement – to shout to the world, this kitchen and cook are fun-loving serious foodies.

It started with adorable embroidery designs. A touch of vintage elegance, the utensil designs were snatched at www.emblibrary.com.  The collection name is “A Classic Kitchenware Design Pack.  I opened each one in Floriani software and had a bit of fun with the lettering. Did you know lettering doesn’t have to sit on a straight line? You can curve it, bend it, shape it any way you want.

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My next post will give you the step-by-step instructions for adding the ruffles and ribbon. For now, let’s concentrate on the embroidery. Before you get started, take my advice and buy the ribbon to match the towels, then select the fabrics and finally the thread for the embroidery.  Finding the right ribbon was the biggest challenge – it’s easier to match everything to the ribbon instead of hunting for the perfect shade of ¾” wide ribbon.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

In a nutshell, here are the steps. Buy the towels. Find the ribbon. Design the embroidery. Select the fabrics. Select the threads. Prewash the fabrics and towels (if you have the time). Stitch all embroidery. Make the ruffles. Sew the ruffles to each towel. Finish with the ribbon.

Measure the width of the towels. One third of that measurement is the limit for the width of each embroidery design. After creating the personalized embroidery designs, size them for the towels.

Open Embroidery Library design F8031 in Floriani software.  Size the design to the appropriate width.  Click on the Text icon and select the Diana-Vs font.  Type Celebrate! in the text window, click Apply.

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Place the cursor over the center green circle and pull the circle down towards the spoon.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The text will curve. You can adjust the curve by sliding the circle.

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Save the design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Let’s step it up a bit by adding three words – Stir with Love.  Open design F8029 and write Stir in the text box.  Now grab the green square on the lower right corner. Pull the square down towards the whisk.

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Enter ‘with’ in the text box.  Place the cursor over each yellow square to move the individual letters closer together.

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Pull the green circle in the bottom center down towards the whisk.

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Nestle the word just above the stem of the whisk.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Enter ‘Love’ in the text box and click Apply. Select the ‘L’ by clicking on the yellow square in the L. Move the letter to the left. Select the green circle on the upper right corner and rotate the L so that the base is parallel with the whisk’s handle.

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Move and rotate each individual letter so that they connect and wrap along the top of the handle.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Save the design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Make seven different designs and have fun with the sayings. Keep the gift recipient in mind and personalize, personalize, personalize!

Now that the designs are ready, mark the embroidery placement on each towel.  I used the Hand Towel with Border template from the Perfect Towel Kit. Slide a target sticker into each hole.

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Hoop the towels in a 5” x 7” hoop with tear-away stabilizer and center the needle over the target sticker.

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Remove the target sticker and embroider the design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Press the towels on a fluffy terrycloth towel, pressing from the wrong side.  Set them aside for now. We’ll work on the ruffles and ribbon on this Friday’s blog post!

This week’s assignment:

Tell me what is your ‘go-to gift’ for bridal showers?  Post a comment and we’ll select TWO random winners to win a $35 gift voucher courtesy of Designs by Hope Yoder!

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the question:

If you were to create fabric fortune cookies for an upcoming event, tell us what the event would be and share one question you would include in the fabric cookies. One random comment will be drawn and the lucky winner will receive a $25 shopping spree on the Designs in Machine embroidery website.

The winner is…Patty C.
What a great idea. Wished I had known of it 2 weeks ago when we hosted my husband’s 60th birthday party. Instead we played a version of Jeopardy. Categories were segments of his 60 years of life…Early years, Golden years, Grindstone, etc. We had fun but the fortune cookies would have worked great with our family.

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75 COMMENTS

  • Susan Wilson

    I love to give monogramed towels because I believe the couple likes to see their married initials.

  • Mary Catherine

    I give monogram linen hand towel. Most of the time I embroider their initial, but if I know they have a particular interest, I find an embroidery that caters to that interest and put that on the towel. They are always well received.

