To give our Ladies’ Room at the Bernina Studio the personal touch we embroidered a set of hand towels using the Bernina 700 Embroidery Machine and the new Bernina Midi Hoop with ratchet closing.

It’s all in the preparation! We printed a template of the design (or you could use a stitch out of the outline) then used a ruler and a fabric marker to mark the centre point of the design on the towel.

The next task was to apply the stabiliser to the back of the towel. We chose OESD Cutaway. We lightly sprayed the cutaway with 505 Spray Adhesive and smoothed it onto the back of the towel making sure we had covered the full design area. Then the hooping….we placed the bottom hoop with ratchet open wide on a non slip surface and the inner hoop with template next to it.

Placing a towel in the hoop is made easier with the new style deeper hoops with a ratchet system, but the principle is the same whichever hoop you are using (there are other methods for hooping that we can show you in the future). Pick up the towel & inner hoop with the template aligned with the center marks on the towel and carefully place inside the outer hoop with out losing the centre alignment of the template and marked centre on the towel (we know, easier said than done). Ensuring the towel is flat and smooth but not too tight in the hoop, tighten the ratchet. It is important to ensure that the inner hoop and towel is set a few millimetres deeper than the outer hoop, this stops the outer hoop vibrating on the bed of the machine leaving your design etched on the bed of your machine.

Because the towel has a deep pile, it was necassary to cover the towel surface with a water soluble stabiliser so the pile did not poke out through the stitches (more on the Washaway Stabiliser soon). Now we were almost ready to stitch….over to the machine and the Creative Consultant.

By using the Creative Consultant and choosing the type of embroidery followed by the type of fabric, we were presented with the best settings and needle size to use for optimum stitch out. We used a new Bernina Ball Point needle size 80, and 40wt threads (R&A Rayon, Mettler Polysheen and a Superior Polyester).

Now for our design, we downloaded this from the internet onto a USB stick. You need to use a small capacity USB formated as FAT32 and for most Bernina machines the design needs to be in .exp format.

Almost ready….first of all we opened the design on the machine by going to the Open a Design folder. Selecting the USB Option, we then located the design on our USB which we had inserted.

Once the design was selected, we did a little shuffle on the editing screen to align the centre of the design to match the cross hair on the towel… told you hooping was never easy! We also had to mirror image the design so the deer had his feet towards the bottom of the towel. Finally we selected the stitchout tab and in order to ensure that the washaway stabiliser stayed in place, we selected a basting box around the design .

The basting box needs to be stitched out slowly ensuring the water soluble stays flat and in place. We used Washi Tape and we also recommend OESD washable tape to encourage the washaway to stay put – we used OESD Washaway Toppping and Madeira Avalon to the same effect. We were only using one colour of thread in our design so the choice of bobbin thread was easy! We matched top and bottom the same rather than a bobbinfil.

The most important bit, the sewout, can be seen in our video below.

After removing the embroidery from the hoop, we trimmed away the cut away stabiliser surrounding the design and then trimmed a few connecting stitches.

Most of the water soluble was removed easily around the design but a gentle spritz of water helped with the removal of excess and placement marks.

Our embroidered towel design was complete. All we had to do then was wash and dry them……sigh. If you come to our Bernina Studio perhaps you will see the towels for yourself !

We hope you feel we have given you enough information to have a go at a stitch out a design on a towel. We are available for one to one tuition in the Bernina Studio or you can join us at one of our Bernina Tuition Days.

Tips: Do not use an adhesive backing on towels as peeling away excess will pull the pile. Always use water soluble on the top of your design to keep the pile from peeping through on the finished embroidery. Keep the design fairly simple but dense, or the pile will creep through the stitching over time. Monograms work really well. You can test out a design on an old face cloth. The embroidery designs we have used are from the Embroidery Library. Choose your thread with the way you wash towels in mind. Some threads do not like biological washes or high temperatures.

Happy stitching!

Products we used for this project:

Bernina 700E

Bernina Ball Point Needles

Bernina Midi Hoop

Maderia Avalon Film Wash Away Stabilizer

OESD Washaway Topping

R&A Rayon Thread

Mettler Polysheen Thread

Superior Rainbows Polyester Thread

Nifty Notions 4″ Double Bend Embroidery Scissors

OESD Embroidery Wash Away Tape

Clover Trace’n Mark (Extra Thick Air Erasable)

Handi Quilter Long Arm ‘Leader’ Pin

Omnigrid 18″x 3″ Ruler

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