With the summer heat, I tend to put away my knitting in exchange for lighter and more transportable crafts. For one idea, I love having a simple embroidery project — like these simple floral embroidered towels — at hand for keeping my hands busy on lazy afternoons or long car rides to the mountains.
I enjoy my respites with needle and thread so much. Every year, I seem to forget how soothing hand embroidery is until I pick it up again. I find stitching all the more relaxing, too, when the motif is a lovely summer floral one. Doing needlework on a set of simple tea towels provides a wonderful stash hostess or birthday gifts as the summer progresses.
Evening summer walks and early morning runs inspire my floral embroidery patterns. The gardens I pass wave gently in the breeze, laden with their blooms full of color and delight. I pull out my phone and snap a few shots for later. Once home, I transcribe these inspiring photos into simplified drawings in colored pencil.
I match embroidery floss to my inspiration, often mixing colors to obtain the variation you see in nature. The final project rarely turns out exactly as drawn, but I find that it helps to have a starting point.
I have two patterns to share with you today in PDF format, both for these lovely Snapdragons and the beautiful globe-like Allium.
Floral embroidery pattern PDF
Flour sack kitchen towels
Embroidery thread in various colors (DMC 5 for stems, DMC 25 for flowers)
Mid-weight fusible craft interfacing
Embroidery tracing paper (erasable with damp cloth)
Create fun floral embroidery patterns of your own by sketching simplified versions of your favorite blooms and pairing them with embroidery floss. Or, simply download and print the floral embroidery patterns to recreate the towels I’ve made.
Cut mid-weight fusible interfacing about the size of the pattern you want to stitch, leaving extra an extra 1-2 inches all the way around. Apply the fusible interfacing to the “wrong” side of the tea towel, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Place tracing paper first (blue side down), layered by the printed pattern, both centered on the tea towel where you want the design. Center the design in the middle of the towel, about three inches up from the bottom. Trace over the design provided with a ballpoint pen.
Place an embroidery hoop over the carbon traced design. The fusible interfacing should be on the reverse side stabilizing the piece for embroidery.
If this is your first project, see this introductory guide on embroidery. To create the stems and ground, make a stem stitch along the drawn lines. To make the leaves, use a lazy daisy stitch. (Sometimes, I fill in my daisy stitch with a straight stitch of an alternate color for highlights). For the blooms of the Allium, use french knots. For the buds and blossoms of the snap dragons, use a mixture of french knots for the buds, and three straight stitches that are short, long, and then short, to create the open blossoms.
Once you have completed your stitching, trim extra ends of floss and peel and cut away extra fusible interfacing not needed, leaving 1/8 inches around all stitching.
For the finishing touch, iron your embroidered tea towel. Now, it is ready to gift or place in your own home for everyone to “ooh” and “ahh” at!
Have a happy summer stitching!