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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (52) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Doodle Embroidery Designs – Would They Make Good Patterns?


Amazon Books

I’ve been thinking about random embroidery designs and wondering if the following “doodles” would somehow be adaptable to embroidery… So I thought I’d stick them on here to see what everyone else thinks.

I will admit I’m a doodler – on the phone, in meetings, wherever – I find myself doodling. Can such doodling be adapted to embroidery designs? Textiles are often the “inspiration” of my random doodling. Tassles, lacy edges, fishbone stitch, basket weaves, stippling dots, lazy daisy stitch – all have their places on these little scraps. But how are these things necessarily adapted into real embroidery? I’ll have to think about this question, but if anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears!

Doodle Embroidery Design #1

Doodle Embroidery Design #2

Doodle Embroidery Design #3

I’ll have to think about if such scraps can be turned into embroidery patterns or anything useful like that! In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(27) Comments

  1. Those would be wonderful designs for paper, wallpaper, even some fabric.

    I’d buy a sheet of that paper to make a book cover, for instance.

  2. Book covers are a good idea! Problem – the paper’s only about 4″ x 4.5″…. But they could be enlarged, I guess. Good idea! Thank you!

  3. They look like crazy quilts to me! Just heavily embellished with embroidery for texture instead of leaning on fabrics or prints for texture.

  4. I think they are beautiful, and would be wonderful for CQ. Using beads, thread and paints/pencil to make them come to life. Yes, the fabric only being a back drop to hold the embellishments. I agree about the paper also, for scrapbooks or cards or how abut tiled to make wrapping papers.

  5. Mary, your doodles are wonderful. I’d love to stitch them. Can they be lightly transfered to cloth by printing? It’s a little hard for me to visualize if they could be stitched at this size or if they need to go slightly larger. I keep wishing that we could do something like painted canvas for needlepoint with surface embroidery.

  6. Thanks, Gail. I think deep down I must’ve been picturing cq designs – I just didn’t think of them that way. It’d be fun to work them so that they “looked” like crazy quilting, without being “real” crazy quilting.
    Elizabeth, I think they could be transferred using an ink-jet and something like Bubble Jet Set. But even better, I think they could be “retraced” on the back of tracing paper, following only the design line and using a semi-soft lead, then traced over again from the front while on top of the fabric. I’d enlarge them a bit, too. I was just thinking they’d make a neat embroidered notebook cover or drawstring bag.
    Thanks for the comments and ideas, everyone!

  7. I love these! They would make a beautiful pillow top. I think I would just transfer the shapes to fabric and then use the drawings as a guide to the embroidery stitches – that way it would be more spontaneous and fun.

  8. Dear Mary,
    Your idea of just doodling, is my idea of art! You are certainly talented.It’s lovely and I know your niece will love it. I certainly would. Merry Christmas!
    Mary Carlson

  9. They could be traced to red dot cloth and transferred to linen for rug hooking..they’d be dynamite as an abstract rug hooking creation!

    I may like to adapt one of them for a mini hooking if don’t object. I’ll let you know when I start which could be months away right now but they are most inspiring. :0)

    Queen of Dreamsz

  10. Hi, Stephanie –

    Good idea! No, I don’t mind at all. Send me a picture when you’re finished! I’d love to see how it turns out!


  11. having some of your sedogns in color would be amazing.

    I would buy one of them to cover my wall.

    really awesome work !

  12. I´d love to have these as didital stamps! I found this really inspiratinal paper stitching blog (http://cardstitching.blogspot.com/), and I´d love to try some less traditional paper stiching. Is it in any ways possible to buy sketches from you? I think they would look so good in a combination of embroidery and ink/watercolouring/embossing. I want to try!!


  13. Hi, Siri –

    You can download them to your computer and save them to do whatever you want with them, as long as you don’t re-sell them for profit… though you’re welcome to sell whatever you make from them…

    Glad you like them!

    Best regards,

  14. what a coincidence! I am working on a piece of organza, doodling tipe of embroidery with gold thread stitches!
    Please continue with your idea,I would love to see the result.
    Mariel, (subscriber to your blog feed)

  15. Hi, Mariel –

    Thanks for your comment! Your project sounds really pretty, in organza and gold!

    I hope someday to do something similar!


  16. Hi Mary,

    I have been working with Zentangles(R) for the last few months and discovered your blackwork embroidery. The zentangle concept seems like it could be based on these embroidery patterns. You should check out Zentangles (aka zendoodles) and see if you find any new patterns, I’m sure you could certainly contribute new patterns to those of us who prefer pen and paper.

  17. Hi Mary,

    These are lovely. I love how you’ve sectioned each pretty design to make one whole beautiful pattern. I’m very much into doodling too and you’ve given me an idea on how to complete my doodling designs. I usually start off with making one design and then leave it as an unfinished project. Sectioning it makes me think of it as smaller separate projects so there won’t be any unfinished ones! Thank you! Thank you!

  18. Hello Mary,
    I’m fairly new to your site. I came across your doodling patterns and loved them right away. The first thing I saw was a good crazy quilt pattern, or a fleece blanket pattern. Then I saw the pattern being used for a frame around my teenage niece’s photos, on notebook, checkbook covers and an eyeglass case. This pattern has so many creative uses. Thank you for sharing all your ideas, I’m loving it!

    Elizabeth * Colorado

  19. You’ve got killer doodles!! I think they would work beautifully in crazy quilts.

    I, too, am an addicted doodler and never quite know what to do with them. I’ve embroidered a few simple motifs. Eh…

  20. Look into Zentangles. They are similar to your doodles but have more purpose. I can see by your work that Zentangles would be great for you. I highly recommend buying the kit. It will become an obsession!

  21. Those designs remind me of a “crazy quilt” my mom and I worked on. It’s actually where I learned to embroider because I could experiment with learning stitches and it didnt matter.

    The quilt was made of odd-shaped scraps of velvet and satin and other textured material. designs were embroidered on the seams of the pieces, and sometimes within the piece.

More Comments