Free hand embroidery patterns

free hand embroidery patternThe Antique pattern library is hosting a book of Anchor embroidery transfers that are out of copyright and free to share. I have sampled some pages so you can see what is on offer.
free hand embroidery pattern 2The book contains over 100 pages of patterns that contemporary embroiderers will love.

free hand embroidery patternMany are from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco era and still have a modern look. Border designs such as these are always inspiration for me.

free hand embroidery patternThere are some motifs that I am sure many crazy quilters will find useful to use in the middle of patches, in corners or over seams.

free hand embroidery patternYou can of course use them as a design source and adapt and change to suit your needs.

free hand embroidery patternI think readers will really enjoy these and better still they are free! Visit the Antique pattern Library  to see the whole book of Anchor embroidery transfers and legally have a copy

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Tips on how to photograph a quilt

quilt photographic shootThis behind the scenes shot taken while photographing my quilts lead to Jerry (my husband) writing a brief article on how to photograph quilts. I think this information would be handy for many of my readers. He discusses lighting, the set up he used and his camera settings.

As you can see our family room with wall to wall, floor to ceiling books is his studio!

A closer look at details on my Freeform Hand Embroidery Sampler

sampler band 706 Herringbone Cretan + Arrow stitch I had fun experimenting on this particular area of my sampler. The middle is made up of 2 lines of herringbone Cretan stitch. The herringbone feet are very narrow and the beads cover it a little but it is an interesting variety of Cretan stitch. I worked it in a hand dyed perle #5 cotton and top and bottom border is made up of a variety of arrow stitch.

sampler band 703 Cretan stitch I was experimenting with varieties of Cretan stitch. On this band I changed the height of the arms. The row is worked in a hand dyed cotton perle #5. (You can tell which thread I reach for all the time)

sampler band 704 Cretan stitch This is a line of Cretan stitch worked closely and it is also worked using a hand dyed cotton perle #5.

sampler band 705 Crossed chain stitch and beadingThen I must have changed my mind or spotted this stitch in a book and decided to try it as the area is chained cross worked row upon row to form a pattern . The chain cross is stranded hand dyed variegated cotton and I added beads in the spaces between the stitches.

Needlework sampler section 51 aThese are close up details 703 to 706 that I worked on section 51 on my Love of Stitching Band Sampler. If you are curious and want to know more about this section of the sampler click on the thumbnail. The sampler itself is only 6 inches wide but it is 96 feet 5 inches or 29.3878 meters long.

In this section of the sampler the fabric I used is a 25cnt evenweave linen and it was worked between June and December of 2010.

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How to work Back Stitch

Back stitch sampleBack stitch is often used along side cross stitch to define a clean neat line in a design. It is classified as a linear stitch because you can create lines with it! Back stitch is an old adaptable stitch which can be used as a delicate outline or as a foundation in composite stitches, such as Pekinese stitch. It is also a great stitch to whip or thread with a heavier yarn. You can add beads to it too!

Back stitch sample using hand dyed threadIf you want to work blackwork patterns using hand dyed or variegated threads use back stitch. Many blackwork patterns can be very effective worked this way and the changing colours  add a contemporary touch to a traditional style of hand embroidery.

Back stitch sample on contemporary hand embroideryThis is a stitch that is considered a basic stitch as it is always introduced to beginners, but I feel  people underestimate  its versatility which ensures its timeless appeal to generations of stitchers. For instance in this sample (click to see a larger version)  I have used back stitch to define the lines of the sand. Set against the highly textured embroidery the simple ‘basic’ stitch creates the contrast I wanted.

Back stitch step by step tutorialIf needed, mark your line with a quilters pencil or soluble pen or pencil. Bring the thread up from the back of the fabric on the line that you want to create. Make a small backward stitch through the fabric.

Bring the needle through the fabric a little in front of the first stitch and still on the line. Pull the thread through the fabric.

Make the second stitch backward,inserting the needle down into the hole made by the first stitch and bringing the needle out a little in front of the second stitch but still on the line. Repeat this movement and continue sewing in such a manner along the line.

Back stitch is also known as point de sable

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Free pattern for block 85 from I Dropped the Button Box

Crazy quilt block 85Block 85 is a sober softer coloured block in bronze and brown tones. It is a bit of mish mash of stuff but I like it. When I started this quilt I aimed to use as many unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, and buttons on the quilt as possible. Why? It is a Y2K quilt.

For fun I have been keeping a tally of the item count. I hope I did not make a mistake when I stitched these blocks, as after all this time it will be mighty embarrassing to discover my count was out!

block 85 diagramFabric content:

  • Piece 1: synthetic mix from a recycle blouse
  • Piece 2: Silk
  • Piece 3: It is totally covered by buttons but it is soft furnishing fabric!
  • Piece 4: A metallic after five/costuming fabric
  • Piece 5: A metallic after five/costuming fabric
  • Piece 6: Synthetic soft furnishing fabric
  • Piece 7: Synthetic polly
  • Piece 8: Synthetic soft furnishing fabric
  • Piece 9: under the lace is cotton

block 85 patternItem Count: 

  • Fabric: 9
  • Lace, braid and ribbon:3
  • Buttons and charms: 14
  • Total items on this block: 26
  • Total tally of items on the quilt so far: 1620

I dropped button box quiltThis article is part of a series that offers a free block pattern from  my crazy quilt called I dropped the button box.

Each block is listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

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