Samplers are hand embroidery patterns featuring a variety of embroidery stitches or motifs, borders or letters of the alphabet. Sometimes they're very traditional, other times they're modern. Some samplers create an image that incorporates many stitches, while others are much more freeform. This list gives you links to free sampler patterns to practice your embroidery.
01 of 08
Mod Embroidery Sampler
This modern take on an embroidery sampler brings a lot of sampler tradition while bringing fresh colors and motifs into the picture. The frame, a sweet phrase, and a few extra elements make this a great way to show off your stitches.
The Stitch Up shares this pattern without specific stitch instructions, but you'll see opportunities to use back stitch, chain stitch, satin stitch, french knots, buttonhole wheels (made with a blanket stitch) and more. Get creative as you make this mod sampler.
02 of 08
Vegetable Garden Sampler Pattern
This free sampler looks like a vegetable garden, but it's really an opportunity to learn or practice 11 different embroidery stitches. Each row uses one or more stitches to create a vegetable.
Specific colors and stitches are suggested, but you could easily adjust those to create your own personalized veggie garden sampler.
03 of 08
Heart Silhouette Sampler
Adventures in Making shares how to make this simple heart of decorative stitches that is perfect for beginners. Traditional samplers often have rows of embroidery stitches, but this uses that same idea to make a shape. It's a great example of how even basic lines of repeating stitches can make a strong impact.
You could even use this idea to make samplers for holidays or other special occasions.
04 of 08
Stitch Love Turtle Sampler Pattern
This happy turtle has a decorative shell that is perfect for creating your own sampler. Instead of giving you a list of stitches that you should use, each section of the shell is an opportunity for you to choose the stitches you want to practice.
See if you can work in every one of these 15 stitches every embroiderer should learn.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Bee Happy Sampler
This adorable sampler features flowers, honeycombs, and a sweet little bee. The pattern uses nine different stitches and will fit nicely in a small hoop. You'll find that this is a great design to stitch, even if you aren't looking for something just for practice.
In Nicole's Etsy shop, you'll also find other sampler patterns, including one with a hot air balloon and another with the princess and the pea atop a stack of mattresses.
06 of 08
Garden Path Sampler Frame
This sampler pattern started as a "sampler-along" but while the stitchalong has ended, the pattern remains and it's ready for you to fill with stitches. The free pattern is only the outline of the garden, giving you the freedom to plant any stitches you like.
The areas within the pattern are perfect for learning and practicing detached stitches.
07 of 08
Life is Beautiful Spring Sampler
This sampler is as beautiful as its name suggests. While the pattern doesn't tell you what stitches to use where, it has large, clear photos so you can look at the example for inspiration.
Others have worked this pattern too, so if you search online for the Life is Beautiful sampler, you're likely to see what they've done and the stitches they've used. Of course, you can also use your own choice of stitches.
08 of 08
Design Your Own Sampler Pattern
Create your own sampler pattern using these steps. So many of the great sampler patterns that are available would have started with a system like this. By learning how to create your own sampler, you're ready to stitch up so many beautiful designs, while learning new stitches and not waiting to find the pattern that's just right.