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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The New Embroidered Book Cover Design


Amazon Books

Yesterday, I cried on your collective shoulder about my impractical approach to planning an embroidery project – particular a project for a prayer book cover that went awry.

Now it’s time to change tack – to set out on a new, much simpler course! And to that end, here’s the embroidery design that I’ll be using for this semi-quick project that has to be finished in about two weeks.

This hand embroidery design featuring a cross, grapes, and wheat can be used for all kinds of finished items. Think: Bible cover, prayer book cover, bookmark (in a reduced size), even the front of a greeting card. In fact, you’re not limited to hand embroidery with any of the free embroidery patterns here on Needle ‘n Thread – they’d translate well into any of your personal craft projects!

So, here’s the design, and I’ll tell you how I’m going to stitch it. You’ll also find a handy-dandy PDF printable below, to make it easy to save and print out for your own projects.

Free hand embroidery pattern for Bible cover: cross, grapes, wheat

This embroidery pattern is a very simple cross shape, with a little swirl of wheat and grapes – and one large grape leaf – around it.

The cross can be stitched in any neat line stitch. I’ll most likely be using stem stitch, as it always looks nice.

I won’t be filling the cross in – it will just be an outline.

The large leaf will be long and short stitch, with stem stitch veins.

The stems will be stem stitch (boy, that’s a surprise!).

The longer leaves will most likely be satin stitch, though I might work those with a stem stitch filling, to keep them a little flatter and incorporate some shading.

For the wheat, the kernels, which are represented by the small straight lines up the center, mostly in groups of three, will be worked in bullion knots, and the little hairy bristles…well. Surprise! They’ll be in stem stitch.

The grapes will be in satin stitch, in different shades of purple.

I’ll be using DMC cotton.

And there’s a chance I might work a very tiny outline of gold around the outside of the cross.

That’s it.




Except, well… it isn’t actually done, is it? But it’s a heck of a lot simpler than Plan A!

Cross, Grapes and Wheat Embroidery Pattern Printable

Here’s the handy dandy PDF printable, in case you want to journey forth and embroider your own book cover, Bible cover or what-have-you. If you choose “no scaling” or a similar option on your printer, the design will print at approximately 4.5″ high. You can enlarge or reduce to suit your personal project needs.

The red dashed lines crossing the center of the design mark the actual pattern center.

Cross, Grapes and Wheat Embroidery Pattern – PDF

Book Cover Articles

You can find all the articles relating to making this embroidery design into a book cover through the following links:

The cross, grapes, and wheat embroidery pattern (this article)
Setting up the project and choosing colors
The embroidery on the book cover
Finishing and assembling the book cover

Looking for More Embroidery Patterns?

You can find heaps more free hand embroidery patterns right here on Needle ‘n Thread! If you’re itching to stitch something but don’t know what, browse through the Patterns page – maybe something there will tickle your Muse!


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(16) Comments

  1. As always your ingeniousity astounds me! Well done Mary ! What a lovely alternative. Thanks for sharing the pattern with us all. Will definitely be using it.
    As we say in french. Tu es vraiment merveilleuse!!

  2. It always feels good to simplify something. Good for you. Looking forward to seeing the progress on this project.

  3. I have to get on a project for an art wall at my church…due the ninth of May. I have no idea what I’m going to embroider! I should probably find that out soon, though…..

  4. Dear Mary

    The Cross Grapes and Wheat pattern is lovely and a nice alternative to the Agnus Dei and you can see it’s a lot simpler. I like your stitch choice especially your choice of the bullion knots which will look lovely. The design is so appropriate for a book cover. I really look forward to your progress on this project it sounds so interesting. Thanks for sharing with us your ideas on this project and I’m considering using this pattern for a couple of Bible book covers I’m thinking of embroidering so thanks.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  5. St. Rube Goldberg always seems to be looking over my shoulder when I try an original idea. Fortunately, St. Francis of Assisi reminds me:

    “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

  6. Plan A was quite beautiful, but I really do like Plan B. Thank you for sharing the design. I just finished sewing my Grand-daughter’s First Communion dress, and I might just attempt this as well. I, too, have a 2-week deadline!

  7. Hi Mary:

    Love this pattern. I like it better than the other one actually. in fact i’m going to use it on a bible cover for a gdaughter too. thanks ever so much for all you do.

  8. Hi Mary,
    You do know you are putting temptation in the way of your niece with those bullion knots ??? They will be just begging her to run her little finger over them with that lovely texture they have. Good luck on your project.


  9. Bit late today. Ran out of time to post after I read it, but I actually like it better as well (I see I’m not the only one.) 🙂 I look forward to seeing what you do with it “in color and real life”!

  10. Hi Mary!

    I´m a little sad that you are not stitching the “Agnus Dei”, because I was looking forward to how it would look and how you were going to stitch it. But the simpler design is beautiful as well, and very fitting for a First-Communion-gift.
    When you wrote how you planned to stitch each piece of the design, I was thinking “Wheat? Is she using the wheat-stitch?”. How silly is this idea? I hope not too silly…
    Looking forward to see the finished book-cover!

    All my best wishes!


    1. Wheatear is a great stitch for stylized wheat, so not silly at all! But on this particular design, it’s actually clusters of the wheat berries up the shaft of the wheat, so I’ll be using bullion stitch for those.

  11. The design is lovely, and sometimes the simpler design shows up better than a very busy one. Thank you for sharing your design. You inspire me to do embroidery work that I have not done for years, so I am happy for that.

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