This past weekend, I received a lovely gift in the mail – a beautiful book, in French, called Abécédaires de Tradition, published by Sajou, in conjunction with marie claire idées, which is a popular needlework (and other stuff) magazine in France. I know I’ve been on a French book and magazine kick lately – Mains et Merveilles and the the perforated paper and embroidery book – but I can’t help it! I think you deserve to see these great resources, too, and this one is particularly nice if you like monograms, and it’s available in the US. So take a look…
Though written in French, Abécédaires de Tradition is not a book that requires you to know the language, in case you can’t read French. Why not? Because it is primarily a design book, plus a little bit more.
Traditional Alphabets abound in this book of traditional alphabets. It is a “stiff” paperback book, printed on high quality paper, with beautiful color photos within.
Maison Sajou, a French needlework establishment, has been well-known for over a hundred years for their quality needlework products. When I think “Sajou,” what normally comes to mind are their alphabets.
The book is packed with decorative monograms which are first presented to the reader via colored plates.
Many beautiful monogram styles are featured…
… and they are all accompanied by photos of embroidered pieces featuring the monograms.
There’s a wonderful animal alphabet. Granted, the names of several of the animals don’t match the English translation. “C,” for example, is illustrated with ducks (“canards” in French). But many of the letters do match up – Z: zebra; Y: yak; P: peacock; R: rhino, etc. Personally, for me this isn’t a bother – I like the idea of a foreign language alphabet. You can look at it as a teaching moment for kids.
Oh, yes, pictures of monograms are nice – but this is the best part of the book.
The whole last half of the book is made up of iron-on transfer sheets for all the alphabets within….
… along with some nice borders to dress up your monograms.
The book contains 10 full alphabets in various sizes and in varying degrees of formality and informality. Each alphabet is attractive, and can be used on anything from household linens, quilts, and so forth, to handbags and clothing. You can even stitch up full alphabets to hang as samplers. From beautiful to downright fun, there’s something in the book for everyone.
Here’s a thought: Are you planning to make Christmas presents this year? How about personalizing some gifts with a monogram? That’s what I’m planning to do! And these monograms will be just the thing.
You can find Abécédaires de Tradition in the US through The French Needle, which specializes in all kinds of European-style stitching kits, books, threads, and accessories. (I love this shop – this is where I got the Bayeux tapestry kit). Lisa carries some beautiful surface embroidery kits that would be great fun to work. I love the large monogram (majuscule) kits. When I saw those, I suddenly longed for a name beginning with “W” or “Y”!
Anyway, at the time of publishing today’s article, the book is not listed on The French Needle website yet, but it will be posted there some time today. Click on ‘boutique‘ in the left column of the site, and you’ll see an extensive list of everything available. Go to the books category to find this particular book.
If you like the idea of hand embroidering some monograms on various and sundry articles, then, do check out this book! The beautiful monograms within it are worth the price alone, but coupled with the convenience of iron-on transfers, how can you miss?
Later in the week, I’ll be showing you a thread that works well for all kinds of surface embroidery, including monograms, so keep an eye out!
Until tomorrow…. au revoir!