Monogramming Towels

Last week I monogrammed the 7 towels pictured below. They came from WALMART and are sold individually in the store (for probably pretty cheap!). I did these for a friend who was heading to the beach with her family and wanted monogrammed towels for all of the grandkids (and for her and G-Dad). I think G-Dad is the cutest grandfather name! Anyway, I did the boy towels in Atilla (Monogram Wizard Plus) and the girl towels in Curly Q (with the exception of the J in Julia which is Uniblock; ulia is Curly Q). I thought they turned out cute and when I mentioned doing them on Facebook (along with 8 pillowcases that I didn’t take pics of), I had several comments on monogramming towels!

I worked for G-Dad for 10 years before I “retired” in to embroidery!

Today I monogrammed this beach towel from Target and it was a whopping $5.50! Orange, of course! Anyway, I took photos along the way so here is my post on monogramming towels!

First, I measure my center and mark it with an air erasable pen.

Here are the stabilizers I use for doing towels (and blankets, terry bibs, furry stuff, etc) ~ Iron on Tearaway Stabilizer (this is Sulky brand) and Solvy (also Sulky).

I iron the tearaway on the opposite side.

BTW, I always monogram towels on the opposite end of the tag!

I have my solvy on top and I’m ready to hoop!

Here it is hooped, and as you can see my center dot is pretty well lined up with the center of the hoop. This is by luck, not any method!

For this towel I chose my NEW Library Monogram Wizard Plus font that I purchased today for $7.99! Here is how I did it and why:

Letter Width: 85 ~ I made the letters skinnier so that I could squeeze the name inside my 5×7 hoop and I wanted them as tall as possible. Normally letter width is 100. Skinner=taller.

Kerning: 4 ~ kerning is making the letters closer together (-4 would be farther apart). Again, I did this so I could squeeze inside the 5×7 hoop and this allows me to make the letters a little bigger because they are closer together with less space in between them. Normal kerning (spacing) is set at 0!

Letter Size: 1.66 ~ If you can see on the bottom, with all of these factors my name is 6.99″ wide and 1.78″ tall. By making the letter width skinnier (85 vs. 100) and by moving the letters closer together (kerning 4), I was able to add .36″ to the height of my name! I know this is confusing but if you play around with the letter width and kerning you’ll see what I mean!

** ONE MORE THING… I like to use FILL STITCH on towels & blankets versus satin stitch! I think it covers the fluff of the towel and/or blanket and there is no looping. I was at a friend’s house once and she had some Pottery Barn monogrammed hand towels. I noticed they were fill stitch so since then, that’s the way I’ve done towels!

Since my machine is on a tool chest and not a stand, I put my hooped towel on my machine so that the excess hangs down in front. If this were a heavy blanket, I might let it rest on a chair in front of the stand. Since my towel is technically upside down, I rotated my name so that it sews right!

Ready to sew! I chose turquoise thread on the orange – LOVE!

Here is the completed towel and the monogram sews on top of the Solvy ~ that way the thread is not buried in the fluff of the towel! When you’re done you just pull it all off. Water will dissolve it also if you miss any. You also just pull off all of the iron on tearaway from the back of the towel.

Here it is! I also bought the same towel in lime/white stripes as well as hot pink/white stripes for G & Sissy! Did I mention that I LOVE ORANGE?????

I know this is very basic and most of you already know this! But, for the beginners, here is my post on monogramming towels! When I first started I messed up my first towel because I had no clue I needed Solvy on top!


  1. Thank you for this! I just bought my machine and I was SO confused on when and where to use different stabilizers!!

  2. Carie Cargile says

    Thanks for posting. I also have messed up many many things I have monogrammed. I am interested in the font you are talking about. Can anyone purchase this or only for certain software?

  3. Love!!! I did one last week but used satin stitch. I will be switching to fill stitch from now on!!!

    • Satin stitch is fine! I just prefer fill for towels and such, especially if I want the name to be nice & thick!

