Monday, October 15, 2018

Monogrammed Beverage Ribbons

I love to entertain my friends for meetings, luncheons, and special events. One of my most commented on items I use when I entertain are my beverage ribbons. I stitched them in colors and designs matching the theme of the event.

At the last Garden Club meeting hosted at my house, I used this cute pink ribbon for the coffee urn.

These two sets were made for an Auburn football tailgate party. They have a tiger paw design added to the lettering.

I choose the works for the lettering depending on the beverages being served. Sweet Tea, Water, and Coffee are always the most popular!

Here is a picture of a group with a water container, tray, and glasses.

These ribbon are so versatile! You them, wash and dry, and use again. The ends are heat sealed so they don't fray. Think about using these for your next event.

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

More Monograms

I am way behind on publishing blog posts. Maybe writing and publishing blog posts should have been my New Year's Resolution!

My daughter was here during the summer and we went downtown Thomasville shopping. You can't come to Thomasville, Georgia and not visit the best downtown in the U.S.A! While shopping at  Relish we found the cutest lunch box for my grandson to use for his school lunches. It folds out flat and can be used as a placemat. Clean up is easy. Of course, it needed a monogram. If you think monograms are a "girl" thing, think again. Monograms can be very masculine.

This stacked "Library" font design is great for a guy.

On this same visit home, my daughter packed my grandson's medications and toiletries in zippered plastic bags. Because of constant handling, the bags eventually split and everything started falling out. I decided that just wouldn't do so I went shopping at our local T.J. Maxx and found two dopp kits. Here us a picture of the monogram I selected stitched on the bags.

My grandson has a hyphenated middle name so I designed a four-letter monogram for his bags. I think they turned about pretty cute and they are perfect for his medications and toiletries.

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Custom Monograms

As the owner of an Etsy shop and an online baby gift store, I am constantly monogramming/personalizing gift items. I love monograms and love creating custom monograms for my customers.

This is a set of towels I monogrammed for a friend of mine. She brought me a photo of her daughter-in-laws handwriting and I digitized the letter "J" for the embroidery. You can't get more personal than that and what a great idea! The towels turned out beautifully and my customer and her daughter-in-law loved them.

I also stitched a handkerchief for a customer to be used in memory of a family member at a wedding.

My customer brought me an image of the wings and I digitized it and added the name and date. Here is a close-up of the design.

Here is another custom handkerchief design stitched on one of my double hemstitch handkerchiefs.

In my Etsy shop, I offer organic cotton pillowcases. Three letter monograms or names is offered on the pillowcases but last Christmas a customer requested a custom pillowcase. She wanted a phrase stitched on the front and the back. She is a graphic designer so she drew out the font phrase took a picture and sent it to be. I digitized the lettering and stitched it on the pillowcase. If turned out really cute and the recipient loved it.

Here is a link to my pillowcase listing in my Etsy store.

I don't have a lot of experience digitizing but love the opportunity to create simple custom designs.

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Elegant Monograms

Monograms are still very popular. I am continually purchasing new monogram fonts I see and like. These napkins are stitched with a font called Ponda from Apex Embroidery Designs .

I call the thread color Hydrangea Blue. It reminds me of the color of the hydrangea flowers in my yard.

The finished napkins are very elegant and will look beautiful in any table setting. The hemstitched napkins are made from 100% linen fabric. They wash and iron beautifully! I starch the napkins before I use them on a table but remember to never store them with starch on them. If linens are stored for a long time with starch on them, they will yellow and the fibers will deteriorate.

The ladies giving the bridal shower displayed the napkins beautifully on the entryway table so all the guests could see them. See why I call the thread color Hydrangea Blue!

I hope to add a Monogram Dinner Listing to my Etsy store soon.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Monogram Gifts

It has been a long time since my last blog ….. too long. Along with personalizing gifts from my baby store, The Polka Dot Store, and my Etsy Store, Monogram Elegance, I monogram for friends and family. Holidays and weddings keep me busy!. Here are a few images of some of my work. The first picture is a set of pajamas given as a bridesmaid gift. The Sydney font and red thread was used for the initial.

