Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Monograms for Hand Embroidery: Delicate Spray J, K, L


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Well, this is a surprise. I hope it isn’t too unpleasant, though. I really wasn’t planning on starting the week with more monograms patterns, but the article I was preparing just for you fell apart this morning while I was proofing.

I spent most of the weekend researching a topic that came up in an email conversation, reading up on it, finding resources and information about it. It’s one of those enthralling, obscure embroidery topics, and I was thoroughly enjoying putting together an article about it.

But when it came time to hit that publish button this morning, I just couldn’t hit the button. It needs More Work. More Research. More Information. It’s a neat subject – something related to whitework – and I’ll share it with you when I can round out the information a little bit.

And so, I found myself sitting here at the computer, later than usual on a Monday morning, scratching my head… Monograms to the rescue!

Monogram for Hand Embroidery: J

I mentioned previously – when writing about the G, H, and I in this alphabet – that the I and the J are often used interchangeably in old monogram alphabets. I prefer a slight distinction between the two. The original alphabet had the I, which you can see here, but no distinct J.

By extending the upper portion of the “I” it was easy enough to manipulate the letter into a more distinct J, which I like better.

When it comes to these older alphabets, I always feel sorry for people whose names begin with J or W. They were so neglected.

Monogram for Hand Embroidery: K

Stitch Suggestions for Monograms

We discussed some very general embroidery approaches in the article presenting the A, B, and C for this alphabet.

Then we’ve talked a bit about approaching them as a complete beginner, with the stitch suggestions offered with the D, E, and F.

With the G, H, and I, we talked about a completely different approach (shadow work), suitable for determined beginners and intermediate embroiderers.

Today, I’m going to suggest something pretty basic that beginners and beyond can accomplish easily: Use stem stitch to fill the whole letter, working with just one strand of floss in the needle at a time.

If you want, shade it, by working light to dark across the letter, or by working the edges dark and the center lighter, which would give a kind of dimensional look to the letter.

Two things to be aware of when working stem stitch as a filling on a narrow, curvy shape:

1. Your stitch tension. If you pull your stitches too tightly, the density of the stitching and the curviness of the design are more likely to bring things to a pucker.

To avoid that, work with your fabric drum taut in a hoop, and take each stitch so that it just sits nicely on top of the fabric, without pulling little holes into the fabric at the beginning and end of the stitch.

2. Stitch length – as you talk the curvier parts of the curves (wherever the curves get tighter), decrease your stitch length to take the curves smoothly.

You can find some stitching tips on working stem stitch as a filling on this kind of design, by reading this article on stem stitch vines in the Secret Garden embroidery project. The concept would be pretty much the same!

Monogram for Hand Embroidery: L

I like the L on this one. It’s so Laverne & Shirley…

Hope you enjoy these new letters!

Monogram Embroidery Pattern Printables

Here are the PDFs for today’s monograms. The letters will print at 1.5″, 3″ and 4″ high if you choose no scaling (or a similar setting) on your printer. You can enlarge and reduce them by using the scaling feature on your printer or by using a photocopier.

Monogram for Hand Embroidery – Delicate Spray J (PDF)
Monogram for Hand Embroidery – Delicate Spray K (PDF)
Monogram for Hand Embroidery – Delicate Spray L (PDF)

Favorite Monograms – PDF Collection

You’ll find this complete alphabet – along with 15 other decorative alphabets – all in one place in Favorite Monograms, a downloadable PDF collection of 16 monogram alphabets perfect for hand embroidery and other crafts.

Favorite Monograms for Hand Embroidery and Other Crafts

In the photo above, you can see samples of each alphabet available in Favorite Monograms.

Each letter in each alphabet in Favorite Monograms has been carefully traced into a clean line drawing that can be easily enlarged or reduced on a home printer or a photocopier.

The 16-alphabet collection is delivered as via a download link to your inbox shortly after purchase, so that you can begin creating right away! Priced at less than $1.00 per complete alphabet, monogram lovers can’t go wrong with this collection!

Favorite Monograms is available in my shop, here.


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(6) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    Oh what a shame about the article, I can’t wait to read it, it sounds very mysterious and interesting. I love this series on monograms the patterns are so delicate looking and lovely and there are many ways to embroider these, thanks for the opportunity of embroidering these lovely monograms designs.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. I ADORE the K! LOL for obvious reasons. I’m still seeing all Satin Stitch here, but I love reading your suggestions. They’re full of creativity! Any hope for a Secret Garden update soon? Pretty Please Cherry on Top.

    1. Yes, this week! I’m still finishing the flowers and some little touch ups…but should have something up in the next couple days. I have an update scheduled for later this week – I just hope I have enough “noticeable” stuff to bother showing!!

  3. Dear Marie,
    Monograms like that, to the rescue, I am well every day. But the article that follows is downright mysterious, intriguing, I is impatient.

  4. LOOOOOVE these monograms!! I’m subscribing so I don’t miss any! I found that out about the ‘J’ a few years ago when my daughter and I made my dad some beautiful Irish linen handkerchiefs – I pulled the threads and cut them out then pulled more threads and she did all the hemstitching for 9 handkerchiefs – supposed to be 12 but 3 got lost??? HOW does that happen? And then I hand monogrammed them – each one different of course so I wouldn’t get bored! GORGEOUS! When we gave them to him he said ‘Why didn’t you use that fancy embroidery machine for these instead of all that hand work?!’ He loved them and was ‘saving’ them until we all convinced him they were to be used!! Which he did, he said he wanted one to be buried with him which we did when he passed last April. The rest of the handkerchiefs are precious a momento for 8 of his kids and grandkids!

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