      • Thanks for another great post!! My question is can you select fill stitch for any font? I use sewwhatpro software.
        Thanks so much!

  4. They look amazing!!! Wonderful job!!!

  5. I am using the same stabilizer method you are but my stitches still did not turn out as well. The towels I tried, as well as a throw, were very fluffy. I don’t know if this is the problem. I’m sure it’s probably in the satin stitch vs filled stitch area that I am failing. Can you switch from one to the other? Or do you have to find a font that is a filled stitch font?

    The towels are wonderful!!! I bought a bunch of beach towels at the end of summer last year for $3.99 each. The nice big ones like you have here. I haven’t done anything with them yet because I was trying to figure out how to get them to look as good as yours!!!

    Thanks for the help!

    • In MWP you can select satin or fill stitch. Not sure about other fonts? Some purchased fonts are fill (if they are big enough). I also got some nice big beach towels at Walmart this year (pretty stripe) but they were like $12! Can’t beat these little striped ones for the kids!

  6. Does the iron on tear away pull off after you monogram? I usually just use tear away.

  7. Tammy Lynn says

    Thanks so much for sharing all your ideas. The details really help me. I’m very new to the mongram, embroidery world, but so far so good. I have one question and would love to hear your advice or recommedations. I have a small machine with a 5×7 hoop. When I first started using my machine cant really remember why, but I hoop “Sticky self-adhesive, tear-away Stablizer” which then the shirt sticks to. So the garment is not hooped just the stablizer. I guess it works pretty well, the only thing is having to hoop a new piece each applique. 6 yds. come on a roll for $18.99. If you have any advice it would be grately appreciated. Again Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    God Bless
    Tammy Lynn

    • I’ve heard of other people doing shirts that way. I like medium cutaway and I am a hooper! You might try commercial sticky stabilizer? I buy mine from and it’s much cheaper and not as sticky (peels away easily). But, I know w/ Sulky you can easily hoop the sticky, score the paper and peel it away. The commercial – not sure if you can score it and peel the paper away. I use it with Fast Frames so I peel the entire backing of paper off and stick it to the frame.

  8. Carrie Wingert says

    this might be a silly ‘beginner’ question, but….do you wash the towels before you monogram them? I’ve done a few lately for people that I haven’t washed, but not sure if I should or not! Thanks…and thanks for the tip on the fill stitch, I will try that next time too!

  9. Missy Bloomer says

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences, I got my machine in Feb of this year and am still learning, but have come a long way. I enjoy reading your all your tips and tricks, and have learned a great deal from your blog.
    Thanks again! 🙂

  10. Just a thought for you (however, the towels look great!)…..if you like the look of satin stitch, (which I tend to like) there is a way to still embroider and get a nice look whether or not you use the solvy on top. Down where you choose satin or fill stitch, there is also a place for you to check UnderL…..that actually means underlayment and it works well for towels and plush blankets. Just click it as well as the satin stitch and it goes down first and does the zig zag sttches to hold the towels monogramming in place, as well as hold the plush of the blanket or towel down and keep it from pulling through the stitching! Hope this helps someone as well. I didn’t know this until recently, and I have been monogramming for over a year and a half!!! Love your posts!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Thanks! I just like the fill stitch – I have used the underlay before but just got in the habit of using fill for towels & blankets! Even on my daughter’s clothes sometimes I do satin stitch and 1 thread gets picked – then I have to go under the bottom and try to pull it back through!

  11. Amy Shoemaker says

    You comment a lot about MWP and also SewWhatPro.
    Do you create the monogram you want in the MWP and then How do you add it into your SewWhatPro? Or do you have to do that?? Can you sew directly from MWP.. Save & put into the machine..
    I hate to ask.. but I am teaching myself the tricks of the trade by reading..

    • Yes I create the name usually in MWP, save it and then merge it in to SWP with an applique design. You CAN use MWP by itself for sure. But, if you are putting a name under an applique design then SWP works great!

