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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Calligraphy Design = Embroidery Inspiration


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A while ago, while perusing calligraphy websites (I don’t do much calligraphy, but I dabble occasionally), I came across an article on an older blog that looks, in fact, defunct at this point.

But the article is good. It’s on drawing borders, and it contains a lot of principles that can translate into embroidery design, too.

If you like doodling your own embroidery designs and you’re looking for inspiration and ideas, you might enjoy this article!

Calligraphy websites are a rabbit hole that I think many embroiderers might enjoy falling into, because it’s pretty easy to see how calligraphy and illumination can interpret into embroidery.

Calligraphy borders for embroidery

The article is on simple drawn and painted borders in calligraphy.

It’s definitely worth reading all the way through (despite having to navigate an ad-riddled site), because there are some really good tips towards the end about using graph paper to lay out repeat designs, spirals, and so forth.

The whole website, in fact, has a wonderful array of calligraphy design tips and links to different resources.

This article on zoomorphic initials, for example, demonstrates how to draw a zoomorphic decorative initial, which can translate really well into an embroidery design.

This article on deconstructing and re-drawing vine borders is lovely, too!

Have you ever been fascinated by stumpwork embroidered mirror frames full of flora and fauna? You might enjoy this article on creating scattered borders.

The Calligraphy Pen is one among many, many calligraphy websites out there that focus on the art of lettering and illumination. I’m sad that it’s not still an active website, but the content is good, and it’s worth taking a look at while it’s still available!

British Library Online Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

One of the resources that the blog author points to frequently is the British Library’s online Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts.

Now, talk about a Rabbit Hole…! This is one of Vast Proportions!

I hope you enjoy the browse!

Have a spectacular weekend!


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(3) Comments

  1. Ooooohhhh, lovely!
    I can see the information being useful in making quilting designs too. Not that there’s any shortage of available patterns and stencils already.

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