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Madeira Appliqué Towels

Madeira Appliqué

These particular towels were made with lengths of huck toweling and homespun check purchased at Joann's. The embroidery designs are freebies by Janet Shirah, downloaded from Ann the Gran's website. You can substitute linen or a linen blend for the huck toweling and homespun for a more formal tea towel.

Huck toweling (prewashed, dried & pressed)
Fabric for Applique area (prewashed, dried & pressed)
Embroidery thread
Embroidery design (optional)
1 Bobbin wound with Water Soluable Thread
Regular Sewing Thread for needle & bobbin
Water Soluable Marking Pen or Blue Chalk
Point Turner
Spray Starch
Pressing Cloth

Cut a length of the huck toweling approximately 30" long. Leave the selvage edges in place.

Cut the applique fabric approximately 8" long and the same width as the towel fabric.

Below is the Key for the fabric and instructions:


This is the length of huck toweling, right side up.



This is the appliqué fabric, right side up.



Fold the appliqué fabric in half, meeting short ends, with right side of fabric inside.



Using water soluable marker (or chalk), draw the appliqué pattern onto the fabric. The distance from the bottom of the fabric must include a 1/2" seam allowance described later. If you cannot draw the pattern freehand, use household items (cups, dishes) to draw the curves onto a piece of paper. Then cut off the top section of the paper and use the template to draw the shape onto the appliqué fabric.



Load the bobbin with water soluable thread into your bobbin case. Then, using a straight stitch, with a decreased stitch length of 2.0 to 1.5, stitch on the line you drew. (The smaller stitch length will help you round the curves). Remove the bobbin and store in a Ziplock bag. Load a regular-thread bobbin with thread to match the toweling for the remainder of the project. Reset your stitch length.



Trim the seam allowance to about 1/4". Clip the curves up to the stitching line. Turn right side out and push out the points with a point turner..

Next, saturate both sides of the stitching area with spray starch, checking that the marker has dissolved. Using a pressing cloth, press until dry.



Unfold the appliqué fabric. The stitching should give way easily. If not, re-saturate with spray starch and press again until dry and the stitching releases.



Place the appliqué fabric right side down onto the wrong side of the toweling, aligning bottom raw edges. Stitch across bottom edge, using a 1/2" seam allowance. Press open the seam allowance and grade/trim to about 1/4".



Fold the appliqué fabric over the toweling so that the wrong side of the appliqué fabric is atop of the right side of the toweling. Press.

Using the Applique/Pin Stitch (or comparable), stitch along the curve of the appliqué fabric, securing it to the toweling. I used embroidery thread for this stitching. You can choose whatever thread you'd like!



To finish the edges of the towel, narrowly hem or use a serger on the three sides as shown below. See photo below.

That's it! See how easy Madeira Appliqué can be!

The towel is now ready to embroider, if desired.


Edge Finish