8 Best Sewing Machines for Monogramming Everything

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If you want to monogram towels, clothing, blankets, and other personal items, you need a sewing machine that monograms or a plan to monogram by hand with a needle and thread. 

I much prefer to machine embroider monograms rather than hand embroider because using a machine takes less time and is less labor-intensive.

Thus, check out my favorite sewing machines for monogramming, including the ones I own and use regularly!

best sewing machine for monogramming

Understanding What A Monogram Is

A monogram combines two or more letters to form a design or symbol. The letters can be intertwined or placed side by side. Often, monograms represent a person’s initials and thus consist of three letters.

Below, I created a three-letter initial monogram with embroidery software to be stitched with an embroidery machine. The letters aren’t overlapping, but the middle letter is larger than the other two.

example of a monogram

Now, below is a simple monogram using letters of the same size. This monogram type can be created using the built-in alphabet stitches on a sewing machine, and although an embroidery machine could replicate this stitching, it’s not required.

example of monogram made with all same size letters

The Different Types of Monogramming Sewing Machines

Three different kinds of machines can technically qualify as sewing machines that monogram. Knowing which type you want will make your selection process much easier!

A. Free-Motion Monogramming with a Regular Sewing Machine

With free-motion monogramming, you are in control of what stitches out. Lower your sewing machine’s feed dogs so they don’t move the fabric, use a special open-toe presser foot, and guide your fabric by hand to create lettering.

There’s a learning curve with this type of stitching, but almost any sewing machine can do some free-motion stitching. I really stink at free-motion sewing and monogramming (I’m horrible at drawing by hand!) and prefer computerized monogramming. 

2. Using Built-In Fonts on a Sewing Machine

Some sewing machines include built-in monogramming fonts among their sewing stitches. These machines can form the monogram you saw above with equal-sized letters.

Now, these computerized sewing machines are NOT computerized embroidery machines, so while you can use any fonts built into the machine, you can’t import fonts from your computer. 

3. Sewing and Embroidery Machine

monogrammed blanket

If you want to design your own monograms or make letters of different sizes, you need an embroidery machine, which is costlier but offers more functionality and variety. 

I LOVE my combination sewing and embroidery machines because they can sew, use built-in fonts, and import any designs I create with the software. If you don’t need the sewing component, you can get an embroidery-only monogramming machine for less. 

Best Monogramming Sewing Machines (That Aren’t Embroidery Machines)

Now, I’ll split these reviews into two parts to cover the latter two types of machines I described. Below are the sewing machines with monogramming fonts that cannot import additional fonts or embroidery designs. 

1. SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Sewing Machine

SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects

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  • Number of monogramming fonts: 5
  • Stitches: 600
  • Presser Feet: 18
  • Design Import: None

Even though the Singer Quantum Stylist sewing machine is not a traditional embroidery machine, it comes with five alphanumeric stitch fonts. These are just five of the 600 included stitches, though. 

You are limited to just those five monogramming fonts, as there is no way to import additional font files. You are also limited in size and the ability to edit aspects of the font. However, you can use any decorative stitch to do free-motion embroidery.

Fun features of this sewing machine include:

  • Thread trimmer button
  • Built-in needle threader
  • Wide table
  • One-touch stitch selection from a computerized screen. 

The Quantum Stylus includes an impressive 18 presser feet, including an overcasting, walking, zipper, clear piping, button, stitch in the ditch, and braiding foot.

Overall, the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is incredibly valuable for its features, even if it can’t make fancy three-letter, differently-sized monograms without free-motion embroidery on your part.

(Also, the less commercially available machines, the Singer Quantum Stylist 9980 and Singer Stylist 9985 include 820 stitches (5 fonts) and 960 stitches (6 fonts), respectively, if you need even more variety!)

2. Brother HC1850 Quilting Machine

Brother Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine, HC1850, 130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, 850 Stitches Per Minute, Instructional DVD, 25-Year Limited WarrantyShop on Amazon!

