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.

31/08/2014

300 000 visits!!!! Giveaway - ajándéksorsolás!

It happened! Here:



Come and comment until Tuesday evening CET, which is your favourite of my patterns. Which do you think the most popular pattern is? You can win a surprise packet.


Ha részt szeretnél venni, kedd estig írd meg egy megjegyzésben, mi a kedvenced a mintáim közül, és melyik szerinted a legnépszerűbb minta. Meglepetéscsomagot kap a szerencsés kisorsolt kommentelő (alias zsákbamacskát :D )

30/08/2014

Getting close to a round number! Giveaway!

Not my birthday :D Haha, no, there I still have to wait a bit for the big round number.

But look at this:


Can you see that red circle?

So I have decided I need to make a giveaway to mark the big occasion :D. I am going to put together a small surprise bag of stitching goodies.

To take part in the giveaway, please write in the comments: Which one of my patterns do you think is the most popular? And which is your favourite?

I am guessing that I will reach the big 300 000 visitors today, but I will keep this open for a few days so more people can see and enter. I will announce the winner on Tuesday next week, 2nd of Sept.

Go ahead and share it, the more the merrier!

23/08/2014

Christmas stitching started


(Since this seems to be one of the most popular posts on my blog recently, I thought to give all that visit here a bit of encouragement: click on Home at the bottom of the page. Right now (31st August 2014) there is a giveaway you can sing up for! Welcome!)


Hello, I am here again.

First week of school is over. God, I am sooooo tired! Even though we only had three proper teaching days, the first two days being mentor time, discussing school rules, team building etc. with my class. I feel really lucky, the kids seem to be very nice, all of them, and my co-mentor is fabulous!
In my lessons, I started felting with my year 6, we made some felted balls and next lesson we will make a piece of fabric that can be used to sew with. With year 7 classes, we started knitting/crocheting, most of them are really excited about it and that is such a good feeling. With the little ones, year 5, I only had lessons with two of the classes, we will do hand sewing with felt, and we were playing with the leftover pieces from last year - I teach them not waste fabric and try to use all pieces, even the tiny ones. The other two classes will start weaving next week - I only have enough looms for two classes, so we have a rotation and it works quite well. I have a really good feeling about this year, I feel much more prepared than ever before, and I have made changes in my program where I felt it needs to be made a bit less "work" and more fun. Wish me luck, please :)

Also, as autumn is slowly creeping in under the threshold, I started thinking about my plans for the Christmas fair. Learning from last years experience, I want to make lots of things for Christmas decoration, ornaments and such. I realised that people go to these fairs not to buy their presents (for that they prefer to use the shops), but more for the feeling, for the atmosphere. Most of what I sold last year were ornaments, so I am going to do more of those.

I had an idea about a cross stitched christmas wreath. I even made a little experiment, cut out a kind of doughnut-shape from a piece of fabric, or rather two and sewed them together to see how it looks stuffed. It looked good, so I am going for it. I want to have a piece of embroidery on the front and some christmasy fabric on the back.

There is one problem though: the circles can be sewn together with the sewing machine on the outward line, but not on the inner one, otherwise it cannot be turned inside out. So the inner circle will have to be sewn by hand. I hope it will work out all right still. I will perhaps attach some cord around it to hide the sewing line if it is not nice enough :D

Anyway, I made my cross stitch pattern for one, I am going to start it right away to see how fast I can make one. Then I am planning to design some more in different sizes.

I am sharing the pattern with you all out there, I hope you like it. I will also be back with instructions on ho to sew the wreath when I am done. So watch this place! Also, if you don't want a wreath, you can use it for a cushion.
Have you started your Christmas stitching yet? Have you got some good ideas for me for the market? Please share.



