• Saturday , 19 August 2017

2014 Easter Egg SAL and Free Embroidery Pattern

2014 Easter Egg - Free Embroidery Pattern

Welcome to our first annual Easter Egg SAL for the month of March, 2014, featuring a free embroidery pattern!

In this SAL, we’re going to make a puffed Easter egg using traditional hand embroidery stitches in bright, sunny colors of 6-strand embroidery floss. You can download the free embroidery pattern for the egg here on this page.

I’m making two samples for this project – one that is already completed and was used to show how to finish the egg as a puffed ornament, and a second version that I’ll feature below using a different color combination that I will stitch along with you. As the egg is stitched, I’ll snap photos so show the stitch detail, as well as any stitch variations used in the project.

Let’s get started!

Materials Needed:
  • 16×16″ piece of linen or cotton plain weave fabric
  • 4 or more colors of embroidery floss in complimentary shades
  • embroidery needles
  • scissors
  • 8-inch embroidery hoop
  • water-soluble fabric marking pen (I use the one produced by DMC and love it – it washed out completely and I’ve never had the marks return, or any damage to the fabric.)
Directions – Part 1:
Marking the fabric

Marking the fabric

Gather your supplies (see image at the top) using the list given above and print the free pattern.

Download the 2014 Easter Egg SAL Pattern here.

Center the pattern in a light box or other light source and center the fabric over the pattern – be sure to keep the fabric straight and on-grain. Mark the pattern onto the fabric using the water soluble pen.

Ready... set... stitch!

Ready… set… stitch!

Center the fabric in the embroidery hoop, tighten the screw, keeping the fabric taut, and prepare to stitch.

Note that all of the embroidery, unless otherwise indicated in the instructions, uses 2 strands of the 6-strand floss.

Diagrams for all of the embroidery stitches used in the design can be found in the Stitch Diagrams section of the web site.

In the next installment of the SAL, we’ll start stitching the bands.

Directions – Part 2:

The designs are stitched using 3 strands of DMC 6-strand embroidery floss and DMC Variations floss.


Working the first band.

To work the cennter band, I’m using DMC 6-strand floss in color 954 and DMC Variations floss in color 4075. I’ve worked the center line in back stitch, and the small leaves using detached chain stitch.

I’ve started my thread using a waste know, so that I won’t have any knots on the reverse side of my work.


Clipping the waste knot.

Knots can cause bumps and an uneven surface on the back side of the piece, and don’t secure the thread very well – knots usually find a way of coming undone when the piece is handled or laundered!


Weaving the tail.

To make a waste knot, knot the end of the thread opposite the needle and insert the needle into the fabric several inches away from the area where the stitching will be started. Work the stitch as you normally would. When you reach the end of the thread, weave the needle through the stitching on the back side of the work.

Then, trim the knot and thread the tail through the needle. Weave this tail through the stitching on the back side of the work as well. Voila!  The thread is secure, and you have no knots!

Use an away knot anytime you need to start a length of thread where there is no existing stitching to weave the ends into.

After working the center band, I worked the loopy designs on each side of the band in chain stitch.  You’ll notice that I have not yet stitched the French knots in this area – I’ll stitch those at the very end so they stay secure and don’t get handled a lot. I used DMC Variations floss in color 4120 and love the look – it’s so much prettier than a solid color and really makes the design pop!


Working the chain stitch.

In my original egg, which I used to illustrate making a puffed ornament, I worked this area in back stitch using solid thread. I thought it was a bit bland and boring, so I added some additional straight stitch and French knot accents. By choosing a thicker stitch and a variegated thread, the area doesn’t need the additional oomph on this egg.


Working the back stitch.

After working the loopy lines, I worked the lines along each side of the center band in color 209 in back stitch. The design is starting to take shape!

Directions – Part 3

The next band on the egg that I worked featured the double herringbone stitch, working it in 3 strands of 954 and 209.

embroidered easter egg - double herringbone band

Second Pass – OVER the previous stitching…

I worked the first pass in 209, and the second pass in 954. Notice that the first “leg” of stitch in 954 passes over the previous stitching, while the second “leg” of the stitch passes under the previous stitching.

embroidered easter egg - double herringbone band 2

Second Pass – UNDER the previous stitching…

The bands directly above and below the double herringbone bands are made simply, using a double row of running stitches. This was worked using a solid orange thread that coordinates with color 4120. Then, I laced the stitch with 4075. Again, 3 strands of each color were used throughout.


Lacing the double row of running stitch.

Next, I worked the zigzag chain stitch in the band at the bottom of the egg.  I used three strands of 954. Easy peasy lemon squeezy…

Embroidered Easter Egg - zigzag chain stitch

Working the zigzag chain stitch.

