I do this periodically, changing the decor of the bathroom, because of the water. Our water has such a high iron content that it rapidly stains everything. It is especially bad for the shower curtain. I can soak the curtains in Biz or Oxyclean or the like. Those products will remove the iron stains… several times. Eventually, however, the stains just won’t come out. My choice is to replace the shower curtain and coordinating items or live with the stains. Can’t stand those stains. Nope. Not at all. So about every 18-24 months, I’m redecorating our bathroom. This time I chose a red-purple print reminiscent of plum or cherry blossoms. (I’m not sure which) It has a Japanese flavor. (I promise to post pictures when the decorating is all done).
I immediately purchased 4 coordinating towels and 6 wash cloths. The wash cloths went into use immediately. But the towels have been in the sewing room waiting for me to finish the embroidery. I hang the towels on the rack as hand towels. Oh I love everybody’s beautiful finger tip towels. But in my world, people use FTTs once and they are dirty. When I had a child at home, the “hand towels” (those are the ones hung on the rack) were changed everyday, sometimes twice a day. With just DH and I, they hand towels never really become dirty. I change them every other day only because I feel guilty. I wonder what germs are lurking. Yeah I can obsess a bit. I love embroidering on towels. It’s truly an opportunity to closely coordinate my decorations but at the same time reflect my tastes and whims. I prefer not to embroider directly on the towels for one and only one reason: eventually the embroidery sinks into the nap of the towel. Yes I’ve used the underlay stuff. It may just be a combination of my location, my design choices and towel choices. No matter what I do, 2 years down the road the embroidery looks old and tired instead of fresh and inviting. I prefer to embroider on a separate piece of fabric and then applique the fabric to the towel. If the embroidery gets looking bad enough, I can remove the whole piece. Usually, because I’m having redecorate so often, by the time the embroidery looks bad, the towel hass been placed into everyday use. At which point, I don’t care.
My towels are a matching deep purple-red very close in color to the embroidery above. The applique fabric, a cotton lawn, looks like a natural linen. I was planning a summer jacket but this is an excellent use, too. I embroider two appliques for each towel (one for each end of the towel). Usually I hem the edges. This time I opted for fringe. Well I opted for fringe on the first one. I hated fringing decided the others will be pinked. Each applique is straight stitched around the border in a rectangular shape. That’s done 3 times with each rectangular being about 1/8″ smaller than the previous.
The pictures above include all the jump stitches, which is a little too bad, because the embroideries really are lovely. (I think jump stitches detract from their beauty.) I did the first towel at the multi-position hoop on the PE770. Then I had a day spent exclusively on laundry and so used the Designer Ruby for the other 3 towels. The PE770 is my workhorse. With the multi-position hoop, I hardly miss the Ruby at all. But there are two important differences. First the Ruby really is faster. She did the next 3 towels in the same time as the PE770 took for the first one. The other wonderful thing about my Ruby is that she cuts all the jump stitches. It is so nice not to be cutting jump stitches. So very, very, very,… nice. However, she is primarily my sewing machine. I keep her busy sewing and keep the PE770 chugging away at embroidery.
I did not buy new embroidery designs. These were all in my stash. The first towel is the same design, enlarged then repeated 3 times. The second towel’s design was created by repeating this small design
multiple times. I deleted the flower center and used a center from a completely different flower. The 3rd towel’s design, is a single design that was duplicated and mirrored. A little time in editor to rearrange the stitching order and it became a sweet embroidery at the Ruby. It too borrowed flower centers from two designs not used in any of the embroideries. The last design was created by duplicating and mirroring a lacy vine and adding 3 flowers (whose centers are the same as one of the other towels). None of these designs started with my color scheme. I changed them all. I spent a good hour comparing my shower curtain with my embroidery threads. I stitched out samples before deciding upon a color scheme. My flower centers are a different color from any of the colors in the shower curtain. When testing, I noticed that the flower centers disappeared if I used any of the curtain colors. I thought that the flower center was an important detail of the curtain. I wanted it and wanted it to show.
I’m using Marathon Polyester threads, Dark Brown 2135, Terra Cotta 2180 and Tawny 2287. Although I may be getting away from Marathon Threads. The last time I wanted to place an order, they insisted I set up an account. I thought well, I buy from them at least once each year. I spend between $1-200 although in some years it h as been as high as $600. I try to wait until I have good sized order of thread and stabilizers before placing an order. I don’t buy embroidery supplies elsewhere so maybe it makes sense to have an account. My on-line fabric stores make it an advantage to have an account by keeping my shipping and payment information on file. Maybe it makes sense to have an embroidery supply account as well. So I start filling out the form. They want all my personal identifying information except my mother’s maiden name. I asked myself why. Why did they need, my DOB? SSN? I was not applying for credit. I would be providing a credit card or paypal account to handle the financial obligation. Why did they need all the other information? I cancelled the app and wrote them an email. I understand that as a result of my concerns, they revised the form and no longer require DOB. I don’t know. I haven’t been back. I’m leery of giving so much information to any one entity. I can buy stabilizers many places (got the last batch off Amazon.com). I had settled on Marathon Threads because they are good threads and the 1000 meter spool is very competitively priced. The clincher for me is that I managed to get not a printed color chart, but an actual thread color chart. (Printed color charts are just not as accurate. There is a difference.) I’d be open to any recommendations within these parameters
polyester thread, 1000meter spools, a real chart i.e. thread on the chart not printed color.