Welcome to my blog. You can read about my adventures in different types of needlework, and I also offer some free
cross stitch patterns. Please, come back often. :)


PLEASE, NOTE: The designs on this site are copyrighted to Agnes Palko. They are for your personal use only. They may not be distributed or reproduced without permission.
If you wish to use my patterns to stitch for charity, please, let me know.


Variations - or how to create embroidery patterns.

I had a homework assignment for university: to create a 3-minute videofilm, that is connected to my topic (trees) and my chosen craft (embroidery). So I came up with this idea: you take a very simple motif, like a tree, and draw a really simple line drawing. It dies not have to be anything pretty, you don´t need to be able to draw. Really. Believe me :)

You can then embroider this with different stitches, and then try to do different variations. A tree, or any other object from nature is good to start with because there is no need to be accurate, symmetrical, there is no correct or incorrect shape. Feel free to improvise, experiment, try out different stitches, different colours, materials - go wild!

Here is the little film I made (not very good, but I think you get the gist - and then this was my first film!). Then you can see the photos of the embroidered pieces I made for the film.

And then there comes some more variations of the cross stitched version. You will see that I did not really pay much attention where I put the apples/leaves/flowers on the tree. You can follow the pattern, but you can just make your own version and stitch them randomly.

I hope you will really enjoy the creating process. Please, post here if you stitch something based on this idea, I would love to see them.


Small flowers - and variations on a motif

I have been working hard writing homework assignments for university. I have been late with almost everything all term - what with the operation, pain, not sleeping etc - but finally managed to catch up. Not much left to do until it is over. It was fun to do this course but at the same time it was lots of stress.

Anyway, in the euforia after sending in the last piece of homework today, what better can a girl do than sit down to the computer and start playing with the cross stitch program?

I have come up with a very simple motif: a circle with squares in it. I am sure I am not the first one ever to do this :) I played around with the motif in different sizes, different colours, different arrangements. This is the result:

First three small flower patterns, combinations of the two motifs, and I am sure there can be further variations. I think they are cute, simple, quick to stitch - perfect for cards.

Then I created some patterns that can be used to fill in bigger surfaces, or parts of them used for cards, biscornus, bookmarks, borders etc. They are not really patterns for a certain project, more like possibilities that you can use - and I encourage you to use them - in many ways. I have many similar things on my computer, I don't usually publish them, I am waiting until I can finish them into something. Which sometimes happens, but most often not. I was thinking why not try to put them on the blog as they are - perhaps someone finds them useful.

I really would like to know if you, my dear readers, find these type of patterns useful. In what ways do you think you could use them? Would they inspire you to try your own variations? Please let me know in the comments.

Happy stitching.



Bookmark with birds

The other day my boyfriend, who is a biologist and a keen birdwatcher, heard the news that near our place there is a capercaillie displaying. For my Hungarian readers: siketfajd. So we went and looked at it, it was an amazing sight. Until it wanted to attack us, at which point we had to simply run for it :D

Here is the guy - not a very good photo but I couldn't get any closer.

This bird, however, reminded me of a typical bird motif in Hungarian folk embroidery. It is called a peacock, but I think it looks more like the capercaillie. So I got the inspiration and drew a little bookmark pattern. Wasn't following any pattern, made it up on my own, but I cannot deny the influence of the "peacock motif".

I hope many of you will enjoy stitching it.


Earth Day - a (belated) cross stitch pattern

I really wanted to do a pattern for Earth Day, but had no time, and did not really have an idea either. But then, as I was working on my university projects, I suddenly came up with something. So I thought it is better to post it late than never. After all, we don't need a certain date to be able to stitch for the Earth. Or if you do ;) - you can stitch it for next year.

I hope you will like it and many of my stitchy friends will actually stitch it.


Stitch an inspirational quote from Hungarian poetry

There were a few days recently that reminded me how much I love literature. Not that I need much reminding, I read (or listen to) books all the time, but I have to admit, it is easy to forget about poetry. I love poems but don't reach for my poetry collections very often. It is just as well that I used to know lots of poems by heart and still remember my favourite lines.

The 11th of April is Day of Poetry in Hungary, the birthday of Attila József. Do you want to read some of his poems in English? Here.

