Madeira Monogram Pillowcases

Madeira mono green

My daughter has always appreciated fine bedding. In fact, she admits to being a “textile snob.”

When she moved into the dormitory at University of Florida, I custom made pima cotton sheets to fit her non-standard size bunk mattress. Then for each subsequent housing situation, from the sorority house to apartments, each year through graduate school, new pima cotton sheets and pillowcases were made and monogrammed, often with a matching quilt.

I loved making them and she loved sleeping on them. But then I got busy with grandchildren so it has been a long time since she has had any new pillowcases.

This pair, pima cotton of course, is for her birthday. The scalloped Madeira applique hem is pinstitched in place, crowned with her new married -lady monogram.The design is from Martha Pullen’s 2003 Internet Embroidery Club alphabet.

mono green

You cannot imagine my shock when I discovered that my fabulous son-in-law slept on 500 count Egyptian cotton sheets long before he met Rebecca. He brought two sets to the linen closet in their new home.

How many young men even know what a thread count is? It is unlikely that his appreciation for fine bed linens contributed to their mutual attraction, but I do wonder. This is a young man with extremely good taste, in both linens and ladies.

Not only that, handsome Harvey has an Ivy League education,  is a gourmet cook, prepares all their meals, treats my daughter like a queen, is a wonderful father to my grandson Alastair, loves and respects his parents and provides well for his family. For more reasons than these, I am one of the few mothers-in-law who can say that he is good enough for my daughter. But again, I digress…..

The pillowcases are 100% cotton, from the fabric to the embroidery threads. I have a lot of thread, but cotton is my favorite. Especially when trying to emulate hand embroidery, the matte finish of cotton is more convincing.

Using cotton thread sometimes complicates machine embroidery because most designs are digitized for 40 wt. rayon or polyester. To the best of my knowledge, cotton machine embroidery thread comes in 12 wt. (Sulky), 20 wt. (Sulky). 30/2wt. (Sulky and Mettler) and 50/2 wt. (DMC, Brother Pacesetter and Madeira), 60/2 wt. (Mettler) and 80/2 wt.(Madeira) in certain situations.

I also use Mettler’s 50/3 Silk Finish interchangeably with 30/2 wt.. It is usually safe to resize an embroidery design 10-20% so I often do that to accommodate the size of whatever cotton thread meets my color requirements.

For years, my favorite thread has been Brother Country thread, a no-sheen polyester thread that looks just like cotton. It is identified as 50 wt. but it sews out like 40 wt. Rayon so no resizing is needed. The limitation is that it only comes in 61 colors and, I think, is no longer being made.

The good news is that Brother now has a wonderful 50 color collection of quality 100% cotton thread made by Robison-Anton. It, too, is 50 wt. but like the Country Thread assortment, sews out perfectly on designs digitized for 40 wt. With 50 new cotton threads and the 61 polyester cotton look-alikes, I get the look of cotton in 111 colors for any design I chose.

I’d better get off my thread soap box. Few people are as interested in threads, their weights and their uses as I am, but it is important to have some knowledge about threads. If anyone has read this far and has any other information about this subject, I would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, happy birthday to my darling daughter Rebecca!


Becca wed 2

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