Are you looking for free needlework patterns online? Here’s my list, from counted cross stitch to general surface embroidery, stumpwork, and whatnot. Designers, stitch magazines, and embroidery enthusiasts are generous to give the rest of us a sample of their work or designs they’ve come by. Remember that usually there are copyrights involved – most designs are meant for personal use, not for reproduction for profit.
In this list of free online embroidery patterns, I’ve included descriptions of what you’ll find on the site, but haven’t organized the links in any particular fashion. Some of the sites are specifically embroidery-related, while others include images that can be adapted to embroidery.
Update 2017: This list was much longer when this article was first published! Unfortunately, most of the websites I had linked to have since disappeared or been replaced by nefarious sites. These two sites below, though, will give you plenty of material to browse for embroidery patterns and 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!