Just in case you need some inspiration for our fabulous Flash Card Embroidery Contest (or just like to stitch lettering) I have collected some free lettering patterns and ideas for you.
First up is a wonderful out of print book, that has been made available as free downloadable PDF. A Handbook of Lettering for Stitchers by Elsie Svennas offers lots of cross stitch and embroidery lettering designs. It also shows how to use different embroidery stitches, like the chain stitch or fly stitch, for decorative lettering. Find the book here (after you clicked the link, scroll down the page to find it).
This site has a large collection of designs from old pattern books. It's not updated in a while and it's not especially esthetically pleasing either but if you look beyond that you'll find a wealth of a to z's waiting to be stitched up!
Mary Corbet shares a couple sets of monograms for hand embroidery from old French Embroidery magazines on her Needle 'n Thread blog. More vintage looking monograms and a Circus style Days of the Week pattern can be found on French-Knots.
Yarntree offers a free pdf with some basic cross stitch alphabets and on the website of Cross Stitcher magazine there are several alphabets for download available as well.
Using fonts from the text processing programs on your computer is always a good option for longer words and quotes. You can download extra decorative fonts from sites like 1001 Free Fonts (see the example above) or Fontsquirrel.
In the past I have used free trial versions of cross stitch design software to make my own simple quote designs. Some of these free trial versions don't have a print option but you could copy the design by hand to graph paper.
Hope you enjoyed this little round-up of Lettering patterns and ideas. Let us know if you have additional useful links and tips for free lettering embroidery patterns!