This is a picture of a set of blankets a friend gave her nieces as gifts. They turned out so cute and her nieces love them!

Pink dresses and blankets were fun to create for micro preemie twins born in October. Preemie’s in the NICU have monitors and wires so the neck is made adjustable with gathers and ribbon. The back is left open and the ribbon woven through the smocking ties the dress closed in the back. The sleeves are angle sleeves style allowing for tubes to be placed through them. If you are interested in making "Wee Care" gowns for hospitals, here is a link Smocking Guild Wee Care Program . The dress is made from 100% cotton sateen fabric and is personalized above the hem with the letter "E" in Vine Font. The blanket was made using 100% soft cotton flannel fabric and lined in Imperial Batiste fabric.

A visit to see a friend prompted making this cute pillow with her zip code appliqued on the front. The pillow is made from ivory cotton canvas fabric and I used gray burlap fabric for the piping and applique. It looks great on her sofa!

I hope you get some great ideas from the pictures. More gift ideas will be posted in a later blog. Visit The Polka Dot Store for all your baby gifts and Monogram Elegance on Etsy for you wedding, graduation, birthday, and Christening gifts.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Reusable Cloth Kitchen Towel On A Roll

Several months ago my daughter mentioned she wanted an alternative to paper towels in her kitchen.  I selected a cotton print fabric and a white terry cloth cotton fabric from my fabric stash.  Each piece was cut approximately 12" x 12". Since I wanted a set of twelve cloths, twelve squares were cut from each type of fabric.

Next I pinned a printed fabric piece and a terry cloth piece wrong sides together and took them to my serger. There are tutorials available on Pinterest showing the next step sewing the pieces right side together leaving an unsewn area where you can turn the piece right side out and sew up the opening. These were for my daughter so I just serged around the edges. After serging the edges, I ironed the pieces so they would look nice and neat.

Using a sewing awl to punch a hole in the corner for a snap was the next step.

This is a heavy duty snap installer but a hand one will work just fine. (Use a southern drawl when you read the word "fine" ) 😉 I have tons of these plastic snaps left over from making cloth diapers when my grandson was a baby. Ha, ha,  I have to practice on a scrap because I always seem to do the first set wrong!

After inserting all the snap pieces, I snap each cloths together and made a roll.

After looking at these pictures again, I have an idea. These would be really nice if I embroidered a cute saying on each towel. It is a good thought for the next set!

My daughter loves them and uses them every day. They have washed and dried beautifully and held up to every day use. Practical and eco-friendly are great labels for a roll of fabric kitchen towels!

Here is a link to a blog with great instructions: Reusable Paper Towels

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Monogram Handkerchiefs

One of my favorite items to work on is monogram handkerchiefs. Along with running my website The Polka Dot Store I also have an Etsy store called Monogram Elegance. Trust me. I am all about monograms! After working on monogram designs for about twelve years, I could almost be considered an expert on the subject. Well.....maybe not!

Handkerchiefs are a very popular item in my Monogram Elegance shop. Customers order them for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, Baptisms, Christenings, Baby Dedication, and other special occasions. I have even had customers order one for a friend who just lost her husband. They can be used as a bouquet wrap for weddings or given as a special keepsake of the event. One customer ordered one to use for her wedding and planned to share it with three of her friends for them to each have a corner customized with their initials and wedding date and used at their wedding. What a great idea!

This has also become a popular gift to give for a baby girl when she is Christened or Baptized. The initials and date are stitched in a light blue thread. The handkerchief is stored and saved to use as her "Something Blue" on her wedding day. This is especially nice if a cross has been added as in the picture below. When she is married, her initials and wedding date can be added on the opposite corner.

My handkerchiefs are made from a square of fine white linen fabric. I used my hemstitch machine to stitch the "little" holes along the edge of the fabric. Beautiful white tatting is added to the hemstitching. A hemmed version instead of lace edging is also offered.

There are a variety of different style handkerchiefs offered at Monogram Elegance. I also do custom orders. Some customers have a message stitched in the opposite corner such as "Love, Aunt Grace". Here are a few pictures of custom ordered handkerchiefs:


I have also digitized and stitched designs on handkerchiefs brought to me by friends. Below is an example of one. My friend had a special family member who had passed away and she wanted him remembered at her son's wedding.

