Rebecca from Hugs are Fun designs cross stitch patterns for her Hugs are Fun shop. She loves whimsical sewing projects and rainbows too, and she designed these fun monogram tote bags for gifts for her daughter’s teachers. Learn how easy it is to make a reverse appliqué monogram, and turn yours into a bag, pillow or more!

Check out Rebecca’s introduction and find her on Instagram and via Facebook.


This year my daughter has four teachers. For Christmas I made them all zipper pouches but I wanted to go even bigger for end of the year gifts. I’ve had this idea for a reverse appliqué monogram for awhile and figured a tote bag was the perfect way to show it off!

First, choose a font for your letter. I used Gotham Black because I wanted something very large and blocky. A simple font is easiest because you will be stitching around the letter; anything with a lot of flourishes might be difficult. My letter was about 6.5” wide, but use whatever size you would like.

Print and cut out the letter from your paper, using either sharp scissors or an X-Acto knife and ruler. This will be your template.

Using this template, trace the letter onto the fabric using a temporary marking pen.

Mark a 1/4” seam allowance inside the letter. I used a quilting ruler to measure in 1/4” on each side. If you are doing a letter that has curves, it might be easier to just print a smaller template.

Cut the fabric out along the inner line you drew, leaving the seam allowance. (In order to cut the middle shape out I folded the fabric in half and made a small snip to get started.)

Clip the corners of your seam allowance and press the seams down. Depending on the way the seams overlap, you may need to trim off any excess fabric that sticks out. I also used a little bit of a fabric glue stick to help ensure that the seam stayed put.

Make sure the fabric you will use behind the letter is large enough to cover the entire shape with at least 1/2” around each side. You can use a solid piece of fabric or have fun with any sort of patchwork. It’s a great way to use up scraps!

Again I used the fabric glue stick to lightly glue the letter to the backing fabric to make sure it didn’t shift. I then pinned it really well.

Top stitch a 1/8” seam around the letter.

Then you can finish this however you want, I made them into a tote but I think it would also be a great pillow or mini quilt!