The Dover Weekly Sampler

The Dover Weekly Sampler

Many textile folks do not see themselves as being able to draw and since it is illegal to copy they find themselves working commercial designs. 

Japanese design

This method of working is fine but they never really have the opportunity to try their hand at design. There is nothing quite like developing your own.

One way to ease yourself into the process is to try adapting commercial clip and copyright free art. 

Dover publishes books of clip and copyright free art  which means it is legal to use, adapt and remodel their designs. You can sign up for the Dover Sampler. It is free and a wonderful introduction to their product as each week they send you a selection of samples from their books.

You get some real gems and of course discover what is inside their books! This in my case occasionally proves fatal but I guess that is why they are doing it. 


For instance last week this Japanese design of three fans really appealed to me.

Also in  this weeks sampler is this inspirational piece. It just great eye candy to get ideas flowing.

I am not affiliated with Dover in any way I just think their clip art is great.


  1. Hi, Sharon –

    I’ve been signed up with the Dover sampler for eons… they do have some great designs for gleaning ideas! And some of their designs make great images for needlework projects. I’ve got several of their CDs and books, myself, and I’m probably going to use part of one of their images for a long and short stitch lesson.

    Strangely enough, although they say “copyright free” images and “royalty-free” images on the front of many of their books and CDs, in the fine print on many of their publications, they do have stipulations about using their images. I think it’s usually a maximum of 10 in any work (such as a website or a written piece), for each book (or CD) purchased. They also require that the user actually purchases the book.

    So, for example, when my mom published her cookbook, she used Dover images for some of the embellishment. But because she used around 55 images, she actually had to buy 6 copies of the particular book / CD in order for the whole thing to be legal, because the stipulation was ten images for each purchased book / CD.

    I think some of their books are completely “royalty” and “copyright” free, without stipulations. But from what I’ve seen, many of them do have that in the fine print under their copyright info.

    Just thought I’d point that out for readers who might be tempted to publish their collections from the weekly sampler, or use them in kits, as online patterns, etc. Check for copyright limitations, and remember that they all revolve around the assumption that the CD or book has been purchased.


  2. Heh. I just got the Pictorial archive catalog in the mail this weekend. I would like one of each, please. So I know what I’m doing if I win the lottery! You won’t see me out from under the clip art books for MONTHS!!!

    Love the Dover samplers. Have a stash of downloads from them on my computer.

  3. I agree – I’ve been receiving the weekly samples for a couple of years now and have over 1500 images saved to my computer. I find them very useful for all sorts of projects and a great starting point for the development of ideas.

  4. Brilliant! Thanks Sue – I signed up straight away and browsed through some of their free clipart. A huge and varied amount there so lots of inspiration for someone like me who’s just starting out on the creative side of embroidery.

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