Making the Back Pretty: A Great Hostess Gift

Making the Back of the Embroidery Pretty

Tis the season for stitching gifts. Make sure the back is as pretty as the front! 

Picture of Painted Poinsettias machine embroidery at Sew Inspired by Bonnie

It’s always a great idea to have some hostess gifts on hand, just in case you need them. Bonnie’s Painted Poinsettias are so pretty and stitch up so quickly, and I’ll show you a little trick to make them even better.

Stitching these designs is like painting with thread. Delicate shading produces a watercolor-type project that is quite elegant.

With hand towels and kitchen towels, and even table linens, there is a pretty good chance that the back of the item will be seen at some point in time. Since you really can’t hide the stitching without making it even more obvious, make it pretty instead.

I chose Painted Poinsettia 1 for stitching on a premium cotton towel. I ironed the towel using Best Press and folded it in half. I lightly folded the bottom half in quarters to mark the center.

Picture of hooped tear away with center lines marked.

Mark the centering lines on a piece of hooped tear-away stabilizer. Spray the back of the lower half of the towel and center the fold lines along the stabilizer lines.

Picture of Painted Poinsettia machine embroidery with basting stitch added in hoop.

Add a basting stitch and stitch out the poinsettia (I did not stitch the silver accents). Use the same color thread in the bobbin as that with which you are stitching.

Picture of Painted Poinsettia using same color bobbin thread as top thread.

When stitching is complete, snip the basting stitches and tear away the stabilizer. The back now is almost as pretty as the front.

Picture of Painted Poinsettia machine embroidery on hand towel

Add scented soaps and lotion for a thoughtful gift.

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie


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  • Bonnie Welsh - July 09, 2023

    Patricia—many machines have a basting feature built in. Please check with your dealer. If not, you can add a basting stitch with most types of editing software. =)

  • Patricia Grunwald - July 09, 2023

    Do you baste by hand? If not, how do you baste?

  • Bonnie Welsh - November 25, 2021

    Lindy—You don’t mention using a topper. You don’t need a “thicker” stabilizer to keep the stitches from sinking in but rather a topper to hold them up. Depending upon the design or material, you could use a clear water soluble topper, a clear “heat away”, a “knock down stitch” to hold the fibers down with just thread, or you could use the clear “cover up”. Which one I’d use depends upon what design I’m using and on what fabric type. But if your stitches are sinking in, you’ll need a topper of some sort. =)

  • Lindy Magness - November 25, 2021

    I have a problem with the embroidery sinking into the matl I even used thicker stabilizer to try to see it better what am I doing wrong ?

  • Bonnie Welsh - November 23, 2021

    Jo—Ahhhh, thanks! I hope you’re stitching again very soon as well! =)

  • Bonnie Welsh - November 23, 2021

    Debbie—All embroidery machines can use a heavier weight thread in the bobbin. You may want to get a second bobbin and adjust the tension to the weight of the thread. You don’t want to be going back and forth with tensions a lot on one bobbin case. It’s why several machines come with separate bobbins. If yours does, use the bobbin case recommended for regular sewing. You’d want a balanced tension. Your dealer should be able to get you set up for that. =)

  • Jo Williams - November 23, 2021

    Bonnie I really miss using my machines..your painted Poinsettia 🎨 are as beautiful as you. I hope to be stitching soon again.

  • Debbie Safchuck - November 23, 2021

    How do you do this when my embroidery machine takes only 90 weight bobbin thread. I can only find this size bobbin thread in white and black

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