Constance Howard samplers online

Constance Howard, was a inspiring teacher and author who pioneered embroidery in textile design and made a colossal impact on contemporary embroidery. Her books were published in the 60’s and 70’s and you spot them I am sure a contemporary embroiderer would still learn from them.

Make a cuppa and browse the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles which is hosted by Goldsmiths College, University of London. This is one of those online resources which become more enjoyable the more you poke about. You need to use the search box however. I typed “samplers” into the image search box and discovered lots of interesting textiles to browse and learn from.

Constance Howard samplerConstance Howard worked this stitch sampler in black and white in the late 1970’s or early 1980s. It consists of rows of black and white stitching on a grey linen. Constance Howard is demonstrating working one stitch in 2 colours. Follow the link for close ups and details.

Constance Howard samplerIn this sample we can see Constance Howard experimenting with raised chain band.

Constance Howard samplerThis small sampler of multi-coloured, raised chain band is worked on red wool fabric by Constance Howard for one of her books

Constance Howard samplerThis sample worked by Constance Howard to illustrate the design process explained in her book ‘Inspiration for Embroidery’. The design is based on the two halves of a circle and realised in stiffened appliqué fabric.

Constance Howard samplerThis experimental sampler of free surface stitches is described as ‘Nets made with stitches, spots made with stitches‘ written on the mount by Constance Howard.

As I said all of these samples were worked between the 60’s to the 80’s and contemporary embroiderers owe her much as her creativity and emphasis on design pushed embroidery into a direction that many today do not venture! She was the first to say “it’s Ok to explore a stitch” and saw stitches as making graphic  marks.

The Constance Howard sampler Resource and Research Centre in Textiles collection held by the  University of London at Goldsmiths, pay the site a visit and learn a bit about contemporary embroidery too!

Friday Freebies

screenshot This week I want to point to 3 sites that have recently published free embroidery designs and indirectly introduce you to sites you may not already know.

The first is a french site Broiderie d’Antan  houses many traditional patterns. Poke around and explore the site as you will be rewarded with many embroidery patterns. The site is in French but you can easily use Google translate to help you.

screenshot of tutorial The next site is the work of a New Zealander Janet Davis, JMD Designs.

This week Janet published a tutorial on how to make a fabric bowl,  but if you take some time out over a coffee break and venture further into her site you will discover lots of tutorials, projects and resources for needleworkers.

The next site I am sure everyone knows as it is extremely popular. If you are not already aware of Mary Corbet’s Needle n’ Thread  it would be a crime that I did not tell you of it.

screenshot This week Mary published a free embroidery pattern in a Jacobean style.

Once again if you have not investigated her site much you are missing out  as there are numerous video tutorials on various stitches, advice on techniques, tips to make a stitchers life easier. If you have not encountered Mary’s site before it really is treasure trove to explore.

Friday freebies is a regular series in which I highlight free resources online, free patterns and links that are of interest to fiber folks.  All posts in the series are in the  Friday Freebie category I hope you enjoy them.


Friday Freebie – Cross stitch font

I was poking around Font Squirrel and found Costura a free cross stitch font which I could not resist sharing with my regular readers. If you are making digital Christmas cards or delving into the paper crafts you might want to download this as it is very appropriate for anyone who embroiders.

screenshot of font

This is part of a series where I post either free patterns or links to resources online that are useful for stitchers. All posts in the series are in the  Friday Freebie category I hope you enjoy them.


Friday Freebie

pattern available from craftsmanspace

I have a something different this Friday which I think readers will enjoy.

Lately I have had a lovely time poking around the Craftsmanspace website which I have only recently discovered. Craftsmanspace share patterns for people who use techniques such as marquetry, wood burning, folk painting, fretwork, carving, etc.

They do not include embroidery on their list but there are many patterns on this site that are more than suitable for stitchers! Usually they are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. Full details are on the creative commons website but the main thing is that you can use them as embroidery patterns and you can adapt them to stitching designs.

pattern available from craftsmanspace

Anyway I thought I would tempt you with few screen shots of patterns found on the floral designs page.

Now no drooling on the keyboard just head over to craftsmanspace and browse the sections listed on the right hand side as there are all sorts of designs there. Make a cuppa take some time out and have fun.

pattern from craftsmanspace

If you need to know how I would transfer patterns to fabric, I have a tutorial on how to transfer embroidery designs to fabric which may help.

All posts in the series are in the  Friday Freebie category I hope you enjoy them.