In February I gave this sweet little baby quilt to my nephew and his wife for baby Sophie. They loved the quilt pattern and colors, but what really caught their eye was the monogram. I embroidered “Sophie” in large letters on the front of the quilt.
People love monogramed items, especially if they are gifts. Shirts, gloves, scarves, table linens, bed linens, towels, baby blankets and more can all be monogrammed with initials, a special date or a special symbol.
Traditionally it’s most appropriate to have the woman’s initials, married or maiden name, embroidered on all bed, bath and table linens. A man would get his monogram on all of his bath linens. Today’s couples however are opting for more modern approaches to monogramming. The general trend is to create a monogram with joint initials. Of course with many women keeping their maiden names and using hyphenated names the monogramming rules are continuing to evolve. Today almost anything goes; first names, nicknames, first initials, even home addresses are used. The key is to be creative and to have fun with your monogramming!
How Many Letters
A monogram can contain one, two, three or more letters. Here are some guidelines:
Single letter monograms usually feature the initial of the owner’s family name. They can be almost any size and positioned according to the project. Letters that are 3/8” to 1” tall require little or no further detail. A tiny script letter stitched in the corner of a hankie is all the embellishment required. Larger single letters can certainly use a little help; the addition of a flower or a geometric shape is a fun touch to add character to the letter.
Two letter monograms include the owner’s first and last initials. Since there's typically no confusion about the letter order, both can be the same size, or, to add interest, the first initial can be smaller than the last. A two-letter monogram can have the letters lined up or slightly off set. Script letters look fabulous slightly intertwined and offset.
Three letter monograms offer many possibilities. For a single person the first initial is placed on the left, the middle initial is placed on the right and the last initial is placed in the center. For married couples the bride’s first initial is on the left, the groom’s first initial is on the right and the groom’s last initial is in the center. Some brides are opting to use the initials of their first and last name, plus the initial of the groom’s last name. In this arrangement the center initial (last name) is usually noticeably larger than the other two, helping to identify the surname as shown below right.
It is also very common in this type of arrangement to have a more decorative center letter and fairly plain end letters. The middle letter can be embellished with floral or geometric elements, such as those in our 45mm Lucida Ivy Alphabet Embroidery Designs #276d. You can even use different fonts for the middle letter and end letters. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Fonts and Colors
The ultra traditional monogram style is to use a script font embroidered in a tone-on-tone color scheme. It is the most elegant and formal look, especially if it is white on white.
The more modern choices are block and diamond lettering. The diamond lettering is especially popular with the three-letter monogram. To add more interest and drama to the monogram, many couples are choosing contrasting color schemes.
You can monogram virtually anything that you own. Traditionally bed, bath and table linens are the most popular items for monogramming. Again the monogram can be placed anywhere on these items, however, the practical placement is as follows:
Napkins A single letter monogram of the owner’s last name is placed in the corner opposite the label (if there is one). The letter should be 1 1/2” to 2” tall, depending on the size of the napkin. With the last initial only, the napkins can be handed down to children.
Bath Towel 4” above the hem or 2” above the border; monogram is 4” tall.
Hand Towel 2” above the hem or 1 1/2” above the border; monogram is 3” tall.
Washcloths and fingertip towels can be monogrammed using the same guidelines as for hand towels except the monogram is scaled down in size to fit these smaller towels. Most people however limit their selection to bath and hand towels.
Top Sheet On the wide band or 2” above the band on the right side and should be readable when folded down over the blanket; monogram is 4 1/2” tall.
Pillowcase Centered onto the band or just above it so that you don’t wake up with the initials imprinted on the side of your face. Also be sure that the side seam is at the top. Size of monogram depends on the width of the band; possibly up to 2” to 3”.
Pillow Sham A fairly large monogram can be placed in the center of the pillow sham. The size of the monogram will depend on the size of the pillow sham
Duvet Covers Centered and approximately 12” down from the top edge; monogram is 4” to 5” tall.
Men’s Shirt Pocket Expensive shirts have the monogram on the pocket itself, approximately 3/8" below the upper edge of the pocket. Use block-style capitals, all 3/8" tall - this is a good size that's readable, but not too aggressive.
Men’s Shirt Cuffs Top center of wrist, 1 3/8" from the center of the cuff toward the buttonhole and ¼" above the topstitching at the edge.
Golf Shirts 71/2" to 9" down from the left shoulder seam and 4" to 6" over from the center.
Blouses/Robes Place 4" to 6" down from the left shoulder seam and 3" to 5" over from the center.