  • Susan Weber

    I like to take a square tablecloth and napkins, embroider them with a picnic theme. Then I buy a picnic basket with all the plates and etc. inside. I then use the table cloth as the wrapping and pull it up over the backet, secure it with a rubber band, and use the napkins to decorate the top.

  • Sally Red

    One of my most requested gift items from brides is the cup towel assortment monogrammed in coordinating colors to match their kitchen decor. Practical AND pretty!

    • Jean Adams

      Where did u purchase cup towel assortment.

      • Marilyn Holland

        Where do you purchase cup towel assortments?

  • Dee Bratcher

    I usually give a nice serving or mixing bowl filled with utensils, an embroidered apron, embroidered towel and potholders. Sometimes I also add a set of monogrammed linen napkins.

  • Kandy Lewis

    I love bathroom towels with their new fun things on them like your kitchen towels. I use many of the built in stitches my machine does as well as embroidery. I’ve had many comments on how pretty they are when done.

  • Judy

    I love to monogram sheets, pillow case, and a set of bath towels as a wedding shower gift. Also a pretty pillow case for a special child.

  • Janice Thompson

    Monogram towels is my go to gift. They turn out beautiful and are easy to do.

  • Jane Waite

    I don’t have a specific go to gift for brides. I base it on their interests and gift registries.

  • Carol Seavitt

    I made Barbeque his and her aprons (embroidered their initials on the pocket). They were a big hit along with the barbeque utencils.

  • Paula Roney

    I usually make monogramed towels of some sort for a wedding gift. It’s always fast and easy and everyone loves a monogrammed towel set. I stock up on towel sets when JC Penneys has a sale ( or used to have a sale) and can usually pick out the perfect color for a great gift. Sometimes I do kitchen towels or monogramed napkins, but usually bath towel sets are a big hit.

  • Wendy

    I like to make Christmas stockings to match their decor with their names as that is something unique and I’ve never seen a double of that gift!

  • Barbara Rowlan Wong

    My favorite wedding gift is finding an elegant set of bath towels at Marshalls or TJ Maxx and embroidering the couples monogram on them. I’ve also embroidered napkins to match the design of their formal dinnerware I found on their registry and include a place setting of their dishes. The napkins were a huge hit! I am fairly new to embroidery and enjoy all the good ideas I find this site. I’ll definitely be making DOW dishtowels now, too.

  • Beth R

    I usually try to do something different, such as FSL ornaments, or decorative candle wraps.

  • Chrissy(sexy10269)

    I like giving beautiful towels for the bathroom and kitchen with matching wash cloths and dish cloths. I love to put a theme design on them. If they have cows in the kitchen then I would find beautiful designs of cows and farm animals. If the bathroom has seashells..then I would find several designs with a theme in a beach design. I also try to match other items such as a toilet paper holder with the same designs on it and in the kitchen like pot holders and hanging tea towels that match the theme.

  • Lori W

    I like to make a ring bearer pillow. It’s fun to personalize it based on their wedding invitations or colors or venue. My favorite was when I put an outline of a bride and groom like the invitation on the pillow with the brides’s dress in an embossed stitch.

  • Lilia Orozco

    My go to gift is a monogrammed towel set with the couple’s new last name initial – it’s such a personal and welcoming gift.

  • Kathy

    I enjoy making wine bags and adding bottles of wine to a basket with a saying on each bottle for when the couple are to enjoy it.

  • Diana

    I usually do the monogram bath towels. I once had a request to make pillowcases. On one side it said…TONIGHT, and on the otherside it said……NOT TONIGHT. The bride loved them.

  • Marjie McCall

    I like to monogram her colors on a kitchen set of towels.

  • Nancy Owens

    Wedding gifts for those really special couples it is usually a cuddle quilt. I have an embroidered quilt label for those gifts, a nice finishing touch.

  • gayle Hill

    I like to make bathroom towels with the couples names. They have all said how much they love them.

  • Gail Beam

    My friends children are all married now, but I like the idea of embroidered and mongrammed towels for the bathroom and/or kitchen should I need a bridal gift.

