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!