I mentioned in yesterday’s post (the beginning of a monogrammed linen guest towel) that, to make my embroidery classes a little easier this summer, and to eliminate the time for transferring designs, I decided to go with iron-on transfers. I think there’s a knack to ironing on a transfer – you’d think it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but I’m finding that it actually is.
As I started looking for suitable iron-on transfer books for the embroidery classes, I concentrated on monograms first. We’re embroidering a selection of different household linens, and monograms always work great for any kind of linen in the home, I think. Even kitchen towels are suitable for a monogram! (Like this monogrammed kitchen towel my mom received for her wedding 51 years ago, hand embroidered by a friend – and it’s still being used!)
I started searching, and I came up with several iron-on monogram books that I purchased, to add to a few books I already have.
First off, are two books by Leisure Arts, called Monograms & More, and Monograms & More, Book 2.
I like both books a lot – there’s quite a variety of styles of monograms in both books.
If I were selecting one or the other, between the two books, I think I like Book 2 best. I took the “B” from the sample I’m working from an alphabet in Book 2. I’m glad I got the first one, though, too, because now I have a wide variety of alphabets.
I also picked up Repeats and Borders, by Dover Publications.
This is a great book, chockful of iron-on designs for borders, with corners and everything. They range from simple borders to much more complex ones, like the one pictured on the cover. There are “cutesy” little borders (animals, fish, etc.) and sophisticated, stylized borders.
I haven’t tried ironing on a repeat pattern yet. That seems like a complex undertaking, if you want to get it just right. Most of the items we’re working, though, don’t require a long border. I’m thinking more in terms of small designs in corners.
Finally, I also picked up this Fun and Funky Embroidery Designs, also published by Leisure Arts. The designs are just that – fun, and a little funky in some parts. There are a few alphabets included as well.
Besides the above books, I also have in my own stash several of the Mains et Merveilles magazines, which are French publications full of iron-on transfers of neat designs. Hedgehog Handworks used to carry a larger selection of these, but I notice they are down to offering just one issue now. They are beautiful and excellent magazines, if you can get your hands on them. In fact, that’s a magazine I’d love to subscribe to, but my limited French can’t assist me in finding out how to do so! I can’t seem to find out if they are still being published – anyone know??
And finally, I’ve got another tiny little French-published book of iron-on monograms that are small, perfect for hankies.
So that’s basically what we’re using for patterns for this summer’s classes, with the exception of a few projects which are hand drawn, and a few embroidered greeting cards (also hand-drawn).
If you’re looking for iron-on transfers for your own monogrammed or decorated stuff, you might want to check out the books available from Leisure Arts. They’re fun and pretty, and economical (well, they’ll save you a lot of time, anyway!).
Back to playing catch-up with my needle ‘n thread!
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