I began working with machine embroidery when I rediscovered hand embroidered linen and realized how easy it was for me to digitize monograms after so many years working as a technical drafter using AutoCAD. I also missed being surrounded by really well made linen.
I have researched digitizing software, design books, vintage monogrammed linen and slowly trained myself on how to properly digitize beautiful monograms so that when embroidered, they would almost look like they were hand embroidered. My inspiration was and always will be traditional embroidery. I was raised in Transylvania, Romania. A country with a long tradition in hand embroidery. A machine will never replace hand embroidery but with attention to detail, it can be accomplished.
In 2008 I went to New York for a Home Gift Show hoping to find vendors with suitable linen for monogramming. Instead, I made an appointment with famous monogram designer, Carol Brackenridge with Monogram Inc. I spent two unforgettable hours with her going over hand embroidered linen, old books and sketches that she collected over the years. I was over the moon! We clicked and we worked together ever since. Up until she died, in 2014. Carol was a talented monogram designer, but most of all, she was clever. We collaborated on so many designs. She would show me how to make a letter stand out, I would have to figure out how to accomplish this through stitches.
Designs are now available everywhere, books have been digitized, designs shared and the resources are unlimited. Threads, fabrics, supplies and even finished linen are all readily available for embroidery. Which is why I now offer a line of table linen made completely by hand. Panels are cut on the grain, folded and sewn to perfection. Mitered corners and trim added with care so that when washed, the finished linen will keep their shape. Monogramming dinner napkins is probably my favorite part of the process. It completes the dinner napkin and it creates a fun conversation at the dinner table, especially when the monogram is special.
One more thing: I'm not re-inventing the wheel, table linen have been made for centuries and many methods have been perfected and improved over time. Fabric designers come up with new prints every day. My goal is to make good linen, the kind you do not throw away after one use.
Nellie, Melissa and Valeska