From the Hoop: Large Monograms on Totes

I think my recent enthusiasm for bold color in decorating has moved into my embroidery work. I keep gravitating towards bright and cheerful colors.

A few weeks ago, a friends dog had a terrible accident that resulted in a major surgery. The dog is okay, but had a few weeks of total rest and total recovery will take time. I was trying to think of something that would cheer her little family up and I thought about making some pretty bandanas with the dog's monogram on them. Like many dogs we know, this one has a full name, so it was perfect for a monogram. The mom of the family's favorite color is purple, so I had to make sure one of the bandanas was in that color.

The little dog is doing much better these days!

 With spring blossoming around us, I wanted to find some more tote bags to share with friends since the last ones I made were so popular. I teamed up with a few other embroidery hobbyists to purchase some tote bags from a company that usually works with corporate buyers. We were able to make a large enough purchase that it was worth the company's time.

I have a thing for really large monograms, so my costs to monogram (thread, stabilizers, and designs) are a little higher than the average person who monograms in a 4 inch hoop. Most of my monograms are at least six inches tall.

In my process, I work with each person to select a monogram style (the fishtail design above is the most popular one right now). Sometimes I post the options on Instagram and see what people think.

From there, we go back and forth to narrow down the thread options. Some embroidery shops offer 5-10 standard colors, but I can't resist having lots of options. In fact, the other day when I went to the Viking store to buy a few large rolls of stabilizer (the material you use under the thread to give it structure), she commented that it was odd that I wasn't buying thread. They know me so well.

When Lily, the owner of the bag I posted above, said she wanted pink, I had six threads that I thought could work.

We narrowed those options down to the three bright pinks on the left of that image and she ultimately went with the hot pink.

Another friend named Lauren wanted an orange bag, but wasn't sure about thread color. Seeing several spools against her bag helped her decide on something in the blue family.

But at the last minute, she waivered between teal and a berry pink.

I thought they were both fantastic colors, so I wasn't any help. She ultimately went with the berry color and I love how the bag came out!

 I've been embroidering up a storm lately as more friends have asked for bags. I'm almost out of them!

Just looking at these pictures is making me forget about all the rain that has been coming down outside. If you are in the deep South or the mid-west, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound!


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