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FREE Back to School Patterns You can Embroider, Cross Stitch, or Needlepoint


Celebrate the start if the school year by stitching one of these free hand embroidery, cross stitch or needlepoint patterns and projects that feature a back to school, teacher or autumn theme. Stitching one of these free patterns is a great way to kick off parental liberation day after a long, hot summer!

1. Schoolhouse Hand Embroidery Sampler

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

Stitch this easy Schoolhouse Sampler using simple, basic hand embroidery stitches including back stitch, French knots and lazy daisy surface embroidery stitches.

After the stitching has been completed, enhance the Schoolhouse Sampler project with PrimsaColor artists' pencils. These wax-based pencils are perfect for adding a touch of color to embroidery projects that will not be laundered. This step is optional, but really makes the finished project stand out.

The project is sized to fit a standard 8.5 x 11 inch document frame, and would be wonderful to display during the back to school season. The framed project would also make a welcome gift for a teacher.

2. Blackboard Cross Stitch Sampler

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

Embroider this simple sampler using just two basic stitches - cross stitch and back stitch. The finished design resembles a blackboard and features the alphabet surrounded by a simple border, reminiscent of blackwork.

Just one color of embroidery floss is needed. Choose black thread to work the design on white 14-count Aida fabric, or black thread to work the pattern on black Aida fabric. The finished size of the stitched area measures approximately 5 x 3.5 inches when worked on 14-count fabric.

Finish as shown, or use the handy alphabet to create personalized designs or fabric labels.

3. Surface Alphabet with No-Count Cross Stitch

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

This vintage-style pattern for a hand embroidered alphabet with optional flowers is worked using easy surface embroidery stitches and no-count cross stitch. Use all the letters together as a sampler, or use them individually create monograms or personalized projects. My samples shows a single letter that has been hoop framed.

The cross stitch portion of the design is no-count because the design is marked on a plainweave fabric, with the marked lines covered by the embroidery. This is different from traditional types of cross stitch because there are no threads in the fabric or squares in the Aida cloth to be counted while working the stitching.

4. Football-Themed Embroidery Patterns

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com
This football-themed pattern set includes images for a football player, a round medallion, a football border and a banner, as well as a varsity alphabet you can use to customize the designs for your favorite player or team.

5. Autumn Apple

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

Capture the Autumn spirit in thread by stitching this Autumn Apple embroidery pattern accented with dainty leaves, flowers and tendrils using basic hand embroidery stitches. The pattern can be used to embellish kitchen towels and aprons, totes and other ready-made items, or use the pattern to make a pretty pin cushion for your workroom by stitching the design on wool felt.

The recommended stitches for this pattern include the back stitch or stem stitch for the stems and tendrils, back stitch or running stitch for the leaf veins, lazy daisy for the flowers, detached chain stitch for the little leaves and French knots for the small flower clusters and the centers of the larger flowers.

6. Red Mini Sampler

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

Working a small sampler is a terrific way to learn the basic stitches used in most cross stitch projects - basic cross stitch and back stitch.

This pattern for a Red Mini Sampler can be framed or finished as ornaments or fobs. The simple framed alphabet design works up quickly, and would make a terrific pattern for a set of Christmas ornaments for yourself, or to share with friends.

The simple alphabet used in the sampler can also be used in other projects. Use the letters to personalize an item with a name, work a design with your favorite saying or phrase, or use the letters as small, simple monograms.

7. Redwork Alphabet

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

Work the entire alphabet in Redwork using this series pattern given in 4 parts.

Each design measure 5x5 inches when worked full-size, and is worked in basic surface embroidery stitches including stem stitch, back stitch, running stitch, French knots and detached chain stitch.

Part 1 features the letters A through G.
Part 2 features the letters H through N.
Part 3 features the letters O through U.
Part 4 features the letters V through Z along with two filler blocks and a suggested layout.

8. Apple a Day Needlepoint Pattern

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com

Stitch a batch of a dozen apples for the Teacher in this pretty needlepoint project. The optional bonus pattern makes a terrific, quick-to-stitch gift idea for a special friend or the school librarian. The pattern set includes a square motif suitable for framing or use on a pillow top, and a matching bookmark. The square motif would also be a perfect pocket for a bookbag.

Worked on 12-count canvas, the finished size of the square motif is approximately 7.5 x 7.5 inches and the bookmark 2x7 inches. The simple design can be worked in basic >tent stitch, or use the charted design to work the pattern in cross stitch.

9. Red Delicious Needlepoint Pattern

© Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com
Everyone loves finding a crisp, juicy red apple in their lunch box. You can stitch this beauty using basic needlepoint stitches - the body of the apple and background areas are large enough to try a textured or fancy stitches such as the Milanese Stitch, the Cashmere Stitch, the Byzantine Stitch, the Diagonal Mosaic Stitch, or the Rice Stitch. The Scotch Checkerboard Stitch or Framed Scotch Stitch would look terrific used in the tan background. Alternately, you can work the charted design in cross stitch.

The entire design is worked in 12 colors of Pearl Cotton on Mono Canvas, and is approximately 10 x 8 inches in size when worked in needlepoint according to the directions.

10. Schoolhouse Quilt Pattern

Andover Fabrics

Make a quilt for the back to school season! This free pattern for a Schoolhouse Quilt has been provided by Andover Fabrics and includes a color photo of the finished quilt worked in two different colorways (red or blue), the materials list, patterns and cutting requirements, and complete diagrams for making the project fron start to finish.

The project features a large central block surrounded by a pieced border of small spool blocks, and was designed by Jean Ann Wright. The finished quilt measures 56 x 56 inches square.

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