  • Carol caseber

    I made the bride a Christmas stocking with lace,pearls monogram and ribbon .Ecru and white.it sure was different and fun to make

  • Jean

    My go to gift for bridal showers is flour sack towels. I use one of many whimsical designs that I’ve digitized, which makes a one of a kind gift for the bride.

  • Linda Turner

    I enjoy giving kitchen towels with their name and a design embroidered on the towels. Personalized items are so neat! In fact, my son has been married for almost 4 years. He and his wife still enjoy getting a new kitchen towel when we visit their home, which is out of state. I enjoy putting their name and a design on the towels. They love it and it never gets old!

  • Sharon Aiken

    I like to make an embroidered ring bearer pillow with fsl and the couple’s monogram as well as an embroidered small satin purse for the bride to carry to the church with her essentials for last minute touch-ups.

  • Linda S

    My go to gift for bridal showers is a set of seasonal embroidered tea towels or hand towels.I also like to monogram napkins of bath sheets.

  • karen

    I always give monogrammed towels with the whole name on them. I have given them for many years. Once the bride opened the box upside down and 5 women yelled out “turn them over”, I had given them all towels when they got married.

  • Deborah Rayman

    I give a couple of sets of Monogrammed bath towels.

  • Nancy Weber

    My favorite bridal shower gift is a nice basket, which I line with cute kitchen fabric. Then add some of my favorite recipes along with the ingredients to make these recipes. I also include a few utensils that may be needed for these as well. Then wrap it all up in clear mylar like an Easter basket. Always a hit.

  • Tina Williams

    I give Embroidered dish and bath towels

  • Terrie Underwood

    My favorite wedding gift is a set of nice sheets. I monogram the top sheet with the bride and groom’s initials, as well as the pillowcases. If I haven’t waited until the last minute, I also like to add a pretty border design to the top sheet.

  • Mary

    I like to give the bride and groom a garden flag and stand in the colors of thier wedding, with 2 Gold Lame’ wedding rings and ribbon. I embroider their names, and the date of the wedding on it.
    I also let them know I make baby announcement flags too!

  • Leann McClain

    I like to give embroidered Christmas towels along with an ornament or two for their first Christmas together, or 2 embroidered kitchen towels with bakeware to go with it.

  • Kay

    I’m so NOT original! I like to do Monogrammed Bathroom Towels for Wedding gifts too! Personalizing gifts is a quick and easy thing to do, and usually very appreciated. If I can find towels on their gift registry, that’s an extra bonus! Otherwise, I purchase white towels because they will go with almost any color in any bathroom.

  • Kathy

    My go-to gift is always monongramed with the new initials. I look at the gift registry and pick bath towels that they desire abd decorate away!

  • Patty Sack

    I like to give monogramed towels and pillow cases. They are quick and easy as I now have them down pat!

  • Shirley

    Eileen, I love your DOW towels idea! Could you tell us where we might order these towel blanks? The hint about picking the ribbons first and your instructions for adding the words are great. Thanks! I can hardly wait to try these. As for wedding gifts, there have not been any weddings for me to attend since I got my embroidery machine, but I have to also add a big Thank You to all the ladies who have commented on this week’s blog – you have given me some wonderful ideas for any upcoming wedding gifts!

  • Gena Allen

    What I give depends on the couples interest. I have stitched several monogrammed towel sets or kitchen towel sets. The one that sticks out in my mind though is the bath towel set I monogrammed with the couples initials, but just above them I stitched an antique John Deere tractor. The groom has a hobby of buying and restoring antique tractors. I believe it was a one of a kind gift.

  • Karen Rilstone

    One of my favorite things to make is year-round holiday towels for both powder room and kitchen. Instant decorating for newlyweds.

    Karen

  • Nancy Stringer

    My favorite gift for a bridal shower is handmade linen napkins, embroidered with something specific to the couple…something they couldn’t just buy.

  • Becky

    My “go to” gift for bridal showers is always monogrammed bath towels. It’s always a big hit with the new couple.