As usual, clicking on the pictures will take you to the downloadable pdf file from my google account. If you have any problems with that, let me know.
The two patterns are identical, except the border that is red in one and green in the other.
I drew some elements in a yellow colour, and I think that could look all right, but actually I am planning to stitch that in golden metallic. Only I didn't have that in my colour palette. So my intentions are:

DMC 444 Lemon dk = golden metallic


Happy stitching from

Agi :)


Edit:
Oops, I have just finished stitching this and noticed a mistake in the pattern. Now I have corrected it and uploaded the good version, if you want to download it again. Or just make sure you check the golden backstitch lines and make them symmetrical in the bottom middle part.

Here is my stitched version. The gold metallic does enhance it a lot, don't you think so?


Edit #2

I have finished it in a wreath. I will post a tutorial on how to do this. I am not 100% happy with it, it was impossible to stuff it nice and smooth. But it is quite near to what I imagined at the beginning.

20/08/2014

Owls free pattern

Hi, everyone,

I have to admit I am a bit sad that the BIG Summer Crafting has come to an end, but at the same time it is good to be back to school, see the kids again and spend time with my lovely colleagues. And of course, crafting continues - just in a different way: there will be lots of things happening in my classroom, and of course, at home, too, even though I have much less time now.
But I am not complaining, life is still good and full of fabric, thread, yarn and ideas. :D

I have started my second ever quilt. The blocks are all done, and I have started to put them together but there is no picture of that phase yet. This is what it looks like so far:


I have also made a cushion for my OH's daughter. She just had her 15th birthday, and had just redecorated her bedroom in black and white. So the cushion had to be mostly black and white. However, for a little extra I used some old clothes that Stephen had kept from when she was perhaps 3-4 year old. There were mostly cute little blouses with lovely patterns and I tried to incorporate them into the cushion. She actually liked it! :D


If anyone wants to make something similar, here is some advice: you can use really thin fabric or knit fabric too, not only stiff cotton, if you have some stabiliser, that you can iron on the back. I cut out the part I wanted to use, a little bigger first, ironed on the stabiliser, then cut to the final size. After that, just sewed the pieces together, worked like a charm.

I stitched another teddy bear for the quilts charity. This is actually a Lickle Ted pattern but I remembered from before how I hated stitching those because of the very light colours. So I simply changed the colours to darker browns, it was much easier. Now it is on its way to England with the other teddy and the owl.


And finally, I drew in my cross stitch program the owl I showed you, the one I improvised. I even made a smaller one in different colours (I call them mum and son just for myself :D).

I hope someone out there will like them and have some lovely time stitching them.


Happy stitching everyone!

10/08/2014

Geometric freebie again


The summer crafting series have come to an end. Tomorrow I start work again, we will have a week of preparation then the students are back next week. Kind of looking forward to it and not at the same time. :)

I don't have too much to show from the last few days. I finished warping the loom, managed to do the final step alone, but something is not good, so I will have to redo it. Not happy, it is quite a big work, but without it there is no weaving. :(

I made two necklaces yesterday. The first one is woven, I got the idea from this tutorial. The only difference that I put the thread right at the beginning on an eye-pin. I wasn't very successful in turning the wire at the other end though, I need to learn a bit more about wirework (never been really interested in it, to tell you the truth). Anyway, it is not bad for the first one. I attached it to a leather necklace I had at home.


The other one I made using some lovely shiny yarn I had, with adding a few beads. I have seen a few similar ones on the web here and there, mostly made of t-shirt yarn. I liked the concept but was not so keen on the bulkiness of it, so I came up with this version.
Sorry about the pictures, they were made at night with the mobile. Will try for some better ones later.




And finally, I have made another cross stitch pattern with geometric motifs. I hope you like it. Happy stitching. :)

05/08/2014

A geometric pattern for a biscornu - freebie!


Hi, summer crafting continues but this is the last week. Next week I am back to work. Crafting will not stop, of course not, but I might have to slow down a bit. :)


This is what happened since I last posted. I finished two small cross stitches: a teddy bear and an owl.
The teddy was done following a pattern from a magazine, as usual:


With the owl, I was looking through my stack of patterns, and of course, I could not find anything I really liked. Then I thought, I have been improvising with surface embroidery so much, what if I try to do something similar in cross stitch? So instead of a pattern I looked at a few owl photos, started with the eyes and the head above the eyes, that was the most difficult part. The rest of the body was easy. And the colours: this is for a little girl who loves owls and her favourite colour is pink. :)

Perhaps I can now draw the pattern for the owl.




