Free Stuff


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 nearly eleven 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 has when working from these charts).

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

Our free needlework chart for December is a rake, an agricultural tool with prongs set transversely at the end of a long handle, used for gathering leaves, grass, hay, etc. from the ground. A rake is found in the canting (punning) arms of Rechenberg as early as 1370 in the Gelre Armorial.

The needlework chart for November was a sometimes confusing charge, a zule. A zule is a stylized column or support, found in the canting arms of van Zuylen, c.1370. A Dutch charge, it was introduced to England during the reign of William of Orange, where it was confused with the chess rook. Indeed, many English heraldic dictionaries still define a zule as "a chess-rook".

The needlework chart for September was charge popular with spinner and weavers, a quill of yarn (not to be confused with a quill pen, a charge "mightier than the sword").

Our needlework chart for August was another mill-related charge, a different version (we'd already done one some while back) of the metal brace in the center of a millstone, a millrind.

The needlework chart for July was a charge on the receiving end of all the power being passed to it from last month's charge, a millstone, used for grinding grain of all types.

Our needlework chart for June was a charge we recently saw in an armorial of coats of arms from Florence, a mill wheel, the paddled water wheel that turns to power a mill.

The needlework chart for May was an open (that is to say, without a cover or roof over it) stone well.

Our needlework chart for April was a nautical charge, a ship's mast and sail.

The needlework chart for March was a furison, a hand-held steel used with a flint to light fires. Furisons appear on the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Our needlework chart for February was a domesticated bird used not only as food but in some areas like a watchdog or guard warning of the approach of people, a goose.

The free needlework chart for January was a tool used by bakers, a baker's peel, with three "planchets" or small round cakes upon it. When we were visiting Bruges, Belgium a few years ago, there was a coat of arms used as a shop sign that had a red background with three golden baker's peels, each with three white/silver planchets, all looking very much like the one in this needlework chart.

We also sell packages that include each year's charts of these charges we have done (at this point, twelve years in all). Or you can purchase a CD-ROM with 144 charts of these heraldic charges in .pdf format. More information on these sets, including a list of the charges contained in them, can be found here.

Other needlework charts 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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