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 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.

The needlework chart for September is another fishing-related charge, similar to last month's, but different, an eel-fork.

Our needlework chart for August was a fishing-related charge, shaped rather like a trident head, an eel spear. It is sometimes called a salmon spear, and may be shown in heraldry with a fish transfixed on its tines. Eel spears appear in Guillim's A Display of Heraldrie, 4th ed. (1660) on p. 316, in the arms of Stratele (Stratley): Sable a chevron between three eel spears argent.

The needlework chart for July was a "heavenly" charge, sometimes called a "hairy star", but better known to us as a comet.

Our needlework chart for June was a old tool still found in a similar configuration today, a hammer. It is sometimes blazoned as a "martel" for canting purposes. (Think of Charles "the Hammer", Charles Martel.) The hammer here is modeled from that found in the arms of Martel, in the Gelre armorial, f. 48v. (1370-1414).

The needlework chart for May ws a religious artifact used for meditation and prayer, a rosary or paternoster. It can be found as a maintained charge in the arms and crest of Rusw├Ârmb in Siebmacher's Wappenbuch von 1605 (

Our needlework chart for April was a woodworking tool related to the axe, an adze. It is distinguished by its hooked, transverse blade, used for shaping or dressing timber. This adze is based on the arms of Rodensteyn, c.1370 [Gelre 44v].

The needlework chart for March was a winnowing fan, a tool used for separating wheat from chaff. It is found in the canting (punning) arms of the Septvans family.

Our needlework chart for February was an unusual charge found sometimes in German and Italian heraldry, a carriage frame.

The free needlework chart for January was the antler of a stag, a stag's attire, taken from a 1540 German armorial.

Our free needlework chart for December was 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".

We also sell packages that include each year's charts of these charges we have done (at this point, sixteen years in all). Or you can purchase a CD-ROM with 192 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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