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Blog posts tagged with 'home decor'

ITH Towel Toppers
ITH Towel Toppers

ITH-Towel-ToppersTowel toppers are popular and easy to make—and even easier when stitched in the hoop. Use them with ready-made towels or ones you embroider.

This set includes 3 sizes and each topper requires two hoopings to quilt the front and back. I finished mine with magnetic snaps. Other options are Kam Snaps or buttons and buttonholes.

To the right you can see the small version both open and closed. With the magnetic snaps, you only see the closures when the topper is open. When closed, you just see the fabric.

All 3 toppers are the same height; only the width varies.

Watch the Video

There is a full video on how to make the in-the-hoop towel topper on YouTube: In-the-Hoop Towel Toppers with your Embroidery Machine.

You’ll also see samples using the Dessert Recipes designs that I’ve colored with InkTense Pencils. To learn more about that technique, watch Coloring Embroidery with InkTense Pencils.

Skill Level

Simple. Does require finishing with a sewing machine to edge the towel in place.

Please read through all instructions before starting your project! This project, while complex, is not really difficult because the embroidery takes care of all the construction. Cut and place carefully and you’ll have a successful result!

Resizing is not recommended


Getting Started

Print the worksheet for the sizes you intend to sew. These include color sequences, cutting instructions, and basis sewing steps. Once you’ve followed these instructions once, the steps listed in the worksheet will be easy to follow.

What You’ll Need



Cutting Requirements

All three towel toppers are the same height; only the width varies.

If you’re using the same fabric front and back, you can cut the front, back, and batting to the same size using a rotary cutter and ruler.

  • Small : cut 2 6.5” x 10.5” of fabric & 1 of batting
  • Medium : cut 2 8” x 10.5” of fabric & 1 of batting
  • Large : cut 2 9.5” x 10.5” of fabric & 1 of batting

I used the small size on purchased kitchen towels and the largest one on the my embroidered recipe towels. These towels are 38” square flour sack towels. For both sizes, I cut the towels in half.

General Process:

The towel topper is stitched in two hoopings:

    1. The back must be stitched first and is essentially appliqued to the hooped stabilizer and the quilting stitches are sewn. I did not use any batting on the back.
    2. The front is sewn second. Batting is attached to the stabilizer first and trimmed back. Then the front fabric is placed and quilted. Finally the back is attached.

Let’s get started.

Stitching the Back

  1. Hoop appropriate stabilizer and sew color 1 for placement. This placement line includes seam allowances and is slightly larger than the front panel

  1. Place the back fabric face up over the placement guides allowing it to extend evenly on all sides.

  1. Stitch the rest of the design, which is a diamond quilting pattern.
  2. Remove the design from the hoop and cutout following the placement guide.
  3. Fold in half vertically and clip a small notch at the center top and center bottom for placement guides

Stitching the Front

  1. Hoop appropriate stabilizer and sew color 1 for placement.
  2. Place the batting over the stitching line and sew color 2 to attach.
  3. Remove the hoop and trim back the batting to the stitching line. This will minimize the bulk in the seams. Notice that there is extra space between the bottom of the batting and the bottom of the fabric. This area will be turned up for the “hem.”

  1. Place the front fabric face up allowing it to extend evenly beyond the outer placement line on all sides. Sew color 3 to attach the fabric.
  2. Color 4 is the quilting.
  3. Color 5 is a placement line for the back panel.

  1. Align the back piece right side down over the embroidery. Secure with tape or spray as desired. Sew the last color to attach the two pieces. (The back is slightly larger than the front for a “fudge factor.”


Trim seam allowances and clip curves.


Turn right side out and press. Turn up the hem at the bottom of the batting, making sure the bottom folded edge is straight and even; press.

Add Snaps

I added the snaps only to the front panel so they are only visible when the topper is open.

There are placement guides stitched for positioning the snaps.


Place the male snap at the top and the female one on the bottom. Follow the instructions with the snaps you are using.

  • Tip : A small square of cutaway placed on the inside can add strength to the snap area and make it more durable.

Preparing the Towel

Depending on your towel size, you may want to cut it in half. This way you can have a matching pair from just one towel. Pleat or gather the top of the towel to fit the width of the topper.

Insert the top edge of the towel into the topper about 1/2”. Pin in place and edge stitch the top-per


Hang it Up

About the Sizes

The smallest size is perfect for standard sized purchased towels. The larger ones work best with larger towels. I used the largest size for these recipe towels, which were made with 38” square flour sack towels. Embroider one design on each end and cut in half for two finished toppered towels.


Holiday Pie Basket
Holiday Pie Basket
NEW! Stitch up a Holiday Pie Basket just in time for family gatherings.
Terrific Tea Towel Basket
Terrific Tea Towel Basket
New! Stitch up a beautiful basket from tea towels as a gift or for home decor which you'll find has so many uses. Notes • General instructions are given. Towel sizes differ, so alter the dimension given in the instructions to fit the basket you are making. • Seams are sewn with a ½” seam allowance. • These are general directions only. Adjust the measurements based on the towel size and basket size you’re able to make. • Use craft stabilizer to make the basket stiff. • Two towels are needed: one for the outer basket and one for the lining. • The band of the towel is embroidered and then the band is cut off and attached at the end to complete the basket.
Free Design Warnings

3 free designs per week with no purchase,

6 free designs per week with $35 purchase, or

9 free designs per week with $75 purchase.