Favorite Things: a Nature-Inspired Easy Embroidery Sampler

on August 10 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 144 Comments

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks!

From Beth: Margie from resurrection fern brings us this beautiful, easy sampler project. Read all about Margie in her introduction, and enjoy today’s stitching. We are so excited to have Margie lend her wonderful aesthetic to our month of Hand Sewing. In addition to our daily Hand Sewing giveaways, Margie is offering a chance to win this “favorite things” greenworks sampler with a comment on this post.

Favorite Things: a Nature-Inspired Easy Embroidery Sampler by Margie Oomen

HSMMRFP1.jpg title=

This simple little embroidery project was inspired by the vintage embroidered samplers and redwork. I decided that green is the new red and to create an easy project to you to make using my design or to use one of your own. It would be lovely to go on a nature walk with your children, collect a few special things or take pictures of them and then go home and draw out your very own collection.

HSMMRFP2.jpg title=


  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Suitable fabric: I used a vintage hankie but any piece of fabric with a tight weave about 12 inches square would work.
  • Embroidery thread (I have never purchased embroidery thread new, I always buy bags of it at the second hand stores for next to nothing.)
  • Embroidery needles
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery hoop (Again, please check thrift stores where you can buy them for a dollar or less; the older ones are stronger and better quality wood.)


    With a pencil make a simple line drawing of your “favorite things” or you can print my PDF template and trace it.
    Now place the drawing face down on your fabric on a hard smooth surface…
    …And rub the back with a pencil until you have transferred the image to your fabric.
    I like this method but you could use another method like tracing directly onto the fabric.
    Now you are ready to choose a shade of green to start to embroider your sampler.

    I use a single thread of embroidery floss and a very small needle. I only used four different stitches to make this, the main one being my favorite: chain stitch. The others that I used are french knots for the center of the flower and to dot the “i”, back stitch for the letters and lazy daisy stitch for the flower. You can use these stitches or any others you are comfortable with. An excellent resource to learn basic embroidery stitches is Jenny Hart’s tutorials.

    So place your fabric in the hoop and get stitching.
    I stitched my sampler while spending a beautiful warm summer evening on the porch.

    HSMMRFP10.jpg title=

    I finished before the full moon was high in the sky.

    HSMMRFP11.jpg title=

    This can be hung as it in the hoop or out. You could also use it to make something like a pillow, tote or even use it as a block in a special quilt. I decided to hang mine in the sewing room.

    My favorite books about embroidery are mostly vintage books by Erica Wilson and Winsome Douglass. Three newer books that inspire me are Aimee Ray’s book Doodle Stitching, Tilleke Schwarz’s book Mark Making and The New Crewel by Katherine Shaughnessy.

    HSMMRFP13.jpg title=

    If you leave a comment after this tutorial you might win the “favorite things” greenworks sampler. I will pick a winner on the last day of the month. Embroidery is so relaxing and you can do it just about anywhere so please do give it a try.

    Comment in any post this week for a chance to win a SMS Deluxe Hand Sewing Kit or one of 4 $20 gift certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew! This week you can also win a Clover Holiday Rotary Cutter Gift Set!

    Add your photos to the Hand Sewing pool.

Pin It

Related Posts

144 Responses to Favorite Things: a Nature-Inspired Easy Embroidery Sampler

  1. Heather says:

    What a great sampler! This will be bookmarked for later.

  2. stacey says:

    This is so cute, bookmarking this to make my own favorite things embroidery later 🙂

  3. Jessie says:

    Margie, All of your work is so pretty and your style is so distinctive. I love the sampler!

  4. Megan Harris says:

    I do like to embroider, and I’ve been doing it more, but I have a hard time taking the time out to do it. For this reason, I embroider most on a trip – in the car and away from my sewing machine. 🙂

  5. Allison Lu says:

    Margie’s work is stunning. I love this embroidery! The green thread against the white hanky looks so crisp.

  6. Sharmila says:

    Love your transfer technique. Will definitely give it a try this weekend!! Thanks:)

  7. finnysmama says:

    What a great little project! Think I might have to go for a nature walk tomorrow and find some of my favorite things as well.

