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: Czech Inspired Folk Flowers


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Here’s a free hand embroidery pattern for you, doodled up over the weekend. It is a slightly altered version of a design from an old book – resource below!

The embroidery pattern come about like this…

Step back to my childhood with me! Memorial Day weekend transports me to childhood. Those three day weekends at the beginning and end of the summer – Memorial Day and Labor Day, respectively – were reserved for certain family rituals.

And while most people were beginning or ending the summer with picnics and cook-outs, or enjoying the first or last summer fling of camping by the lake, or lining streets for parades while slurping snow cones or dissolving into sticky messes of cotton candy – not us! No, no! We had our own unique family ritual.

It was called “Cleaning the Garage,” and while it’s a family joke now, it has become a deep-seated kind of urge. Memorial Day weekend comes around, and I feel compelled to clean the garage.

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern

And as a result of that urge, here’s the hand embroidery pattern!

It’s hard to find a correlation between garage-cleaning and embroidery designs. But as it so happens, I don’t have a garage anymore. I’ve actually mentioned this whole dilemma before, when discussing Memorial Day and Labor Day and garage cleaning – when I showed you these pictures of my workroom where I do most of my embroidery.

My workroom used to be a garage. And so that’s where I turn my attentions on these three day weekends. And while turning my attentions thither, I came across an old copy of the DMC’s Czecho-Slovakian Embroideries book. And I whiled away cleaning time by meandering through it. I came across a particular pattern that had the element above in it, and it attracted my attention. I started playing with it, and …. voila, a new pattern for you.

But the best part? You can find the DMC Czecho-Slovakian Embroideries book online for free, through the Online Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics, an initiative of the University of Arizona. It’s a nice source for some good old needlework and textile-related books.

In any case, I altered the pattern a bit, thinking terms of a single embroidered design, rather than an element within a larger design, and that’s what I came up with. Here’s the PDF, for download and easy printing, enlarging, and reducing:

Czech-Inspired Folk Flowers (PDF)

Hope you enjoy it and find a use for it!

If you’re looking for hand embroidery patterns, feel free to check out the whole gallery of free hand embroidery patterns available here on Needle ‘n Thread.

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(13) Comments

  1. G’day Mary, this is really appealing. Thank you. Have just lost myself in the reference archives. So interesting. Cheers, Kath

  2. Dear Mary

    As well as doodling over this embroidery pattern I hope you had time for the ritual of cleaning your garage/workroom ha ha!!! What a lovely hand embroidery pattern you’ve got my mind thinking, what stitches could be used and how it could be incorporated as part of a bigger project thanks for the thoughts.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Mary,
    Thanks for the link to the source on old needlework and textile related books. I could spend way too much time looking at all those.

  4. I am looking for some embroidery patterns for a table cloth with flowers and connecting patterns. Do you have anything like that Thanks Janet

  5. Mary, I came across this going through your archives. Thank you! I’ve been wanting to find Czech embroidery patterns! (my husband has Czech ancestry and he also served a church mission there)

    Thank you, thank you for your wonderful blog and sharing these incredible resources!

  6. I am new to hand embroidery. I would love to do some of the heart designs for a guild project, but I do not know what stitches to use. Is there somewhere I can get ideas on what to do with these designs. Thanks so much. I love this website it is so helpful.

    1. Hi, Bev – I’m not sure what heart designs you’re talking about? Sometimes, it’s just a matter of trial and error, to decide what stitch will work best, where. If you have a good stitch dictionary, that will help you make decisions!

  7. I’m interested in folk art embroidery and went to the U of Arizona link above, but it’s not there anymore! Do you happen to know where it went?

    1. Hi, Corey – I’ve updated that link now. They apparently switched servers or something, and not all their links were automatically redirected.

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