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: Stylized Flower Inspired by Lace


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Browsing through a copy of Élizabeth-Félicie Bayle-Mouillard’s Nouveau Manuel Complet de la Broderie (1840) – thanks to the direction of a kind reader who pointed out the book! – I came across a page of motifs intended for embroidery on a net ground.

I liked this one, so I made a few very minor adjustments to make it embroidery-friendly, with goldwork in mind. I think it’d make a great little design for a beginner goldwork project! But it would also work well for all sorts of embroidery – whitework, regular surface work, you name it.

And, since it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a free hand embroidery pattern on Needle ‘n Thread, I figured it was about time to do so.

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern - Stylized Flower Inspired by Lace

Considering the project from a goldwork point of view, I see a little bit of couching with smooth passing thread, some chip work with bright check purl, a bit of pearl purl, and… yes… beetle wings for accents.

I’ve had beetle wings on my mind lately for some reason. They’re calling me! The strange thing is, I started pulling together project supplies this weekend for a new project (I’ll share my initial meanderings and gatherings with you tomorrow), and there’s nary a beetle wing in sight for it!

But back to this pattern… I could also see it used for whitework, playing around with different layers and textures. And, I could see it as colorful surface embroidery. Little designs like this always get me going with possibilities – and you might see it and think of completely different possibilities.

Free Embroidery Pattern – PDF

Here’s the PDF for the pattern, so you can print it directly from your computer. I think it prints around 4″ – 4.5″ wide, but you can always resize it if you want it smaller.

Stylized Flower Inspired by Lace (PDF)

You can find heaps more free hand embroidery patterns here on Needle ‘n Thread if you’re looking for something to stitch. Feel free to visit the patterns page to see if anything strikes your fancy!

Tomorrow, we gather supplies and muse about a new project! See you then!

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(7) Comments

  1. It’s so pretty! I’m intimidated by goldwork, but I think this will be a really lovely project for me to use for Palestrina stitch practice.

  2. I just want you to know how much you inspire women and probably some men around the world with your blog. When ever I want to learn a new stitch or technique I come to your tutorials. I am not artistic and could not draw a design if my life depended upon it,I have been looking for a small design to practice both gold work and lace, though I am not sure about using beetles. I read your blog every day and today my wish was granted, a delightful little design I immediatley printed off. Thank you, and please keep blogging. We need the inspiration!
    Linda G

  3. I REALLY like this design Mary! I agree that it would be a great beginning Goldwork project and your suggestions to use the beetle wings sounds beautiful. I also think the pattern would be fun for beginning embroiderers. (I have some beginners in my Fiber Arts Class who are always on the lookout for ideas. The pattern would also be cute on a pillow, if you mirrored it and flipped it so you had a four designs with the flower petals radiating outward in each direction. Thanks for always sharing your ideas and work. I frequently use you as a great reference for ideas and inspiration for my students who range in age from about 8 to 18 or 19. (I also work with 4-H members) So thanks again for inspiring the next generation and helping to keep these skills alive and well!

  4. Hi Mary-
    I think this would be lovely in tambour work, which was a common way to embroider on net. Tambour work wants a few less starts and stops. Is there a link to the original online somewhere? Antique Pattern Library or Gutternberg Project or something?

  5. Thank you Mary, this is a delightful design. It reminds me of some I did in the 1970’s and which I recently re-discovered. It was done on 3 panels and intended to be the front and 2 backs of a 70’s style long dress – you know, very high waist, gathered skirt to the ankles with this brightly-coloured embroidery on the yoke. A friend who saw it was aghast at the bright colours: yellow, pink, green, turquoise, purple. I still like it though and as the 70’s seem to be back in style perhaps I will make the dress and see what happens next …

  6. G’day Mary,
    I’ve been on the ‘outside’ a bit lately. Some I’ve read, some not, but I always manage to catch up. Hate to miss any. Getting going again, I think!
    This is lovely. Your designs are always so inviting to expression. The ‘feather’ leave is gorgeous.
    Cheers, Kath.

  7. Mary thank you ford hoeing me how to do the cast on stitch.
    I bought a Crabapple Hill pattern. It is the sweet tea cup and sugar bowl
    It calls for the cast on stitch. Thank you again.

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