  • Number of monogramming fonts: 1
  • Stitches: 130 (185 if including the 55 alphanumeric stitches)
  • Presser Feet: 8
  • Design Import: None

The Brother HC1850 sewing machine is a computerized sewing and quilting machine with one monogramming font. This font is one-size, one-style-fits-all, not “decorative,” and is an unchangeable 1/4″ tall. It’s also not a font you can use to make traditional 3-letter monograms where the middle letter is larger. 

However, if your primary goal of monogramming is to just add your child’s name to their clothes or a label to a quilt, then you’ll be rocking that task. Of course, if you’re interested in free-motion embroidery, the Brother HC1850 has everything you need to create beautiful monograms by hand.

This Brother sewing machine has a detachable, wide table and a small LCD screen, which allows for stitch selection and changing stitch length or width. 

It also has an automatic needle threader, automatic drop feed, and a jam-resistant, top-drop bobbin. As a loyal Brother sewing machine user, I can attest to how easy setting up and threading a Brother sewing machine is.

Read my full Brother HC1850 review!

3. Brother XR9550 Sewing Machine

Brother, Computerized Sewing Machine, XR9550PRW, Project Runway Limited Edition, 110 Built-in Utility, LCD Screen, Hard Case, WhiteShop on Amazon!

  • Number of monogramming fonts: 1
  • Stitches: 110 (and another 55 alphabet stitches)
  • Presser Feet: 8
  • Design Import: None

The Brother XR9550 sewing machine is an update of the Brother XR9550prw Project Runway sewing machine and is similar to the Brother HC1850 sewing machine. 

You get 110 stitches instead of 130 stitches, but operationally, these two machines are identical, and their font is the same. So, you can add small letters to fabric but can’t create large monograms unless you want to learn free-motion embroidery.

Lastly, another similar Brother sewing machine, the Brother SQ9285, has the same font but comes with 150 stitches plus 55 alphanumeric stitches. (You can read more about it on Walmart.com.)

4. Janome 4120QDC Computerized Sewing Machine

Janome 4120QDC Computerized Sewing Machine w/Hard Case + Extension Table + Instructional DVD + 1/4" Seam Foot w/Guide + Overedge Foot + Zig Zag Foot + Buttonhole Foot + More!

 

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  • Number of monogramming fonts: 1 English (but an option for European accented and Russian letters)
  • Stitches: 120
  • Presser Feet: 8
  • Design Import: None

The Janome 4120QDC is one of many well-loved Janome sewing machines with a built-in alphabet. 

It comes with one primary English mode, but there is an option to add European-accented letters or Russian/Cyrillic characters. You can change the size just a bit on the letters and do lowercase or uppercase. But, this is still not an embroidery machine.

However, this diverse machine sews, quilts, and boasts several on-screen editing features. Unlike the Brother sewing machines that monogram, the Janome 4120QDC has an actual touchscreen, offering more options and value. 

It also has an extra-high presser foot lift to accommodate thicker projects and a nice-sized workspace and its one-hand needle threader makes threading the sewing machine a breeze. Several automatic features, such as thread trimming and easy bobbin winding, make setup and use so simple.

5. EverSewn Sparrow 30 Sewing Machine

EverSewn Sparrow 30 Sewing Machine : : Computer-Controlled, 310 Stitch Patterns, 2 Full Alphabets - Perfect for The Creative SewerShop on Amazon!

  • Number of monogramming fonts: 2
  • Stitches: 310
  • Presser Feet: 7
  • Design Import: None

EverSewn isn’t as well-known as Brother as a sewing machine brand, but it has a loyal following for its technologically advanced products at affordable prices.

This is the sewing machine my Mom currently uses, and she loves it! It’s got two basic alphabet fonts with, as you guessed it, minimal editing capabilities. But, it will be perfect for small lettering. 

