Mary Corbet

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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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First Attempt Embroidery Pattern


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Most of my embroidery patterns that I have used for special projects are drawn by hand on tracing paper. I just got a new toy, though (a Wacom Intuos3 tablet), and my plan is to convert some of my hand-drawn embroidery patterns into cleaner digital images. Well, I’m no graphic artist, let me tell you! But I thought I’d share my first attempt. It’s not so great, but it’s a neat pattern that I’ve used, so I even have photos of this particular one worked.

I embroidered this stole several years ago. The pattern is an adaptation of a motif on a very old vestment, part of which I sketched, altered, and then adapted to my project. I like the stylized flower / pomegranate thingy, even if my sister does insist they look like something out of Little Shop of Horrors!

Here’s the pattern, worked in silk on silk. Mostly it’s worked in satin stitch, although some parts are stem stitch filling. If you’ve meandered through my whole website, you may have already seen this! If not, you’ll find links to close-ups of the rest of the flowers on the stole and to a whole image of the embroidery on the gallery page.

And here’s my first attempt at drawing something on the tablet. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be! It’s takes some getting used to, but it’s fun, so I’ll stick with it and hopefully, I’ll improve with time and practice!

But, in the meantime, if you want this pattern to play with and to adapt to your own project, feel free! Right click on it to download it to your computer. You can scale it up or down in a photo editing program, or you can use a copy machine. The image is flipped, by the way. The picture above is from the right side of the stole – the pattern is drawn from the left side! I just realized that! Sorry!

free embroidery pattern: stylized flower

For all you graphic artists out there, I can’t help but admire your skills! It must take perseverence at this kind of thing to get good at it! I don’t know any of the tricks for working with these kinds of images, so if anyone has any links or suggestions or anything, I’m all ears!

Have fun with the pattern!

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(14) Comments

  1. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for posting the pattern of one of the flowers from the stole you made. I went back and looked at the whole stole and the flowers individually. It’s just out of this world. You’ve done a great job. I’m sure it’s hard work but please, please post the rest of the flowers.

    Many thanks!

  2. Mary, I have some experience working with converting (and creating) designs via computer and I, too, have a wacom tablet. My first question would be what software are you currently using to draw your designs on the computer?

  3. Mary, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog notes. And I really like it so much better that I can read it all in one place.
    I admire your work so much. When and If I ever get time to stitch again, there are several things that I’ve saved from your blog that I want to do.
    Thank you so much for being there.
    Judyth in Kansas

  4. Hi, Margaret – I’m using corel paint and corel draw and adobe photoshop and … and… well, I have them all. I mostly work in photoshop! What should I be working in? Any suggestions?? Thanks!

    Judyth – what part of Kansas??

    Maria – I’m glad you like the pattern! It really is one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever worked on!

    Thanks so much for the nice comments, everyone!

  5. This stitch work is so incredible. It looks like it was done by machine it is so precise looking.

    The colors are so pleasant and complimentary to the image design.
    Helen (from craftster)

  6. Hi, Helen! Thanks. Nope, no machine work there. I’m convinced an embroidery machine just can’t produce the “right look” for satin stitch! I like the colors, too, though after I finished it, I wondered if they were too pale. It was one of those moments of panic… but I got over it!

  7. Hi Mary. I am new to embroidery but I do alot of graphic art om my computer.To create the patterns like these you should use coral draw from the list you gave it would be easiest to work in once you get the hang of it. the others will work but photoshop for example is meant more for colour then just getting and outline of what you want to create for a pattern. Plus using Coral Draw you can colour shapes so you can also get an idea as to what it will look like in colour, you can also add effects to the fills so they can even look like stitches

  8. Hi, Devon!

    Thanks very much for the information! I’ve been able to play around with a program called Inkscape, which has been invaluable in learning the whole “vector” thing. I haven’t played with color in Inkscape, but I will one of these days! I opted for Inkscape first because (ahem…!) it’s free! Also, a friend was able to work up some tutorials for me using Inkscape, to demonstrate how easy it is to use the program – the next thing I knew, I was hooked!

    Eventually, I’m going to invest in Corel Draw or Illustrator. At work, I use the Adobe products, so Illustrator might end up being the logical choice there….

    For now, though, I’m kind of economically stuck with the benefits of Inkscape – and, in all, it’s rather a nice little program!

    I will certainly keep your recommendation in mind. I really appreciate your help!

    Best regards,

  9. Mary,
    I’ve just come across your site. I’M so impressed by all you do. I love embroidery, although I’m sort of stuck with cross stitching, but now and again I do some real stuff – mainly for the numerous babies cropping up recently in our family. Will try some of your wonderful patterns and let you know the result.

    Thanks for a great site.

  10. Hi Mary,

    I think you did a wonderful job. I like how you didn’t make the branches all one size. In certain areas you made it thinner and in other areas you did it wider. This gives it the appearance of nature. Congrats

    Jennifer G.

  11. Hi! Do you have any advice on embroidery machines? Do you use them at all? I’ve been hand embroidering for about 30 years but was thinking about exploring a machine and wanted some expert opinions. Thanks so much for all your contributions to the fiber artist world. We appreciate you!!!!

    1. Well, I’ve heard that Bernina are good – but I don’t really have much personal experience with embroidery machines, so I can’t really advise. I have a Bernina sewing machine that I like.

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