Welcome


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:


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.

02/05/2016

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.

28/04/2016

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 stitchy friends will actually stitch it.



24/04/2016

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!

17/04/2016

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.

09/04/2016

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!

01/04/2016

Blackwork biscornu pattern


Hello, stitchy friends,

Finally spring has arrived to this part of Sweden. It has been a long wait.


I am enjoying the Easter holidays. Working on my university assignments, challenging myself with embroidery techniques, using as my starting point or inspiration some photos I took of trees.

I was playing with making pattern from photos of tree trunks, learning smocking, breaking the rules, e.g. pulling the fabric together with my stitches on purpose, using a black on white printed fabric as a "colouring sheet" etc. I also bought the book Wool stitch by Yumiko Higuchi and stitching some of the patterns from it. To be honest, I am not sure where I am going with all this, I am just trying out things and playing with needle and thread. We will see.




And I also have something to share with you.

I have made a tiny blackwork pattern the other day. It started as a doodle, turned out to be something like a lily but not really on purpose. :D It is really small and dense, and I also added French knots.

I stitched it quickly, this is how it looks:



Today I drew it in my cross stitch program and started playing with it. You know, rotating, adding other small motifs etc. I really love this part when out of something small one can create a much bigger pattern. Anyway, at the end it became a biscornu, the way I usually make them: with one side more dominant than the other.

Click on the picture to get the pdf pattern.*


I did not draw the french knots, but if you want to add them, here is a drawing that shows where I stitched them. But feel free to add them wherever you want, or you can also try beads.




I used some leftover yellow thread for the stitching so I don't know what shade it is. But I drew it in red because it is easier to see. Use your favourite colour, or try a variegated thread.

I hope someone will like it and enjoy stitching it.


*I have to apologise for the pdf. The new version of MacStitch puts all the threads on a list, even those not in use. Make sure you only print out the pages you need - until I figure out how to solve this.

23/03/2016

New freebies - finally

I am so sorry I haven't been here for so long. It's been a very busy time with university, work and some illness. It doesn't seem to be any better until the end of this term, but I will try to update the blog more often.

I know I promised a knitting pattern. I have started to make one more pullover, thinking to take notes as I go, but had to stop because I had so much else to do. I will come back to it soon, hopefully. I cannot knit much, only 15-20 minutes at a time usually, because I have a pain in my left shoulder.

Anyway, I would like to show you guys a few pictures of what I did for the university. We worked with embroidery. I have done lots of embroidery, so I wanted to try something new. I learnt needle lace, goldwork techniques and tried embroidery on materials I had never used before: tulle, organza and other very thin, see-through material.





I also learnt the basics of lace-making at university. It was so cool! I wish I had time to do more.






I also created a cross stitch freebie. There are two versions, one for a card and one for a bookmark. I hope this can bring some spring-feeling to you. Enjoy!





Happy Easter everyone! And happy spring!