Sunday, February 23, 2014

Housewarming or Hostess Gift Idea: Embroidered Tea Towel

A couple weeks ago we visited friends who have recently moved to Charleston, South Carolina. They just bought their first house, and they were kind enough to welcome us into their home for the weekend (and play city tour guide), so I wanted to bring them a little gift to say thank you. One of my favorite housewarming (or hostess) gifts is a hand-embroidered tea towel for the kitchen. I use classic white flour sack towels and embroider cutesy little food-related patterns on them. They're quick projects that only take a couple of hours, but it's fun to be able to give someone a handmade gift.
What You'll Need:
Embroidery Floss (whatever colors you like)
Tapestry Needle, Size 22 or 24 (tips on choosing needle types and sizes)
Embroidery Hoop (I use an 8" hoop)
Cute Patterns (see below)
Flour Sack Towels
Water Soluble Tracing Pen 

Favorite Patterns
These are some of my favorite patterns that I've found.  Aren't they adorable? I do the bacon and egg love story or the happy coffee pot the most frequently.
Left to Right: True Love #5, True Love #2, True Love #1 patterns by Gina Matarazzo Design and Illustration

Clockwise, Starting at Top Left: Coffee, Grumpy Grill, Cupcake, and I Heart Tea patterns by Wild Olive

What to Do
Once you've picked a pattern and your embroidery floss colors, it's time to get started!

1) Place the towel over the pattern such that you can see it through the fabric, and trace along the pattern with your water soluble pen.

2) Place the towel securely in your embroidery hoop, and get to stitching! Using all 6 strands of embroidery floss, embroider along the lines of the pattern. I use the back stitch most frequently, and I like to use French Knots for eyes

Note: If you're new to embroidery, I highly, highly recommend Wild Olive's Embroidery Basics. They're incredibly helpful, and they got me started!

3) Once you're finished with your embroidery, simply rinse the towel to remove the water soluble ink, and let it dry.

4) Ta da! You have a pretty, handmade, one-of-a-kind gift that will hopefully bring a smile to just about anyone's face!

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