Monday, July 23, 2012

Christmas in July - Embroidered Flour Sack Towels

Today we're celebrating the last day of Christmas in July tutorials with all things hand-stitched. And who better to start with than Katie! She hosts a Handmade Parade every Friday to celebrate hand-stitching, is the mama to the bee I'm in, and she has a super cute project to share. Plus she's also putting on the Winterkist blog hop starting August 6th, so if you want more tutorials and chances to win free fabric then go check it out [I'm a stop on the hop, so I'll be putting more info up later this week!]

Hi, I'm Katie and I blog at There & Back, where I tend to share my love for hand stitching, colour, and all things cotton. I have a wonderfulfantasticawesome husband who generally supports my fabric habit, three children, two of whom are teenage boys (eep!) and I work part time as a pastry chef. Sewing is definitely my "me time"!

So. Christmas. Yes, it's coming and since there's nothing we can do to avoid it, we might as well prepare for it! Thank you Rebecca for hosting this fantastic event! It certainly has given me the push to get cracking on my Christmas projects.

Folded Towels

Throughout the year I keep a list of all these great ideas for decorating, gift giving and of course baking; I am a pastry chef after all! Usually though, these lists tend to stay as lists and I don't end up making much progress on them. I generally wait far too long and want to do waaaayyyy too much. So if you're like me, you'll appreciate this quick and easy project, which makes a nice hostess or teacher gift, if you can part with it.

I bought a package of three flour sack towels that were 50% off at my local kitchen store. Apparently red doesn't fly off the shelves in the summer, so good news for me! Since I like to embroider (ok "like" might be putting it mildy) I decided to get stitching. I transferred an easy design from Paloma's  Etsy shop and over the course of one evening I stitched up the towel.

I normally transfer my design by taping the paper design to a window, then I tape the fabric on top.


This of course works best on a nice sunny day. If you're using this method it night, it works really well if you tape it onto the tv!   I generally just dot around the design, like Kristyne shows up close here.  A traced line might show up through the stitching, where as dot dot dots are much less likely to. Also, for other projects I sometimes use transfer paper but since I was using flour sack towels, which have a pretty loose weave, I didn't think using transfer paper would be very effective.

So...the design I chose doesn't scream MERRY CHRISTMA, but the colours and sentiment are definitely appropriate.

Joy Towels

My daughter's teacher will be getting this cute set. I wonder what she'll think when I break my long-standing tradition of giving out Starbucks cards.....



Look at those perfect tiny stitches! I admit, I don't have the patience for itsy stitches. But what a cute idea! You could totally use this concept of hand-stitching and bunting for any holiday, and use something else on the sides to "hold" the bunting if you're not partial to birds. For those of you who don't know where to get flour sack towels you can buy them at Joann [using a coupon!] but I also just saw a package of 4 on sale for like $6 at Target.

Thanks so much Katie! Lucky teachers! Personally I love your tradition of Starbucks cards [] but I do love that handmade gifts show that you recognize what hard work they've put in throughout the year, and are willing to take the time out of your life to do something for them!

Don't forget that there's one more tutorial this afternoon, and that the giveaway from last week is open until tonight at midnight EST!


  1. Great idea! I'll keep my eye open for these towels to fancy up now. Thanks!!

  2. So so cute! It really is much easier to use that method if you don't have a light box handy =D

  3. What a great idea! And thank you for sharing the "dot-to-dot" method rather than making lines...that was helpful. Love...

  4. I for sure got Merry Christmas when I saw this. So friggin cute!


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