Kiss the Cook Dishtowel for Basic Machines


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and many readers have already mentioned that they are working of projects for the day that honors love.

Many, of course, are stitching special outfits for their children or grands.  One dear grandmother is making 35 gifts for her grandchildren’s classmates, some pencil toppers and the others toothbrush wraps.  I’ve never heard of toothbrush wraps and think it’s something I need to find out about.  Do you know anything about them?

Others are creating gifts for family and friends.  Since not everyone has an embroidery machine, I’m going to be adding blog projects, like this dishtowel, which require only a basic machine.

This was one of the many SM1738 machine samples assigned to me by Brother.   It is very basic, with only 17 stitches.  They include 3 straight stitches–short, medium and longer, 3 zig zags –short and narrow, medium and wider, and longer and much wider, a blind hem and a few others, a look at the video shows how much can be done without all the bells and whistles that owners of high end machines enjoy.  I made all of those samples on this machine, except the pillowcase which was made by someone else.

You all know I LOVE my Brother Dream Machine, but there is much that can be done on a basic model. It’s likely we all started out with a simple workhorse. The SM1738 is much like my first sewing machine, which as a bride, I used to make curtains and pillows for our first home in 1968.  I thought it was to-die-for and stitched miles and miles of seams.  I wish I had had some creative suggestions then!

To make this towel, I used: a plain white dishtowel, 1/2 yd. kiss fabric, 2/3 yd. red and 2/3 black rick rack, regular sewing thread and monofilament thread.

Here’s how:

  1.  Cut away hem on dishtowel, leaving a raw edge.
  2.  Join kiss fabric to raw edge with turntube/burrito hem technique.  The tutorial calls for just 1/4 yd. of hem fabric.  But without embroidery, I wanted a larger hem.   The finished hem will be seam’s width less than half the fabric.  A quarter yard will render a hem approximately 3 1/2″ wide and the 1/2 yd. piece used on this towel created a hem of approximately 8 1/2″.  Just suit yourself or use available scraps.
  3. Twist red and black rick rack together.
  4. Baste through the center of rick rack with monofilament thread.
  5. Free motion with monofilament and #60 needle over humps of rick rack.
  6. Fold ends to back and tack in place.
  7. Remove basting stitches in rick rack.

Of course, any print with any color combination of rick rack could be used to make a special dish towel.  Kiss the Cook or any other text could be quickly hand embroidered. If you are lucky enough to have an embroidery machine, the addition of text would be a breeze.



With any sewing machine, you can create fabulous items for your family and friends.

Coming up in future Basic Machine posts are

  • an heirloom pillow complete with shadow pintucks, inserted Swiss beading, a monogram and shell tucks
  • Minnie Mouse dresses
  • Elsa costume
  • fabric greeting card
  • cell phone case
  • and more



10 responses to “Kiss the Cook Dishtowel for Basic Machines

  1. from Martha Pullen forum:
    As always–beautiful work, Janice!!!

  2. from Martha Pullen forum: As always–beautiful work, Janice!!!

  3. Love this idea, Janice! I do have one question, though (color me dumb for the day ): What do you mean by “Free motion with monofilament and #60 needle over humps of rick rack.”? I’m just not picturing this in my head (just getting over the flu, so be nice ).

  4. from MP forum: MoDo, I take this to mean she sews down the points of the rick rack so it doesn’t flip around after being sewn in. That is an excellent tip! I like rick rack but don’t like the way it wants to turn up on the ends after washing.
    You can also do little French knots on the tips, which is really beautiful and gives ita whole different look. I was surprised by how heirloomy it looked that way, but of course it’s whole lot more time consuming than Janice’s suggestion!

  5. MoDo, I have inserted a photo above that I hope explains this. The yellow dots are stitches worked across the entire top of the twisted rick rack as well as along the bottom. That keeps them in place after laundering or use.

  6. This is new to me too, up til now I’ve only seen the french knot tack down by hand. Thanks! forum: This is new to me too, up til now I’ve only seen the french knot tack down by hand. Thanks!

  7. from MP forum: O-o-o-o-o-o, I’m loving the black and red combination along with the fabric and ric rac. Perfect for valentine’s day.

  8. from MP forum: Thank you, Janice! I zoomed in on the photo and can now see where the stitching is .

  9. Janice i love looking at your blog. Your projects are so innovative and fun. They inspire me toward creativity.

  10. Thanks, Rebecca Kay. I’m so glad you enjoy perusing my blog. I hope you will stop by again.

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