  • Nancy N

    To a bride I don’t know well I give a dozen holiday ornaments because there are always room for more even if you already have some. To someone I know who values hand made things I make them myself.

    For a wedding gift I like candlesticks for the same reason above.

  • Denice

    This seems to be a very popular shower gift to give, kitchen dish cloths and towels, I also give a large multi use fry pan. For a wedding gift I have been embroidering a set of good quality bath towels which every one so far have loved. I of course embroider them with designs that match the bride and groom’s likes and character. I have suggested other things but the towels are too popular and now every one expects a set.

  • Lois

    I like to do theme gifts. I usually will pick something from the bridal registry and build around it. My favorite is something for the kitchen and include embroidered dish towels, hand made hot pads and mitts and a matching oven door towel in the colors/patterns the bride has chosen. I complete the gift by buying all the non-perishable ingredients for a meal. If it is someone I am close to, I like to include a gift card to a favorite restaurant for those nights when you would rather look at the pretty hand made/embroidered items, then cook.

  • Colleen Bell

    My three college/high school girls and I were just deciding what to bring for the next wedding shower in our church. I am making a FSL bowl with their date in the bottom. One daughter is making the matching doily with their last name’s initial. Another daughter is making FSL coasters with the same initial. The last daughter is making the fabric box with a lace piece instead of a bow and an embroidered card. All of these items will be in white so it matches with any decor and looks very elegant and wedding-like.

  • Joan W

    I love to give holiday decorations as shower gifts. If you know the couple doesn’t have them yet, embroidered Christmas stocking, a tree skirt, table runner, anything like that is great fun. Add a few hand made ornaments and a box of lights, if you can find them, and you have a great gift. Doesn’t matter the time of year, they will need them eventually!

  • Mary Anne

    My favorite Bridal Shower gift are hand towels for the guest bath. I have a favorite magnolia design, what’s more Southern than that? Above the magnolia I most often add the words, “Welcome Y’all”. A truly southern gift!

  • Sue R

    I usually base it on what their wishes are or their color schemes/decor is in the house BUT always try to personalize with embroidery where I can. A gift basket full of different items for their house.

  • Meg green

    I usually offer to make the ring bearer pillow. I work with the bride to figure out her style and colors. The final pillow is completed and given to the bride at the wedding shower.

  • Karen

    At the last wedding shower the gift had something for every holiday and season. I often give monogrammed towels.

  • Doreen

    I embroider a table cloth and 6-8 napkins

  • Dolly D.

    I usually look at the gift registry to get an idea of the colors or themes they are requesting for the kitchen and bathroom. I purchase something from the registry and then do a set of monogramed towels, or I embroider a couple kitchen towels and an apron.

  • judy williamson

    My wedding gift for new couples is usually kitchen friendly (mixing bowls, wooden spoons, whisks) and of course, embroidered towels!

  • DebbieToth

    I just did a ring bearer pillow for my niece made from satin and lace of her late grandmother’s wedding dress. I created a monogram for her and her new husband and did it all in one antiqued color. Hope she will love it. I have previously copied the wedding invite onto fabric and done silk ribbon embroidery in a heart around it with buttons and notions added and framed. I have done pillow cases and towels too.

  • Donna Brooke

    I like to make a Christmas tree skirt. If I know the couple well, I try to add motifs of their hobbies or family references of some kind.

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  • Taylor Alameter

    Do you think that these designs would work on flour sack towels? That’s just about all that I have that don’t already have a pattern, but these look so great! I hope I can work something out, if the flour sack towels don’t work! Excellent work!

  • gwendolena1

    do you have floriana software? What is your take on it .I would like to purchase some.

  • Deb MacPhail

    As a foster parent for 11 years, I would buy a large soft towel and embroider the girls’ name with any design that reflected their interest. Most appreciated it because they hadn’t had anything of their own. I also made sure the girls had a nice bathrobe and slippers.

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Pingback: 7 Ordinary Towels – One Fabulous Gift Part 2 of 2 | Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog on April 25, 2012