  8. KellyS says:

    I adore this.
    it is truly the first embroidery that has made me WANT to do it.

    Thank you so much for your art. Very CUTE :).

  9. Aw this is wonderful …
    These are some of my favourite things, too. And green in summer is so refreshing !
    Margie is the best !

    x x x

  10. duni says:

    thank you for inspiring me to pick up my embroidery again! i really love this design and am happy to have stumbled across your blog from sew, mama, sew. my last name is “fearn” and i love nature, so i’ll have to try it out. thanks again!

  11. Carrie says:

    So cute! i like the way you transferred the drawing to the fabric. I’ll have to try that. 🙂

  12. Aparna Mulgund says:

    It is beautiful. Love your transfer technique. I will give it a try.

  13. alissia says:

    that’s really cool…it’s another reminder for me to try embroidery again. I know a couple of stitches but only learned them in context of making felt food. I’ve been wanting to do something more picturesque but felt like I couldn’t start unless I had the “right this-or-that.” This just shows you can use what you have and still get something good at the end.

  14. Grace Wong says:

    The looks great!
    I envy you, my summer has been full of rain…

  15. Anna says:

    The transfer issue is one of the things that’s stopped me from embracing a free-er style of embroidery, so this is really helpful! I’ve recently learnt to do french knots and lazy daisy stitch, so this sampler might help me get slightly better at them!

  16. Krista says:

    Handsewing on a hot summer day, in the Adirondack chair under the shade of my apple tree. Bliss. Thanks for this adorable idea – especially a lovely way to use antique linens hidden away in the cedar chest.

  17. Jen Lair says:

    I still remeber reading those Erica Wilson books as a child, watching my mom make things. I love your blog

  18. Sarah says:

    oh brilliant transfer!! I love it! the drawing itself is super sweet too 🙂

  19. Tonya says:

    This is such a great project to learn to embroider, which is something I have been planning to do for awhile. Thank you.

  20. Heather says:

    I’ve been thinking about embroidery a lot lately and this is really cute. I also like our transfer method. Cool.

  21. joy says:

    This is just lovely! I downloaded your PDF and can’t wait to get started. Thanks for sharing all your nature-inspired photos and thoughts.

  22. Renee E says:

    Can’t wait to try that transfer method!

  23. Patty says:

    I’ve never heard of transferring designs this way nor have I ever stitched anything on a hankie so I have got to try this now. I love the pattern and the idea of doing it all in green floss. Thanks, Margie!

  24. jessica says:

    Beautiful sampler and I love your drawings! The transfer method is cool, too.

  25. Aimee says:

    Really adorable! I like that method of transferring your drawing – great idea!

  26. Unity says:

    That is beautiful! 🙂

  27. Melissa R says:

    Wonderful and simple! Thanks so much for sharing this and the lovely pictures!

  28. bec says:

    I love how you transferred it. great idea.

  29. Gemma says:

    Wow, that greenwork embroidery is *so* sweet! I am definitely going to try that transfer technique, too. I have used one of those heat transfer pencils, but this is pretty neat!

  30. Nola says:

    I was just at the thrift store and saw a few hoops there…I was debating…I need to go back now and see if they are still there. Hopefully so, because I would love to try this project for a pillow case.

  31. Jessica Fuester says:

    So simple and cute. Great work!

  32. Joanna says:

    This is really adorable. green is my favorite color!!

  33. Bree says:

    So beautiful and definitely inspiring!

  34. Mrs. JP says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I like handwork and will do this one. Cute and easy!!

  35. javajane says:

    It is the delightful simplicity that I find to be so inspirational. Now to find vintage hankies…

  36. Suzanne says:

    Very pretty and I am in love with her porch…ahhh…what a beautiful place to stitch away!

  37. tara says:

    i didn’t know about the pencil transfer technique, either. it seems so obvious now!
    this is such a cute sampler… and the green!
    embroidery was my first craft- and i’ve been wanting to make a little something.
    thank you!

  38. kern says:

    I love the embroidery on a handkerchief. And I love that it’s a short, beautiful project.

