What a find! Here’s a terrific resource for designs for hand embroidery. This is a site with all kinds of good design ideas on it! I don’t usually get over excited about resources for embroidery patterns, but this one is really good!
Keep in mind, this site is not specifically an “embroidery” website – rather, it’s a clip art and image site, but it is chock full of perfect images that can be adapted for embroidery. The site is hosted by the University of South Florida, and it’s called Clipart ETC. At Clipart ETC you will find a searchable database of all kinds of images, which are presented in three sizes – small, medium, and large. You can also download a printable tif file for each image.
When you go to Clipart ETC, click on the “search database” link. Here, you can perform a keyword search, or you can search by category. The first search I performed was on the word “butterfly.” There are 161 records, most of which have clear images of nice butterflies which would translate easily into embroidery designs.
Some of the butterflies are more complex than others. They are all black and white, which might pose a problem for choosing correct colors for embroidering.
But even if you were to pick a not-so-real color scheme, you could end up with a great embroidered butterfly, thanks to the clarity of the images.
I’m a fan of this particular butterfly, which is the Papilio Machaon – a swallowtail. If I were going to embroider it, though, I’d want to be pretty precise with the color scheme, and there’s really nothing easier than coming up with the colors of the butterfly – simply do a Google image search. I came up with a pretty good image, which I then modified in PhotoShop.
If I wanted to translate this into a pattern for embroidery, I’d take my line drawing in black and white, trace it on good tracing paper, then go at it with colored pencils. I’d then thread match, and I’d be set to reproduce the swallowtail in thread.
Christmas is coming up. I seached the Clipart ETC database for holly, and here is a beautiful specimen that could be embroidered a number of ways – by outlining, or by filling with long and short stitch shading. Whatever way you want to reproduce it in thread, it’s a lovely pattern!
I’m a fan of historical needlework, so I searched “Bayeux Tapestry” on a whim, and… here’s a great image of one of the boats!! Perfect for reproducing a little bit of Bayeux.
On a whim, I searched the word “border.” I came up with some beauties!
And, I’m a huge fan of daffodils, so I tried that term, too. Voila!
Clipart ETC hosted by the University of South Florida is an absolute gem of a source for embroidery design inspiration! Bookmark it!!