Gathering Threads

Free Smocking Plate: On the Farm

Posted by on Aug 17 2012, in Smocking, Smocking Plates

It’s that time of year – the summer is winding down, the evenings are cooler and thoughts are turning to fall and the start of a new school year.

For me, fall is also the time when we take in our local fair.  It’s an annual tradition for us – the boys, big and small, grouse (quietly) while I drag them through the craft displays.  Jay and the boys drag me through the equipment sheds and the animal barns (I don’t get the appeal.  Did the tractors have big tires last year?  Yup.  Will they have big tires next year?  Yup. So, we’re here why exactly?? :))

Our favourite event though is the demo derby.  Jay use to race in them when he was a teenager and I’d never seen one until he and I started going out.  Now I totally get the appeal and it’s the one event we never miss. Crash! Boom!

So in honour of fall fairs everywhere, here’s a fun picture smocking plate, “On the Farm” to celebrate.  It’s got a harvest, a big red barn and a tractor (with big tires!) There are embroidered bullion cabbages (there’s a phrase you don’t hear every day!), hay in the mow and some fresh corn, ready to pick. You can download the smocking plate by clicking here.  It prints to an 8 1/2 x 14″ sheet.


Design is worked over 16 rows (14 + 2 holding). There are 170 pleats in the design. Backsmock rows 1-10, plus both holding rows before beginning smocking design

1. Work a row of cable in 801 across row 11, starting with a under cable. Repeat this cable on rows 12, 13 and 14.
2. Work turret stitch between rows 11 and 12 in 434, so that the over and under stitches just touch the cabled rows. Tip: Turret stitch is worked like a full space wave but it is compressed – there will be no pleats between the upper and lower stitches .
3. Work a second row of turret stitch between rows 13 and 14.
4. Referring to the graph, work the barn in five strands of 347 and B5200. Work the centre of the haymow in 310. The sides of the door and the sides of the haymow opening are worked as spools and bars respectively, to eliminate the need for multiple half stitches.
5. Stitch the two stalks of corn. The stalks are worked as bars. The leaves and the ear of the corn are stacked cables worked in 703 and 3078.
6. Work the tractor, referring to the graph for colour changes and stitch placement.
7. Work the final stalk of corn in the same manner as the first.

Embroidered Details
8. Stitch the barn roof with a line of cable stitching, using three strands of 310.
9. Outline the barn door and the haymow with backstitch, using 1-2 strands 310.
10. Make the hay using two strands 3822. Stitch random, overlapping straight stitches until you are satisfied with the density.
11. Work 10 bullion roses between row 12 and 13, spacing them evenly. Use two strands of 703. The centre two bullions should be 2 4-wrap bullions; the second row should be 5 6-8 wrap bullions and the outside row should be 6 10-12 wrap bullions.
12. Work two 20-25 wrap bullions on either side of the corn using two strands of 703. Tack the bullions so that they curve in a gentle ‘s’ shape.
13. Stitch the engine details with five 10-12 wrap bullions in 317. The tractor seat is a 12-14 wrap bullion in 310. The steering column is chain stitch in 317, using one or two strands. The steering wheel is a 10-12 wrap bullion in 801. Work 8 2-strand french knots inside the yellow portion of the large back tire.

Remove gathering threads and block completed design. Insert into garment using preferred method.

As always, you are welcome to share this design with friends, but please, remember to credit my website and don’t resell the plate.


  • This is adorable! Thank you for sharing your creativity with us!

  • Claire

    You’re welcome, Karen. It’s just so hard to find good ‘boy’ plates that when the spirit moves me, I want to share! 🙂