Sunday, October 24, 2010

Favorite Freebie Finishes

Hello everyone! Can you believe we're down to the final week in October? I don't know about you, but I'm not at all ready for the cold and snow that will be with us before too long. It didn't hit me until I was putting this post together that each of the things I have to show you today is a freebie! I love freebies and think they're great ways for designers to introduce us to their charts. First up is a new design called Quaker 31 from San-Man Originals.

I can't remember when I enjoyed stitching a design so much--I just loved every stitch in this one! There are so many details in it--the checkered cat, the black bat with his yellow eyes, all of those pumpkins and scary words--it was just a fun, fun piece! I stitched Quaker 31 "over one" on 28 ct. summer khaki lugana using DMC threads 301, 725, 520, and 310 and made it into a little pillow with some orange and black paisley fabric, black ric-rac, and a yellow button. What do you think?

I know most of you will recognize my next finish as "Snowman's Quaker Christmas" from Midnight Stitching. It is an old freebie which you can still find right here. Since blue is my favorite color, I changed him from the traditional red/green combo to Crescent Colors "Blue Moon."

Most of you know that I've been stitching an ornament a month and this is my finish for September (yes, I'm a bit behind!). For this smiling guy, I used 32 ct. flax Belfast linen and bordered him with Mill Hill Glass seed beads (color 02087). This was only the second time I've attempted a beaded edge, but it went well and I'm very happy with the result. I think he'll make a great addition to my snowman tree this December!

Next on the freebie finishes list is my ornament for the month of October (see, I caught up!!). This design by 123 Citrouille can be found right here: Noel Freebie. Would you believe this was my first ever red and white finish? I loved it! It was also the first time I used DMC 115--what a great thread--I finally see why you've all been raving about it!

I left out the bottom band of the original chart because the ornament was becoming too big for me (plus I was getting lazy!). The finished hanging pillow is backed by the red and black patterned fabric you see behind it and trimmed with some red and white checked ribbon and those "antique" buttons (purchased at Joann Fabrics!) for accents. I think this is one of my favorite ornament finishes of the year. ..

In an effort to keep track of my favorite freebies, I've added a new list to my sidebar. Just look for this photo collage of some of my favorites and you can link to the charts yourself. And what about you? Do you have any favorite freebies? I'd love to hear what yours are--who knows, your favorites might just become some of mine, too. With everyone trying to save money in this economy, it's nice to know that with some scraps of linen and a few threads we can all create something special for next to nothing. Thanks so much to all of you designers out there who share your talents with us--we really appreciate it!

Finally--just look what appeared in my mailbox this week...this beautifully stitched RAK from dear Catherine. Now, Catherine doesn't have a blog (yet, anyway--keep encouraging her!!), but I know many of you know her as a "super commenter!" She is one of the most loyal and sincere commenters on more blogs than just about anyone I know. Catherine stitched this Sampler Girl design, called "The Empty Nest," for me after reading one of my posts about my youngest son flying the nest--and yes, her gift made me cry. She personalized it by adding a third bird to represent my three sons and even coffee-dyed her own fabric! I just love the verse on it:
"Farewell, my birds, farewell, adieu,
I happy am, if well with you."
And, isn't the verse so true? If all is right with our kids, we are happy indeed; after all, as the old saying goes: "A mother is only as happy as her least happy child." Of course, the librarian in me took over and did some research and I discovered that these are the last two lines in a poem titled "In Reference to Her Children, 23 June 1659" written in the 17th century by Anne Bradstreet. The poet is writing about her sadness at her children leaving the nest one by one--all eight of them!

I think what touched me most, besides the fact that someone I've never met stitched this lovely pillow ornament for me, is the fact that Catherine gave up her precious free time to make this gift. You see, Catherine, also the mother of three boys, is living my life of 15 years ago: the sports practices and games, the Scouting events, the music lessons, the multiple-times-a-week trips to the grocery store to feed her rapidly growing brood. Throw in the daily cooking, cleaning, laundry, counseling, homework help, refereeing the inevitable disagreements and roughhousing that a house of men includes and you have one busy mom. So, thank you, Catherine--your gift means more to me than you know and I am truly touched by your kindness...It has a special place of honor in my family room.