I am almost done with warping my loom. I have threaded the reed and the heddles, now I only have to roll the warp up, but for this I need help.


I also started on my second quilt. This is going to be a king size (or something like this, huge, anyway, to cover my bed). Half of the block are done. The other half will be the same block but with different colours.
I am following this pattern, although I made a mistake when I was putting my blocks together, so they are not exactly the same as in the pattern. But I don't mind. :D


And finally, I have been drawing some geometric patterns in my cross stitch program. Here is the first one: just the right size for a biscornu, but it can also be used as a separate motif for a card, or as border in a row - in this case omit the backstitch line around it, that is only necessary if you are sewing it together as a biscornu.


Good luck with it, happy stitching.

27/07/2014

Summer crafting: quilting, embroidery and a cross stitch freebie!



Hello, hello, I am still here enjoying my summer holiday. Apart from going to the sea yesterday (Oh, how lovely it was!) I was at home all the time and was keeping busy with all kinds of crafts.

First of all, I finally finished my first quilt. Do you remember? I wrote about it ages ago, when I started quilting it, I realised there were mistakes and that put me off it. Now I took it out, finished the quilting in a day (decided not to worry too much about the mistakes, just continue), made a scrappy binding and sewed it on with the machine. It is far from perfect but for a first quilt it is not too bad. If I may say so. I just love it :D

I am planning to make more quilts, definitely. I have already chosen a pattern and even cut the fabric for a huge overcast for my bed, but didn't want to start it until this one was finished. Now I can start it. Soon! But I also plan to do some small practise pieces to learn quilting, while I am doing the piecing for it. I hope that one will be much better. And I am thinking to sew the binding by hand!

Pictures:


I wanted to show my ongoing embroidery pieces to you. Do you ever stitch without a pattern? Just like doodling? Long ago I posted some improvised embroideries I did on felt, now I have some more on all kinds of leftover fabric.
Most of them I started at school. With year 5 classes I do a hand sewing unit, and with year 6 an embroidery unit. With most classes there comes a time when everyone is happily (or grudgingly) settled down with their work and I don't need to run around showing them the different steps. I sit down among my students and take out something to work on. It cannot be something very complicated because I am often interrupted, and of course, my main focus is on the children. But I found they like watching me actually make something, not only explain all the time, sometimes they even get inspired by my work.
Then it happened that I threw that piece of fabric with the needle and thread in my bag so I could stitch a bit on my way home, or while waiting at the dentist etc. That meant that next lesson I had to start a new one, right? :D


So here they are, not finished yet but they will slowly become something.

I also have this piece of Hungarian folk embroidery that I started a while back and pick it up once in a while to practice the special stitch it uses. It is very typical of the Hungarian area in Romania, and it is done with a stitch similar to the open chain stitch (see Mary Corbet's video here) except the stitches are laid very close to each other. It was not easy to learn and I am still not really good at it. First I constantly took it out but that is quite difficult, so I decided to just go on and hope to get better in time.



The next piece is a little experiment. Stephen bought for me a pile of old snaps and hook-and-eye fasteners once and I was thinking perhaps I could use them for decorative effect. So I sewed some hooks on the fabric, wrapped some thick thread around them, and the plan is to sew them down couching-style, also add some stitches around the hooks. We will see what happens to it. :)



The cross stitch I made I have already shown here (the birds), but now I am planning some more. I have to finish 3 squares for the charity quilts till the end of September, so I am working on those now. After that I will make some things to sell in my webshop. I have been working on some patterns, will show them later. But there is a small one, a biscornu pattern that I would like to share with you.

It is a red biscornu again, I just love red embroidery, but of course, you can use other colours too.

Please enjoy it and feel free to share it with others.

Click on the picture to get the pdf pattern. Happy stitching!