More embroidery books free online

screenshot of tutorialBrainerd & Armstrong’s Embroidery lessons with colored studies, 1908 : latest and most complete book on the subject of silk embroidery and popular fancy work is available on the Internet archive.

For all that the title is a mouthful, people interested in floral motifs will find the section on “lessons in embroidering flowers” interesting. It does cover embroidering flowers but the chapter commences with analysing the parts of a plant so you get a little lesson in botany along the way!

There are oodles of motifs that crazy quilters will find useful.
Also some motifs which are designed to be used on hankies but I can see them on the corner of a crazy quilt block.




Cornell University has republished Brainerd & Armstrongs Doiley and centre-piece book (1896)

It is well worth downloading the PDF file as the first section covers embroidery stitches and the second has many free patterns for doilies. Although people don’t stitch these anymore there is no reason why the same design can not be worked on bag or other item. Or it is simple enough to use a section of the pattern to work

Both books are well worth downloading particularly since they are free.



  1. Interesting resources and I’m just in the process of downloading 2 others from the same site!

    The first one you mentioned here got my attention as the diagram you posted from it seems very much in the silk shading/thread painting line, but dates from before the Chinese claim to have developed thread paiting in the 1930s. I wonder…

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