Big Monograms!


Good afternoon! I’m excited to be “back to work” this week after being lazy at the beach all last week with my family. When I say family, I mean throughout the week we had 17 people under one roof. My entire family goes for a week every summer to the Seagrove/Seacrest Beach area. We are enjoying summer and trying to stay cool! I posted this PFG (Performance Fishing Gear) shirt a few weeks ago. I did this for my 13 year old niece. I’m sure she saw it on Pinterest or something! This shirt led me to this post on adjusting fonts in Monogram Wizard Plus to make your monograms BIG. It’s certainly not rocket science, but perhaps you haven’t thought about it much. You can adjust the width of your fonts so that the end result is a big monogram that fills the hoop as much as possible!


Pardon my photos. I’m sure there is a screen-capture-something that is easier to use than Prt Sc, then opening and pasting in Paint, blah blah blah. I’ll do my research on that. In the meantime, here are MY screen shots via my camera. This is just a regular monogram done in Monogram Wizard Plus using Kim Single font. As you can see (with your magnifying glass perhaps), the Letter Size is 1.67 and everything else (i.e. boldness, letter width, kerning, etc) is default 100. At Letter Size 1.67, the name turns out to be 2.09″ tall and 7.03″ wide, which would probably fit in your 5×7 hoop just fine. Not too bad, but by adjusting the Letter Width, you can make the name taller which appears bigger even though you are still in the 5×7 hoop.


Here I adjusted the Letter Width to 85 and the Letter Size to 1.95. My name is now 2.45″ tall and 7.02″ wide. Basically what I am doing is making the letters “skinnier” and taller. Width of the name stays about the same to fit in the 5×7 hoop.


Here I decreased the Letter Width down to 75 and Letter Size to 2.20. Now my name is 2.77″ tall and 6.99″ wide. By decreasing the Letter Width and increasing the Letter Size, Mallory is now almost 3/4″ taller than what I started out with! With some fonts you can also adjust the Kerning, which makes letters closer together or farther apart. With this particular font I can’t really get them any closer together.


You might notice above, the “>” in Mallory (Mallor>y). See THIS POST for an explanation of that! If your letters are spaced unevenly with certain fonts, check out the post!

So now on to another PFG shirt I did for my other niece. I want the monogram as big as I can get it and I want to use my 5×7 hoop. As you can see below, Letter Size is 3.00 and everything else is default. The monogram size at these settings is 6.96″ wide to fit the 7″ wide hoop, and 3.00″ tall. Not bad, but I can get it a little bigger. This is Monogram Wizard Plus “Sydney” font.


Below I adjusted the Letter Width to 85, which “skinnies” up the monogram to 5.85″ wide (still 3″ tall). I can now increase the Letter Size to get the width back up to closer to 7″.


I bumped the Letter Size up to 3.55 (Width is still 85) and now the monogram width is 7.01″ and 3.55″ tall. Bigger!


Below I adjusted my Letter Width a little more, down to 80, and Letter Size up to 3.75. NOW my monogram is 6.96″ wide and 3.75″ tall. By making these adjustments, my monogram went from just 3″ tall to 3.75″ tall. It fills the hoop much better and the monogram will be much bigger on the shirt.


I took a few shots of the shirt as I got it ready to monogram. I marked my center on the back of the shirt (top panel).


These shirts are “vented” so I inserted a piece of cutaway between the top layer I’m monogramming and the “net vent stuff”.


On my 6 needle machine, I hoop with the frame inside the shirt. Again, I’m using cutaway on the inside and I am using water soluble on top (just for extra stabilization). I only had precut squares of the solvy so that’s why you see 2 pieces.


I put the hoop on my machine upside down, so the monogram is rotated upside down and I had to make sure the arm of my machine was inside the 2 layers of shirt! Sorry this part is a little confusing! If you ever try to monogram one of these shirts, this will make sense.


Here is the finished shirt. When finished I unhoop, trim the excess cutaway stabilizer from the inside and then just pull away all the water soluble from the top.


I hope that helps! Again, NOT rocket science with the width/letter size adjustments, but if you are a newbie you may not have realized you could make your monograms a smidge bigger!

Spring Fabric

Happy post-Easter (and post-Spring Break for us)!! It feels like I was JUST picking out school supplies, and here we are past Easter with 7 or so weeks away from school being out for SUMMER. Of course today I have on jeans, rain boots and 2 long sleeve layers up top b/c it’s 54 degrees and dreary outside. Doesn’t feel like spring, but it’ll be here before we know it (and I will be complaining because I’m sweating to death). I heard via Facebook recently that someone who’s “work” I admire used a different kind of stabilizer than I use for t-shirts. I have heard of this stabilizer before but I really didn’t know what it was like or if I would like it. So, I decided to order me some and try it out. I used it for the first time yesterday and I liked it, but the verdict is still out. It’s Lightweight Cutaway No Show Mesh from It’s hard to tell from their photo what it looks like, so here is another pic for you…


It turns out I had something LIKE this that I’ve used before, mostly on sweatshirts. The friend who recommended this also said she “floats” a piece of tearaway underneath which I forgot to do, but I still got good results. Here is a pic of it on the inside of my shirt. I used it like I use any cutaway and “stuck” it to the shirt with my Sulky KK2000 temporary spray adhesive before I get it hooped.