The Sparrow 30 includes an oversized wide table with automatic thread cutting, adjustable presser foot pressure, and a memory function to save your favorite stitch combinations. 

Its slightly less featured companion, the Sparrow 25, has 197 built-in stitches and one built-in font.

Best Embroidery Machines for Monogramming That Also Sew

To reiterate, combination sewing and embroidery machines are computerized and will import any design you can dream up and create. 

These embroidery machines have built-in fonts for monogramming, and you can also import purchased monogram designs or designs you’ve created with embroidery software. (I show you how to design a monogram embroidery file in SewWhat-Pro if you want to check that out!)

The most significant consideration when determining which monogramming embroidery machine to purchase is the size of the monogram you want to design. Each embroidery machine has a maximum hoop size corresponding to a maximum embroidery area.

splitting designs for 4x4 hoop

This is the largest monogram you can create unless you split your design and stitch it in several sections. The cheapest embroidery machines offer a 4″x4″ hoop size; the size and the prices increase from there. 

If you plan to start a small home embroidery business and need to monogram, for instance, at least 7″ monograms, save yourself the headache of splitting every design, and purchase an embroidery machine with a larger hoop size to accommodate those designs.

It’s not the end of the world to split designs, but it can be time-consuming to line everything up perfectly after stitching the first section, and time is money. 

I’m listing these sewing machines that monogram AND embroider below in order of hoop size: small, medium, and large.

1. Brother SE600 or SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

My Brother SE625 embroidery machine

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  • Maximum Embroidery area: 4″X4″
  • Number of Monogramming Fonts: 6 English, 3 Japanese
  • Stitches: 103
  • Embroidery Designs: 80 included (SE625 has an extra 200 on a CD)
  • Presser Feet: 7
  • Design Import: USB

One of the most affordable small embroidery machines is the Brother SE600, a combination sewing and embroidery machine.

The Brother SE600 features a 4″x4″ embroidery area, which isn’t humongous, but again, with embroidery software, you can split designs to allow your machine to embroider even larger areas.

Using a USB, you can also import any design you find online (or create with software) to the machine.

There are 6 built-in embroidery fonts in sizes small, medium, or large, with some finite sizes in between. With embroidery machine fonts, you can combine two small letters and one large letter on the screen to create a monogram. There are also built-in frames and borders to jazz up the monogram.

monogrammed towels

I especially love how you can set it to trim threads and do reverse/reinforcement stitches automatically when sewing and how you can edit patterns on the color touchscreen when embroidering.

I own the Brother SE625 embroidery machine and love its ease of use! I embroider anything and everything with it. If you compare the Brother SE600 vs. SE625, the only differences are in the color of the faceplate and a CD with an extra 200 designs that come with the SE625. So, these are almost identical machines. (Read my Brother SE600 and  Brother SE625 reviews for more information!)

If you want to upgrade to a 5″x7″ hoop size, consider the Brother SE1900 embroidery machine. (Read my review of the Brother SE1900 sewing and embroidery machine.) In addition to the larger hoop size, it offers 240 sewing stitches.

Also, the Brother SE600 has updated to the Brother SE700, and the SE625 to the Brother SE725. The biggest difference in the update is the inclusion of wireless design transfer and a higher price! 

2. EverSewn Sparrow X2 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

EverSewn Sparrow X2 Sewing & Embroidery Machine, White

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  • Maximum Embroidery area: 4.75″x7″
  • Stitches: 120
  • Embroidery Designs: 100
  • Presser Feet: 8
  • Design Import: WiFi

The EverSewn Sparrow X2 works by WiFi and was among the first of its class to do so years ago. You only need to download the free EverSewn Pro app to a WiFi-enabled device of your choice. On the screen of your phone, tablet, or computer, you then edit your designs and control embroidering from your device.

The cool thing about this is you can sit in another room and monitor the embroidery process. 