Customized handkerchiefs make great gifts and can become special memories!

You can find handkerchiefs at The Polka Dot Store on the Christening page and on the shop page at Mongram Elegance on Etsy .

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Graduation Money Cake

When trying to think about what to give our nephew for his high school graduation, I remembered a friend of mine telling me about all the creative ways she gave money gifts to her grandchildren. I asked her where she came up with such great ideas. Her response was, “Pinterest, of course!” so off I went to search on Pinterest.  After clicking on several pictures and reading tutorials, I came up with several ideas of my own. I will share links at the bottom of this post for some of the tutorials I read.
After a trip to the bank for $1.00 bills and my local Walmart for Styrofoam circles, I was ready to begin. At first, I was disappointed I hadn’t asked the bank teller for new $1.00 bills but discovered after rolling the bills, it really didn’t matter what condition the money was in. Rolling the money was VERY time consuming. My first attempt produced uneven size rolls. Back to Pinterest I went and found a tutorial suggesting using a pencil to roll the bills. Using the pencil produced evenly rolls bills and I was on a roll at this point. Let me back up a minute. Before I could start rolling the bills, I needed to do some prep work.  I used a dinner size round plate and a salad size round plate and traced the plate circles onto the Styrofoam using a black marker pen. Then I used my electric knife to cut out the circles. If an electric knife is not available, a large serrated knife will work to cute the circles. After measuring my finished circles, I used my SCAL (Sure Cuts A lot) software to make draw circles the same size as my Styrofoam circles and then cut out colored card stock with my Cricut die cut machine. I used golden yellow card stock matching the theme colors of the high school – yellow gold and navy. Next, I hot glued the card stock circles to the Styrofoam circles and let them dry.
Roll the money using the pencil method. I used $1.00 bills and made 100 rolls but you can use any denomination of money. After you complete a roll, stick a small straight pink through the roll about ¼” from the top of the roll. This is hard to do but with patience and persistence, the pin will go through the roll. I attached each roll to the Styrofoam circle as I finished them. Watching a T.V. show or listening to music make this part go faster! 

The rolled money filled the bottom layer so I covered the top layer with ribbon taping the ends together. The ribbon could be glued on the edge of the Styrofoam disc but mine was just snuggly taped together.

The finishing touches were the most fun! The hat topper was made from a rectangle of dark blue cardstock and a square of cardstock. The dimensions for these two shapes will depend on the size of your cake. The rectangle was taped together and the square was glued on top of the rectangle. Gold cotton embroidery floss was used to make the tassel. You can purchase a tassel if you don’t want to create your own. The shapes and letters for the year logo were designed in my die cut software and cut with my Cricut machine. They were glued onto the “cake”.

The top cake layer was filled in with folded and pinned left over money.
The Money Cake was fun to create but very time consuming. It took all afternoon to finish. The end result………………our nephew was thrilled with his cake! Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the look on my nephew's face when he opened his gift.

Supplies Needed:
Some type of base for the finished product. I used a 12” cardboard cake round but you can use anything you want.
Styrofoam Discs: 1 10” and 1 12”
Straight Pin: 100 to 150. Some of the pins will bend while pushing through the money so buy extra pins.
Money: I used 100 $1.00 bills but you can use any denomination you prefer and the number of bills will be determined by the size cake you make.
Hot Glue gun and glue sticks
Cardstock in the color(s) of your choice
Ribbon: I used 2 different sized ribbon and layered them. Floral ribbon worked great for me. I used wide widths and cut it down to the sizes I needed.
Die Cut machine such as one of the Cricut or Silhouette brands. I have a Cricut Expression and that is what I used.
Die cutting software or cartridges to cut the cardstock circles and lettering for the cake topper.
Plates for tracing
Pencil, pen, or marker for tracing
Cotton Floss for tassel or purchased tassel
Button – 1 for top of hat
Clear tape

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and find it useful.  Here are the links to the tutorial I used:

Other ideas on Pinterest:[]=graduation%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=gift%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=money%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=cake%7Ctyped

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