Well, that's about it for today... I'm not looking forward to the upcoming week. We are getting a new roof put on our house so things will be in an uproar (am I the only one who hates having workmen around?), but at least we'll have it installed before winter starts. Thanks again for your wonderful comments--I know each one takes time to write and for that reason, they mean all the more to me :) Bye now...


Ineke said...

You have made some really beautiful ornaments.
Having workman around is no fun, just necessary sometimes. But when they are gone you can be sure the house stays dry during the winter.

Friendship Crossing said...

OH Carol, I'm in awe of all your ornament/pillow finishes! They are all darling in their own individual way and I'd have a hard time deciding which one is my favorite!

That was a most thoughtful gift Catherine sent you! How sweet and a most fitting verse.

Guess I need to get busy now! LOL

Have a wonderful week!

Myra said...

Carol, I feel as if I am at a needlework show every time I visit your blog. I just love all of your finishes and the special little details you put into each and every one of them. I love freebies too and really appreciate the designers who offer them. Now you have me wanting to stitch something with DMC 115. :o)

Catherine is a real sweetie for making that pillow for you. It is gorgeous and so fitting for us mothers. Maybe if we keep after her she will have a blog soon and we can see ALL her lovely finishes and her cute boys too. :o)

Lesleyanne said...

Your finishes are gorgeous. I love them all. That was a most thoughtful gift Catherine sent you. How sweet and a most fitting verse.

BeckySC said...

Oh, I just love all your freebies, Carol! BEEutiful work :)
Wonderful gift from Catherine :)
Have a lovely new week :)

KarenV said...

What wonderful freebie finishes Carol! I really like the first one, with all the little elements and your choice of finishing method and materials is perfect.

The Noel freebie is very pretty - again, excellent backing fabric choice! - and you received a lovely gift too :)

Jackie's Stitches said...

You're not the only one who doesn't like having workmen around. I don't either. We had our roof replaced 2 years ago (we were hit by a small tornado) and I was glad I was working that day.

I love your recent finishes! The Halloween Ornament is really cute as is the red one. I'm always partial to red and think you just can't go wrong with it.

Nicky said...

Your freebie finishes are gorgeous, I especially love the little snowman one with the beaded edge. Your gift from your friend is beautiful, and you tell the story behind it so well.

Melanie said...

Just love love all your finishes. As usual! You always do amazing work. :)
I haven't time for any freebies lately because I'm always so durn behind on stitching things out of my stash! lolol I have quite a few printed out/saved up on my computer though. I should try doing nothing but freebies one year and see how it goes. I know my WALLET would certainly like it! :)

Anonymous said...

wow so many beautiful ornament finishes and I can't believe those are all freebies, we are so lucky for the designers to share these with us all
lovely gift, and the saying is beautiful, my eldest son has left for uni, and this is hard enough for me to deal with

Lainey said...

All your freebie finishes are just beautiful Carol. I'm an avid collector of all kinds of Snowmen I love the idea of a Snowman tree. What a gorgeous gift from Catherine, she is such a sweetie.

Chris said...

Hi Carol,
All your stitching is lovely. It is amazing how generous so many designers are to give us all these wonderful freebies.

Nancy said...

Such gorgeous finishes Carol! Each one is so different and very pretty in its own way. I love how you finished each one!

Thanks for the links! Just because it's free doesn't mean it isn't beautiful, and I am a freebie fanatic!

What a beautiful gift from Catherine and so sentimental.

Hope you have a good week ahead!

Teresa S. said...

I have been thinking about trying my hand at a beaded edging. Your ornament turned out great! What edge do you begin your beading? And at what point do you stuff the ornament? Thanks for your help!

Wendy said...

wauw, your finishes look so lovely, they really get me into the holiday spirit !
I know, the year seems to fly right by, I´ve even been listening to my favorite christmas cd already !
don´t tell my husband, he´ll say I´m mad !

please don´t worry about the workmen, I know about all the mess, and how notnice it is to have your house not to yoursell, letalone the mess, but believe me, it will be all right.
want my secret recipy ?
feed them coffee, lots and lots of coffee, don´t hang over there shoulder, just act very blond and say ; if you need me just yell.
and believe me, they will do evrything for you !
good luck !

