Book Fetish

More Bookish Embroidery Patterns for Stitch-Savvy Readers

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Steph Auteri

Senior Contributor

Steph Auteri is a journalist who has written for the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Pacific Standard, VICE, and elsewhere. Her more creative work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, under the gum tree, Poets & Writers, and other publications, and she is the Essays Editor for Hippocampus Magazine. Her essay, "The Fear That Lives Next to My Heart," published in Southwest Review, was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2021. She also writes bookish stuff here and at the Feminist Book Club, is the author of A Dirty Word, and is the founder of Guerrilla Sex Ed. When not working, she enjoys yoga, embroidery, singing, cat snuggling, and staring at the birds in her backyard feeder. You can learn more at and follow her on Insta/Threads at @stephauteri.

Almost two years ago, I bought my first embroidery kit. It featured a uterus bedecked with flowers, and I wanted it so bad. When I realized I’d have to make it my own damn self, I surprised myself by clicking the “buy” button.

I use the word “surprise” because, at that point, I couldn’t even thread a needle. In fact, whenever I needed a hole mended or a patch sewn onto a sash or a pants leg hemmed, I had my spouse do it for me.

But that first embroidery kit got me hooked. I now have a pile of finished embroidery hoops in my home office, waiting to be hung. A bag of clothing waiting to be mended. A craft cart for all my sewing supplies. A separate storage cabinet for my embroidery floss. Who even am I, now?

Because I enjoy stitching the things I love, I do have a collection of book-themed embroidery patterns, some of which I’ve completed, others of which I’ve bookmarked for a rainy day. If you, too, have been bitten by the embroidery bug and want to fill your home with bookish stitchwork, I’ve got you. The patterns below are all beginner-friendly, though the more experienced among you may want to go rogue in terms of color and stitch choices. You do you.

The First Bookish Embroidery I Ever Did

woman reading embroidery from GetStitchDoneDesigns

Etsy seller GetStitchDoneDesigns is known for her foul-mouthed designs (some of which I’ve done), but this bookworm pattern ($10) caught my eye thanks to the purple hair that flows past the hoop’s edge. It was also my first time doing the reverse chain stitch, which I loved because of how absolutely perfect it is for stitching cable-knit sweaters. I refer to this one as my self-portrait.

An Accurate Reproduction of Me Coming Home from the Library

TBR embroidery pattern from BZCreationsShop

This TBR pattern ($10) is actually next on my to-do list, and is from one of my favorite pattern creators, BZCreationsShop (she also makes amazing stickers). This particular project is mixed-media, incorporating both watercolor and stitchwork…something I haven’t done before, and which I pray I don’t screw up. But how cute is that book stack??

You Are What You Read

you are what you read embroidery pattern from BZCreationsShop

Also from BZCreationsShop, this You Are What You Read pattern ($10) screams retro tablecloth to me…and I’m digging it. Though the pattern appears to be made up mostly of satin stitches with a smattering of French knots, the design itself is nevertheless intricate and full-feeling.

The Lie We Tell Ourselves at Night…

one more chapter embroidery pattern from flossandhoopshop

Anyone else? This One More Chapter pattern ($9) from flossandhoopshop amuses me, and I imagine it might amuse you, too. After all, who among us hasn’t told both ourselves and/or our bedmate that we’d be awake for just one more chapter…only to pass out bleary-eyed hours later? This pattern is simple, sweet, and true to life.

No Shelf Control aka My Entire Personality

no shelf control embroidery pattern from flossandhoopshop

Another clever one from flossandhoopshop, this No Shelf Control pattern ($9) is cute as heck, and also accurately describes my entire personality. I also love the added texture that comes with that wooden shelf and that cascading houseplant.

The Cutest Lil’ Bookshelf You Ever Did See

bookshelf embroidery pattern by HomebodyHandmadeCo

A more understated but texture-rich take on the previous bookshelf comes from HomebodyHandmadeCo, with this bookshelf pattern ($6) that also incorporates a bit of beadwork. I am not a plant person (mostly because I inadvertently kill them no matter what I do), but this beaded houseplant is adorbs!

Another Bookish Pun

believe in your shelf embroidery pattern by PrintedJune

Who among us doesn’t love a bookish pun? (And if you raised your hand, what are you even doing here?) This believe in your shelf pattern ($10) from PrintedJune features a book stack that’s super pretty. In fact, I’ve just added this TBR to my to-be-embroidered list.

Plant Lady

bookworm embroidery pattern by GirlGotThread

Back to the whole houseplant thing. I may not have a green thumb, but I do love me some embroidered flora. Most of the embroidery patterns I’m drawn to are heavy with stitched greenery and blooms. So though this bookworm embroidery pattern ($10) from GirlGotThread isn’t true to my life, I still want to stitch it.

Major Secret Garden Vibes

bookworm on a swing embroidery pattern from MutlulukPanosu

I am getting some major Secret Garden vibes from this bookworm on a swing embroidery pattern ($9) by MutlulukPanosu. So many colorful woven wheels, lazy daisies, and French knots…I love it! And if you look closely, you’ll see that the artist incorporated a twig into the design, at the very top of the swing’s frame. Can I live here?

You Can Never Have Too Many Book Stacks

book stack embroidery pattern by stitchandstoneshm

Finally, I have one more book stack for you. This book stack embroidery pattern ($9) by stitchandstoneshm contains a simple but satisfying mix of satin stitches and straight or back stitches. The perfect piece of artwork for hanging in your book nook.

Feeling inspired? Yay! Feeling intimidated? That’s okay. Check out this list of nine awesome embroidery books. You’ll be stitching away in no time.