      • Rosemary, do you have the Extended Features pack added on to your MWP? It saves you the step of having to make the wording portion of the name then transferring it to SWP. It allows you to do it all on MWP! It has been a major time saver for me.

  12. Thanks for the tips on MWP. I’m considering purchasing this software and have tried the trial version but still find it confusing.

  13. Laura Jenkins says

    Any tips for putting appliques on beach towels? Mine always seems to move? I love all of you advice and tips:)

    • What do you mean by move? I hoop everything like a regular towel (solvy on top) but when I do the marking stitch, I pull the solvy away from the inside so the fabric (with HNBL on it) is directly on the towel.

      • I have a brother 425 se so when I want to applique a name I have to do one letter at a time-it is really ahrd to hoop-how do I make sure it is all evenly spaced?

  14. Lorraine says

    I love your website!! I am a retired teacher and grandmother who loves to sew. I have opened a very small business in my home. thanks for the towel blog. I do alot of towel and I always tell my friends to go to Wal-Mart or target. Last year I bought alot on sale at the end of the season and I am now tryinlg to get rid of them. I will send you some pictures of some of your desings.

  15. I too am new to embroidery. When I bought my machine the lady gave me a tip she said professionals use. She suggested on top of the water soluble stabilizer on top to use a dry cleaning bag so it’ll hold it’s shape even after the other stuff washes away. I also read on embroidery library site to use a cutaway to help it hold it’s shape over multiple washings. I used both techniques for some towels I did this weekend (hibiscus applique and names for giveaway at daughter’s pool b-day party) and they look great! Thanks for the tips!


  16. Just wanted to say I have been monogramming for many years. I am pretty much self taught… and I have learned so much in the last few months from reading your blog! Keep it up. Love the blog and your designs! A big fan from Birmingham area!

  17. I’ve been monogramming for almost 4 years now and I’ve learned everything on my own, the hard way! So, I love reading your blog. I’m still learning all kinds of fun tips, thanks to you!!. I had no idea you could switch to fill stitch of MWP. I guess I just never noticed that option. I also love taller/skinner letters. I love making them bolder. But, never tried changing the width. I’ll have to do try that for sure!!! Thanks for another great post!!!

  18. I look forward to your blogs too! Thanks for all the great tips! I have learned a lot.

  19. Hi Rosemary!
    What about Embird – I think you use that too, right? If so, do you know how I change the stitch type in there? Also, do you change the stitch density as well for towels? Another question, is there a minimum size letter you can do on a towel before the stitches get “lost”? I tried to do some 1/2″ letters and those sank a bit.
    Emily Deshler

    • My husband uses Embird to digitize our designs. I don’t use it or know how to!! 🙂 If you were doing small letters, I’d make them as thick (bold) as possible and do fill stitch.

  20. Jana Hurlburt says

    I’ve been doing embroidery for a couple of years and I too have learned by mistakes…it’s just how I learn best. I get busier every day doing miscellaneous jobs for others. I love your applique designs and have purchased many of them…I have also enjoyed following your blog with all your helpful advice. I have the Husqvarna Designer SE and use the Husqvarna 4D Embroidery Softward, but you cannot do things with fonts that you can with MWP…Husqvarna now offers Monogramming Softward, but I don’t really want to purchase it b/c I am saving up to buy a Brother PR 650 so that I can expand my business. So, to my question: I have considered purchasing MWP…can you use purchased fonts with this software?

    I wish that I was going to be back home visiting this weekend so that I could come by and meet you at TJ’s Fabrics…I love all their fabrics.

    • You can only use MWP alpha paks, AND… they are also now selling individual fonts (sets) on the Needleheads website ($7.99 up) that you download and it puts them in MWP for you. You CAN purchase their extended feature and use other fonts, but I’ve heard mixed reviews.

  21. Debra Boehmer says


    Just wanted you to know the Font that you used for Anna Claire that Monogram Wizard calls Curly Q is actually a True Type font that is actually called Harrington and it can be found at
    … I do not know what the real name for the Letter J is that you used for Julia… But I wish I knew it is a nice font.. But I do know that it is not UniBlock..