  39. I enjoy her website. Thank you for the template. I’ll stay busy this afternoon.

  40. Kathy says:

    I’ve never seen this transfer method done before. Think I’ll give it a try!

  41. Kim K. says:

    what a great transfer technique! such an adorable project! 🙂

  42. Hazel says:

    I love to embroider and this project is so sweet, simple, and I can share it with my children! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Ramona says:

    How sweet. I love your embroidery transfer technique.

  44. gina says:

    I love your transfer technique! I’ll have to try that!

    I love the embroidery-so sweet.

  45. katherine says:

    Great transfer tecnique! I never would have thought of it! I love really simple embroidery – nice! Thanks for sharing.

  46. Water Works says:

    What a beautiful idea. I am just getting into embroidery and getting those stitches consistant takes some time. But so did crochet :). Next up, something for a new baby…

  47. christine says:

    perfect project to put those summer memories…
    thank you for the transfer idea and the template!

  48. Tanya H. says:

    I absolutely love the woodland-inspired embroidery. My step-mom’s name is Fern, and she loves all outdoor-sy or plant-motif crafts — I will definitely attempt this for her! Thanks for the idea, and also for the neat transfer method.

  49. Ann Dilcher says:

    Very inspirational. Encourages me to try something small where I don’t have to worry about fussy stitches.

  50. Diana says:

    This is so cute, I love embroidery

  51. Michelle says:

    That is a great idea for tranferring patterns.

  52. Lynn says:

    You make it look sew easy! It’s beatiful.

  53. alene cohen says:

    embroidery is like riding a bike; you never forget it tho’ you may be a little rusty at first.

    i just got back to it and my french knots are perfect.

    best of all it keeps me off the computer with aimless exploring and adds immeasurable beauty to my life .

    by the way, i’m almost 82 years of age

  54. Melissa H. says:

    I have been wanting to try embroidery!

  55. Julia M. in MI says:

    This is a beautiful sampler. I agree that embroidery is a relaxing hobby.

  56. It’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing the how to.

  57. Nicole says:

    I agree with you about the relaxation quatlity in needlework. . . which reminds me, I need to do more of it as I so enjoy it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  58. Rohaise says:

    Lovely project and a charming end result.

    I’ve recently started embroidering and I agree, it is a really relaxing thing to do. The transfer method you use looks really simple – I’m definitely going to have to try that.

  59. Rane says:

    Oh Margie as always this is amazing….. I am spellbound by your
    art, you have took something so simple (not simple to us I am sure
    but in design) and made it a true piece of art! I will tryto make this once the kids start school… thank you!

  60. Christy Rogers says:

    I love this, it is so sweet and simple!

  61. Nima says:

    wow…that looks very pretty

  62. tara says:

    I am in a quilt postcard group and we recently did redwork, i love the green work idea, nice to see something new.

  63. i am so impressed by margie….
    her inspiration seems to be drawn by the beauty in this world. i love that she uses such sweet old fashioned techniques but breathes new life into them…
    love this project.
    i’m gonna bust out my embroidery thread!!! it’s been 30 or so years…

  64. What a cute idea to make the sampler in green rather than red!!

  65. Gerwerken says:

    Thank you for the transfer technique! I have been thinking of doing some pretty, simple embroidery on kitchen towels, but didn’t want to use expensive transfer paper. This is the perfect solution. Now I just need some cool doodles.

  66. Nancy says:

    Such a sweet design! I’m running right now to my vintage hankie box to choose just the right one to stitch upon. Thanks so much!

  67. beth says:

    I have been loving small projects like this for the summer. I don’t have the attention span to do a big project, and one-day projects are so great for taking to the pool or on day trips to the coast.

  68. lisa_iowa says:

    Perfect for my nature-lovin’ handwork-makin’ 10yod. Thanks for the great idea!

  69. Carleen says:

    I just discovered you and your blog. Very inspirational!

