Lightbox Transfer of Hand Embroidery Patterns

I transfer my hand embroidery patterns the good old-fashioned fashion way with a lightbox or a window.  I used to use a window often before my patterns got a bit bigger and before I purchased a lightbox, which I love.  I use a #1 Micron Pigma Pen in sepia or black. I like the sepia because it's a little lighter in color.  For my embroidery projects, I use lightly patterned quilting fabrics, flour sack towels, Dunroven House Towels and white linen tea towels like the one above.  I press the fabric lightly before I begin.  

I print out the pattern on a sheet of white paper and center it on the lightbox.

I center the towel or fabric over the design and an inch or so above the border.  When I use fabric I'll cut a piece 2" larger on each side of the design for a border to finish the design with sewing or framing.    

The finished traced design.  The pen I used was brand new so the ink was plentiful and I barely touched the fabric with the ink pen to get good markings.  You want nice thin lines so the floss covers it well.  You can also use a pencil, disappearing ink pen or washable marker to transfer the designs.  Be aware though, the pencil can rub off or smear as you embroider and the disappearing ink may disappear before you're able to finish your project.  You can test the washable marker on a sample of the fabric you want to use to make sure it will come off before you use it on your embroidery fabric.        

The design sits right in the middle of the folds.  On the tea towels, I press them lightly to get wrinkles out but try to leave a little crease on each side to see where the middle is.  

The transferred design on the linen tea towel.  The black lines show up nicely making the embroidery really easy.  

Beginning the embroidery pattern with redwork.  I'm using stem stitch and back stitch with two strands of floss and the lines are covered nicely. 

My spring tulip redwork tea towel in progress.  Happy New Year to you and hope you have a great weekend! 

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