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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Seventh Heaven: A Free Hand Embroidery Design


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Good morning, my friends!

Today, let’s keep things short and sweet! This morning, I’m sending along a free hand embroidery design for a kaleidoscope that I call Seventh Heaven.

The reason for the name? Well, it’s a kaleidoscope of seven parts: seven arms and seven layers that can be broken down or grouped different ways.

So I’ll share the design with you below, in a handy PDF printable, and chat a bit about embroidery ideas for the design.

Free Hand Embroidered Kaleidoscope Design: Seventh Heaven

If you’re new to Needle ‘n Thread, you’ll find an index of embroidered kaleidoscopes here, where I take you step-by-step through embroidering a few different designs from my Favorite Kaleidoscopes pattern e-book.

Kaleidoscopes are fun to embroider! They can be used to adorn different items, from quilt squares to book covers to tote bag pockets to the back of a denim jacket to… you name it! I’ve seen my designs from Favorite Kaleidoscopes in all kinds of fun applications.

This particular design lends itself to lots of simple line stitching. I’ve drawn in some areas filled with lines, so that you can see the potential for filling those areas with simple straight stitches. When you trace or transfer the design, I wouldn’t bother with those fiddly small line fillings – those are elements you can “eyeball” as you stitch.

I can see this particular kaleidoscope worked out in shades from dark to light (center outwards) or visa-versa, using simple line stitches to vary the weight of the lines, and using simple straight stitch fillings here and there.

I could also see certain elements, like some of the scallops on the outermost layers, filled with shading – but that complicates things, doesn’t it?!

Free Hand Embroidery Design Printable

If you’d like to give Seventh Heaven a try, here’s the handy PDF printable for you. The design prints at about 7″ in both directions, on 8.5×11, if you choose “100%” or “no scaling” or a similar setting in your printer dialogue box.

Seventh Heaven: A Kaleidoscope Design for Hand Embroidery (PDF)

I hope you enjoy it!

Looking for More?

If you’re looking for more free hand embroidery designs, you’ll find a collection of them here on Needle ‘n Thread.

If you’re looking specifically for some fun kaleidoscope designs to stitch, you’ll find my Favorite Kaleidoscope collection of over 30 designs, ranging from simple to complex, available here.


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(18) Comments

  1. Thank you! What a fun little project. I’ve never embroidered a kaleidoscope before! Do you plan to do a stitch-along for this design?

    1. Hi, Julie – I don’t have a stitch along for this design, but you’ll find other kaleidoscope stitch alongs that I’ve blogged about by following the links in the article above.

  2. Dear Mary

    Happy Monday to you it’s a bank holiday here in the UK although the weather is very cold at the moment hopefully brighter days to come. The kaleidoscope, Seventh Heaven is a lovely design and full of different elements to it and as you say this could be used to cover many projects a great design to embroider. Thanks for sharing with us the free Kaleidoscope pattern and for all your free patterns.

    Regards Anita Simmance

    1. Thanks, Anita! I’m glad you like it. I hope you’re enjoying your holiday. It’s been getting warm during the days here, with lots of thunderstorms. More rolling in as we speak – so I’m getting ready to unplug the computer for the rest of the day. :-/

    2. Dear Mary

      Thanks for your reply it’s warmer today but no thunderstorms. You will have a bit of peace with the computer unplugged more time for needlework. Enjoy.

      Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Ha. Ha. I read the title and beginning text, and thought you meant ‘free hand’ embroidery (wow — a 7 part kaleidoscope done free hand — amazing!), instead of free ($0) hand embroidery. BTW Love reading your blog — I’m more of a free motion quilter using ‘free hand’ embroidery embellishment, but I love seeing what you do and reading your tips. I heard about you from Laura Wasilovski.

    1. Hi, Susan – LOL! I never thought of how the title could be confusing, but now that you mention it…! I think, technically, since it’s surface embroidery, which is also called free-style embroidery (as opposed to worked on a grid, like counted embroidery), it could still work. But if you’re bringing the machine element into the equation, especially with free motion quilting, it gets confusing again. “A Hand Embroidery Design for Free” might work better!

  4. I especially like the Jacobean-ish flowers on this one. It definitely sparks a flood of ideas for colors and threads. Thanks Mary!

  5. Thank you for the lovely design! I imagine cutting out some of the parts in coloured felt would work particularly well too 🙂

  6. Thank you! I’ve been looking for the perfect “mandala” pattern for my daughter’s best friend, and this kaleidoscope pattern is just lovely! I did buy your Kaleidoscope booklet when it came out too! 🙂 Hugs, H

  7. Thank you so much Mary. I have no immediate plans for how I will use it, but I am pretty sure I will use it one day. I really appreciate the way you share so much so often. You are a star!!

  8. Mary, I like to try doing the face of a tiger, I have no idea what stitches to use. This is only my three project.
    How do I go about choosing stitches for any project.

    1. Hi, Bob – Normally, if you’re going for a realistic look, you’d use long and short stitch, as a needlepainting technique. You might take a look at Tanja Berlin’s birds and other needlepainting as an example (she has some other animals, too), or, if you’re on Facebook, take a look at Elza Bester DeJager’s embroidery page here. Her header on that page should inspire you! You might start with something smaller than a tiger’s face, just to get an idea of needlepainting. Helen Richman’s small animal embroidery kits might be a great place to start. Her website, Bluebird Embroidery Co, is here. The French Needle in the US carries some of her designs, so you might find some of her small animals available over here without having to pay international shipping. If you’re just learning, I think Tanja Berlin’s kits are the way to go, personally, because her instructions are extremely thorough. You won’t find better instructions in kits of that type. But Bluebird Co’s finished pieces are much smaller, so they might be easier to manage.

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