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Valentine’s Day LOVE Applique

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Need a Valentine’s Day idea? Since you know I love me some applique I’ve put together a fun tutorial that includes a Valentine’s Day idea, appliqué.

Valentine's Day Appliqué Idea

Are you familiar with the Love Sculpture by Robert Indiana? It sits in Love Park in Philadelphia. And, the Love Sculpture is one of my favorite pieces of urban sculpture.

Philadelphia LOVE Sculpture

Wouldn’t the Love Sculpture lettering look awesome appliqued on a kitchen towel? Can you see it hanging in your kitchen? Me, too.

Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.

Making a LOVE Sculpture Towel is easy; here’s what you’ll need:

Love Sculpture Applique Supplies:

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  • 1 White Kitchen towel
  • Red Fabric Scraps (1/4 yard)
  • Fusible Web such as Heat ‘n Bond Lite 
  • Wright’s Red 1/2″ Single Fold Bias Tape
  • Red Thread
  • Scissors
Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.

Step #1:

Download and print the LOVE pdf with the reversed applique letters.

Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.

Step #2:

Lay the fusible web OVER the pdf that you’ve just printed. Trace each of the REVERSED letters onto the paper side of the fusible web. The ‘O’ isn’t reversed.

Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.

Step #3:

Rough cut around each letter that you’ve just traced.  NOTE:  You do not need to precisely cut each letter until all of the letters have been fused to the back of your fabric.

Applique letters

Step #4:

Fuse the letters to the back of your fabric according to the product’s directions. Be careful not to get any of the fusible web on your iron – the letters tend to curl at the edges.

Valentine's Day Appliqué

Step #5:

Precisely cut out the letters on the lines you have drawn and set them aside.

Valentine's Day Appliqué

Step #6:

Add a piece of red bias tape 3″ from the bottom edge of your kitchen towel. Pin to hold.

Love Scultpure Towel bias tape

Topstitch with white thread on both edges of the bias tape. Fold under the bias tape at the sides of the towel.

Valentine's Day Appliqué bias tape
Valentine's Day Appliqué letters

Next, line up the “L” above the “V”, but don’t fuse it to the towel, yet. Because the “O” is slanted, it is the last letter you want to place on the towel. You will need to work with it a little to get it exactly right.

Once the “L” and the “O” are lined up, press them with a hot iron to fuse.

Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.

Step #7:

With matching thread, straight stitch carefully around each letter. Really take your time with the top stitching. Stitch just inside the cut edge. Use white thread in the bobbin for a clean back on the towel.

Stitching Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.
Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.

I made a second towel to see how this design would work on a thicker, textured towel. I used an inexpensive Ikea waffle-weave towel. If you use a textured towel, watch out for the puckers when you attach your lettering. It was a little tricky ~ but totally doable. I left the bias tape off of this towel  ~ it was just too much with the textured pattern.

Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.

The design really stands out against a stainless steel dishwasher and I love how it adds a pop of style to my kitchen.

Valentine's Day Appliqué Tea Towel.

A Few Things to Note: 

For this project I used two different methods for cutting out my letters. On one set, I hand cut letters. On another set, I used a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine.  While the Silhouette was clearly much faster at cutting the letters, I did have to create the design in the Studio program. Because of this, both towels took about the same amount of time to make.

For the hand-cutting method, I highly recommend Heat ‘n Bond Lite. The product grabs onto the towel really well prior to fusing. Since alignment is crucial for this design, having a fusible web product that will stay put prior to fusing is a great feature.

For the Silhouette, I ironed the fusible web to the back of my fabric prior to putting it into the machine. It cut beautifully on the “Fabric Cotton Print” set at #3.

Either way, make a few LOVE Applique Towels and share some love this Valentine’s Day.

If you want to further develop your appliqué skills, check out my eBook:

Applique Made Easy: A Beginner’s Guide to Simple Appliqué Techniques

Applique Made Easy eBook

Below is a short applique video to help you better understand.


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  1. This is fabulous… I was worried that this was made with a vinyl cutter, that I unfortunately don’t have. It is so cute, I can’t wait to try it. Pinned it for later. Thanks for the template! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments! One was made with a vinyl cutter and one was not. I wanted both options available.

    1. A onesie is a great idea ~ you might need to resize the lettering in the software. I used WonderUnder on my fabric – not the Silhouette product. Their fabric fusing product is very heavy and would be too stiff on a onesie.

  2. This turned out so great! Nice to see a tutorial that doesn’t involve a silhouette machine, although I might just be bitter because I don’t own one 😉

    1. Both towels took the same amount of time – one on the Silhouette, the other done by hand. Either works great.

  3. Thank you so much for visiting Homa Style and linking your Valentine LOVE towels.
    Have a wonderful Valentines Day!
    Remember to visit again on the last Wednesday of February for the Inspire Me link party.

  4. The towel is so cute! My kitchen has red in it and this would be perfect year round for me. Love it! Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  5. We love it and we LOVE IT! We really, really do and we have invited everyone on Facebook to sew up a bunch and give them away so they will have bunches of Valentines for that special day!! One can only hope – HA!

    We are so excited that you’ve joined us on Simply BeBetsy – thanks so much – we are having a lot of fun with it. Take care.

    Warm regards, Sharon and Denise

  6. This is so cute! I’ve used this product before and might even have some of it stashed away somewhere. Maybe I should make one…..
    I’m visiting from Creativity Unleashed. It’s nice to meet you!

  7. So cute! I’ll be pinning this to try sometime. Thanks for sharing at the Weekend Wind-Down party, be sure to link back to us so that you can be featured!

    Keep up the good work! =)

  8. Thank you for the wonderful idea. This has been one of my favorite designs forever. I have some sewing I need to do this week I think this project has been added to my list.


  9. Leslie, can I ask where you buy your flour sack towels? I can’t seem to find towels that are a good weight. Any suggestions? I love your ideas for everything!

    Thanks so much,

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