You saw the mess in my previous entry. Now that the gift is safely given, I can post the process of turning the mess into something pretty!
Don't make fun of me--some of my favorite things in my kitchen are the flour sack towels that I embroidered a few years back. I got some pretty transfers of fruits and vegetables and used a stem stitch to outline a different fruit or vegetable on each corner of the towels. It took a while, but it was fun. So when it came time to find a small gift to include as part of a bridal shower present, I decided to hie me to Target to get some white flour sack towels. I didn't have a chance to get to a craft shop that sells embroidery transfers, however, so I decided to look online.
I found this website, which has tons of downloadable hand embroidery designs. There were many other sites, as well--just google it.
I printed the pattern twice on the page, a bit smaller than the original size. It looked like the pattern was meant to be done with french knots--the lines were made up of small dots. I had no intention of making that many french knots (besides which, I don't think that texture would be very good for drying dishes), so I went over the pattern on the right with a black pen. I then realized that the designs on the right and left wings are just slightly different, so I color-coded the pattern on the left using red and blue pens. This was a lot of help!
The transfer process: I didn't have a transfer pencil (a pencil you trace onto the paper, then iron onto the fabric), and my fabric-marking pen was fresh out of ink, so I used a pencil and my own version of a light box. After ironing the corner I wanted to embroider onto, I put the fabric into the embroidery hoop upside down (so the tight-stretched fabric was flat against the table. My coffee table is glass, so I put a lamp underneath, laid my pattern down with the towel on top, and traced away! I flipped the light off periodically to be sure I was actually tracing all the lines.
I washed them again, ironed them, wrapped them in tissue, and put them into the box they were going to occupy. I'll tell more about the gift (this isn't all of it!) later.