With the renewed interest in free embroidery (embroidery on a on-counted ground or fabric), you can find lots of pretty cool free patterns intended to transfer onto a piece of fabric.
But you can just as easily transfer them onto apiece of needlepoint canvas and use them as a line-drawing for your needlepoint.
Today we are going to talk about what to look for when you want to do this and tomorrow we will begin a step-by-step tutorial on how to go from a free pattern on the Web to a finished needlepoint.
When you look at embroidery transfer designs, what you see are the lines of the design which will be covered with stitching. Most free embroidery of this type relies on the fabric to covey the design and so they have lots of open spaces.
This is good for us as needlepointers because we will fill those areas up with stitches.
Tip #1 Look for designs with open areas which aren’t filled with lots of lines to be covered.
But (isn’t there always a but), in free embroidery other details, like facial expression are conveyed with lines and other details as well.
Here is where you have a problem. When you embroider on cloth you can stick a stitch anywhere, it can be any angle, it can stop or start anyplace. But with needlepoint you are stuck with the grid. The bigger the wholes, the fewer details you can convey. So a design with too many little details will lose them when changed to needlepoint.
It’s like looking at a scene through a screen as opposed to through a window. With the screen you can see everything, yes, but you lose detail. Needlepoint canvas is the screen.
In conclusion I thought today I would share with you some free embroidery sites where you can download new and vintage embroidery patterns.
If you want to play along with the tutorial, check back tomorrow to see the Arts & Crafts design I picked from this site. But you can pick one which suits your style and your mood and stitch away.
Check the designs out at these sites:
Embroidery Patterns – This Flickr album has many charming designs, many looking like children’s book illustrations.
TipNut – has a listing of all kinds of embroidery projects. Click on the link to find the particular project and then look through the article to find the pattern. Many of these are vintage and vintage style.
Meggiecat – has links to lots of great vintage patterns.
Needle n’Thread – Scroll down past the text ads to find many lovely patterns, often in traditional, Victorian, and Arts & Crafts styles.
Doe-c-doe – Every Thursday she showcases vintage embroidery and embroidery patterns. I’ve found lots of good things here.
Vintage Transfer Designs – Lots of great retro and vintage transfers.
I’m sure you will find something to suit your fancy here. We’ll start the project tomorrow!