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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Sweet & Simple Embroidery: A Delicate & Easy Monogram


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Last week, I shared with you this floral corner embroidery project, which is the “big” project for the younger kids’ embroidery classes I’m hosting this month.

Before the younger kids launch into the floral corner design, they’ll work a simpler, smaller project, using fewer stitches, but guaranteed to give a nice, satisfactory result that they will (hopefully) be quite proud of and that will (hopefully!) encourage them to move on with enthusiasm to the next project.

The simple project is a monogram. All age levels are doing a monogram, but the younger children’s is their first project.

It’s very basic, compared to the monogram planned for the older youth, but it is quite sweet and really pretty in its simplicity – from which point, we can draw some very good lessons about embroidery!

Let’s take a look, shall we?

simple floral embroidered monogram

This simple floral monogram is a variation of the Dots & Leaves monograms in my Favorite Monograms pattern e-book.

Substituting daisy stitch flowers for the dots, the whole monogram becomes automatically simplified, because you don’t have to figure out what to do with those dots! Do I fill them? What with? I’m not good at satin stitch! This problem becomes a moot point when you substitute daisy stitch flowers for dots!

simple floral embroidered monogram

The substitution also lightens the whole monogram considerably.

Concentrating on the letter part of the design, the idea was to keep the colors a bit subdued, to give the foliage a chance to shine in a chipper, happy way.

So the letter is stitched in backstitch in a light periwinkle, and whipped with a light yellow.

Working the letter will give the kids the opportunity to learn to manipulate the backstitch around curves and sharp corners and to gauge stitch length. Whipping the backstitch will throw in a bit of color and fun!

The stem of the vine is stem stitch, giving the kids another opportunity to put one of their newly learned basic stitches to work on a real project.

simple floral embroidered monogram

The leaves and the flower petals are daisy stitches, of course. Detached chain stitch is a handy stitch for children to know, because it gives them the opportunity to stitch a recognizable “thing” (in this case, a flower, petals, leaves) by working the one stitch. They can do a lot with petals and leaves!

On the leaves, they’ll add just a tad of highlight to the brighter, darker green, by working a simple straight stitch in the center of each leaf.

This will help demonstrate that a simple addition to a stitch results in a new look and a little variety.

And finally, French knots form the centers of the flowers and they accent the vine as well.

Simple is Good!

One clear lesson that I think this simple but pretty little monogram teaches is that embroidery does not have to be complex to be pleasing or satisfying.

Yes, monograms can be complicated or challenging. But they can also be extremely simple, and yet still very effective!

This particular monogram sample was stitched by my niece. She’s going to finish it in the hoop, since that’s the way we’ll be doing it in class, too. The kids will do their own finishing. I’ll show the process we’ll be using for finishing the monogram projects shortly.

More Monogram Resources

If you’re interested in stitching your own simple (or complex!) monograms, you’ll find several resources here on Needle ‘n Thread:

This list of completed monogram projects, with indications of stitches and techniques

Favorite Monograms – a pattern e-book with 16 full alphabets for stitching

Stitch Sampler Alphabet – an instructional and project e-book that takes you step by step through stitching your own floral monograms while learning over 65 stitches, combinations, and composites.

Will Ewe Bee Mine? – an instructional and project e-book with full alphabets and decorative borders for three monogram motifs (bees, sheep, and hearts)


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(13) Comments

  1. That is so sweet looking! Wishing you great success with your first class in your new space, Mary!

  2. Dear Mary

    The monogram is simple but effective, very pretty and easily embroidered a great way to learn simple stitches especially for children and beginners. I’m sure the children will really enjoy embroidering the monogram because it’s a personal piece and relevant to the embroider great idea. Good luck with the classes and thanks for sharing with us the simple embroidered monogram stitched beautifully by your niece and for the links.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. I think this is a really effective design Mary. Four or five good basic stitches (I like how you repeat the Daisy Stitch for the leaves & flowers) but it looks classy too. I think the younger stitchers will still feel as though they have accomplished something that looks really good. Sometimes beginner designs can look very ‘beginner’ and children do notice that. This looks modern and fresh and I’m looking forward to seeing their results if you post a gallery of your student embroideries. I do hope you will! 🙂

  4. Mary
    This is a super little project! Will you be publishing the patterns for the complete alphabet, simplified in the future. It would be ideal for my grand-daughters. 🙂
    In Oz

    1. Hi, Judy – This alphabet is already published in my pattern e-book, Favorite Monograms. I simply transferred a 5-spoked flower in the place of the dots, in the Dots & Leaves alphabet. Hope that helps!

  5. This really is very pretty, and the monogram is a great way to give your students ownership of their work. I’m another who regrets not having such a wonderful teacher.

  6. Dots, etc. comes at just the right time as I am teaching my 9-11 year old granddaughters to embroider pillowcases on muslin (that I tried a lot of to find one that did not fight back). Hopefully the open fabric will not be caught on the underside. I have enjoyed the e-book.

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