Poppy Installation at The Tower of London
Free Patterns,  Inspiration

Free Pattern In Honor of Veteran’s Day

If you get my newsletter than you may remember that around Memorial Day, I did this thread sketch of  Red Poppies in honor of fallen military men and women. (If you don’t get my newsletter, sign up to receive it here!)


Red Poppy Thread Sketch
My Red Poppy Thread Sketch

Being from Georgia, the Red Poppy as a symbol for veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice is very special to me, since this came to be the symbol because of a Georgia woman named Miona Michael. In 1918 she wrote a poem called “We Shall Keep the Faith”. Here is the full poem:

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

This poem was a response to a popular war poem called “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrea

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Michael’s poem and advocacy for disabled veterans is what led to red poppies being sold to fund organizations that help disabled veterans and made the Red Poppy the official symbol of the veterans.


Miona Michael stamp
The US Postal Service Honored Miona Michael with a 3 cent stamp in 1948, 30 years after her poem was published

One of the most breathtaking images of memorial poppies is the Red Poppy Installation at the Tower of London. There are 888,246 ceramic poppies being placed at the Tower to commemorate the British military fatalities during World War I. The final poppies and a 21 gun salute will take place today in a ceremony at the Tower.


Poppy Installation at The Tower of London
Poppy Installation at The Tower of London

My little thread sketch is certainly not as grand as the poppies at the Tower of London or as impactful as the work that Ms. Michael did for veterans in America, but I hope it will help you remember those who sacrifice everyday in order to keep our country and its citizens safe, some paying the ultimate price.

The pattern is free for you to download here (red poppy-grayscale) . It is all set up for you to print it on Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy™, stick it on the front of your fabric and start sketching. I used Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Blendables® #4061 Poppy, #4068 Dark Chocolate, and #4094 Granite to sketch mine. Just remember to use a 14/90 topstitch needle to accommodate this heavier thread while doing this free-motion thread sketch. I hope you enjoy doing this project. It might be the perfect gift for a veteran in your life.

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  • Dawn

    Beautiful sketch, thank you. The tribute to Veterans is touching and I will be adding the poems to my military scrapbook which I decided to create after being ask by a grandson which of his ancestors had served in the military. They deserve an entire scrapbook of their own with as much information as I can gather about them and their service. Thank you for your contribution.

  • Hannah

    Poppies are one of the most iconic flowers and show the change in season, when the start appearing everywhere. They are beautiful and whimsical from there movement in the breeze to there powerful colour. This poppy project will be perfect to go on a cushion or pillow on beds or sofa.
    Poppies are the substance of D-day and rememberance Sunday in UK. Which is our veterans celebration. Every person wears a poppy and it’s the royal british legions symbol. I actually purchased one of the ceramic poppies. The two poems are very well know back home though Flanders fields is the most commonly know and associated with D-day. You will see only a handful of poppies bring worn here in the US but all my kids and my husband who is US Military will wear ours.

    • Kelly Nagel

      Hannah, Poppies are an amazing flower and symbol. As a history nerd myself and the daughter of a veteran, I have a special affinity for poppies. I am so glad that you like the pattern and will use it! It truly warms my heart.

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