Here is the finished shirt, and it looks like any other applique I have done. I will say… the brown gingham dog fabric was a little “bubblier” than I find when using my medium cutaway, but I was able to squirt some water on it with my iron and iron it really well and the Heat N Bond Lite worked and it turned out just fine. So… not sure I am making a drastic switch over to this new cutaway, but I did like it and will try it again (and try floating tearaway underneath for a little added support). I think the idea of this “no show mesh” is that it’s a lot thinner than medium cutaway so it doesn’t “show” on the shirt, which I don’t have a problem with. Some people say you can see the stabilizer around the design, but I’ve been using it for years and have never had anyone complain nor has it ever bothered me. But, if that is something that concerns you then you might give this a try!


The moral of the story… try new things! You have to figure out what works best for you! Just because I use and love medium cutaway (which I am completely out of BTW…) doesn’t mean you have to! I have a whole roll of this no show mesh, so I will try it some more for sure!

I always LOOOOVVVEEEEEE…. opening a box from my doorstep from TJ’s Fabrics! A funny side story… when we got home around 2:20 from all the running around and carpools, we noticed the doorbell was ringing. It kept ringing, and ringing, and ringing. I ran to the front door to see who was there, and all I found was the TJ’s package! Evidently the mail-person left it for me and rang the doorbell. The doorbell got stuck and rang and rang and rang until we got home! Good thing we don’t have a dog or else it might have gone crazy!!

Now on to fabric… I saw these “mini” chevrons the other day on TJ’s Facebook page and knew I had to have some! I always tell people that in applique, you are dealing with such tiny spaces so small prints are GREAT! The top left one looks PERFECT for patriotic designs. Top right – great spring colors – lime, turq., yellow, orange. The bottom one is a few shades of pink and lime/green. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Great job Timeless Treasures!! These are “mini chevron stripe”.


Love these 2 together ~ Timeless Treasures Small Geometric Multi on the right. Fun colors for summer!


Here are some new Riley Blake chevrons in some great new colors! A-D-O-R-E the lime green. Top left is purple, then orange, lime, blue and baby pink. I really like this lime and blue color!


These 2 look great together too!


More chevrons ~ these are also Riley Blake. The top left one would be great for Auburn fans! This group is called “One for the Boys” and I love all of the colors!


I think if I didn’t get to designs appliques, I would love to design fabric!! All of these make me want to sew something! How about you? Check them all out at TJ’s Fabrics!

More on Fast Frames

Yay another post! Today has been a crazy day! Some days I get sucked in to Facebook and then it takes me all day to keep up with all the comments and replies. Today has been one of those days. I managed to monogram a backpack (not the one in this post) and edit these pics for a new blog post on Fast Frames. I also have a great new post on Monogram Wizard Plus but will save that one for tomorrow or another day this week.

This, my friends, is a backpack (duh). You may be able to tell that my friend who sent this to me to monogram took the tag off (right above my straight pin). Her daughter is going in to 4th grade (I think??) so she said do her name, and that she’s in to peace signs! Sounds like a call for MINI DESIGNS! First I pinned my center of the top part of the front pocket (flap, we’ll call it). 

 I got my name together merged with a couple of cute mini designs. The peace sign is from Embroidery-Boutique and the Flower is from Applique Momma (it also has a peace sign in the middle). I used Monogram Wizard Plus Specs font. I love the font and it’s great for initials, but names are tricky. It spaces out rather strangely. I will explain all that in my next MWP post this week, but in the meantime you can see that I layered this name together IN Monogram Wizard Plus so that it all lined up and/or was spaced correctly. Layer 1 – A, Layer 2 – nn, Layer 3 – a. I then saved it and merged it in to my Sew What Pro. I added the mini designs, centered the whole thing and then saved it to my machine. I saved this in a 5×7 hoop space but will use my Fast Frames.

Now it’s time to pick out the right sized Fast Frame. This one measures 7″ x 8″.

I very loosely cut my sticky stabilizer (from You want to cut it bigger than your frame so that it’ll overlap the edges of your frame.

Peel the paper side off to reveal the sticky side.

 Stick it to the bottom side of your frame (see photo down below which illustrates a little better what the “bottom” is). Hint: Your frame should slope down from where you attach it.

Wrap the edges around the frame. Doesn’t have to be all neat and perfect.

I then “stick” the backpack flap to the sticky paper on my fast frame. I usually line the top of the flap up with the top of the frame and then pin it in place with straight pins. This also shows me my borders. Since multi needle machines don’t technically recognize fast frames, you have to check the outer border of your design to make sure the needle won’t hit the edges of your frame.

Here is how your fast frame should attach to the frame ~ it slopes down. That’s how you know what the bottom of your fast frame is to attach the sticky paper (believe me, I have stuck it on there upside down and backwards).

 Blah blah blah sew the design AFTER testing your borders and here’s the outcome! I use FILL STITCH instead of satin stitch. Since this is a backpack I wouldn’t want the satin stitch to get snagged or pulled.

 I peel the sticky stabilizer/fast frame off the flap and as you can see it leaves a little inside the letters. You can peel that away easily. Get under it w/ scissors if need be. The sticky stabilizer is just sticky enough and comes off great!

I then peel the sticky paper off my frame. As you can see it comes off very easily with no residue left on the frame.

Here is my finished backpack!

Again, stay tuned for my next post on another Monogram Wizard Plus trick.

Followup to my last post on MWP ~ here is a link to the Facebook Page – click HERE. As far as the Yahoo Group I mentioned… I am not a member of it. I just heard about it on the Facebook page. Evidently it’s a private closed group and they are currently not accepting new members! Check out the Facebook page! So far I’ve seen a few great tips on there!

We are celebrating 3 years of Applique Cafe, so all designs are 1/2 off through next Wednesday, August 15th!