Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Hand Embroidery Patterns

Hand Embroidery Patterns

Hungarian Embroidery Patterns

Monograms for Hand Embroidery

Church / Ecclesiastical Embroidery Patterns

Online Resources

  • Needleprint: Here you’ll find all kinds of resources on historical samplers, and some freebies.
  • Broderie d’Antan: This website is in French. It’s filled with line drawings of embroidery patterns from vintage publications – lots of floral motifs, some religious motifs, and alphabets.
  • Heritage Shoppe: An embroidery primer, with patterns. PDF files. You’ll find lots of educational resources on this site.
  • Netting Designs: Granted, this isn’t exactly embroidery. But if you like netting, doilies, and whatnot, this is a great site. Embroidered netting, like filet guipure, depends upon notted net ground.
  • Caron Collection: charts and such for work on even weave, using the threads from Caron Collection. Of course, they can be adapted to suit whatever threads you have, but they are really pretty in the overdyed stuff from Caron Collection.
  • Windflower Embroidery: Here, you’ll find some exquisite designs for small but beautiful stumpwork projects. If you’re interested in trying stumpwork, but don’t want to take on anything too big, these projects are great! The instructions are detailed and clear.
  • Coloring Books from Edupics: Admittedly, these aren’t embroidery designs. However, there are heaps of ideas here – fruits, vegetables, whatever – and most can easily be adapted to surface embroidery. An extensive index of coloring book pages.
  • Textile Pattern Coloring Book Pages from 40to40: Here you’ll find some great patterns for backgrounds and for general design inspiration. Click around on this site. Lots of stuff, some pretty intricate, and entirely suitable to embroidery (especially in the textile part).
  • Blackwork Designs from Blackwork Archives: Some really nice blackwork designs here, and also a lot of interesting reading.
  • Interweave Press Needlework Projects: The publishers of Piecework Magazine offer some free projects on their website.
  • Fill Patterns for Blackwork: Some very nice background patterns for blackwork techniques.
  • Blackwork Sampler: A few more samples of blackwork patterns. These are really pretty!
  • Stitch Magazine: Magazine produced by the Embroiderers’ Guild of the UK. The site includes stitch instructions and lots of projects, many of which have great patterns.
  • Colouring Book Pages: Great selection of children’s motifs, including popular characters from Disney, Beatrix Potter, etc. Also flowers, holidays, whatnot.
  • Embroidery and Sewing section at knitting-and.com: Sarah Bradbury has quite a collection of vintage and original patterns for free on her site, from flowers and animals to butterflies and dragonflies.
  • Vintage Embroidery Transfer Patterns: Here’s a great website for patterns from Vogue vintage embroidery transfers. You’ll find all kinds of great patters for embroidering household goods, clothes, quilts, totes, etc.
  • Alita Designs: Free cross stitch and tapestry patterns in a variety of motifs: animals, floral, religious, children’s, etc. The patterns print in sections from your basic computer printer.
  • Embroidery and Embroider: an excellent source for Assisi work patterns and instructions. Jos Hendriks has over 200 free Assisi work patterns on the site, offering the patterns in various sizes with various themes. You can also find photos of completed projects on this site, as well as blackwork designs.
  • DragonBear: A great resource for historical counted thread techniques. Browse the site, and don’t miss the “Designs, Period” section, which contains over 250 medieval motifs for counted thread and other techniques.
  • Antique Pattern Library: A great resource for needlework books from days of old. You’ll find PDF files of books full of techniques and patterns.
  • Digital Archives of Weaving and Related Topics: Here’s another great resource for “old” books full of techniques and patterns. This site takes a little browsing to get to what you want, but it’s well worth the time.
  • Smocking Pattern: a Symphony of Roses: A gorgeous smocking plate from Country Bumpkin.
  • Stumpwork Mushrooms: Another design from Country Bumpkin – beautiful little mushroom design in stumpwork, suitable for the beginner, with clear step-by-step instructions.
  • Christmas Embroidery Designs: Five great designs worked in bullion knots, including Christmas trees, holly, and jolly old St. Nick. Really darling and perfect for little accents or for ornaments. From Country Bumpkin.
  • Simple Christmas Embroidery patterns: These are actually coloring book pages, some of which are cute, while others could be dressy, depending on how you interpret them. You’ll find angels, snowflakes, snowmen, ornaments, bells, holly, and even a fish.
  • Homeberries: Here, you’ll find some cute free patterns in the “primitive” style, useful for all kinds of embellishment. I think a lot of them would look good on baby things (quilts, bibs, etc.). I’m also thinking some would do well for hand embroidery on paper.
  • TipNut: A whole bunch of vintage-ish hand embroidery patterns for things like kitchen towels and so forth. You’ll also find tips on making needlecases and organizing your work space.
  • Floral Line Drawings with Shading: These would make great surface embroidery patterns. Daffodils, Tulips, Roses, Lilies, More…