Free Machine Embroidery Designs: 20 Great Online Sources

By on August 25th, 2020
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free machine embroidery designs: 20 sources
free machine embroidery designs

If you are new to machine embroidery, you may be a bit reluctant to buy machine embroidery designs. Heck – you may not even know how to use your machine. But – guess what? Great news – there are lots of free machine embroidery designs available for you to download and stitch out. The only question is where to find them. Just about everywhere. I’m about to show you twenty different websites that offer free machine embroidery designs. That’s right – 100% FREE.

Recommended Supplies for Test Stitching Free Machine Embroidery Designs

Why free machine embroidery designs are so great.

Let me start by saying that if you have a particular product and project in mind, the chance that you will find the perfect design available for free is quite slim. It can be difficult to find the exact design you are looking for within the pool of free designs.

Nevertheless, free machine embroidery designs are FREE – and they can be used for other purposes.

For example, if you are new to machine embroidery, a free embroidery designs allows you to test out your machine.

If you are new to purchasing embroidery designs from a particular company or individual, downloading one of their free designs is a way to get to know them before making a purchase. 

And finally, if you want to experiment with a new technique like creating free standing lace, appliqué or in-the-hoop projects, starting with a free design is not a bad idea. 

Before you start stitching out the free machine embroidery designs

You will need to have a few basic supplies on hand to get started stitching out any embroidery designs.  Before using any embroidery design “for real,” I would test stitch it out.

For my test stitching, I would hoop a piece of adhesive-backed stabilizer, stick down a piece of sturdy but smooth fabric and start stitching out the designs. Of course, you will also need a variety of thread colors to be able to recreate some of the more color intensive designs. 

If you are planning on stitching out a design on an item you will sell, be sure to check the copyright of the design to make sure you are allowed to do so.

How to get the free designs

There are many sources for free machine embroidery designs. Some websites offer a daily or weekly free design, while others have ongoing collections of freebies that can be downloaded at any time.

The distribution method for these freebies vary by site. Some sites will require you to create an account and “purchase” the design for $0. Others may feature a library of free designs that are available for instant download.  Some sites will require you to subscribe to their mailing list, and once you do, you will get free designs periodically emailed to you. Finally, some digitizers give away freebies to people who join their Facebook group.

Websites that offer free machine embroidery designs

Machine Embroidery Geek

Yep – that’s my site! Just subscribe to the newsletter and you will receive the password to the resource library full of free machine embroidery designs.

Urban Threads

free machine embroidery designs at Urban Threads

If you are looking for edgier designs, you need to check out Urban Threads. They always seem to offer a few freebies. Right now they are featuring an in-the-hoop face mask as well as a snarky “wash your hands, no seriously” design.

I think every teacher might want this stitched out on a t-shirt these days.

Meringue Designs

free machine embroidery designs at Meringue Designs

These may be my favorite collection of embroidery designers of all time. I just love all of the florals and the retro style. The free designs available on Meringue Designs are only free to anyone who has purchased another design, or you can pay $1 for them.

Spend some time checking out her entire collection and I’m sure you will find an excuse to spend more than $5 and then you will have access to the free designs.

Apex Embroidery

free machine embroidery designs at Apex

Apex introduces free designs on a regular basis, but they are only available for a limited time. You should visit the site on a regular basis to be sure to snatch the latest free embroidery design before it disappears or is no longer free.

Right now they have a couple of free key fob designs. If you have never stitched out an in-the-hoop design, these would be great to practice with.

Artistic Threadworks / Holly’s Embroidery Designs

free machine embroidery designs at Artistic Threadworks

Artistic Thread Works/Holly’s Embroidery Designs has a catalog of thousands of designs. They also teach digitizing so you know the quality of their designs are good.

Artistic Threadworks also offers a generous set of free designs including a free in-the-hoop lip balm holder. Again – a great opportunity to try out an in-the-hoop project.


free machine embroidery designs at Embroideres

Embroideres has pages of free machine embroidery designs, so get ready to start clicking. And, most of them are sized for a 4” x 4” hoop. Looking for a poop emoji? They have it.

