Free Stuff


Appleton Studios

Needlework/Cross Stitch Charts

We've been creating and uploading small (3" x 3") needlework charts of heraldic charges that can be downloaded or printed out and which you can then work yourself for over eighteen years now. Along with each chart is the pattern information, the floss color descriptions and numbers (though there is no obligation to follow these color recommendations slavishly. You may prefer to select different tints or colors, as indeed sometimes our own needlework artist-in-residence has when working these charts).

To view or download any of these charts, simply click on the hyperlinked name.

The needlework chart for September was a popular crustacean, a crab. This one was taken from the canting arms of the van der Crab family, Argent three crabs gules.

Our needlework chart for August was a well-known farming implement, a plough. This particular plough is found in the arms of the Jendly family in Switzerland.

The needlework chart for July was another a rare charge in heraldry, but is an object without the previous month's charge, the butter churn, could not function, a churning staff. This churning staff comes from the crest of the same family on whose arms were found the butter churn, Neumayr von Sonnberg, Austria, dated 1591.

Our needlework chart for June was an uncommon heraldic charge but a common household object, a butter churn. It is found in the arms of Neumayr von Sonnberg, Austria, dated 1591.

The needlework chart for May was a wagon wheel. This wagon wheel was taken from the arms of the Raedel family of Switzerland.

Our needlework chart for April was a useful household implement for spinners and weavers, a yarn winder. This yarn winder was found in the 14th Century Bellenville Armorial (BNF Ms Fr 5230).

The needlework chart for March was a rare charge, a pelt. The one here is taken from the canting arms of Le Pelletier (Gules a pelt ermine) found in the 17th century Armorial d'Anjou (BnF fr20083). I found it particularly apt since the pelt, or fur, is done in ermine, one of the heraldic furs.

Our needlework chart for February was a uniquely Spanish charge, a caldera gringolada. It is a cauldron or cooking vessel that has snakes emerging from it on each side. This particular caldera gringolada is taken from the arms of Manrique de Lara family,

The free needlework chart for January was a common household item, a table (Spanish, mesa), This one, found on a Spanish grant of canting arms from King Philip II ("Phillipe Segundo") to brothers Alonso de Mesa and Hernando de Mesa, dated 1566, is a trestle-style table laden with three loaves of black bread (in the grant, two such tables, "dos mesas de oro ... en cada una dellas tres panes de negro" within a bordure charged with three swords).

Our free needlework chart for December was a large insect sometimes found in Italian and German heraldry, a beetle. This one, a stag beetle, is found in the arms of the Swiss family Schrötter, cited in the Armorial du Canton de Fribourg as having been borne by the family since circa 1600.

The needlework chart for November was a tool used in a completely different trade from last month's, a bookpress, or finishing press. This one is taken from the arms of a bookbinder in the Stuttgarter Schiessen, Cod. hist. fol. 165, dated 1562.

Our needlework chart for October was a tool for crushing hemp or flax stalks to loosen the fibers for removal, a hempbreak, or hemp-bray.

We also sell a CD-ROM or USB drive with 216 charts (eighteen years!) of these heraldic charges in .pdf format. More information on these charts, including a list of the charges contained in them, can be found here.

Other needlework charts are available for sale, and information on contacting us about creating customized needlework charts for you, can also be found on our Needlework page here.

Our latest big project, an American Heraldry Collection, has finally been "completed" (as if any collection of heraldry can really be said to be complete), and has been uploaded to this website in two versions. Each version is in a .zip file, each with a Word document (containing some background information on the collection as well as a bibliography and key to sources) and an Excel spreadsheet (with arms and crests, with their related surnames and the sources of the arms). The .docx and .xlsx files can be downloaded here; and the .doc and .xls files can be downloaded here.

You can download a copy of our free sampler screensaver, which contains images from our specialty heraldry-themed screensavers. Additional information about our screensavers for the PC can be found on our Heraldic Arts for the Computer page.

We have a sampler of our PowerPoint educational programs in heraldry available for download here, which contains brief excerpts from each of the programs presently available. More information about our computer-based heraldic educational programs can be found on our Heraldic Arts for the Computer page.

Questions? Comments? Compliments? Complaints? Suggestions for improvement? Or just want to share your successes (or difficulties) with our "free stuff"? Write, call, or e-mail us at the address, telephone number, or e-mail addresses here.

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