A Handbook of Lettering for Stitchers

Lettering for Stitchers coverA Handbook of Lettering for Stitchers reaches outrageous prices on Amazon. I have seen it priced at well over $100. To be honest it is a good book but it not worth that, particularly since it is now out of copyright and Public Collectors  host a pdf copy for free.

This classic book is now free and really worth the download if you are interested in using any sort of lettering on a hand embroidery project. You can download the pdf file here

Lettering for Stitchers design ideas 4A Handbook of Lettering for Stitchers was published in 1973 and it looks like it. The black and white illustrations will not impress modern readers who are used to lush photography in full colour but this book contains 100 pages of really useful patterns and design tips for stitchers who love lettering.

Lettering for Stitchers design ideas 5People who are interested in hand embroidered samplers will also delight in the genuine retro feel of the patterns.

The book contains many illustrated pages that display a huge variety of designs that you can use in embroidery. The strength of this book is that in her examples Elsie Svennas has applied various stitches to every letter of the alphabet.

Lettering for Stitchers design ideas 6The book starts with a brief history of using decorative monogram before embarking on a detailed discussion on stitches that are suitable to use for lettering in embroidery.

Lettering for Stitchers hand embroidery ideas 1One of the reasons I avidly read old embroidery books is they often illustrate different ways of using a stitch. For instance in the illustration above, look at how the detached chain stitch is opened up to create the flower. The detached chain almost but not quite becomes a fly stitch.

Lettering for Stitchers hand embroidery ideas 3This type of approach to hand embroidery is still very contemporary and I delight in discovering instances like this. Here is another instance I would like to share. Readers who are enjoying the TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) stitchers challenge will be aware that recently one of the challenge stitches was Satin Stitch. Take a look at how the Satin stitch is slanted on the letter O and how  back stitch and satin stitch is combined in the letter T.

Lettering for Stitchers hand embroidery ideas 2This page from the book demonstrates more creative uses of basic stitches. On the curve illustrates in the top right hand corner of this page and on the letter O take a look at how the open chain stitch is tied together like sheaf stitch. On the same page see how regular chain stitch is whipped on both sides to produce a very different line on the letter b and M.

Lettering for Stitchers design ideas 1An aspect of the book that I really like is that throughout there are many options to adapt what is on the page to what you need. Here is advice on how to adapt the illustrations for thick or thin lettering to use on your project.

Lettering for Stitchers design ideas 2There are also design tips woven through the text.

Lettering for Stitchers design ideas 3As I read through the book I thought that people who do zentangles would probably enjoy inserting patterns into the letter forms.

If you like this Handbook of Lettering for Stitchers  you will probably also enjoy Elsie Svennas other  classic embroidery book titled Handbook of Stitches: 200 Embroidery Stitches, Old and New . The copy I have is well thumbed. It is now out of print so you see some silly pricing. Since I buy embroidery books for the information they contain and not their collectors value I would not pay more than $30 for a copy (I have seen it priced at $350.00!) . If you spot it in a second hand book shop at a reasonable price and are interested in using embroidery stitches in a creative modern manner and like retro styling you will enjoy your bargain as Elsie Svennas has an inventive mind.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon which means if you purchase these products I get a small commission which offsets the costs of running this site. There is not extra cost to you, I simply get a small percentage of any sale made as result of a reader following the link.

A collection of Free Hand Embroidery patterns

I have found another collection of free hand embroidery patterns hosted by the Antique Pattern Library. These are real gems, so in the spirit of sharing I am providing some eye candy from the collection so you can see if it will suit you needs.

The Antique pattern library provide some great resources for hand embroiderers online and they are free if you like and use any of their publications I can only encourage you to donate to them as they are non profit.

This publication is listed as Dames, Magasin des Album Broderie. It is a 27 page collection of designs that span a year of the Magasin des Demoiselles’ embroidery patterns

Free hand embroidery pattern of alphabetsI saw some great Alphabets for those who use them (I am ever so slightly addicted to collecting them to use on my sampler)

Free hand embroidery pattern of small floral spraysAlso there are dozens of floral sprays and border designs that can be used on small items or on crazy quilting projects.

Free hand embroidery patternsSome of the border patterns are made up of repeating units which would be very easy to use as a standalone design.

Free hand embroidery pattern of a vase and fanThere are also single motifs that could be used to embroider the patches of a crazy quilt such as this jar and fan.

Free hand embroidery pattern of a sugar basinThis little series caught my eye as this milk jug and sugar bowl on one page

Free hand embroidery pattern of a milk jugWith the tea cup and tea pot on the next page.

Free hand embroidery pattern of a teacupAs you can see I cleaned these up a bit in photoshop as I think I might use them

Free hand embroidery pattern of a teapotThe overview page for Dames, Magasin des Album Broderie is here and there is also is a link to the pdf download
If you have problems downloading remember the Antique Pattern Library are sticklers for you having the latest version of Adobe reader for security reasons. If when you try to open or download a pdf file you receive a message asking for a password you need to upgrade your version of acrobat reader as no passwords are required. You also may need to update your browser. If you have other troubles go to their FAQ page here and see if there is something else you need to do


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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