25 September, 2006

Reader Requests: Etiquette & Embroidery

Once again I find myself on a Monday morning just dying to share with you all my thoughts and ideas on tailgate entertaining (something we have perfected to a true art here in the South), but I can’t organize my thoughts enough this morning into finishing this post. So I swear I will do it tomorrow. Sit tight!

Anyhow, this weekend I did some really fun stuff with pumpkins which I am excited to share with you all as we were stuck inside all weekend long due to 3 days of torrential downpours. And let me tell you, three days of rain does not make for two happy mini monograms or Mr. Monogram either for that matter. But today the skies are clear and in the 60’s so we are planning on heading out to either the zoo or the park this morning which is why I really must be going. I’ve also got lofty aspirations of throwing together some fresh blueberry mini muffins in the oven for the mini monograms this morning too, so I better get going on that as I’ve abandoned my project mid-cycle to post this quick entry (well important things first, right?). So in the mean time, enjoy some reader requests and have a fabulous day. I’m off to play Martha in the kitchen.

George writes:

...I am writing you because I have an etiquette question, and I haven't really found an answer, and I wanted to know what you think.

My girlfriend and I are a newly-minted engaged couple, and since this is our first Christmas season with this status, I wanted to send joint Holiday cards. My question is whether or not you think this is proper, and if so, what is the proper way to sign, ie., Love, George and Venetia; Happy Holidays, George and Venetia, etc...

Congratulations on your recent engagement! This is a great question and one I haven't yet received. I will tell you that I tend to stick to the old school rules for pretty much everything when it comes to etiquette and what's proper and not, but the world seems to have relaxed a lot where etiquette is concerned (trust me when I tell you I could go on and on about this). In my opinion, no, it is not proper for you to send out a joint Christmas Card unless you are living together. If you are and have been living together prior to the engagement, then I do think by today's standards it's acceptable to send out joint cards. But only in that instance. If you are asking if I would personally do it, then my answer would have to be no. My husband and I were engaged before Christmas 9 years ago (yikes) and no, we did not send out joint Christmas Cards. But like I said, I tend to take a hard line on things such as this and I know the "audience" (for lack of better words) that my Christmas Cards and invitations are being sent to and what they expect of me.

Truly, nothing should be signed jointly until after you are married. All thank you notes prior to the wedding should be sent by the bride-to-be and while she should reference you (i.e.. "George and I love the beautiful silver candlesticks") in the thank you note, she should not sign your name along with her own. All thank-you's should be from her only (on her own stationary with her own monogram or maiden name), unless it is a close family friend or relative of yours. In this event, then some men will write the thank you note themselves, but again, you sign your name only and it should be sent on your personal stationary or cardstock. The joint married name or joint monogram should never be used until after the wedding (with a VERY FEW exceptions such as wedding invitations and wedding programs). I know this is a very old-fashioned stance on wedding thank-you's and again, plenty of people have a much more relaxed view on this and will disagree with me, but I just believe the old school rules are the way to go, especially since the people from our parents generation and older don't know that any other rules [sort-of] exist, so that's what they expect.

Ginny also writes:
I was wondering if you happen to own a monogram machine and if so which one? I have friends who own a Bernina and are very happy but I was curious as to your suggestions.

I have a computerized machine by Janome (MC 4800) that has tons of decorative stitches and does small monogramming in a block or script font, but not a full-fledged monogramming machine. When I was looking for a new machine, this machine met my home dec sewing needs to a "T" and I can't live without it! An embroidery only machine is something I am hoping to purchase in the near future though, as I spend a small fortune on all my monogramming as you can probably imagine. Janome actually has a new Memory Craft 11000 on the market that with a standard embroidery size of 8" x8" has the largest hoop and monogramming capability on the market. You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be giving that one a whirl!

I will say, I ADORE my machine and can't recommend Janome enough. It's so easy to use and has honestly made me a better sewer, if you can believe that! I looked high and low and I did try the Bernina's but did not like them for myself. One of the main things that was very important to me when I was buying a new machine was to have a drop-in loading bobbin. My last machine was a Husqvarna and the bobbin was IMPOSSIBLE to put in and was such a big pain in the rear end, and then a lot of time it would get all wound up and stuck. Talk about frustration! But anyway, the Bernina's I looked at had the old style bobbin loading system and I just did not want to do that again.

Another great brand you might want to look at is Babylock. They make great machines (sewing and also embroidery only machines) and I know several people who swear by those too. One last brand I have heard great things about for emrboidery only machines is the Brother brand. As a plus, these are also readilly available on ebay. The main thing is just to write a list of criteria of what's important to you in an embroidery machine and what you will mostly be using it for. Just like looking for a new car, sit down and "drive" each machine to make sure it feels good to you, is quiet, has adustable speed, look at each machines smalles and largest monogramming sizes, does it have internet capability, etc... Take your time and then go with the machine that fits all your own needs and drives the best to you and will make your sewing and embroidering not only easier, but more fun!

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

please tell what you did with the pumpkins this weekend! i'm desperate for some fall fun:)

ACH said...

Speaking of embroidery machines...

Does anybody know of an embroidery machine that is Apple/Macintosh compatalbe? I have a Powerbook (G4), and I would like to find a machine that I could use with it...I can't seem to find any info online!

Monogram Momma said...

ACH: I just found online that Pfaff embroidery machines are mac-friendly. Here is the link and you can locate a dealer near you as well...http://www.pfaff.com/

Anonymous said...

I have a question about monogramming and my search online for the answer brought me to your blog.

My mother is getting re-married in a few weeks and I wanted to gift her with something in his and her new monogram (she has always been a wonderful Southern mother and gifted me with many monogrammed items). The problem I have is that her new last name is going to be "von St. Paul" as she is marrying a man native to Germany who relocated to the South.

What would be the correct way to monogram something for her, him and them together as a couple? I have hit dead ends in my search.

Thanks for your help!