Sunday, July 19, 2009

Embroidered and Hand Beaded Custom Monogram

Recently I was approached by a colleague about creating a special monogram for a design firm that wanted to use it for the back of a vanity chair in "her" bath. As always, when broached with this concept, it takes some time to determine what the client is looking for.

In this case the letter S was needed and it was to dramatically fill the chair back(a huge 12" wide x 18" high) and was to be punctuated with gems and other beads, encrusting it with the look of glamor.

Often times, such exercises involve the never ending balancing act of when is the treatment finished: when are there enough beads - when are there too many beads. First I started with a strong foundation of computerized satin stitches. Based on a historic document the pattern is articulated with underlay and satin overlays that create a luxurious base.

Some of the bead placement is anticipated in the design process with the center area of the S singled out for large cultivated pearls. Other parts of the articulation are also natural, such as the use of crystals as flower centers. My goal was to work with the feeling of generosity with the beads but to hold the embellishing back a bit - and allow the satin stitches the room to capture light luxuriously. Alas, it turned out not to be enough for the designer, who had me add larger and additional crystals as well as more pearls. Here I show my first effort only and will reserve the final version for the client.


  1. Michael, that monogram is to die for and your beading is absolutely exquisite. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Oh, if only I had more hours in the day. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely creations.
    P.S. If this is the first effort...I cannot begin to imagine the beauty of the final version. Sadia

  2. Does the embird program allow you to transfer the appliques to the program so that you can manuever the names? I am new to this and the only program I have to the monogram wizard plus.

    1. Hi Emma,
      Thanks for your note. You can find out more information by joining an embroidery forum where you can ask questions from participants that share information. One such group is - you can send an email and request being added to their group. They are a wealth of information and assistance. Best, Michael