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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Encyclopedia of Monograms – a Nice Resource for Embroiderers!


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Greetings from a rather chilly Kansas. Good grief! It’s really winter!

To warm up your winter days – or cool down your summer ones, depending on where you are – I thought I’d share a nice little online resource for embroiderers who are interested in working with monograms.

Monograms are such a wonderful subject for embroidery. They are a decorative way of personalizing linens and the like, marking them distinctly and uniquely as your own.

A monogram that’s well-embroidered is a very personal thing of beauty!

Encyclopedia of Monograms

Over at internet archive, you’ll find this lovely scan (which you can download for free as a PDF) of An Encyclopedia of Monograms.

It houses many lovely monograms and cyphers that can be adapted to embroidery.

Particularly noticeable about this book is that the monograms are really well organized by letter, so you don’t necessarily have to guess what letters are actually in the monograms.

Encyclopedia of Monograms

I’ve come across many old monogram books that offer a vast hodgepodge of monograms (and cyphers), but many are often difficult to discern with certainty. Sometimes, you have to guess at the letters.

In this book, you can look up monograms by letter and letter combinations, which is nice.

If you’re new to monograms and the like, I’ve written about them many times on Needle ‘n Thread. I love decorative initials, monograms, and cyphers – in embroidery and in art in general – and I tend to get really enthusiastic about them!

You’ll find a whole list of monogram-related articles here for further exploration.

This particular article on Initials, Monograms, and Cyphers will introduce you to the technical terminology that governs the umbrella term “monograms.”

And this is an index of tips and techniques on embroidering monograms, with different examples of embroidered monograms that we’ve covered here on Needle ‘n Thread.

I hope you enjoy these resources!

Studio News

Apologies for not being around last week at the end of the week. I succumbed to the latest Slog (sickness) that’s been going around this winter and decided I better take time to really recover, rather than have it linger on and on. So I hunkered down and got rid of the thing.

We’ll be getting back to regular studio work this week. We’re kitting up the first Stitch Snippet of 2024 – we’ve got the fabric in and cut, and everything else slowly trickling in. This first project has lots of little pieces! I’ll show them to you soon.

I’m also working on a couple goldwork designs, so I’ll be sharing that adventure with you.

And… hey! We’re going shopping! Yes, Anna and I are venturing out to the Big City (in our case, that’s Kansas City) to seek some Special Somethings that we have to see in person before we can commit to them and order them. So we’re on a quest, and I’m taking my camera. I may share our adventures! (It depends on how successful they are – KC is not quite NYC, when it comes to looking for textile-related goods.) I am ever optimistic, though!

Hope your week is off to fabulous start! If you’re in the northern hemisphere, stay warm!


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(11) Comments

  1. Thank you for the link to the book. It *is* nice to have it organized and labeled in order, especially since I often have trouble discerning what it is, especially on the fancy scrolly ones.

    Glad you’re feeling better and hope the KC trip goes well.

  2. Thank you so much for posting the link to the monograms! I am happy to hear you got over your illness. 🙂 Mine is still lingering. I hope it does not portend things to come in 2024…

  3. I’m curious…please explain the your use of the term Wog. I teach ESOL and often explain American slang. Internet definitions though define wog in a derogatory manner. I know that isn’t what you mean! Is it a regional use that I’ve never heard on the east coast?

    1. It’s a word we’ve always used for when you have a cloudy head cold. I’ve never heard it used any other way. In fact, I didn’t know it was a real word. I’ll have to look it up.

    2. Oh wow. I looked it up. You learn something new every day! Language is a funny thing – I’ve never heard that word used before, except as a head cold. Looks like the derogatory use is British. Anyway, I switched it to my other favorite, which is Slog – though I don’t usually mean sickness for that word. More like “tiring work” or activity, especially when it’s drawn out and hard to get through.

      I guess I could call it a “head bog” – bog might work better, and it’s more indicative of that muddiness of the head.

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