18 February 2010

News to me

Cyberstitchers' freebies are now available in PDF format in case, like me, you don't have PCStitch on your computer. I don't know how long this has been possible, but it wasn't the last time I was on the site. I just printed some really cute Helga Mandl and Barbara Ana charts and saved some others, because, ya know, I might run out of stuff to stitch at some point this year, LOL. I'm pretty pleased.

One of the things I did not really appreciate before I undertook this freebie-focused year is that "free" does not necessarily translate to "easy" or "quick stitch". I had thought that, almost two months in, I would have a lot more designs stitched, but I'm on my third or fourth. But it's been a learning moment for me.

A year or so ago, someone on some British message board (at least I seem to remember it being British) had the audacity to criticize the freebie charts San-man Originals was doing, after seeing someone post a finish of theirs. They said they weren't really stitching. I don't know if it was a dig at Sandy's designing talent, or just freebie charts on a whole. I choose to think it was a dig at freebies in general, I guess the idea being that a designer wouldn't put the effort into a free chart that they do into a chart you pay for.

I can tell you, from my experience so far, that don't seem to be true.

I was impressed with the shading on Midnight.It was tricky. If that is what she is accomplishing on a free chart, the shading on a pay chart is the same as a Stoney Creek. Fa La La was an accomplishment, although if I'd stitched it the normal way, it probably wouldn't have taken so long. And I'm loving how beautiful my Debbie Draper design is coming together. I am using two shades of Variations, not just one, and this is a design that you could look at and see five good ways to do the design, all different, all unique, and know that, whatever way you do it, it will look amazing. That's not a cheapening of the talent, it's elevating the craft.

And I'm getting my eyes opened to a whole new world of designers, just by typing, "grilles gratuites." I'm seeing all new French designs that are AMAZING. The funny thing is, the designers don't seem to offer a lot of free charts, but the bloggers who do link to these designers' charts, and they're just gorgeous and SO different from anything we have available here in the US. I wish my French had not declined so badly, because I would love to be able to understand what they're talking about, and to be able to purchase them, instead of limiting my French purchases to Violarium and that one purchase from La Cigale Brodeuse in Canada--they don't even have the best of the French designers. A lot of the whimsical stuff get left "over there", it seems.

I have really started looking for freebies, and it's fun. There's just SO MUCH OUT THERE to look at. Even on the freebie finding websites with the dead links, there are still enough live links to make it worth a look.

Challenge yourself. Find three good freebies you've never seen before that you'd love to stitch. The more obscure, the better! I promise you, it's like finding gold!


Natasha said...

Great idea. I have LOTS of free designs so many that I could stitch for the rest of my life and probably NEVER buy another chart, butthen I think what fun would that be.

I have decided that I will buy 1 chart a month and the fabric or floss to go wth it if I dont already have it on hand.

Will you be posting photos of your current freebie starts? Hope so.
Take Care

Jennifer said...

I love freebies. I have HUNDREDS of them saved on my computer - organized by catagory and complete with a jpg or gif of every chart or finished piece (I save pictures from the freebie site or google the design name for a photo) so I can review them all visually in Picture Manager (I explain how I do this in detail on my blog)

I love being exposed to designers I'm not familiar with, and collecting freebies supplies me with charts for subjects I may not necessarily be interested in for myself, but want to stitch for exchanges and such. I've done almost all of my F&S exchanges with freebie charts.

Kathy A. said...

Thanks for the info that Cyberstitchers are now PDF's - will certainly check that out. Sounds like you are having a fun time with all the freebies!

Pumpkin said...

I agree with you Rachel. There are TONS of gorgeous freebies out there and the designs are kind enough to put them out there for stitchers. They don't 'have' to do that. And just because it's free doesn't mean that it's not expensive to kit up. Some are quite detailed with specialty threads and beads. Just a thought :o)

Nic said...

I'm testing the waters of the design world by offering freebies - call it market research if you will, but each design is carefully worked out, professionally presented in PDF format, and although most are for needlework "smalls" I've done a couple of samplers that will take longer to stitch.

I'm putting as much effort into these charts as I can, because they are the foundations for a possible business. I'm sure professional designers put in the same effort too, as they are their calling cards and advertisements. I know that I would be reluctant to buy a chart from a designer whose freebie charts were not fun to stitch, or unclear in anyway.

I love giving away freebies and getting such positive reactions from stitchers, and I'm hoping I can convert that into a small scale business in time - but for now, having fun and giving pleasure is enough.

Bette said...

If you want freebies that are challenging take a look at Ink Circles site. BOINK is gorgeous and can be stitched in many colorways. Papillion Creations is another that had a frebie from last year that was quite nice. They charged a minimum couple of dollars for this years but the project is stretched out over 2 years (I think). EMS also has had some wonderful free designs (if you can figure out her website). You're absolutely right about finding new designers.

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls