A couple weeks ago the Primary President (children's group leader) in our church asked me if I would sew 'CTR Towels' for her to give each of the children who get baptized next year. 'CTR' stands for 'Choose the Right,' something to help them remember the promises they make at baptism. And, of course, we hope they will use the towel to dry off with after their baptism.
I've seen these made using an embroidery machine before, but I don't have an embroidery machine, so I thought it would be fun to come up with a cute applique design.
And just so you know, this tutorial shows you techniques that you can use to applique just about anything you want to a towel... think kids' names on beach towels, initials, or make your own bath towels to coordinate with your fancy spa bathroom! To do that, simply use a document program to enlarge the name or letters as big as you want them, print in reverse (you can usually check a box in the print settings), and continue with that instead of the CTR design.
DIY Appliqued Towel Tutorial:
To get started, you will need:
- a towel
- 2 different fabrics (I used cotton and felt for my towels - scraps work great!)
- Heatnbond lite fusible web
- the CTR design (or your own design printed in reverse)
Trace the shield shape and the letter on the fusible web, with the glue side of the fusible against the design so you are writing on the paper side. You can use a pen or pencil, it really doesn't matter. I like to use a sharp pencil to make a nice crisp line, and so I can erase and fix any mistakes.
Note: You will need to trace the shield separate from the letters, but as I got smarter about this, I realized that I would conserve fusible web and fabric if I kept the 'ctr' letters grouped together (see that a few pictures down).
Cut the shapes out of the fusible web, leaving about 1/4'' around each one.
And then press with a medium/hot iron to fuse the shapes to the back of your fabrics.
Now you can cut all of the shapes out along the lines.
I had scraps of fabric with fusible web on them, so I cut little hearts from this for extra embellishment. :)
Fold the end of the towel in half so you can find the center. Center the shield shape about 6-8 inches from the end and press to fuse. Then arrange the letters on top and press to fuse.
The last step is to sew around all of the raw edges on the applique. I often use a tear-away stabilizer behind my applique designs when I sew them, but in this case, the towel is already so thick I don't think it is necessary.
My favorite sewing machine stitch for applique is a faux blanket stitch that you can see above. It looks kind of like this: _|_|_|_|_|_.
Some people also like to use a satin stitch, which is a zig-zag that's about 2-3mm wide with a very short stitch length so the stitches are very close together. Whenever I satin stitch I get impatient because it seems to be moving so slow, then I tug at my project and it looks uneven, lol. So I don't do very much satin stitching. :)
This is a fast and easy project that is great for making multiples and clearing out your stash of scraps. I also really like the ones that I used felt with.
And don't forget, you can print up any design, word, or name of your own for this technique, just remember to print it in reverse (mirror image).