I love getting emails from people who read my blog. It’s just fun 🙂 Several months ago I received an email from Melaine of My Sweet Savannah. She said she loved my blog and she loved the stuff in my etsy shop and she wondered if I was up for a trade – my sewing skills for some advertising on her blog. I emailed her right back, said I just might, and asked for a link to her blog. I’d not had not heard of ‘My Sweet Savannah‘ until she contacted me and I was missing out! Melaine is a great gal and her blog is now in my list of favorites, and she and I text more now than we email. I love the fact that we text – I love texting 😀
Melaine wasn’t sure at first what she wanted made so I let her ponder that for awhile. She decided she wanted some large pillow shams – I think I remember her saying they are for her bedroom.
Melaine sent me a box with drop cloth fabric and a couple other options for some details to the shams. We talked on the phone once, and text often to get the details right. My plan was to get them made before Christmas but a few unexpected things happened and Melaine said she wasn’t in a hurry. She now knows that’s not necessarily a good thing to tell me. I do much better with deadlines!
But this time I think the ‘no deadline’ issue was for the best. Melaine had mentioned having a monogram added to the pillows. I don’t have an embroidery machine so she was going to look into getting that added after I shipped them back to her. Then I suggested that I get it done somewhere here before the back was on the pillow. She decide to go with one pillow monogrammed and the other 2 left plain. I did some calling around. I wasn’t sure how big to make the monogram. Did I mention the pillow shams are 24 inches square? That’s big folks – very big!
Melaine told me to use my judgement on the size of the monogram- thanks Melaine 🙂
Then I had a moment of inspiration – or insanity perhaps??!
I COULD DO THE MONGRAM MYSELF – BY HAND.
Sure, it’s been a few years, quite a few actually, and I’ve never created an actual monogram, but I HAVE done satin stitch embroidery. Anyway, how hard could it be? Melaine jumped on the idea and that was that. I was hand stitching a monogram.
She emailed me a picture of a wooden monogram she has, I printed it, traced it onto a blank sheet of paper, tweaked the design a little, and cut it out. Positioned it on the pillow sham and traced it with a water soluble marker. And began to stitch.
I did search out a tutorial on stitching a monogram before I started. You can find the one I read here.
I also started out with grand intentions of doing this properly – with the use of an embroidery hoop. I dug out and dusted of the long-neglected hoop from over a decade ago. And I did try. I gave it my best. But I just cannot stand using a hoop. Ranks right up there with my dislike of using thimbles. So the hoop was left to gather dust again.
It’s far from perfect but I’m happy with it and I really think Melaine will be too. If she squints a little she can pretend it’s an old European monogram from 100 year ago. heehee.
There is a flaw in it. I didn’t even notice till I was completely finished and had it all pressed and ready to put the back on it. Every piece of handmade artwork has to have a flaw though, right? I have even read of loom artists weaving in a flaw on purpose. Something superstitious I think so I’m not really into that so I wasn’t adding a flaw on purpose.
But there is one, accidental though it may be. If you see it just squint and pretend it ain’t so.
Melaine, when you get your pillow shams inspect the monogram carefully. If the flaw is more than you can handle just flip it over so you can’t see it 😀 heehee!
Constructing the pleated ruffle and flat piping on 24 inch pillow shams is no small project. I did mention that they were TWENTY-FOUR inches square didn’t I? That is 96 inches total around one! So each sham needed 100 inches of flat piping. I cut it double the width I wanted the finished size to be plus seam allowances. I pinked the edges so it would curve at the corners nicely. And stitched it on.
I rounded the piping around the corners – no expert advise on this I just did it.I left the piping longer than needed and when I was almost back to where I started, I stopped and figured out where to make a seam in the piping so it was one continuous piece around the sham. Again I just did it – no fancy info here!
The large ruffle is box pleated – double fold a strip of fabric to use as the ruffle. So there are 2 thicknesses of fabric, the piping was folded in half so there are 2 thicknesses there. Plus the front of the sham. And eventually a back will be stitched on too. I’d advise lighter weight fabric if you aren’t used to sewing much 😀 Add to that the fact that all those box pleats take the ruffle from 2 thicknesses of fabric to SIX!!!
Have you ever hand stitched a monogram?