Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (51) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Little Tulips for Spring: Free Hand Embroidery Design


Amazon Books

Since it’s April 1st…

…and since it’s Wednesday (which doesn’t have that much to do with anything)…

…and since many of us are enjoying our forced hiatus by indulging in extra time to embroider…

…it seems to me like a great day to share a wee, simple, and free hand embroidery design that’s perfect for Spring!

Now, this particular design, which consists of the same little tulip repeated across a horizontal line and a vertical line, can be broken down and rearranged however you want! I’ll share some stitching ideas below.

Little Tulips for Spring hand embroidery design

The design is just a two-inch high stylized tulip doodle that you can flip, repeat, stack, off-set, enlarge, or reduce – however you want to arrange it! – before stitching.

Singly, it would make a nice little touch on the corner of cloth napkins for your Easter table. You might be thinking, “Easter’s only a week and a half from now!” but if you stitch the tulip very, very simply – outlined with stem stitch or backstitch, for example – it would take no time at all to stitch up. It’s feasible that you could finish two or more in one evening stitching session.

You could also stitch a single tulip on a small piece of scrap linen or the like. If you’re like me, you probably save pieces of fabric that are too small to do anything big on, but too big to justify tossing. Then you could fray the edges of the fabric a little, fix it to the front of a home-made card, and voilá! A little spring greeting card to send off to a socially distanced friend or family member!

You could stitch a line of the tulips across the end of a table runner. Very simple, but effective. And, if your table runner happens to be a pastel or other color, you could stitch the tulips in white for a classic touch.

If you wanted to go all out, you could shade the tulip with long and short stitch in your favorite tulip colors. Or for a simpler filling approach, the petal shapes work up easily in fishbone stitch.

Free PDF Printable

There’s plenty you can do with this simple little design, which is offered in the PDF below. You’ll find a horizontal row of the tulips, with every other one flipped, and a vertical column. The arranging of your own stitching layout is up to you!

Little Tulips for Spring – Hand Embroidery Design (PDF) – if you print “actual size,” the tulips will print 2″ tall. You can reduce the size or enlarge it, depending on your creative ideas.

Looking for More?

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

Hang in there, my friends, and take time to enjoy the little things!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(8) Comments

  1. Hi Mary,
    Thank you so much for your cheery posts (I really enjoy them), and for sharing these delightful patterns with us! I don’t really stitch…I’m a quilter! This adorable little tulip is just the thing to get me started!
    Stay well,

    ps REALLY love your quilt-in-progress! Porcelain is the perfect collection for it, (gotta love Moda), and it’s going to look so pretty on your bed when it’s done! Have you considered using all your small hexies as a center field & then making larger size hexies around the outside? You could add a border between the 2 sizes…or not! The project would go a lot faster & it might be interesting. Just a thought….

  2. I adore those tulips! Because I’m not a surface embroiderer anywhere near your level, Mary – I will most likely use this design with my ribbon embroidery for sachets and such! It is an inspiring design!

  3. Thanks for the Tulip pattern, it is so sweet. Do you have a picture of these tulips that you stitched that I could see for inspiration? I really appreciate you giving me free patterns.

  4. Dear Mary

    Happy first day of Spring, well that’s how I see it the start of the light nights and brighter days and maybe sunshine sends radiant feelings through my body which I we need at the moment. Anyway thank you so much for the lovely springy tulips free pattern that you are sharing with us and for all you free patterns really appreciate it and thank you for the advice on different ways to stitch the tulip pattern. Stitching happy.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  5. This Little Tulips of Spring pattern is exactly was I was looking for. Needed a small
    something to put in the center of a quilt block. Since my fabric is mostly flowers, the tulip(s) will be perfect. They are my favorite flower too. Thank you.

More Comments