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.

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

The needlework chart for September was a celestial object, an increscent moon. This one was found in the 15th Century Wernigeroder Wappenbuch.

Our needlework chart for August was a relatively rare charge of a common item, a pilgrim's flask. In French it is called a flacon, and in German and a reiseflasche (traveling flask) or pilgerflasche (pilgrim's flask). It is, in both overall look and in effect, the medieval equivalent of the American cowboy's canteen. Pilgrim's flasks appear in the (German, obviously) arms of von Herbisshofen or Herbertshofen (15th Century) and in the arms of von Koloret (16th Century).

The needlework chart for July was an unusual charge found occasionally especially in Spanish coats of arms, a lunel, which consists of four crescents conjoined at their points.

Our needlework chart for June was an old object still found in a similar configuration today, a bucket. It is found in the arms of Pemberton (Argent three buckets sable [sometimes, hooped argent]) according to the Dictionary of British Arms, Vol. 2, p. 217.

The needlework chart for May was a specialized tool used by animal husbandmen, a turning cratch. A turning cratch is a movable rack or crib, to hold fodder for feeding beasts out of doors. It can be found as a charge in the arms of Lamminger in Siebmacher's Wappenbuch von 1605.

Our needlework chart for April was a medieval symbol of modesty and chastity, an elephant. This elephant is based on the canting arms of the Grafs von Helfenstein, c.1340 [Zürich Wappenrolle, no. 79].

The needlework chart for March was an object of myth and legend, a golden fleece. Some historians think it had a basis in fact, as a way of panning for gold in shallow rivers. A fleece was affixed to the bottom of the stream with rocks, and then the sand, etc. from upstream stirred up and washed over the fleece. Gold, being heavier, got caught in the fleece, which was dried and then the gold combed out.

Our needlework chart for February was a woodworking tool used by carpenters, cabinetmakers, and others for smoothing wood, a drawknife. A drawknife is found in the arms of von Schaben (Siebmacher's Wappenbuch, 1605, p. 139).

The free needlework chart for January was a forestry implement, found in Continental heraldry, a fer-à-loup, from the French fer à loup, “wolf iron”. In French blazons, it may also be called a hameçon à loup; in German blazons, a wulfsangel; English texts call it a “wolf-claw” or “wolf-trap”. It is found in the arms of vom Stain, no. 203 in the Zurich Wappenrolle, ca. 1340.

Our free needlework chart for December was a flag-like charge, borne on a lance or pole, a banner.

The needlework chart for November was a rare maritime charge, a ship's rudder.

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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