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 twenty-one 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.)

After twenty-one years, though, it's time to hang up my artist's beret and take a rest from the work of creating these free charts for now. The past year's worth currently uploaded and found on this page will remain for now, but will gradually disappear one by one until they are no longer available for download on this website. (As noted below, you will still be able to purchase the complete set (252 charts!), but I'm taking my leave from creating a new free chart every month.)

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

The needlework chart for March was a somewhat uncommon heraldic charge, a bag of madder. The madder plant was cultivated as a source of red dye, explaining its presence in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Dyers in the 16th Century. Madder was often bundled into bales or bags like this for transport.

Our needlework chart for February was a charge taken from the well-known arms of the Cunninghams of Scotland, the origins of which I have seen at least four different stories about over the years, a shakefork, a diminutive form of the pall.

The free needlework chart for January continued a run the past several months of heraldic charges beginning with the letter "S", the farming tool known as a shovel. This particular shovel, with its squared-off blade and metal reinforcement around the blade, is taken from the arms of Graben, ca. 1450 found in Johann Siebmacher's Wappenbuch of 1605, plate 44. They are canting arms, the German graben meaning "to dig".

Our free needlework chart for December was an heraldic charge related to last month's chart of a spider; this month's chart is a spiderweb. Guillim, in his A Display of Heraldrie, 4th ed. (1660), on p. 208 says of this charge: "He beareth Or, a Cobweb, in the Center thereof a spider, proper. The spider is borne free of the Weavers Company; she studieth not the Weavers Art, neither hath she the sutffe whereof she makes her thread from any where else, than out of her own wombe from whence the draweth it; whereof through the agility and nimblenesse of her feet, she weaveth ginnes, and dilateth, contracteth, and knitteth them in form of a Net."

The needlework chart for November was a fairly rare charge, a spider. Guillim, in his A Display of Heraldrie, 4th ed. (1660) gives no examples himself, but states that "Upton [the author of a 15th Century tract on heraldry] saith, that he hath seen spiders borne in Coat-armour by a certain Lombard."

Our needlework chart for October was an unusual charge, an Italian girello, or walker. This walker is taken from the arms of the Trivilio family, found in the Stemmario Trivulziano. The blazon of this charge, in Itallian, is rather wordy: al girello a tre ruote, una anteriore e due posteriori e atto all'apprendimento infantile della deambulazione (a walker of three wheels, one in front and two in back and suitable for an infant learning to walk).

The needlework chart for September was a kitchen implement, a sieve, a sifter for flour, used to remove husks, insects, and other impurities one might not want in one’s bread.  It consisted of a shallow round frame with a perforated bottom.  The sieve is found in the mid-15th Century Italian arms of di Crivelis, documented in the Stemmario Trivulziano. They are canting arms; the Italian for “sieve” is crivello.

Our needlework chart for August was a multi-purpose tool useful in any number of places, for lighting, for warming, for warning (and to help keep these fires from burning down the town!): a fire basket. This fire basket is found in the arms of municipal arms of Becherbach, Germany.

The needlework chart for July was yet another woodworking tool, a chisel. A chisel is found in the canting arms of Cheselden, as seen in the 15th century Fenwick Roll.

Our needlework chart for June was another useful tool, a pick. It is found in the canting arms of Pygot in the 15th Century Fenwick Roll of Arms.

The needlework chart for May was a common medieval household implement for carrying water, a water bouget, sometimes called a water budget. This water bouget is taken from the arms of the Anderton family, as found in 15th Century Fenwick Roll of Arms.

We do sell a CD-ROM or USB drive with all 252 charts (twenty-one 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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