I wanted to share with you my latest project and where the inspiration came from. I actually have finished this butterfly since taking these pictures, by filling in the spaces on the lower wings inside the purple satin stitch.
I did a lot of cross-stitch years ago, but haven't done much other hand embroidery. Then I came across this site www.needlenthread.com/videos and have learned how to do many different stitches. Mary Corbet has very clear instructional videos for learning the stitches--great for beginners. And be sure to read through her posts to see examples of her own work, which is fabulous.
For the butterfly above, the dark gray outline is whipped backstitch. The blue lines are stem stitch, and the yellow knots are French knots. The purple curved lines are satin stitch, and the sea green filler is chain stitch. I just used DMC cotton floss, since I already have many colors on hand. You may also download this pattern from the free patterns she offers.
If you want some other lovely, free patterns, check out my friend Linda Stubbs' blog at www.prairieflowerfarm.blogspot.com She is a fabric artist, and you can sign up for her free patterns along the right side of her blog. You can also access her store from her site where she sells some of her work.