I Have A Notion blog and store have moved to:

the store can be found at

There is a much easier to navigate store, with new items. The blog has its own page as well... new content too.

The blog is now at

Please come and visit!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fun Halloween - A Guest Post by Karin

GUEST POST by KARIN....take it away Karin

Lucky me, I was gifted a stack of 6 Dunroven dish towels, and being the generous soul I am, I figured I’d share my thoughts with y’all.  My very first thought was, “How pretty! What a lovely shade of purple.”  My very next thought was, “This is really pretty, but, my goodness, how very purple.  Who in the world decorates their kitchen with purple?”
So I put ‘em in the closet and there they sat for the next 3 6 months, while I pondered what I could do with them.  (pondered – that word rolls around in my mouth the way those towels were rolling around in my head!)  And they sat, and they sat, and they sat some more. 
Finally, I got an idea! Halloween fabrics often include purple, and Halloween is coming up fast! So I found this cute little door-hanger from Embroidery Library and decided I could use one of the towels for my background fabric! Yeah, that’d be just perfect!

So I get ‘em out of the closet and take one out.  Wow, it really has a nice hand to it…surprisingly so.  It was evenly woven and weighty (for a towel, that is), but it still had a nice drape to it.  Then I unfolded it, and that sucker is H.U.G.E!  A full 20 by 28 inches!

And it had a nice little cotton twill loop for easy hanging, too.

Hmmm….but it’s still very purple.  Now, my little door hanger probably wouldn’t get washed much, so shrinkage and even some fading was probably not gonna be an issue, but since I was gonna share with y’all,  I’d share everything, the good, the bad and the laundry, so I threw the whole bundle in the washer to see what would happen.  They seemed to fade just a wee bit, and the purple lightened up a little.  Not much.  After a tumble in the dryer (set on med/high), they came out a bit smaller than they went in and a little wrinkled.
They now measure about 19 by 27 inches, so they shrank about an inch all around.  If you’d embroidered on them prior to washing, you’d surely be upset with that much shrinkage, so, for best results, just be sure to launder these prior to spending hours on a machine embroidery project.  Nothing like surprise shrinkage to spoil your fun!
But, let’s get back to the project!  A quick touch-up with a hot iron and they were good as new, but about an inch smaller.  When you purchase an in-the-hoop embroidery design like this, it usually comes in two parts – a outline and the embroidery itself.  The first thing I did pull out my roll of Floriani Double Sided Fusible Stitch N Shape and cut a piece off.  Ummm…now what?
I knew I’d never get that roll back into its cellophane wrapper, so I grabbed my roll of Hugo’s Amazing Tape!  And for those of you that have never used it, you just don’t know what you’re missing.  There’s about a million uses for that tape, and it truly IS Amazing.  I use the blue tape because it’s easier to find when you accidentally lay it down for a second, but it also comes in clear, for the people that need to see true colors.

But, I digress.  Next, I cut the end off of one of those beautifully purple towels to use as the base fabric of my in-the-hoop door hanger.  I fused my Stitch N Shape to the fabric with a hot iron.  And for future knowledge, when they say double-sided, they MEAN double-sided.  When I tried to pick that puppy it, it was fused to my ironing board!  In hindsight, I should have used a pressing sheet *or something* (maybe even a ONE-sided fusible??) to protect my ironing board!
So, anyway, I took my fabric/stabilizer fusion and laid it onto a piece of Floriani Perfect Stick that had already been hooped. 
I slipped the whole thing into the embroidery module and l was all set to start stitching once I selected my thread colors.  I decided on lime green, orange, and white, and this would have been the perfect chance to try out some of that glow-in-the-dark thread, but I didn’t have any!  L  I used some iridescent white instead.  It won’t glow in the dark, but then, there’s hardly anyone walking around in the dark at my house, so it really doesn’t matter.
When you get an in-the-hoop embroidery design, you usually get two files.  The first is the outline, that gives you just the outline of the project, and the other file is all your color stops that provide the details of your project.  You can see how I’ve stitched the outline here (try to use a complimentary color in your stitching, just in case the final satin stitch coverage is less than perfect).

I used a contrast color just so you could see the outline.  You can also see that unexpected color change – I didn’t know I was using a bobbin as my top thread, and I ran out not long after I started stitching!
I pulled that hoop out and removed the fabric fusion from the Perfect Stick.  I literally cut on the dotted line to get the top layer for my door hanger.  Remember, this is fabric fused to Stitch N Shape, so it’s nice and thick, and easy to manage.  Stitch N Shape doesn’t gum up or snag your needles, but it holds its shape nicely.  It’s just right for making fabric bowls and boxes or giving body to purse inserts.

Next, I had to get the backing fabric cut to the same shape.  So I hooped another hunk of purple toweling (it’s a lovely shade of purple, but I *still* don’t see it as a kitchen accent!!), only this time, I just laid a scrap of generic paper tearaway on top of my Perfect Stick and then the fabric on top of that (hence the pins), and stitched the outline a second time.
What you have to remember here, is that this piece is going to be the BACK of your project.  That means, you’ll need to reverse your fabric OR reverse your design.  Oopsies!  Luckily, the toweling is the same on both sides, so it didn’t matter.
Here’s another shot of that Hugo's Amazing Tape – I tell ya, there’s a million uses for it!
 So, how did  everything turn out?  Well, thanks for asking!

Obviously, I need to trim the edges a bit more, but, overall, it’s kinda cute.  It’s probably not exactly what Dunroven had in mind when they made that towel, but it sure fit the bill for me!  And I still have half a towel left that I could turn into appliqued grapes or an eggplant on something else! 


(The funniest thing is that I'm in love with the purple kitchen towels and of course I have them in my kitchen.....and here my girlfriend is saying they are "way out there" LOL....another something to smile about today)




  1. I really enjoyed this post. My kitchen in TX was royal purple! Those towels are stunning and I will now be on the hunt for some. Your door hanger was very cute.

  2. My kitchen is painted white. The towels are purple and green. I also have an eggplant sofa and chair in the family room. Purple is one of my favorite colors!

  3. CUTE door hanger!!! I rather like the purple towels for the kitchen.

  4. What an adorable door hanger project. I'm actually going to be with my grandson for Halloween this year, then on to see my granddaughter for a few days before back to work--Family First!


Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I love getting and reading every comment that is left here; however I may not be able to respond to all comments left during giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding and-
More Later-Beth


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...