Do you have a passion for embroidery? Or do you simply have an interest in learning how to embroider? Want free ideas, instructions and patterns for amazing embroidery designs? If so, you’ve definitely come to the right place. This page is a great place to begin browsing for your next embroidery project.
What Is Embroidery?
Embroidery is a type of decorative sewing. The goal with embroidery is to create artistic designs using embroidery floss, thread or yarn on fabric, clothing or any other similar surface. For example, besides just fabric, you could embroider on canvas, paper, suede, leather, etc.
It is possible to do embroidery by hand or using a machine.
Supplies You Need for Hand Embroidery
You don’t need many supplies to get started with hand embroidery. This is a low-tech craft that you can do with only a needle, some embroidery floss and some fabric or another item to embroider. It’s also helpful to have an embroidery hoop for helping to hold your fabric in place as you stitch.
As far as needles go, you could use a tapestry needle or darning needle. See our page on hand sewing needles for more information.
You have many options for embroidery floss. Thread and yarn are other alternatives to consider, but if you are new to embroidery, I think embroidery floss is the easiest choice of threads to use for getting started.
For fabric, you have zillions of possible options. My personal opinion is that, if you are going to spend the time it takes to do hand embroidery, you should choose the loveliest, nicest fabric you can afford as your surface for embroidery. I think it’s ideal to use beautiful linen fabrics or organic cotton fabrics. But it’s up to you; you can do your embroidery on just about any fabric.
See this guide to hand sewing stitches for information on how to do many embroidery stitches.
Buttonhole or Blanket Stitch
Cross stitch is is a stitch that looks like an X. You can incorporate it into embroidery projects with other embroidery stitches, or you can make projects consisting entirely of cross stitches. “Cross stitch” is actually its own category of crafting; it’s basically an easy type of embroidery where you sew little cross (X) designs on fabric or other surfaces to create interesting patterns, motifs or samplers. We offer you the following free cross stitch patterns on our website:
Related: How to Cross Stitch on Crochet
If you’re interested in working an embroidery project, one of the most challenging things is figuring out how to get your pattern onto the garment or fabric you want to embroider. You can certainly do freehand embroidery onto your project, but that isn’t necessarily ideal. You can also draw your design onto fabric first — but that idea doesn’t help you if your drawing skills aren’t impressive. Embroidery transfers help you to solve this problem.
Embroidery transfers are commercially printed embroidery patterns that you can easily transfer onto fabric, quilts, clothing or similar items. Usually, you get the design onto your fabric by positioning the transfer where you want the design to appear on the fabric and then pressing it with a hot iron.
There are many wonderful embroidery transfers available. I recommend A Cherry on Top Crafts as being a couple of fantastic sources for finding embroidery transfers.
It is possible to incorporate beads, sequins, pearls and other such materials into your embroidery projects. I’ve done a few bead embroidery projects; here’s a picture:
Bead Embroidery Christmas Stocking
An Alternative to Bead Embroidery With Pearls: If you don’t want to spend the time it takes to sew zillions of tiny pearls onto your project, you might want to consider trying Liquid Pearls. This is a three-dimensional, pearlescent fabric paint that looks a lot like bead embroidery when it’s finished — but it only takes a fraction of the time to do. Want more info? Check out my product review of Liquid Pearls, or shop for Liquid Pearls.
I’m working on reviewing some of my favorite embroidery books to recommend to you in this section.
Free Embroidery Patterns
Do you need a pretty sunflower border to embroider along the edges of one of your projects — perhaps around the outside edges of a pillowcase or along the lower edge of a skirt? If so, check out this pretty sunflower border embroidery design. You can repeat this border endlessly, as many times as you need to to get the effect you need on your project. Check it out HERE.
So there you have it: Those are the most important basics you need to know about embroidery. We hope you found this information helpful. Happy crafting!
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Posted By: Amy Solovay
This page was last updated on 10-15-2023.