A Book of designs by Mrs Watson — a 154-page collection of inked designs — was published in 1824. Design sources like this provide literally hundreds of patterns to work in embroidery, either as-is or for you to adapt to your projects. Better still, you can use these designs as points of departure for your own designs. Also, readers who are interested in Design history and the history of decoration will find this free book worth looking at.
There is quite a range of different types of patterns that you can use for surface embroidery. Many border patterns can be easily adapted and used for the edges of household items such as tea towels, placemats, small cloths, etc. Or these patterns could be worked around the edge of a tote bag. These designs are also highly adaptable for crazy quilting.
Many separate motifs are useful too — I can see so many options here for instance.
The book is out of copyright, digitised, and provided by Archive.org. Book of designs by Mrs Watson is available free in a number of formats including Kindle and PDF. Don’t forget to check out my stitch dictionary area of the Pintangle website, as it will give you loads of ideas on how to interpret these designs in stitches.
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Experimenting with different threads can be expensive. You would normally have to buy a whole skein of each type of thread. My thread twisties are a combination of different threads to use in creative hand embroidery. These enable you to try out stitching with something other than stranded cotton. For the price of just a few skeins, you can experiment with a bundle of threads of luscious colours and many different textures.
These are creative embroiders threads. With them, I hope to encourage you to experiment. Each Twistie is a thread bundle containing silk, cotton, rayon, and wool. Threads range from extra fine (the same thickness as 1 strand of embroidery floss) to chunky couchable textured yarns. All threads have a soft and manageable drape. Twisting them around a needle makes experimental hand embroidery an interesting journey rather than a battle. Many are hand-dyed by me. All are threads I use. You may find a similar thread twist but no two are identical.
You will find my thread twisties in the Pintangle shop here.