Let’s stitch something pretty! Dreaming up stitching projects is one of my favourite past-times and sharing my love of embroidery is the cherry on top. So today I’ve got a whimsical beginner hand embroidery moth pattern for you to try!
This post contains affiliate links. Read more.
I’ve had this moth sampler on my list of designs to try for so long that I’m actually a little shocked I finally made it!
The second I cross it off you can be sure I’ll just add another idea to my never ending list. (I’m thinking a rainbow sampler next?!) But still, I got it done!
Even though I’m self employed, it still feels like I spend more time doing dull tasks and less time doing the design work I’d rather be doing. You’d think my boss would let me have the freedom to just sew pretty things all day, but she’s a tough nut and insists on bookkeeping too. 😛
Free Embroidery Pattern
This moth pattern is a beginner friendly embroidery project. While making it, you’ll learn 10 basic stitches and you’ll produce a beautifully magical art piece that you can give away or hang up proudly.
The printable pattern and accompanying stitch guide for this beginner hand embroidery are totally free, you’ll find a sign up box at the bottom of the post.
What is an Embroidery Sampler?
An embroidery sampler is a piece of embroidery work that showcases your skill and proficiency at a variety of stitches. Typically there is text or an alphabet, and a selection of patterns or motifs.
I’m not sure if this moth pattern is a sampler in the strictest sense because there is no text. But it gets you to practice and demonstrate several basic stitches that are handy to have in your repertoire. And this beginner hand embroidery design will be a fantastic reference for you in future to look at and be reminded of what the stitches should look like!
This moth sampler uses 10 different stitches. And those stitches will be a wonderful foundation for future embroideries!
To make one moth sampler, you’ll need:
Printed Pattern (located at the end of the post)
Fabric 8″x 8″ (I used some pretty quilting cottons)
Felt 8″ x 8″ for backing
Selection of embroidery threads
6″ Embroidery hoop (I like these bamboo ones)
Small embroidery scissors
Light Pad (optional)
I haven’t made any suggestions for thread colour selection because the fun thing about a sampler is choosing whatever colours you please!
You could go all in with neon shades, or pastels or go all black! Black could be cool and moody actually…
Just have fun with it. There’s no wrong way to do an embroidery. And the worst thing that can happen is you end up hating a thread colour so you rip it out to start again. No harm done.
Easiest Way to Transfer an Embroidery Pattern
The easiest way to transfer an embroidery pattern onto fabric is to use a light pad.
Simply turn on the brightness to maximum on the light pad, position your fabric over the design and trace it directly onto your fabric using a pencil, pen or other implement of your choosing. I generally prefer to use a mechanical pencil and to trace lightly.
But the colours of my fabrics were too saturated and pencil markings did not show up. So I used a regular pen instead.
I only traced the most essential markings, but some elements like the stars, fly stitches and flower petals I didn’t trace because I didn’t think the thread would fully cover up the markings.
As you can see, my fabric is fairly opaque and I was still able to see through it easily to trace the embroidery pattern.
A light pad is a great and affordable tool to have in your craft supplies if you do any regular pattern tracing or design. I can’t believe I lived without one for so long!
If you don’t have access to a light pad, that’s not a problem. You can always use a window and some daylight instead! I used that technique and photographed it for this other embroidery design.
After you’ve traced the pattern, layer the fabric onto your piece of felt backing and secure them into your hoop. Now you’re ready to start stitching!
Beginner Hand Embroidery
Included with the pattern is a beautiful free stitch guide that has an illustrated description of every stitch you will need to complete this design.
So I won’t re-describe how to do each stitch here. But there’s lots and lots of photos to help you!
Step 1: Fill in the body with a brick stitch using 3 strands of thread.
You can use only one colour if you’d prefer, but I think a brick stitch provides the perfect opportunity to fade colours into each other.
So I used an ombre effect with 3 shades, transitioning at 1/3 intervals.
Step 2: Use 3 strands of thread and a split stitch to embroider the outline of the wings.
Step 3: Use 2 strands and a stem stitch to do the vines. Use 3 strands and a lazy daisy stitch to do the leaves.
Step 4: Use 3 strands of thread and a satin stitch to fill in the circles in the inner wings.
Step 5: Use 3 strands and a split stitch for the wavy lines in the outer wings.
Step 6: Use 3 strands of thread to create 2 woven roses on each outer wing.
Make sure your initial 5 stitches are evenly spaced and equal in length.
Step 7: Use 2 strands of thread and a backstitch to create the stripes on the inner wings.
Step 8: Use 3 strands and a satin stitch to fill in the head.
Step 9: Use 2 strands and a split stitch for the antennae. Top each antenna off with a french knot.
Oooh these next teeny tiny flowers bring me a lot of joy!
Step 10: Use 2 strands of green thread and 3 straight stitches to make the tiny flower stems and leaves.
Step 11: Use a single strand of thread and 5 straight stitches to create the flower petals. Then swoon a little over how delightful they are!
Step 12: Use 2 strands and a fly stitch to create the detailing in the upper portion of the wings.
Step 13: Use 2 strands of thread and 3 straight stitches to create the stars. I used a metallic thread to make the stars sparkle a little.
Step 14: Use 2 strands to create the french knots and use them to fill in the spaces between the stars.
Now your moth is done!
Finishing the Back of the Embroidery Hoop
There are many methods for finishing the back of an embroidery hoop, and someday I’ll write a whole post on the subject.
My preferred method is to use small embroidery scissors to trim the felt backing so it’s flush with the wood of the hoop.
Trim the fabric in a circle about 3/4″ bigger than the hoop.
Then use hot glue to secure the fabric to the inside of the hoop.
You see a photo of this finishing technique in this post.
Now let’s admire our work!
If I had a do-over, I’d probably choose a lighter coloured fabric so the embroidery could really shine. But I’m still pleased as punch with how it turned out!
If you’re looking for more free embroidery patterns, check out the freebies tab for more of my designs.
Grab your printable copy of this beginner hand embroidery pattern by filling in this box:
And have so much fun making this gorgeous moth! Pretty please tag me in pics so I can see! @yellow_birdhouse