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: Grapes, Acanthus, Passion Flower Border


Amazon Books

This is an elaborate hand embroidery pattern, but I think it’s pretty. It’s meant for ecclesiastical embroidery, but you can always adjust the passion flower (taking out the cross-shaped stamen that’s often seen in church patterns) and use the design for whatever you wish.

This is what I’ve been doing lately: cleaning up Lots and Lots of embroidery patterns. You can consider this a little preview of what’s coming in a church pattern e-book (available by the end of the month!) – though the patterns aren’t all quite this elaborate!

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Grape Border

See what I mean about the passion flower stamen? If you remove the cross and substitute normal flower stamens, this design makes a very pretty secular (as in, non-religious) design, too.

That’s the thing about many ecclesiastical patterns: many are suitable for secular embroidery. Looking for grapes to border a table cloth? Check out church embroidery patterns! What about wheat for the edge of a bread cloth? Same thing – you’ll find plenty of wheat growing among church embroidery designs. Wanting a pretty fleur de lis border, or a rose edge or corner? How about some lilies? These are all elements you’ll find used in church embroidery.

Here’s the PDF, if you want it!

Grapes, Acanthus & Passion Flower Border Design (PDF)

After class this morning, I’m going on a looooong journey. I’m driving a whole 60 miles down the road! When I come home, I will have with me some Stuff for an upcoming experiment, of which I will keep you apprised! If it works, I’ll have my Christmas presents made, and you’ll have some ideas for yours! If it doesn’t work, we can all at least revel in the mess I’m going to make!

Enjoy your day!



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(17) Comments

  1. Can hardly wait to see what you will do with your “Stuff”!!! Your work is so inspiring and I look forward to your daily dose of getting me thinking “what if?”
    Thank you!!

  2. Oh, this one is soooo pretty. Thanks Mary. I think I’ll have to use it for the edge of an altar cloth. Might have to do it in white on white, but gold on white would look stunning. I’ve been crocheting edges on altar cloths for awhile, but this one is so nice, I’ll have to get some linen and give it a try. I’ll try to make a pall, corporal and purificator to match or compliment. I’ll be looking forward to that liturgical e-booklet you mentioned…. might I find smaller designs in that for the small linens??

    1. Thanks for your comments on the pattern, All!!

      Bobbi – you are right – I thought stumpwork, too, but wow. That’s a lot-a-lot of stumpwork!

      Tess – Yes, the book has over a hundred patterns in it so far, and many of those are small and suitable for small linens – or they can be enlarged and used on other things. I was aiming for 150 patterns altogether, but wow. It’s taking a heap o’ time to get them all cleaned up and drawn! It’ll be between 100 & 150, anyway!


  3. Very Nice! Thank You, Mary.

    I’ve not even begun to think about Christmas, but then again, I don’t usually make anyone anything. I can’t wait to see what you’re up to with the experiment.

  4. Mary its a very beautiful design.I would really like to try it after i see yours so i think i would be confident enough to give it a try.Thank you so much.

  5. Mary – Wow! I’ve been waiting and hoping all summer for your ecclesiastical e book! It will certainly be worth the wait when it is finished. Would you share how you are cleaning up the designs and drawing them at some point? It is truly fascinating.

    I recently stumbled across an interesting book entitled Evangelische Paramentik by Martin Eugene Beck (found on Google Books). The book dates from 1906, and is written in German, so I can’t read much of it. What is fascinating is the large collection of ecclesiastical designs at the end of the book. The designs are meant for larger pieces such as frontals, antipendiums, and a host of church items. The book has been reprinted and is available on Amazon as well. The google link is here: http://books.google.com/books?id=8AYtAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Evangelische+Paramentik&hl=en&ei=ULiLTqaqNPKpsAKCsdXgBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
    I hope you and your readers might enjoy gazing with wonder at such beautiful designs.

    1. Hi, Carrie – thanks for the link – I actually have an original copy of Beck’s book! It’s nice – and it’s nice to see it available online, though the images on Google are not that great – but they at least give an idea!

      Thanks again!


  6. Thank you so much for everything Mary.

    I’d like to be a few days later to see your “stuff”.

    By the way, I ordered on Amazon the book about goldwork you reviewed some days/weeks ago. I should receive it today !

    The nesting place is great to work on !

    Have a nice journey


  7. Dear Mary,\

    Please help me, I would like to embroider the Grapes, Acanthus and Passion flower border design on a 3″ ribbon. I have reduced the design to 55% and it fits nicely. What kind of stitch should I use?

    Thank you for your help.


    1. Hi, Sophia – It really depends a lot on the fabric and the thread you’re using, what your level of stitching is, and whether or not you want a filled design or just outlined, etc. From a distance, it’s difficult to give that kind of advice. If you’re planning on a filled design and you are familiar with the stitches, though, I’d probably use a fine thread (one strand of silk or cotton, or maybe even something finer, like piper’s silk or Soie de Paris) and use long & short stitch, stem stitch, and satin stitch.

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