How to Stitch an Alphabet Embroidery Sampler

Alphabet Sampler Embroidery Pattern

The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Learn an assortment of new stitches or practice a few of your old favorites with this free pattern for an alphabet embroidery sampler. Stitch them all together and frame the finished piece or use the letters individually for separate projects.

This finished sampler would look great stretched on a canvas for a great-looking piece of wall art. You could also embroider a child's name with the alphabet and make a decoration for a door.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Water-soluable stabilizer
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scissors

Materials

  • Embroidery canvas
  • Cotton embroidery floss

Instructions

  1. Download the Alphabet Letter Outlines

    Alphabet Sampler Pattern

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

    Although the sampler design for each letter has lots of detail elements to show the different stitches, it's a little easier to transfer the basic letters. Then you can work the various stitches over those lines. 

    Printing the image so it fills a standard page is a good size, but you can enlarge it and print it on multiple pages if you'd like. Some of the stitches would be tricky at a smaller size.

  2. Mark the Pattern

    If you want to transfer the entire alphabet for a sampler, the fastest and most accurate method is with a water-soluble stabilizer. You can use other transfer methods too, but it's best to only use those that allow you to completely remove the markings when finished.  

  3. Stitch the Individual Letters

    Alphabet Sampler Stitch Guide

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

    Use the image for reference as you follow the stitch guide below. If you'd rather, you can also use the alphabet pattern for plain lettering or with your favorite stitches. 

    If an embroidery stitch isn't familiar to you, vintage embroidery books may also be helpful.

    Tips

    • For best results, embroider on a tight even-weave fabric, such as linen or even quilting cotton. If the weave feels loose, fuse interfacing to the back.
    • This pattern would look great worked in a single color or in a few tints of the same color, for example, in black and gray. You could also use a variety of colors throughout or embroider the letters in rainbow order.

    A: Use back stitch for the entire letter. Add weaving on the left side.

    B: Use back stitch for the vertical line. Work the curves with rope stitch.

    C: Use coral stitch for the entire letter.

    D: Use back stitch for the curve. Work the vertical line with feather stitch.

    E: Use back stitch for the horizontal lines (and small curve). Work the vertical line with stem stitch, then add the second line with stem stitch. Add the angled lines with straight stitch.

    F: Use back stitch for the vertical and top lines. Form the second horizontal line with a bullion knot.

    G: Use back stitch for all the lines of the letter, leaving a gap for the flowers if you'd like. Work the flowers with detached chain stitch.

    H: Use back stitch for the left side and horizontal line. Work the right side with basket stitch.

    I: Use fern stitch for the entire letter.

    J: Use back stitch for the top of the letter. Work the vertical line and curve with cable chain stitch.

    K: Use back stitch for the two arms. Work the vertical line with open chain stitch.

    L: Use back stitch for the entire letter. Add wrapping to the entire letter.

    M: Use back stitch for the angled and right side of the letter. Work three rows of long and short satin stitch.

    N: Use back stitch for the entire letter. Add angled pistil stitch on the left vertical line.

    O: Use back stitch for the loop and top right of the letter. Work the rest of the letter with blanket stitch.

    P: Use back stitch for the entire letter. Add scalloped fly stitches along the left side of the vertical line.

    Q: Use back stitch for the curly line and the bottom right of the letter. Work the rest of the letter with scroll stitch.

    R: Use back stitch for the curves. Work the vertical line with thorn stitch.

    S: Use chain stitch for the entire letter. Add backstitch over the top of the chain stitch, with each stitch overlapping where the "chains" connect.

    T: Use back stitch for the horizontal line (and small curve). Work the vertical line with a 1/4-inch row of satin stitch.

    U: Use back stitch for the right side of the letter and lower curve. Work a line of French knots at the top of the left line.

    V: Use back stitch for the entire letter. Add wrapping/weaving to form Pekinese stitch on the left side.

    W: Use back stitch for the center and right lines. Work the left line with couching stitch.

    X: Use back stitch for the angled line with curves. Work the other angled line with long-armed cross stitch.

    Y: Use back stitch for the entire letter. Add weaving going in both directions on the right side.

    Z: Use back stitch for the entire letter. Add detached chain stitches along the angled line.