Easily Cross Stitch a Monogrammed Tea Towel

Monogrammed items are always in style — so is cross-stitch; this easy needle art has made a major comback thanks the popularity of antique and vintage items. While fabric specifically made for cross-stitch makes the process easier, the weave of linen lends itself to cross-stitching, opening up a world of possible pieces that can be customized as beautiful handmade gifts. 

One reason cross-stitching became such a popular form of needlework is that itâ  s simple to follow a pattern to achieve a beautiful end result.  While fabric specifically made for cross-stitch makes the process easier, the weave of linen fabric lends itself to cross-stitching, opening up a world of possible pieces that can be customized as gifts.

Cross-Stitched Monogram Tea Towel

One reason cross-stitching became such a popular form of needlework is that it’s simple to follow a pattern to achieve a beautiful end result. While fabric specifically made for cross-stitch makes the process easier, the weave of linen fabric lends itself to cross-stitching, opening up a world of possible pieces that can be customized as gifts.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Materials Needed

linen tea towel
cross-stitch floss in desired color
monogram pattern
pencil
embroidery needle
embroidery hoop (optional)
sharp scissors

Select Monogram Pattern

Cross-stitch patterns can be purchased online or from a craft store, but many can also be found online for free. Position monogram pattern over tea towel to make sure the size and design will achieve the desired look (Image 1). Pattern can be lightly sketched out with a pencil, if that's helpful but it's not a necessary step. To sketch pattern prior to stitching, count natural "squares" created by the fabric weave and match it to printed pattern, placing it in the desired location on the linen towel (Image 2). Tip: A custom cross-stitch design can easily be created on graph paper.

Prepare Floss

Cross-stitch floss is six ply, but that's generally too thick. Cut a length of floss about 12-18" long and section out two threads. Thread length of floss onto embroidery needle and double or triple knot at the end to prevent thread from pulling all of the way through.

Step 2: Prepare Floss
Cross -stitch floss is six ply, but that is generally too thick.  Cut a length of floss about 12-18 inches long and section out two threads. Thread length of floss onto embroidery needle and double or triple knot at the end to prevent thread from pulling all of the way through.

Cross-Stitched Monogram Tea Towel

Step 2: Prepare Floss Cross -stitch floss is six ply, but that is generally too thick. Cut a length of floss about 12-18 inches long and section out two threads. Thread length of floss onto embroidery needle and double or triple knot at the end to prevent thread from pulling all of the way through.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Cross-Stitch Monogram

Create X-shaped stitches on each square naturally created in the weave of the linen, following selected cross-stitch pattern (Images 1 and 2). It's helpful if the fabric is starched or inserted in an embroidery hoop, so it's taut. Pull each stitch, so it's snug, but not too tight. Tip: Since this is a towel that can be seen from both sides, keep in mind how the back will look. Large pieces of thread running across the back have the potential of getting snagged.

Knot Thread in Back

Once thread is too small to work with, double knot it on backside of the linen towel and trim (Image 1). Use a new piece of two-ply floss and continue working on pattern until it is complete (Image 2). 

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