Monogrammed Linen Napkins for White Wednesday


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and had much for which to be thankful.  We enjoyed a fabulous dinner and a beautiful day at the home of our son-in-law’s mother, Carol.  I was pleased to see one of these monogrammed hemstitched linen napkins at each place setting.   I had made/embroidered this set of 16 serviettes as a wedding gift for her and Alan.  Of course, knowing I would be a guest at her table, she is too gracious a hostess to use anything else.  But I was pleased, nonetheless. The napkins looked so pretty next to her gold rimmed china with sprays of pink roses surrounding the center.


color enhanced to better show the design

The napkins are linen blanks, monogrammed with letters and the companion design from Martha Pullen’s Internet Embroidery Club 2003 alphabet.  There are color stops for the flowers and leaves, but I preferred a monotone scheme.

More and more frequently, I see evidence of  a  trend to use lower case letters for the first names of the couple, rather than just the bride’s first, last and maiden names,  and the upper case for the last initial only. So I chose to use this approach.

This alphabet stitches out beautifully, but I found that following this contemporary style has limitations.  If the  first name initials have the same footprint, the monogram is lovely.  But if either  letter  projects beyond a uniform perimeter, the monogram looks unbalanced.  For example, in this style, the monogram for the hypothetical couple Ann and Joshua Smith would look like this—-aSj.  The tail on the j changes the  geometric regularity of the design.  But for Ann and Charles Smith, the monogram would look like this—aSc.  This has balance, as the letter on either side of the tall center initial fits in the same size box, extending neither above nor below the companion lower case letter.

One of the things that I liked most about these napkins was the discovery of what, in my opinion, is the perfect monogramming thread.  I had a small spool of 100% cotton, eggshell Robison Anton 50 wt. quilting thread on hand and decided that the color would give just enough contrast.  So I did a quick stitch rehearsal on a linen scrap and absolutely loved the look. The heavier weight and matte cotton finish makes the monogram look almost hand embroidered.

The thread spool does not specify the number of plys, but it stitches more heavily than my 50/2 DMC machine embroidery thread, so I am inclined to believe that it is 3 ply.  I went on line and ordered three of the 3000 yd. king spools, one each in white, ecru and eggshell.

My daughter loved these napkins and asked for the same style monogram.  But it wouldn’t work for her, as the letters would be rCh.  So I will use this same font but in the traditional style  with all caps.

One of the things for which I am most grateful is this woman who raised her son to be such a fine man, a fine husband and now a fine father.  She is a wonderful friend, the world’s greatest mother-in-law for my daughter and a tender, loving grandmother to our grandson, Alastair.  In addition to all that, she sews!  Am I blessed or what?

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