Stitch Sampler – Getting Started

embroidery design with floss and scissors

The idea behind this embroidery sampler is to take a simple motif and experiment with different stitches. They will look very different, even though they have the same basic shape. Once you’ve tried the different stitches, you will have confidence to know how to do embroidery with just an outline drawing, and maybe try your own with simple shapes.

If you want to do the entire sampler, we will be making a piece of embroidery 12″ square. I will be making that into a 15″ square pillow. If you don’t want to make such a big project, you can just try single motifs on smaller pieces of fabric and use them for different projects. I will even share some ideas for these as we go along.


  • cotton or linen fabric, 18″ square
  • embroidery floss in different colours (I am using DMC #600-605, 470, 472 & 3799
  • size 7 crewel embroidery needle
  • small sharp scissors
  • water soluble marker
pink and green DMC embroidery floss


Finish the outer edge of the fabric with a zig zag stitch or serger to keep it from unraveling during the stitching.

Using the water soluble marker, in the centre of the fabric mark 12″ square, and divide it into nine 4″ squares, three across and three down. If you have a quilting ruler, this will help a lot.

marking a line on fabric with a large ruler and marker

Print the template, and trace the flower motif into the centre of each square.

flower motif traced on fabric

You can use whatever hoop or frame that you want for the project, but some of the stitches are easier if you have both hands free and don’t need to hold the hoop.

I am using a floor frame for my project.

embroidery stand with fabric

Have fun with the project. Don’t worry about perfection, relax and enjoy the process.

Here are links to the different stitch options:

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Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

designer, teacher, speaker

Elizabeth enjoys doing all types of sewing and needlework and teaching others new techniques. Find out how to take a course or workshop.

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