  70. carlyk says:

    I love that little acorn! Thanks for the good inspiration:)

  71. Anna Hanks says:

    I love your blog. embroidery is my thing and I agree – green is the new red. I am going to try the transfer method as soon as I shut this thing off. thanks for the hook up. Anna

  72. Rosemoo says:

    I love it! As usual your work inspires and makes me feel all happy and snuggly.

    I will definiltely check this blog out! Thanks for the link!

  73. Bethany says:

    How cute. One day I will have to try my hand at embroidery.

  74. Helena says:

    I just adore the use of green with the nature items.

  75. alison says:

    This looks like a fabulous way for a beginner to try out embroidery. Thanks for the link to the tutorials as well!

  76. Erica T says:

    I’ve never thought using transfer paper like that. I only do cross stitch with a pattern, so I may have to give this a try.

  77. Molly says:

    How beautiful and fresh looking! I love embroidery and this looks so lovely on the pretty hankie!

  78. Julie says:

    I love the way you told the story of this project. Thank you for sharing.

  79. Jennifer says:

    Very clever transfer! Beautiful result. Thanks!

  80. Kathy says:

    What a sweet little sampler. And green’s my favorite color — what’s not to love?

  81. Grace says:

    I already follow Margie’s blog and am inspired by her work. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial!

  82. Carrie says:

    Beautiful! And the image of making it out on your porch sounds so peaceful to this city dweller!

  83. Michele says:

    What a wonderful tutorial. It inspires me to dig out my old embroidery hoops and floss from my cross stitching days and give it a try. I adore your “favorite things” as they are some of my favorite too! Thanks for sharing this project!


  84. gabriella says:

    beautiful work… i just found this blog – thankyou for the inspiration ladies!

  85. jennsquared says:

    This is really interesting. I’ve never embroider before. I’ll have to give this a try since my father just loves ferns and studies them. This will be a great add to his study.

  86. Natalie T. says:

    It had never occurred to me to transfer the design onto fabric that way! Thanks for the tip.

  87. Darla says:

    Simple is beautiful!

  88. Jennifer says:

    I would have never thought to transfer the image. Neat!

  89. Katherine says:

    Very cool project! I have never seen that method for transferring. I will have to try that out!

  90. Stacy says:

    That is beautiful and looks so easy to try! Thanks for the tutorial!

  91. rae says:

    yay! i love margie’s work. this is simple and sweet, just my speed. thanks for sharing! 😉

  92. Mindy says:

    I love the contrast of the lacy fabric and the simple, natural designs. I must also say, I want to come sit on your porch with you it is very lovely!

  93. midge english says:

    What a cool project for hot summer days….

  94. shelle says:

    Wow! I love the idea of stitching on the vintage hankie. That is a new to me transfer technique which is simple and cost effective. Thank you!

  95. Christina J. says:

    This is so lovely!

  96. rosa souza says:

    Oh, it’s just beautiful or what?

  97. Jean says:

    I never knew you could transfer in that way. I’m off to try it right now…… Thanks!

  98. sandyandcosmo says:

    I love the idea of green being the new red!

  99. Carol says:

    Totally cute – I love samplers.

  100. Annika says:

    Lovely sampler! I am going to be housesitting for the next week and a half, and one of the things I’ve packed is an embroidery hoop!

  101. Lori says:

    Oh how perfectly timed! I’ve been obsessed with trying to learn embroidery of late. I finally dove in on Saturday and made a line of backstitching. It was really peaceful. I can’t wait to try a real design and this one looks perfect! Thanks!

  102. Michelle says:

    I really like the fact that you’ve embroidered it straight onto a hanky (and such an intricate one at that!). Great idea, fun project for kids, I would imagine.

  103. Caroline says:

    Your woodland sampler is so pretty! We went down to the woods today ( surrey, England )……and all around were toadstools popping up, which made me think of you and we saw a wild deer and then i catch up with todays blog and synchronicity your beautiful hankie! I must have a go…my grandson is coming to stay so I can feel another nature walk coming. LOL xx

  104. Robyn says:

    What a cute little snail! I love it.

  105. Grace says:

    I am so going to try this! Thanks!

  106. wintu nancy says:

    I really enjoy following the resurrection fern blog. Thank you for including her in your hand sewing feature and tutorials.

