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Knockout Monogram Frame

Knockout monogram frame and stack of children's books and bunny toy
Monogram 'B' fabric frame

This project is extremely flexible, in terms of materials and time.

- Make it quickly or put lots of hours into it.

- Put down for long periods of time and pick back up again.

- Use up scrap fabric and extra spools of thread lying around

Knockout Monogram Frame

The first version I made was completed over many years. I would forget about the piece, find it, add a layer and put it away again. I experimented with different types of stitches. The version for this tutorial was completed in a few days, in a half hour here and there. This round only straight stitches were used, however interest was added with denser layers of color.

Materials List

The following list has all the supplies and tools you'll need to make this project.

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Pinking shears and printer are optional for this project.

Step 1

Knockout monogram B template

Gather supplies. Select a frame, opt for a simple style to keep the focus on your creation. Pick a letter, number(s) or word. Curves add more complexity as does the amount of characters. Stick to sans serif fonts or come up with your own letterforms.

Step 2

Knockout monogram cardboard template on fabric

Iron, measure and cut fabric. Measure and cut a piece 3" inches or more larger than frame dimensions. If you have pinking shears, use them to help with fraying. STOP! Don’t throw away those scraps, keep them to test stitch colors, combos and patterns.

Step 3

Knockout mongram - gray fabric with chalk outline

Outline the frame area so you know what the working area is.

On darker fabric, use chalk. On lighter fabric, use pencil or fabric marker. Trace around the cardboard backing piece that sometimes comes with the frame. Optional: stitch outline. I skipped this step out of expediency, but regretted it later when I couldn’t see the pencil marks as clearly.

Step 4

Knockout monogram - letter B template

I selected a frame first and then picked out a design. I went with the letter “B”, as it’s my toddler’s favorite letter.

In Adobe Illustrator I selected a heavyweight font and printed it out at a size that worked well in the frame. Microsoft Word also does the trick. This may require some trial and error.

You will be stitching on top of the printout. Initially I printed the letter in black, but then switched to a lighter gray so my stitching will be more prominent.

You can mark the frame dimensions around the design in Illustrator, but this can be done after printing just as easily with a pencil.

I put the printed design in the frame to get an idea of final size. Cut printout down to frame size. Attach printout to fabric with tape.

Step 5

Knockout mongram B outline on sewing machine

Sew through BOTH paper and fabric. GO SLOWLY. When I got to a curved area, I decreased the stitch length, slowly turning fabric and manually turning the wheel.

Step 6

Knockout monogram - letter B with purple outline

When you are in a mentally calm state, remove all the paper. Take your time as it can be frustrating. If you work too fast the stitches will come up.

Step 7

Once all the paper is gone, stitch letter outline again in same color.

There is only one rule: Do not stitch inside the design, except for the counters! To make sure I stayed out of this area, when the needle was close to the outline I would manually move the wheel for better control.

Start adding your layers. I decided to go only horizontally. After a few layers of pink, I added yellow, then green and went back and filled in some gaps with yellow. Stick with one color or use 10 colors. Play around with stitch types and direction.

To minimize the number of stray threads, add as much color in one go as possible. Cut all threads in front and back as you go, otherwise stray threads can (and will) get tangled in your work.

Step 8

Knockout mongram B in progress - unframed fabric

Iron in between each color change, as the layers will cause fabric bunching. You can skip this step, but I found ironing helped me see the design better and make it easier to run the fabric through the machine repeatedly.

Step 9

Knockout mongram B with yellow, orange, green, and purple sewn stripes

To make the letter pop, I used a dark purple thread to outline the letter twice. As this will be the most visible part, I stitched the outline very slowly.

Step 10

Knockout mongram B in frame on table

Iron one final time. Put in frame and enjoy! Books and bunnies and the letter “B” for my baby.

Optional Design

Hand sewn Maker fabric sign in frame

You can try making this design too!

🎉 Final Step: Show Off Your Work!

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