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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Floral Cross Medallion – Free Hand Embroidery Pattern


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This morning, I’d like to share a free hand embroidery pattern from a series of old designs that I’m cleaning up and altering a little bit so that they’re suitable for hand stitching on smaller projects.

This particular medallion features a cross shape, tipped with fleurs-de-lis, with stylized floral elements between the four arms.

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Floral Cross Medallion

I really like this design! It’s not quite what the original design looked like and it’s definitely a little more symmetrical. The original was hand drawn and a bit wonky. The tips of the fleurs-de-lis didn’t line up with the center, and the “north” and “west” arms were longer than the “east” and “south” arms on the design.

This is one reason why I take the time to clean up old patterns from folios that feature designs that were originally hand drawn and then printed. They weren’t always symmetrical, and while you might not notice it at first glance when looking at the drawing, once the stitching fills in, it becomes more apparent. And by then, it’s often too late to make corrections.

This design would make a great stand-alone, personal embroidery project, in various embroidery techniques. I picture it in the browns, pinks, and greens typical of the Arts & Crafts era church embroidery, and accented with goldwork.

Oh yes! Some luscious Au Ver a Soie silk worked up in long and short stitch shading (delicious! there’s nothing more glorious than needlepainting worked in silk!) and the outlines worked in different types of goldwork threads, and then further outlined by just a tiny strand of Soie 100/3 or something similar, to make the whole design pop!

(Needless to say, I’ve been thinking about this one for a while.)

The design could also be used for its original intended purpose in ecclesiastical embroidery, as decoration on vestments, an altar frontal, a banner, or the like.

And finally, the design would work well in other crafts, too – paper crafts, painting, wood carving…

PDF Printable

Here’s the handy-dandy PDF printable for you. The design prints at 6″ in both directions if you choose “no scaling” in your printer setting. You can enlarge or reduce as you wish, of course.

Free hand embroidery pattern: Floral Cross Medallion (PDF)

As soon as I finish a few projects that are particularly pressing, I’m actually going to stitch some of the designs that you’ll find on my patterns page here on Needle ‘n Thread.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more crosses for Easter embroidery, you can find several church embroidery patterns here that feature crosses, too.


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(8) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    A lovely ecclesiastical pattern I really like the fleurs-de-lis on the cross itself which is unusual and would adorn and look lovely in any Church and there are so many different ways to embroider this pattern. Thanks for the free pattern and I look forward to your new venture on stitching some of your designs it will be interesting to see which patterns you choose and which stitches and thread and stitch combinations you choose, I can’t wait to learn something new.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. You would likely need to reduce the size a bit and maybe take out a little detail, but I think that this would make a beautiful snowflake Christmas ornament outlined in eccru or gold and with some beading!

  3. Mary, can you write a tutorial showing the process of taking an old pattern, cleaning it up and turning it into an electronic file? You briefly mentioned in the Hungarian Runner project that you turned it into a vector file so you could reduce the thickness of the lines.

    Not an urgent request, but one of the reasons I like your blog is that you value the historical patterns so much. There are times when I encounter a damaged vintage piece and think about turning it into a pattern.


  4. Hi Mary…I have not been on a few days and I see Ive missed a lot of fun stuff, but I will catch up….I love the floral cross medallion, I actually printed out the sunflower cross a few weeks ago and hope to work on it during summer..thx for all the beautiful designs and your expert advice…..God Bless Trish

  5. Hi Mary,

    Thank you for this lovely pattern and for all the preparation to get it to pdf downloadable file stage. I also appreciate your suggestions on colour and thread type as these are valuable to those of us who need inspiration or have too many ideas to choose from, as this guides our choices. Your pieces to me are always georgous – if nothing else these suggestions will inspire other combinations stitchers may wish to try. For those of us who do Church embroidery, suggestions where a pattern may be used is also helpful and inspiring too.

    Mary, you mentioned outlining the pattern initially in various goldwork threads – what do you suggest?

    Thanks once again!

  6. Oooooh, that is lovely!! And it solves a problem I have had with trying to figure out what to use on a front piece for the ambo in the chapel of a new hospital near my home. I promised to make something that could be used every Advent and Lent, so of course a whitework piece on purple. This pattern would look so very beautiful as whitework! For my purposes I would need to simplify it a bit, but thank you so very much for solving my problem.

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