The top cap of the egg is stitched using a variety of simple embroidery stitches. I’ve used back stitch  in 3 strands of color 351 for the top band and for the zig-zag lines I’ve used 3 strands of 954 and 4075.


Each cluster is made from 3 detached chain stitches.

The groupings of 3 detached chain stitches for the blossoms were stitching using 3 strands of 209.

The last thing I worked were the French knots. working them last allows them to stay fresh and neat without a lot of handling. Knots can be funny that way…


Working the French knots at the top of each cluster.

I worked the French knots using 3 strands of floss, using color 351 at the top of each blossom cluster in the top cap, and using 4075 along the center band (the very first band we stitched).


French knots worked on the first band.

The embroidered Easter egg is now completely stitched. Now I’m going to soak it in a basin of soapy water, rinse, and lay flat to dry to completely remove the water-soluble marking pen.  While the piece is still slightly damp, I’ll lay it face-down on a fluffy terrycloth towel and iron it from the back, being careful not to flatten my stitches.

The egg can now be finished. If you want to finish it as a puffed ornament, you can visit the tutorial here.

Looking for more patterns for free embroidery patterns? Check out the Free Patterns Page!


  1. Missy
    March 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I love this. I’ve only done one simple needlework project a few years back, but this is inspiring me to pick up my embroidery needle again! I’m going to download the pattern. Thank you!

    • Editor Needleknowledge
      April 6, 2014 at 7:29 am - Reply

      Hi Missy – I hope you do! Needlework is such a relaxing pastime, and gives you the opportunity to create something beautiful with your own hands.

  2. cathy@My1929Charmer
    March 6, 2014 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you for such a lovely egg pattern and directions. I’ve printed it out and will be working on it soon.! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Kokopelli
    March 6, 2014 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    I stumbled upon this on the Craft Gossip site. This looks great and might be a nice opportunity to practice stitches.

  4. Eska
    March 7, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    I think I may have to try this. It’s been 5-8 years since I have done embroidery. I probably need to shake out my cobwebs.

  5. Patty
    March 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the pattern! I started my egg a few nights ago but I can’t figure out what is the stitch for the row above the double herringbone? Thanks!

    • admin
      March 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Glad to hear from you. That row is stitched in Part 2, and is created using 2 identical rows of running stitched interlaced with a second color of thread. Looks like I forgot to include that in the “destructions” – will add that now. Thanks for letting me know!
      I’d love to see your completed egg… :-)

    • Editor Needleknowledge
      April 6, 2014 at 7:27 am - Reply

      I’ve added the missing bit – It is an unusual combination stitch and really catches the eye. This is given in Part 3. The bands directly above and below the double herringbone bands are made simply, using a double row of running stitches. This was worked using a solid orange thread that coordinates with color 4120. Then, I laced the stitch with 4075. Again, 3 strands of each color were used throughout. You can find a stitch diagram to help work the threaded running stitch here, 5th one from the top.

  6. TKRB
    April 8, 2014 at 10:12 am - Reply

    This is wonderful! Made the creative juices start flowing again. Thanks!

  7. Sharon
    April 8, 2014 at 11:15 am - Reply

    I can’t wait to start this I just love the Easter Egg

  8. Joan
    April 8, 2014 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Oh my, this is so lovely! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I”m going to give it a try.

  9. Peggy
    April 8, 2014 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to say Thank You for having this sal. I love to do counted cross stitch and have always wanted to do other hand stitches but couldn’t figure them out. Now hopefully I can. I will be doing the sal. Is there going to be more to the sal? Needlework has always helped me thru relaxation and depression. I love it! Thanks again,
    Peggy S
    Federal Way WA

  10. Brenda
    April 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Very excited about this project as I haven’t embroidered in years. However, I cannot find a link to download the pattern. There is a statement in the first paragraph that says, “You can download the free embroidery pattern for the egg here on this page.” However, there is no link for the pattern. Please help.

    • Editor Needleknowledge
      April 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      I just checked the link and the PDF opened fine in my browser. The link is in Part 1, second sentence: Download the 2014 Easter Egg SAL Pattern here. It should also open up by clicking the hyperlink in my reply. Please let me know if it doesn’t open – it could be something wonky with your security settings. I can email it if needed. Enjoy!

  11. Linda P
    April 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Hi, I finished my embroidery egg last night. I’m going to make mine into a small pillow. Thanks for such a cute pattern and info. I will use those stitches again!

  12. Lynn Gluyas
    April 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Beautiful work – very inspiring ♥

  13. Annet
    April 18, 2014 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this lovely pattern, it was a pleasure to stitch along. I wrote about my finished egg here:

    • Editor Needleknowledge
      April 22, 2014 at 7:17 am - Reply

      Thanks Annet – looks like you had a fun time making the egg. It’s always fun to see another stitcher’s version!

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