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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Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Little Tulips


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This is a pattern re-make! I was looking for an embroidery pattern that was small and simple – something suitable for a wee project that’s tumbling around in my head. Something…. simple. Simple lines. Simple shape. Not much to it.

So I started filtering through the embroidery patterns here on Needle ‘n Thread to remind myself exactly what I have on here, and when I came to this Tulips a la Morris pattern, I realized it was exactly what I was looking for – but it was too big, and the lines weren’t quite sharp enough. I drew the older one up when I was tracing patterns with a tablet (which I still do, now and again!) So I revamped the pattern, cleaned up the lines, and shrunk it down to 3″ tall.

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Little Tulips

Today, I’m going to set the little project up for stitching. I’m trying out a new (to me) way of transferring a design, and a new thread. For me, the thread is quite a deviation, but it’ll be fun to play with! I’ll show it to you later on (unless I completely flub up the project…. at which point, I’ll pretend I never mentioned it!)

Here’s a PDF of the wee tulips. The design prints at 3″ tall and about 2.9″ wide.

Little Tulips (PDF)

If you’d like to predict what you think I’m doing with the design, feel free to leave a comment – and any other suggestions for stitching the pattern are always welcome!


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(18) Comments

  1. Bonjour Mary,
    It is always a pleasure to read you first thing in the morning. I know how I will use your little tulips, on one of my quilts, I like small designs and this one will be perfect and for guessing what you will do with yours….. No idea, but I love surprises and will wait for your next article.
    Good Day Mary.

  2. I think the tulips surely have something to do with Easter. You mentioned on your Silhouette box project something about an Easter basket, so that would be 1 guess. Also, the tulips would be cute stitched onto an egg, fabric of course, not the real thing. Unless you have some new fangled machine for those too!

  3. I would make a biscornu from the pattern. Since you introduced them, I have made 2 using crewel wool and one from some patchwork I had left from another project-they are fun and fairly fast to make. The tulips will have to be manipulated a little bit to be square but I think they could work well for an 8 sided pincushion.

  4. Hi Mary, I primarily do CCS and specialty stich work on linen and love using the wonderful overdyed silk (and cotton) threads that are available. I would appreciate seeing your take on using these threads on the lovely surface embroidery that you enjoy so much. Love your site with its many resources and I often recommend you to my stitching frinds. The time you commit to this is quite extrordinary. Many thanks!

  5. Love tulips & from downunder (fall) Easter lilies are the ones. There are countless ways to use this flower – see how Morris used the wild tulip on blue wallpaper at the South Australian Art Gallery site under M in the European & American collection – plus other pieces. Probably a little big for such a wee flower.
    So have you made up your mind, Mary. Perhaps a scissor holder. Thank you for your insights and introducing new ideas. Love reading it.

  6. Wonderful Lady, it always seems when I become FUZZY in the head and cannot think what to do for a gift, here comes your daily e-mail to save me. I love getting them everyday, always brings asmile to my face.
    Thank You.

    1. All very good guesses, everyone. Yes, needlebook is probably the route this is going – I started the project to test out some products, and then I’ll be turning it over to my niece to do with as she wants! She’ll finish it. Well – for a couple reasons: the first is time and the lack of it, and the second is that it’s not the kind of project I really want to be doing right now!

      But there are some really good ideas here! Emsley Rose – love the idea of goldwork, and I may just pursue that…. and Anne – I love the idea of four sides of a box. Hm. Maybe I could combine the two!

      Thanks, Racheal, for your kind words – smiles are good! 🙂


  7. I love your site, Mary. I can’t guess what you’re going to do with the tulip design, but I can’t wait to find out. I learned to embroider as a child but haven’t done any for years. I was looking for something simple for Easter when I found your site. It’s just what I was looking for. Thanks, Kamala

  8. What is the tablet you used to make the tulips smaller? Would like some info on it: cost, where is it available, etc.
    Thank you,
    Roselyn Tuerffs

    1. Hi, Roselyn – I used a Wacom tablet to draw the original (larger) tulip patter. The small pattern I created as a vector image, using Adobe Illustrator…. Hope that helps! ~MC

    1. Oh, Very Pretty, Eva!! I love it!! I think you did a beautiful job, and I love the colors! Thanks so much for leaving the link. That made my day!


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