Satin Stitch Embroidery Heart Flour Sack Towel

2 Materials
1 Hour

Let’s make an adorable tea towel with hand stitched hearts using the satin stitch. It is one of my favorites because it is like coloring but with embroidery floss. Growing up my mom called our satin stitches messy stitching when we would go in different directions but somehow still fill up the entire intended area. I always like the way it looked – so much personality. I first learned at home but then stitched in Girl Scouts too. I am excited to inspire you to try your hand at satin stitch embroidery to create something darling like this fabulous flour sack towel.

Embroidery on the Go

This is one of my favorite ways to make because it travels like a charm. Packing up all of the necessitites to successfully embroidery is easy and takes up very little space. There are so many fun zipper pouches for projects these days. of course, you could always make one too! This is what to put in your embroidery on the go bag.

I actually did all of the embroidery for this adorable flour sack towel in the Atlanta airport terminal between flights.

How to Start the Satin Stitch Embroidery Hearts

The satin stitch can be completed with our without an outline (and with or without a pattern). I am the kind of maker that tends to get quirky and create on the fly. However, this same project could be drawn out first (even with pencil on the towel if you like a guide).

Here is the satin stitch (traditional – side by side stitching) without an outline. Below it is the same stitch inside of a an outline. This is stitched on denim which works great for beginners because it is tough and holds longer stitches better.

Beginner Satin Stitch for a Covered Surface

Often times the satin stitch is used fill areas that are fairly small in size. The satin stitch is a simple loose stitch with the stitches going side by side. Growing up my mom called this is messy stitching when we would go in different directions but somehow still fill up the entire intended area. I always like the way it looked – so much personality. Note that the longer a stitch is, is the weaker it gets. So, whether you are going in straight lines or getting messy, it is best to keep the stitches small.

The amazing satin stitch is a great embroidery technique for filling small and medium-sized areas. The size it can cover does have some input from the materials that you work on too. With the thin cotton of this flour sack towel, small stitches are better because the fabric is delicate.

Steps to Stitch Hearts on Flour Sack Towel

Start with a double strand of embroidery floss, knot tied at the end.

You can either stitch from scratch like I did on this towel OR you can draw your design in pencil first as show below. These hearts are sketched on the canvas from a recycled tote bag which is another GREAT surface.

Do whatever works best for you to feel like you are having fun and being successful. One of the great things about being a maker is creating your own style and figuring out how you flow.

Pull it through your fabric at the bottom tip of the heart. Stitch your way around the outline of the heart. Then create the satin stitching pattern to fill in the heart with the same color as the outline. Be sure to tie good knots in the back, especially for something like a towel that is going to get a lot of wear.

Add more hearts. I created a rainbow of them because that is what brings me joy. Stitch then in a row OR scatter them around the towel. Again, create what works for you. The row is the easier of the too. This photo was taken on the airport floor. It was so fun to get questions about the spools from the people sitting around me. I love when I can give out good tips to people who are inspired to make.

I love the way they all look in the row – each with it’s own little personality.


No more tangled skeins- floss stays neat and tidy with the new Anchor® Embroidery Floss Spools. The floss rolls smoothly off the spool and doesn’t tangle or knot when pulling out a length to work with. Storage is neat and tidy with spools, no more piles of tangled floss.

Cheers to Satin Stitch Embroidery Hearts for Beginners!


Suggested materials:
  • Anchor Embroidery Floss   (Coats and Clark)
  • Flour Sack Towel   (Grove)
Laura Kelly Designs
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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