Heirloom Butterflies Kitchen Boa


Without a towel when you need one? This fun project ensures that you will always have a towel at hand when you need it most.

Whether you are washing the dog, gardening, or working in the kitchen, it is helpful to have a hand towel within easy reach. The solution? A kitchen boa!

What is a Kitchen Boa?

Basically, a kitchen boa is a strip of fabric with towels on each end that is worn around your neck. That keeps towels right at your fingertips for wiping, drying, or handling hot items.

Most kitchen boas use a quarter-yard of fabric, measuring nine inches by the width of fabric. Because I used Sew Inspired by Bonnie’s Wing Needle Butterflies designs, which measure five inches wide, I cut my fabric 12 inches wide rather than nine.

Picture of Wing Needle Butterflies machine embroidery at Sew Inspired by Bonnie

I love heirloom embroidery and chose Wing Needle Butterflies numbers four (R) and five (L)

to complement the soft floral fabric, with thread colors to match.

Making the Kitchen Boa

Hoop a fabric-type water-soluble stabilizer and mark center crosshairs. Fold the 12 x 44 inch piece of fabric in half, wrong sides together, and lightly press both ends. Open and line up the fold with the center crosshair marked on the stabilizer and secure fabric to the stabilizer.

This is a close up picture of machine embroidered wing needle work.

The first color stitches with a wing needle. I used a size 100 (the larger the wing needle, the larger the pretty heirloom holes). Before stitching, turn your hand wheel one rotation to make sure the needle clears the throat plate and bobbin race.If it doesn't clear, your needle isn't in all the way. You can use a regular needle if you like, but it will not make the heirloom hole that a wing needle creates.

Stitch one design on each end of the fabric strip. When embroidery is finished, remove everything from the hoop and trim excess stabilizer.

Picture of Wing Needle Butterflies machine embroidery stitched out

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and stitch the long edge using a quarter-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out and press with the seam centered in the back and embroidery centered on the front.

Picture of wing needle machine embroidery at Sew Inspired by Bonnie 

Fold under edges one-half inch and press.

Attaching the Towels

Cut towels to desired length and gather or pleat the tops to the width of the fabric tube.

Picture of Wing Needle Butterflies machine embroidery on kitchen boa at Sew Inspired by Bonnie


Insert towels on each open end and stitch to attach.

Picture of wing needle machine embroidery on kitchen boa at Sew Inspired by Bonnie


I love how the wing needle stitching adds a soft, watercolor  background effect. (Oops, I see a thread that I didn't clip!)

Picture of wing needle machine embroidered butterflies at Sew Inspired by Bonnie


This turned out so cute, I can’t wait to find some pretty towels and make more. Grandma used her apron, you can use a kitchen boa!


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  • Char - January 03, 2022

    Love, love it!

  • Debbie Henry - March 13, 2021

    Thanks for reading, Debbie!

  • Debbie Allen - February 16, 2021

    Thank you for sharing things like this

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