Love the look of hand embroidery, but not the time it takes? Jennifer Keltner shares a great way to get the look using your sewing machine.


Are you looking for a quick gift you can make in minutes? Here's an idea for you. I'm Jennifer, here with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo machine. Embroidery is as hot as ever, but time is also as short as ever for many of us, so how do you get that hand-embroidered look by using your machine? Here's a quick tip for you. I'm going to show you how you can embroider a tea towel using just a straight stitch on your machine and a 12-weight thread. Change your needle to a 90/14. That gives you a bit bigger eye to accommodate the 12-weight. And in the bobbin just a standard sewing thread will do, one that matches your 12-weight thread. Then draw your design onto a basic tea towel. I've got one that has a fairly loose weave here but you could also use a flower sack. You can either use a light box or sunny window to transfer your design, but just trace it on with some sort of air- or water-soluble maker. You'll want to get a piece of stabilizer to put behind your work and that will just give it some stability. I've chosen the tear away, but there are lots of different varieties. I place it beneath my design and then I'm ready to start. Now the 12-weight thread in the top is what is going to give me that look of embroidery floss from the top of my work, I've increased my stitch length to about a 3.0 millimeter and I'm going to start stitching over the top of the line that I've traced. Since my line will disappear with water, I'm not so concerned about staying on it exactly, but I can just pivot when I get to the curves. You could of this by free motion as well. This is a super easy way in 15 minutes to make a gift before you go to that house warming party. People will think you spent more time than you and I know that you did.