Embroidered monogram napkins

Anytime an entire week goes by without a new blog post you can assume one of two things:

  1. One or all of our kids has a fever, ear infection, an orthopedic injury, is throwing up, or all of the above.
  2. I’m fumbling through some sort of craft that requires skills that I’m teaching myself with YouTube, dragging embroidery thread and yarn through the house because I’m taking up snatches of time rather than just sitting and getting it done — one stitch while I wait for David to find his shoes, one stitch while Mary picks a stuffed animal to take to school. Three stitches because LOOK! The stars aligned! Thomas and Anna are playing together!

Thankfully, mercifully, in this case it’s the second reason. I’ve been embroidering monogrammed napkins for my sister-in-law’s birthday.

I finished them the night before her birthday, which tells a lot about my personality because I have been planning these for two years. TWO YEARS! The first year I had surgery on my thumb just days before her birthday, and the second year snuck up to me and I didn’t get to it in time.

I took these photos quickly on the morning of Mother’s Day — it was cloudy and dark and so the photos aren’t well-lit. And even as I took them I thought, “I’ll be bugged by these wrinkles when I upload the pictures.”

But, dear reader, that is the consequence of being terrible at efficiency and really, really good at finding Chrissy Teigen memes. You can’t be good at everything, that’s the lesson.

I don’t have a lot of experience embroidering, so the stitches aren’t perfect, but I enjoyed it and I learned a lot.

Tom also learned a lot. He learned that embroidering is much more dangerous than knitting. One night I dropped my needle on the carpet and didn’t realize, and the next morning Tom found it with his foot.

I still kind of shudder when I think about it.

For the girls’ napkins I used a pattern from Sublime Stitching (they have the best and most hilarious patterns), and I free-hand stitched the boys’.

Even though they aren’t perfect and I have a lot to learn, I love how they turned out, and I think it makes a sweet handmade, personalized gift.

“Mommy, I know Aunt Lindsay will love these,” Mary said when she saw them. “They’re a gift for the whole family. That’s how you know it’s a gift a mommy will like, if it’s something that will make the whole family happy.”



  1. Gayle Ann May 13, 2019

    They are lovely. And, Mary is very insightful.

    My grandmother taught me to embroider. I then moved into related fields, such as counted cross stitch. I find it relaxing.

    I have several beautiful ladies handkerchiefs. Remnants of a time when ladies wore hats, and gloves, and carried handkerchiefs in their pocketbooks.

    There is a company called Aunt Martha’s, https://www.amazon.com/Aunt-Marthas-Transfer-Stitching-Embroidery/dp/B005YXZ5SU?ref_=bl_dp_s_web_3445404011

    WalMart carries them also. You can embroider the designs, then use them as quilt blocks. I started quilting because framing is so very expensive, even with a 70% off coupon at Michaels or JoAnn’s.

    • amandakrieger May 14, 2019

      my mom taught us to do counted cross stitch as a child and I loved doing it. It’s one of the many things I hope to get back to when i have more downtime!

      • Lindsey May 14, 2019

        I do cross-stitch on road trips. The concentration it requires cuts down on the loud gasps that drive my husband crazy. I find it’s a much cheaper option than marriage counseling

  2. Micah May 14, 2019

    I love these! I haven’t embroidered since my grandma taught me ages ago. What a fun and lovely project!


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