  107. Liz says:

    now that’s the best hankie i’ve seen in a long time! 🙂

  108. Valerie says:

    Very Nice! Thanks for sharing this!

  109. Sara says:

    I am so itching to get back to embroidery – all of a sudden I am seeing so many uses for it in quilting…

  110. Annalee says:

    I’ve never seen that easy transfer method before – thanks!

  111. Emily says:

    Cute! It’s been a while since I did any embroidery….

  112. Tam Bell says:

    That is beautiful. Hand sewing scares me, especially embroidery….but that is really lovely.

  113. What a nice tutorial. I like the green idea, although I am partial to red. But I really love your porch. I just want to jump into the picture. We did not end up with a shady porch after our move 2 years ago. Just a very hot deck. Plans to add one some day….

  114. Kadybug says:

    Thanks for the info on rubbing the design onto the fabric. I am going to have the kids try that one this afternoon.

  115. Laurel says:

    That’s lovely. I’d like to work on embroidery with my girls, and this adds to my inspiration!

  116. Margie says:

    So very cute & thanks for the tutorial!

  117. Ellen says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial and links! I am new to embroidery, and gathering ideas and references for teaching to kids. This would be a great project for young and old.

  118. Carol says:

    I do not have any embroidery skills. So, I bought a clover punchneedle last week and with some practice you can really do great embroidery projects. I love everything vintage, so embroidery is a must.

  119. Mary says:

    Love this! Especially the clever trick for ‘printing’ the pattern on the cloth before embroidering it. I framed some beautiful pieces like this but none I thought to embellish first.

  120. Andrea Methvin says:

    Such a sweet little project. And, I have never seen the pencil transfer method before, I might have to try that!

  121. Binnie says:

    How lovely to see a modern take on an old technique (and an old hanlky!).

  122. Katie Bowlby says:

    I love it! I have a bunch of vintage hankies…I’d love to try something like this.

  123. alisha says:

    I love the transfer method. It seems so obvious now, but I had never thought about it.

  124. Cindy says:

    I haven’t embroidered in ages and this has started a small itch to start again!!!!!!

  125. Jenny says:

    Oh, I am loving this … a chance to use up some old hankies and get my embroidery hoops out. Thanks for the fabulous lesson.
    Krousegirl2 at aol dot com

  126. Tiina says:

    For me this is a new way to transfer picture.

  127. Ammie says:

    Wonderful tutorial! I think I would have forged ahead by tearing my pencil across my fabric, and thus horribly stretching it out! And, yes, green is the new red!

  128. Jody says:

    I never knew you could transfer images like that. What a wonderful tip. Thanks.

  129. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the great instructions and pattern. Very cute.

  130. i would be head over heals to win this giveaway!! your work is always amazing!

  131. Christi says:

    A quick question:

    I’m new to embroidery here, but have been playing with it some myself. I’m still learning the lingo.

    When you say “single thread” do you mean a strand from something like the six-strand embroidery floss that I have or do you mean the thread with all six strands?


  132. Gwen says:

    I have just the little napkin for this that I picked up at a thrift store. Thanks!

  133. Tiffany says:

    This is entirely too lovely for words! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! 🙂

  134. kim says:

    This is so pretty. I would love to win this. Thank you for the chance!

  135. jm says:

    Very nice.

  136. fert says:

    ooh… love how the clean, modern embroidery contrasts with the lace of the kerchief!

  137. Paula says:

    Lovely! Thanks for the tutorial!

  138. megelin says:

    it’s lovely!

  139. Kerneknop says:

    Lovely green colors.

  140. Grace says:

    Love this embroidery pattern. The little mushrooms are so cute.

  141. Susanna says:

    so sweet! Thanks for sharing!

  142. Alexandra says:

    Thank you for this cute template !

  143. Alyssa says:

    “Green is the new red” You are so right on, Margie! I love it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  144. sarah says:

    cool transfer technique! very cute project.

« »

Subscribe to the sewmamasew.com newsletter

Sewing inspiration, projects, events and offers delivered conveniently to your email.


Get the latest sewmamasew.com news via