Friday, September 30, 2016


It is fun, elegant, and interesting to personalize your home with monograms.  In my embroidery business, I have been monogramming items for other people's homes for over 10 years. One day I looked around my own home and realized we had very few monogrammed items. Well, I decided to change that!

In the picture above is a lovely set of pillowcases stitched for a customer. It was the inspiration for stitching a set of sheets and pillowcases for my own bed. Here is the result:

You can just see the top sheet monogram peeking out between the pillows. The pillowcases are also monogrammed.

The monogram font is an original design (in case any of you on Pinterest  are searching for this font) by me. I used wingdings and added curves and swirls to a purchased font to get the look I wanted. The thread color is a medium gray called called "smoke" in the thread color chart. The monogram is done is a modern style with the wife's first initial smaller and to the left, the last name initials larger and in the center, then the husband's first initial to the right and smaller. My crazy husband wanted to know why his initial wasn't first! I just laughed and told him, "That is not how it is done these days". In reality, I could have stitched it in any order I chose. Monogram Etiquette rules have changed!

Next came the downstairs living area. I made robin's egg blue pillows and used a pine cone design from Applique Corner (note: I changed out the letter R to one I thought went better with my home).

From here I moved on to the kitchen. The kitchen is painted an apple green color and this set of linen hand towels very nice.

Here is a link to my Etsy listing where you can purchase the towels I stitched for the kitchen. Monogram Linen Towel Set Etsy

This is just a start on placing monograms in my home. Look for more monograms in a later post. I hope this inspires you to start personalizing your home with monograms!

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Modern Monograms

Monograms have been around since the Greek, Roman, and Victorian ages.   Today monograms are very popular, especially in the southern United States. Monogram rules have changed since the Victorian age. In the Victorian era, all household linens used the initials for the lady of the house. The tradition order of the initials were first name initial, last name initial, maiden last name initial. The last name initial was larger and placed in the center between the first name initial and maiden name initial. Men’s initials placed on shirt cuffs, handkerchiefs, ascots, etc. were smaller, all the same size, and placed in the following order: first name, middle name, last name (surname). Here is an example of a ladies monogram.

A man’s shirt cuff monogram would look like this. Notice all the initials are the same height.

In today’s modern age, the rules have changed and are blurred with different opinions. You see two letter monograms and 4-letter monograms as well as the traditional 3-letter monograms. Two letter monograms are fairly easy to compose but four-letter monograms are a little trickier. My grandson has a hyphenated middle name. When doing his Easter basket this year, I wanted to put his monogram on a patch and attach it to the basket liner. I wanted to use all four of his name initials. Using one of my embroidery software programs I entered the initials in a stacked monogram style.

I could have also stacked it like this:

Many women today hyphenate their last names when they get married. In that case, this would be an example of a monogram for a hyphenated surname (last) name.

Here is an example of double surname that is not hyphenated.

As you can see, there are many options available today. The person doing your embroidery will work with you to get the right look for you.

Children’s monograms can be varied as well including the modern rules for hyphenated name. For safety reasons, some parents prefer a monogram on backpacks and clothing instead of a name so it is a good idea to check with the parent before giving a gift with a name on it. Infant boy monograms are usually in the first name initial, surname initial and larger in the center, middle initial order. As boys get older, the first name initial, middle name initial, surname initial all the same height order is used.

These are just guidelines. As an embroiderer, I can give advice if my customer asks but the customer makes the final decision.

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Smocking For Boys

Smocking for boys can be a challenge, especially as they grow out of the baby stage. My daughter likes for me to smock for her little boy but he doesn't live in an area where little boys wear jon-jons, smocked shirts, etc. So, what could I smock for him? When my kids were little, smocked inserts placed in sweatshirts were popular so I thought, "What about smocked inserts sewn into knit shirts?". Since I didn't take pictures along the way, this is not a tutorial for making them. (Insert a smiley face here). Here are the results.

The shirts are from ARB Blanks and are a nice quality. The shirts have held up well after being washed and hung to dry. The colors have not faded or bleed.

O.K., so a few instructions can be included in this post. The inserts were smocked before sewing them into the shirts. The pleated inserts were measured and blocked to fit the size I thought looked the best for the shirt. After the smocking was finished, I made a template to mark the shirt before cutting out the opening for the insert. Next, the template and a water erasable pen were used to mark a rectangle on the shirt. To give the shirt stability, stitch along this line. Next, I measured in 1/2 inch and marked a smaller rectangle, cut out the smaller rectangle of fabric, and then clipped to each corner. Below is a diagram explaining the process.

Piping was now sewn to the rectangle marked with the erasable pen. All that was left to do was sew in the insert. Easy peasy! Because the shirt would be scratchy on the inside if left like this, I cut a piece of white fabric and serged it to the back of the smocked piece.

If you have any questions about this process, please leave your questions in the comments section and I will be happy to answer them.

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