    Monogram Wizard does a nice job making the letters.. But when they digitize a True Type font and they sell it for Embroidery they rename the font… Sadly.. that is why I can’t find what the name of the True Type Font is for that Letter J.. Sincerely, Debra

  22. i cannot fit my towels into the hoops of my new Brother machine. Any suggestions?? thanks. Jane new kid on the blog

    • Are your hoops loose enough? It takes some getting used to, and towels/blankets can sometimes be harder to hoop, but they should work! You might try loosening your hoop, getting the towel hooped and then try tightening the screw?

      • I have found FLORIANI Wet n Stick is awesome for those difficult thick towels or blankets. just be sure what you are sewing is washable. I hardly hoop anything anymore, just the stabilizer! Good Luck.

  23. Ellen Austin says

    Which Solvy should I get? I went on Amazon and saw options for regular, paper solvy, ultra solvy, heavier solvy, etc.

  24. How many inches do you come up from the bottom of the towel for the name? Would you also use a fill stitch on a small travel pillowcase or satin stitch?

    • I usually measure 4″ from the “band” (the part on the bottom of the towel) and that’s my center for the monogram, if that makes sense?

  25. Does the software you use come with fonts or can you use other fonts from other sellers? I am new to embroidery and monogramming and see lots of fonts on etsy for example but they all say you need software to merge or resize the font. Is this the kind of software they are talking about? I have a brother se400 if that helps any!! Thanks in advance!!

    • You would need Sew What Pro to merge those fonts together, or get monogramming software (or both) which is keyboard lettering – type in a name, chose a font, go!

  26. carlynholmes says

    As a Christmas gift to myself 🙂 I received an embroidery/sewing machine and I am thankful for your tutorial. I think the same principle applies for the stabilizers. Thank you from a beginner quilter.

  27. thanks so much for posting this It is so helpful.

  28. Thank you for the illustration. I bought a monogram machine last December and have been terrified to use it.
    You’ve helped make it look easy.

  29. Cheri Goins says

    I love your posts! So helpful….keep posting! It helps beginners like me!

  30. Vicky L. Lambert says

    Go to Debra has a link on how to embroider every fabric imagineable and what stabilizers to use. Also, 50 people will tell you 50 differen ways to do this.

  31. What embroidery machine do you have and what software do you use? Does your machine plug directly into your computer? I’m shopping for a machine for my small business ????

  32. I want to embroider some towels for Christmas gifts. I am afraid I am going to mess up my machine. I have a Brother SE400. I only have a 5×7 hoop to use. Can you give me any pointers? I would appreciate it.

  33. I am new to embroidery. I learn by making mistakes and now that I’ve seen this I won’t be making a mistake on towel monograming. I hope, anyway. Thanks for the tutorial.

  34. how would you wash these with out the stitchery coming out?

  35. I have been embroidering for awhile, but had received different advice when doing towels and blankets. I have been using adhesive water soluble on the back of the design so that there was no backing showing when done. I don’t think I’ve used a dishtowel that had a stabilizer on the back of it. So, I was hesitant to make one that did. Do most people just use a cutaway on towels? I had been thinking everyone used the washaway! the cut away would sure be cheaper!

    • I use an iron on tearaway on the back of towels with water soluble on top – both are peeled off when you are done so there is no stabilizer showing.

  36. Is it okay to use the iron on tear away on the top??

  37. Hi!

    Thank you so much for this! I was wondering what letter size, letter width and kerning you would use for a 3 letter initial for a towel? I am new to this and trying to learn as much as possible. Thanks!

  38. Vicki Weinman says

    I have been using Glad Press n Seal on top of my towels before monogramming. Works great, just easily peels off. Parchment paper for underneath. Money savers!


  1. […] to do this is to monogram the gifts you give. Pillowcases, bathrobes, towels, like these ones from The Café Blog, tote bags, and more all work […]