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.


Geometric cross stitch pattern

Hi, everyone!

I have started sewing for the christmas fair. I am making lots of things that are hand-sewn, so it is good to start early. Here are a few of my small felt figures:

I have also put them up in my webshop and have already sold two kitties. :D Want to go and have a look?
It is a Facebook shop, I don't know what happens if you click on it and you have no FB account. I would love to hear about if you try.

I have also started my university course in textile. The first topic we do is felting. Here are a few pictures of the things we did at the university, and the experiments I have been doing at home. It is a distance course, with only a few meetings and lots of homework and so far I am loving it.

We have died some wool yarn.

This is the example I made at the course, trying different types of wool and also a bit of needle felting.

This was an experiment: uncarded wool locks woven together and felted - creating a lovely lace-like effect.

Some more experiments I was doing at home.

And even more, trying nuno-felting on silk, and different organza and other synthetic fabric.

And finally, since I haven't had much internet lately, I was playing with my cross stitch program again. Remember the geometric patterns I was posting not long ago? I continued along those lines, and here is a new one: a smaller and a bigger version of the same motif. Feel free to change the colours, have fun with it.

Happy stitching. :)


Hungarian embroidery - on felt

I was at home last week with a really bad cold, and I had no energy to concentrate on anything. It was hard to read but I could not just lie idly, my hands need to be occupied with something.

I usually have a simple knitting for such occasions but I didn't have anything this time, and didn't want to start anything either because I have three on the go that are all put aside because I don't like them. Having a knitting block - but more about that in another post.

Anyway, I thought I can try embroidering something where I just draw some simple pattern and then follow the lines. Don't need to think or count. It worked so well that I was doing it all week.

I used some standard elements in Hungarian folk patterns, copying them from a cushion my mum made long ago, then I also tried a few that are not so traditional but I liked them. I used off-white felt and just some basic colours.

Here is the result:

Sorry about the hazy picture. There are a few that I embroidered again because Stephen liked them :)
They will be backed with red felt, the edges cut with zig-zag scissors, and I will add some stuffing and a cord. They will be featuring on the Christmas market. I know, it might be a bit early, but I start university next week, so I might not have too much time to prepare for the market.

I have also been doodling a bit on my cross stitch program. Soon coming back with another freebie.

Happy stitching.



And the winner is…

I am so sorry I didn't post earlier, I have been sick with a nasty virus or something, still not feeling very well.

Anyway, we have a winner for the giveaway:

So, Linda S, can you please send me your address so I can post your gift. My e-mail is palkoagi @ gmail.com - without the spaces, of course.

Thank you for all who took part.

As I am not well, don't work and can't concentrate much on reading either, I have been doing lots of embroidery, I will show you in a few days.

Until then, keep safe and don't catch the virus. :)

Happy stitching



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 )


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!


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 :)

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.


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!


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. :)


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.


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!


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!


Summer crafting: Apron sewing tutorial

This is a tutorial on how to sew the apron from the free pattern from my previous post.

This was the first I made, and now I am making a new one for the purposes of this tutorial. That's why the fabric is different.

First of all, we need to cut out the fabric. We need one piece for the centre of the apron, cut on fold, two pieces for the sides, two pieces for the pockets and four for the ties.

As I told you, I didn't put seam allowance on my paper pattern, but you can. If you did, just pin them to your fabric and cut around the pattern. I did it this way: I put the 2 cm line on my quilting ruler on the edge of the pattern, and cut. Lucky this pattern is almost all straight lines, the curves I just freehanded.

Here are my pieces. On the right the middle piece, opened, then the two sides, above the two pockets, and the ties. I did not bother much about the pattern of the fabric, except that it was not upside down, but I did fussy-cut the pockets. I wanted to have a nice pattern element on the pockets, not cut in half.

If you look at the first apron, in the above picture, you see that the pockets and the ties are made of a matching fabric but with a different pattern. You can also do that if you want.

We start sewing with the pockets.
First use the 2 cm seam allowance to double-hem the top of the pocket. The top is the slanted line:

Then we do the same on the shorter side and on the bottom. Since the bottom is slightly curved, I do it like this: I sew a basting stitch along the curve, about 5 mm from the edge, and pull the thread a little. Then I iron the fold while still pilling a little.

When 3 sides of the pocket pieces are hemmed (the longest side is left with a raw edge), we put them on top of the side pieces. Measure 10 cm from the top of the side piece (the blue dot) that's where the point of the pocket will be, the raw edges of the two should be matching. Pin in place.

Then we take the middle piece, put on side piece with the pocket attached on top of it. The wrong sides are touching, the right sides are outwards because we are going to sew a French seam. I love French seams, they mean that there are no unsightly seams or fraying edges on the wrong side.

Match the bottom of the pieces and pin them:

Sew them together, using a 5-6 mm seam allowance. Important: at the top, don't start sewing right at the edge, leave 2 cm unsewn, so we can easily fold that part down later for hemming.

This is what we get:

Do this on both sides.

Then fold them so they the right sides are meeting on the inside, and iron the seam lines:

Sew another seam from this side now, with 1 cm seam allowance. It will look like this from the back:

And this from the front:

Then iron down the seam on the back, towards the middle, and sew along the edge of it:

Hem the top part of the sides: I folded down the 2 cm that we did not sew together with the middle like this:

then fold half of this under, so the raw edge is hidden. Sew the hem.

Now hem the top of the middle piece, the two sides and the bottom of the apron. If you find it difficult to hem the curved button, use the basting stitch trick I showed you with the pockets.

Only the ties are left, and the sides of the middle top part.

Now let's look at the sides of the middle piece. Because of the French seam, there is a double fold at the edge, like this:

We need to simply iron it down as it is. We will not hem this side but put it in between the folded ties and sew.

So take the 80 cm long tie pieces. Fold them in half, iron, open up, fold the to sides to the middle, iron, and fold it in the middle again.

But for this, because it will be quite thick with the extra fabric put in between, I like to offset the folds a little, when I fold first, I fold not exactly in the middle but so that one side is a bit bigger than the other:

After this open the ends, fold and iron the edge in about 1 cm, so there is no raw edge visible when we sew.

Open it and put the narrower fold right side down on top of the wrong side of the apron, match the folded edge to the hemming on the sides, and sew a seam 1-2 mm from the fold line (red line in the picture):

Then fold the whole thing to the right side, and topstitch on the edge.

Start sewing at the waist, and after you have stitched it down on the top part of the apron, continue stitching together the tie. At this point I moved the fold a little so it was folded more in the middle. When you reach the end, pivot and sew across:

Only the waist ties are left. Fold the two 60 cm long ties the same way as the neckties, but make it symmetrical. Put the corner of the apron in between this fold for about 2 cm, and sew them together:

Your apron should be ready. Enjoy it. :)

Please let me know if any of the steps need clarification, if I forgot something - you can also tell me if it seems to be working. :)

I will be soon back with some embroidery and a cross stitch pattern.