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Handkerchiefs and napkins are a beginning embroidery project

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I learned how to iron by pressing my father’s handkerchiefs. He always carried one, and it seems to be a standard requirement for fathers to be armed with that all-purpose piece of cloth. I like cloth handkerchiefs for myself as well, because if you leave them in your pocket, they don’t turn into a pile of lint in the dryer when they are washed.

Making handkerchiefs for men or women, or cloth napkins for a special holiday, is an easy way to teach students in fifth grade and above how to make a rolled hem or embroidered edge. Many sewing machines have attachments and stitches for this purpose. A small project is an easy way to master those functions.

It can also be used to learn basic embroidery stitches by decorating one of the corners with initials or small flowers. Iron-on transfers can be purchased in the pattern section at a fabric store. You can also make iron-ons using a computer.

Use word art to format an initial. Choose the function that allows you to reverse the design into a mirror image, such as Word Art or a photo editing program. Print the pattern. Make a copy of the pattern on a Xerox type copier. The toner used in this type of machine reacts to heat. Place the copy on the handkerchief, face down, and iron the back of the transfer.

Fabric and craft stores also sell a type of marking pen that will wash out of fabric. These markers can be used to draw your own designs directly onto the fabric. Another way to make a design on the fabric is to use clip art or word art in your computer. Print the design and tape it to a window that has bright sunlight shining through it or a light table. Tape the handkerchief over the design. Use the fabric marker to trace the pattern onto the fabric.



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