We have a treat for you today! This is a special post by my friend Debbie Henry who's written many fun, informative articles in magazines and around the web alike. I think you'll love her tips and tricks for using GlitterFlex on towels below.
I decided to try using GlitterFlex vinyl on a bath towel and it worked out quite well. Plus, instead of using a traditional tear-away stabilizer on the back of the towel, I made the embroidery reversible so that there is a darling mermaid on each side! After all, the Merry Mermaids set is so darn cute, especially when you stitch all 10 designs using the Merry Mermaids GlitterFlex Bundle.
Since high heat is necessary for fusing GlitterFlex, make sure your towel is 100% cotton. Also wash and dry to minimize shrinkage after embroidery. Check out this blog post for tips on embroidering towels.
Start out by hooping a sticky water-soluble stabilizer. Draw a vertical line on the stabilizer in the center of the hoop for alignment. Fold the towel in half lengthwise, right sides together, and place the folded edge of the towel along the centering line. Open the towel and smooth it in place on the stabilizer.
Load the design (I used Merry Mermaids 4 and switched up the colors a bit) on your machine, attach the hoop, and stitch out the first color, the placement line. Cut GlitterFlex to size, remove the plastic carrier, and lay the GlitterFlex over the placement stitches. Use glue stick or painter’s tape to hold it in place on the front and back of the towel.
Reattach the hoop and stitch the next color to attach GlitterFlex to the towel. Remove the hoop and carefully tear away the GlitterFlex around the outside of the stitch lines.
This blog has plenty of tips on applique using GlitterFlex.
Move the hoop to your ironing station and carefully press the GlitterFlex on the front side of the towel as directed.
Use a pressing cloth.
After pressing, tape a water-soluble topper on the front and the back of the hoop, and baste them I place. That will help keep the embroidery stitches from sinking out of sight.
Reattach the hoop and continue with embroidery, making sure you use the same color of thread in the bobbin. That way, the towel will be pretty on the back too.
Make sure you trim threads on the front and back with every color change. That will prevent them from becoming embedded in other stitching.
When embroidery is finished, trim basting stitches and tear away remaining water-soluble topper. Carefully peel the towel away from the adhesive water-soluble stabilizer in the hoop, and trim as close to the stitching as possible. Rinse to remove extra water soluble stabilizers and launder.
Can you tell which one is the front
and which one is the back? So much fun!
Note from Bonnie: I normally don't advise using GlitterFlex on napped fabrics without using a base cotton fabric; however, this little Merry Mermaid design has enough small detail to hold the GlitterFlex in place so it won't tear. If using a large open space of GlitterFlex, please fuse to a base fabric first.