The 23rd of April is World Book Day - according to Wikipedia, it was first put on this day because Miguel de Cervantes Spanish writer died on this day. But this is also the birthday and the day of death of William Shakespeare.

This time I chose a quotation by Sándor Weöres. He was a fantastic poet, and as rumour has it he was shortlisted for the literature Nobel prize more than once. Even though it is very difficult to translate his poetry - perhaps because he was a master of the language. This quotation was chosen to travel to the Moon with the space probe "Puli" last year.

Unfortunately I don't know who translated it, I found different translations on the net and this one was the best, I think. The whole sentence goes like this:
"There is one knowledge alone, all the rest is mere accretion: bellow is the earth, above is the sky and inside you the ladder." (I thought it might look better with a dash in the last line.)

Find some of his works in English here.

And here is the pattern:

Happy stitching!


Inspirational sayings in cross stitch

Good morning!

It is a sunday morning here, this weekend has not done much for lifting our spirits, at least when it comes to sunshine. But I managed to do some cleaning and that is a good feeling. :)

I have been reading a lot about craftivism lately. In case you haven't heard of it yet, the word craftivism comes from craft + activism. Craftivists use crafts to convey important messages, often political. I love the bold embroidered messages they create. I thought I would like to contribute to this trend. I choose two quotes, the first by Gandhi, the other unknown, and I made them into cross stitch pattern. Perhaps they are not very strong political messages, but I am sure they can help us rethink our priorities. I am planning to stitch them and hang them in my school. I hope some of my readers will find them useful, too.

Click on the pictures, it will take you to the downloadable pdf files.

Happy stitching.


Folk inspired cross stitch pattern

Good morning!

It is a (quite) beautiful Saturday morning here. By "quite" I mean it is not raining - after having 3 days with constant rain, this is a big thing. What is even more, the sun has just peaked out from behind the clouds. Let's hope we can see more of it today. Just my luck, when I have been at home since Tuesday after a minor surgery, could have gone out to walk a bit, but the weather didn't let me. Actually, yesterday I did go out a little, early in the morning, just before it started raining but that wasn't much.

Anyway, I am feeling really good after having my frozen shoulder operated, doing my exercises, and thank God, I can use my arm much better than before. Going back to work on Monday.

I have been working on my university assignments, surprise, surprise. :? I love experimenting with embroidery, I truly do, but I do miss just embroidering for the fun of it. :)

I was trying to create 3-D embroidery. I am using this book (link to Amazon):

I did some coiling, which is basically taking some fabric strips, wrapping them with thread and sewing them together to form a fabric. I made a small basket to learn the technique. I used embroidery thread and blanket stitch to sew the strips together. This can be seen on the inside. But it is quite hard on the fingers to sew through the fabric strips, so I only sewed on one side. This resulted in a little bit unstable fabric. So I turned it inside out and used herringbone stitch and metallic thread on the other side. This way I strengthened the fabric and made it decorative, too. The metallic thread gives it a really good structure, I love it.

Then I realised that for my assignment this is not good enough because I need to connect it to the topic I am working with. This time I choose trees as a symbol. So next I made a small sculpture with the same technique. I also used woven picot stitch to make some leaves.

Right now I am working with another piece, using fabric manipulation. This is supposed to be a vessel, with a tree-trunk as inspiration. I used one flat piece of woollen fabric to create this, pulling the fabric together, folding it and stitching it down. Then I made a lining and used a thick batting between them, to add more structure. This is not done yet, I want to add more stitches to make it sturdier. I am not very sure about it, right now I don't really like it but don't know what I am missing. I think I will put it aside for a few days and come back to it later.

By the time I finished writing this, the sun disappeared again. So it is really high time to bring some cheer in our days, I think. Here is a colourful little pattern to bring you some sunshine. It is inspired by folk embroidery. I made two different versions with different colourways, but of course, as usual, I encourage you to use your favourite colours to stitch it. (As I am looking at them together, now I think that the blue hydrangea might look better with the red tulips and the pink one with the yellow tulips... so typical of me, never really satisfied :D )

Click on the pictures to get the downloadable pdf.

(Good news: I sorted out the problem with the pdf format listing thread that were not used! Yay!)

Happy spring, happy stitching!