If you’re a newbie to embroidery, let me be the first to tell you: it’s not a quick hobby. Stitching even a small, single-color monogram on my 4″x4″ field takes 4-5 minutes. If you have a large design that requires more than five threads, this becomes a lengthy adventure! You must sit near your machine to monitor when it’s time to change threads.

If you have a device to alert you of the machine’s progress, you can do something else around your house and then return to change threads more efficiently.

Another cool thing about the Sparrow X2 is that it reads all the most common embroidery file formats (.pes, .xxx, .dst, etc.), so you won’t constantly have to convert embroidery files.

(You can also purchase this sewing machine from Sewing Machines Plus.)

3. Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade 35 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Husqvarna Viking Jade 35 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

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  • Maximum Embroidery area: 1/2″ x 6″
  • Monogramming Fonts: 2 sewing and 1 embroidery, but software is included to design more!
  • Stitches: 120
  • Embroidery Designs: 70
  • Presser Feet: 8
  • Design Import: USB

This Designer Jade 35 sewing and embroidery machine is fully featured at an excellent price for the Husqvarna/Viking name.

It comes with its own Embroidery Intro PC Software, with another 10 included fonts and the ability to create unlimited embroidery fonts for monogramming. You can also create decorative monograms within the program, which saves you from buying additional software. 

Of course, you can also use a USB to transfer designs to the machine.

With the Designer Jade 35, you can embroider up to 9 1/2″ x 6″ monograms without rehooping, and it has an ample 8″ sewing space to the right of your needle. The machine also has automatic thread tension, an automatic thread cutter, and a built-in needle threader.

This one’s available here at Sewingmachinesplus.com also!

 

I hope this information has clarified your decision on which type of monogramming machine to purchase. Best wishes for your journey!

11 Comments

  1. Thank you Aly. Your reviews are helpful. I’m purchasing a brothers sewing machine. With your help I have narrowed down to three possible machines,

  2. Thanks so much, this is really helpful and clearly written. Now I just need to track down your recommendations in the UK. I can’t understand why our supply is so poor over here. Happy new year.

  3. I am looking for something less expensive to put initials on clothes for residents, can you recommend something?

    1. If you want an embroidery machine, the Brother PE535 is usually the most inexpensive when in stock.

      In terms of a sewing machine that comes with a lettering font, the Brother HC1850 and XR9550 are usually the least expensive. You have very limited options with fonts in sewing machines, though, so make sure the size of letters will be adequate for the clothes you want to stitch.

  4. Hi Lay, I Recent purchased the singer quantum 9960 and I really do like the machine. However I made the mistake of not getting a machine with USB option or Wi-Fi. I wanted monograming and embroidering but I did not know on the 9960 you cannot increase sizing for monograming. So now I am looking for a machine that has USB for design import and ability to increase letter and monograming size along with embroidering features. I would love the jade 35 or sparrow X, but kind of pricey. Would like to stay under $425.00. It took me months to decide on the 9960 and I choose auto tension over USB (SE 600 brothers was the other choice) I hate having to adjust tension. Any other suggestions?

    1. Hi! I understand the love of auto tension! As for a computerized embroidery/sewing machine, though, the best option for your price range is likely the Brother SE600 or its very similar counterparts (Brother SE625, SE630, LB5000, LB5000S, LB5000M, etc.)

      Another option is if you plan to keep your Singer, you could add an embroidery-only machine like the PE535, which is usually slightly less expensive. However, it’s been having supply issues for months now and is really hard to find at a fair price.

  5. Thanks this is really helpful but a couple of the machines don’t seem to be on Amazon any more. I am looking for a machine to embroider upper case names and numbers on fabric dog collars. That is actually all I want it for but my priority is ease of use and speed as may want to take the machine to a craft fare and do these while customers wait. If you have any specific recommendations I would really appreciate them.

    1. One option is to purchase any embroidery machine and then download Hebrew and Arabic fonts to add to the embroidery machine. I did a quick check on Etsy and found several Arabic and Hebrew fonts available.

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