Free antique embroidery pattern book online

Free antique embroidery pattern book online

My printer is going to be running hot as soon as I finish writing this post. An 1886 catalogue of embroidery designs from the New Sample Book of Our Artistic Perforated Parchment Stamping Patterns , has been put online. The catalogue is from J. F. Ingalls of Lynn, Massachusetts who established a mail order business. The patterns are in the public domain so stitchers are free to use them. Although they are large files don’t miss them if you are interested in vintage embroidery design, crazy quilting, or redwork. They are large scans but it makes them all the more useful to stitchers!

For anyone who has looked at American antique crazy quilts many of the motifs are instantly recognisable. So much so, we really could play “hunt for the missing classic” in this collection. If you are a crazy quilter and collect motifs to embroider download them and see if you can find any “classic” missing. Motifs include all the traditional motifs used in crazy quilting embroidery such as lettering, flowers, fruit, vegetables, wheat, birds, including storks and owls. Kate greenway motifs also feature along side other nursery rhyme figures. Also you will find oriental and art Nouveau motifs and a number of different types of peacock feathers. Motifs of knives, forks, spoons, crockery, vases of flowers, baskets of flowers, fans, hands, musical instruments, cats and kittens, dogs, horses, boots, anchors, horseshoes, mice, roosters, spiders, spider webs, butterflies, bugs, dragonflies, and bees. There are even a page or so of stitch diagrams used on crazy quilts. There was not a “classic” I could not find.

There are 255 pages of motifs in the pattern book. Each page consists of between 10 and 20 motifs per page, so it is a huge collection. If you are stitcher of course you will find these free patterns useful. If you are interested in the history of crazy quilting and the motifs or antique needlework, and the history of embroidery patterns you will find this resource invaluable.

If you are a crazy quilter please spread the word about this resource on blogs and discussion lists as this really is a fabulous resource. While you are at it is there anyone who can think of a traditional crazy quilt motif that is not represented in this collection? I think there are few hats but that is all I can think of. Leave a comment if you notice any missing classics.


  1. Sharon, as soon as I read “perforated parchment” I wondered if one of my recent eBay acquisitions is an example. I bought it from a lady in England. It was in a frame and thinking it was linen, I asked her to remove it from the frame to post it to me, to save postage. I was stunned when it arrived, to find it was embroidered on perforated paper! And it was intact! If you want to have a look, I posted a picture on Patra’s Place on July 14th. I would be interested to read your comments.

  2. Sharon, what a fabulous book and I’ve only looked at a few pages. They are large pages and would print out onto linen I think. Even if not stitched, it would make a lovely cover for a stitch sample book.

  3. What an absolutely incredible collection! It’s like walking through a doorway in time, and what a different world we enter. Thanks for this fabulous link.


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