Drop Dead Threads

free machine embroidery designs at Drop Dead Threads

If you like unconventional designs, then head over to Drop Dead Threads. Be sure to join the Facebook group to get updated on new free designs they are offering.


free machine embroidery designs at EmbLibrary

Emblibrary has a few freebies. I especially like the floral wreath that surrounds the message “we’re all in this together.” Even if you didn’t want to stitch out that message – the floral wreath is super versatile. You could use it as a frame for a single initial monogram. And, surprise, surprise, they offer a free in-the-hoop face mask.

Smart Needle

free machine embroidery designs at Smart Needle

Smart Needle definitely wins for the site that offers the most FREE in-the-hoop face masks. Silly faces, shark mouths, dog and pig noses, they have it all.


free machine embroidery designs at Swak

Oh my word – SWAK has a ton of free machine embroidery designs. One of the reasons is because SWAK is a site that sells embroidery designs from a bunch of different digitizers (including me). I think my favorite freebie on this site is this weird bird. If you are interested in trying out free standing lace – they offer a few FSL ornaments.

Belinda Joy Designs

free machine embroidery designs at Belinda Joy Designs

Belinda Joy has a quite a few free Christmas designs, including a Santa hat with a spot to stitch out a name. It would make a really cute personalized Christmas shirt.

Happy Town Appliqué

free machine embroidery designs at Happy Town Applique

If you need a few very simple, basic appliqué designs, then check out Happy Town Appliqué. They offer a simple square, circle and even an awareness ribbon. These are great designs to try if you want to learn how to appliqué. The square and circle designs make a great base for creating a patch on your embroidery machine!

Oma’s Place

free machine embroidery designs at Oma's Place

Oma’s Place has a lot of free designs, including some Christmas designs and an appliqué chicken, which I think would be adorable on some kitchen towels.

I am Not a Geek Supplies

free machine embroidery designs at I am not a geek supplies

Another meaningful design you can grab for free, is the free suicide awareness key fob on I am Not a Geek Supplies. There is not a “free” category on the site, but if you sort the products from lowest to highest, the free one(s) will appear first.

Five Star Fonts

free machine embroidery designs at Five Star Fonts

Five Star Fonts has several free designs including an in-the-hoop pin cushion and some free fonts. So, if you have never worked with downloaded fonts, here’s a great opportunity.

GG Designs Embroidery

free machine embroidery designs at GG Designs

Are you a quilter who wants some basic stippling stitches to quilt on your embroidery machine? Then check out the free designs at GG Designs Embroidery. In addition to these quilting specific designs, there is also an adorable free popsicle as well as a free SCARY font that would be perfect for Halloween!

Julia’s Needleworks

free machine embroidery designs at Julia's Needleworks

I’m in love with this whimsical trick or treat design that’s part of the free design collection at Julia’s Needleworks. And the masked emoji? Super cute. What’s nice about this site as well is the fact that you don’t even need to register to access the free designs, just click and download what you want.

Embroidery Designs

free machine embroidery designs at Embroidery Designs

Ok – so they don’t have the most original name in the whole world, but Embroidery Designs (dot com) does have quite a few free designs available. You can download up to three free designs per week without a purchase. The collection of free designs on this site is definitely the most extensive.


free machine embroidery designs at Anamored

While they don’t have a huge collection of free designs, Anamored‘s current free design is pretty cute: “If Momma aint Happy aint Nobody Happy.” is pretty adorable.

Rivermill Embroidery

free machine embroidery designs at Rivermill Embroidery

I am so in love with the bean stitch goldfish design available for free on Rivermill Embroidery, but there are several other free options to download from the Rivermill site. Want to embroider some naughty words? Then check out their punctuation embroidery design set. Get it? Like “@;!@?!* I just stuck my finger.”

Grand Slam Designs

Grand Slam Designs free machine embroidery designs

Grand Slam Designs has an enormous collection of designs as well as great prices on machine embroidery supplies. Scroll down to the middle of the home page to see the featured free embroidery designs.

Ready to download some free machine embroidery designs?

In conclusion, there are many websites that offer a variety of free embroidery designs. Whether you’re looking for quilting stitches or appliqué chickens, chances are something can be found to suit your needs. From Santa hats and awareness ribbons to naughty words and bean stitch goldfish, these sites provide a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about the craft of machine embroidery without investing too much money upfront.

So take advantage of these amazing resources today and start creating beautiful projects with free embroidery designs!

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free machine embroidery designs: 20 sources

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