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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Heart: Branching Out – Free Hand Embroidery Pattern


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It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a free surface embroidery pattern, so this morning, I thought I’d share a little heart I’ve been dabbling with.

There’s something a little Valentine’s Day-ish and a little St. Patrick’s Day-ish combined in this design – sort of hearty, sort of shamrocky, and good for all kinds of craft techniques.

Here ’tis:

Heart: Branching Out embroidery pattern

Besides using this rather exuberant branchy heart for surface embroidery (any kind of embroidery technique would work, practically!), I think it would also make a terrific appliqué for on a quilt square, or even a felt appliqué for felt work. And of course, it would translate well into paper crafts, too, if you’re into card making and the like.

If I were working it, I could see it in two embroidery techniques especially: silk shading with a goldwork outline, or whitework, with various pulled thread filling techniques worked inside the larger leaves.

But it would also work up into just a quick embroidered piece, outlining the design with stem stitch or chain stitch. Tambour embroidery, anyone? The lines are fairly continuous, which would make approaching it with a tambour hook pretty fun!

Whatever way you envision the design, I hope you find a use for the pattern and enjoy it!

PDF Printable

You can download the following PDF and print it straight from your computer, ready to transfer. The design prints at 5″ high, if you choose “no scaling” or “100%” or a similar setting in your printer settings.

Heart: Branching Out – free hand embroidery pattern (PDF)

If you’re looking for something to stitch and you’re not sure what, you might enjoy browsing through the free embroidery pattern collection here on Needle ‘n Thread. There’s all kinds of stuff in there for surface embroidery – you’re bound to find something you like!


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(12) Comments

  1. Thanks for this pattern, it is lovely, and you are right..it could be used in so many ways!

    Since I am mostly a free surface stitcher, that will be the first go around with it! I hope you are feeling
    “not too bad”, if not better!

    1. Hi, Joan – thanks! I’m surviving! The first week after an infusion is usually pretty bad, but I think I’m on the upswing now. The next one’s not until January 28, so I have a couple weeks of recovery and hopefully creativity now. 🙂

  2. What a lovely pattern! Thank you for sharing it. And I do hope you’re doing all right these days. Lots of us are keeping you in our thoughts.

  3. Whitework with a heavy dose of shadow stitching would be sweet. And would love to see what the “pearl” lady would do with it! Thats one great thing about embroidery — every aspect of it offers so many possibilities to imagine!

    Hope you are hanging in there, Mary!! You are often in my thoughts as I sit and stitch.

  4. Hi Mary, Love this. Bought the RSN Whitework that you recommended and attempted this morning to put Honeycomb darning into the center leaf. But now I’m totally confused. On page 36 it shows pulling thread over four stitches, but on page 37 the diagram looks like it’s over 3 stitches. ???
    Can you help? Thanks

    Love this heart. Perfect for my upcoming Valentine’s Day Card!

  5. By any chance, is there a colored pattern for the Heart Branching Out? I’m good at embroidery (not Master Class girl) but I am not good at all of coordinating colors. I do hope so! I just found your website and want to try…..

    Thank you for the wonderful patterns!


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