Bonnie said...

Love all your finishes. I like the SanMan Quaker. The orange fabric makes it pop.
I still haven't stitched my snowman freebie. yours is so cute, makes me want to stitch him up.
You received a beautiful gift from Catherine.

thanx for the links.

Melissa said...

Your freebie finishes are wonderful. Great job!!!

Margaret said...

What great freebie finishes -- and a nice gift too! Good luck with the roofers -- I know what you mean about what a pain it is. But you'll have a new roof when it's done!

Christine said...

Wow ~ They are all gorgeous! What a beautiful job you did on all of these! Thank you for sharing pics of them and also for the links! Very inspiring!

The Queen Bee said...

What a fabulous group of finishes. Everying is lovely. AND.... thank you so much for the freebie hint. I LOVE the snowman and he will be perfect for 2 gift exchanges I need to do. (NOT the one you know about, so no secrets were given away in this Even before I scrolled down and saw your beaded edging, that's exactly how I was picturing it.

Annie said...

What a beautiful collection of stitching! You really know how to make the most of those freebies!

And what a sweet thing for Catherine to do. Stitchers are really the nicest people!

Lynn said...

I adore your Halloween ornament. It's too cute! I love freebies too. I think some of my favourites are from the French designers such as the ones at gazette 94 blog. I did a Noel tree freebie several years ago but the chart is no longer available.
What a beautiful and thoughtful gift Catherine has given you! Aren't stitchers the greatest?

Robin said...

Thanks so much for sharing the freebie sites for Quaker 31. I downloaded it already! I hope my looks are lovely as yours when I am finished.

Lisa V said...

I love all your freebie finishes. Great job!

Kathy A. said...

Such gorgeous gorgeous ornaments! and finished too! beautifully I might add.
What a touching gift to mark the home departure of your sun. Special lady indeed.

Theresa said...

Wow!!! Awesome finishes!!!! I love how all these are made from freebies~~ And the gift from Catherine is beautiful!!!! How thoughtful~~

Catherine said...

I am so happy that you like your surprise. I had a couple of helping hands in getting this to you - my thanks goes out to Karyn for passing on the pattern and to Myra for sneaking me your address so I could truly surprise you.

I love all of your ornaments and your finishes. I am off now to print those patterns that I don't already have. Thank you so much for sharing the links!

Cole said...

Great finishes! I'm going to have to check out the freebie links, some are new to me!

Lovely gift as well! Such a thoughtful gesture :)

Lillie said...

Beautifully finished.

Thank you for all the wonderful freebies link, I am definately stitching some of it.

Annette said...

Carol, very lovely stitching you did, and such a beautifull finishes you made of them...
Thank you so much for the freebie link, I love stitching them too..
What a beautifull Rak you got, a very sweet gift.
Good luck with the workmen, hope they finish your roof very soon..

Lois said...

What wonderful freebie finishes Carol! Too often I print these out and then never get round to stitching them but your finishes have reminded me how I really should!

What a sweet pillow you received from Catherine.

Good luck with getting the roof replaced. We have had that done in the past so I know exactly the upheaval that occurs with it!

Veronica said...

Those are very pretty freebies indeed and most I've never seen before. Thank you for sharing your pictures as well as the links to them.

Siobhán said...

Carol, wow! I love all of your freebie finishes! The way that you finished everything off is wonderful, too. Catherine's RAK is just so touching--what a nice gift! :)

Vinniey said...

Beautiful finishes, Carol. Love the Halloween pillow, the cute snowman little ornament.. and also your first red and white project. I love them all. Thanks for sharing all those beautiful freebies. I'm thinking of creating some freebies for my followers too... still drafting some illustrations.

Beautiful gift from Catherine, love the finishing. :)

Shari said...

everything looks great the sanman one too!!!
Thanks for taking the time to list all of the freebies on the side bar....I KNOW that took a long time to do...but also know everyone will appreciate it....I can already see by how many comments you have received!!!

Jennifer said...

Love your latest stitching Carol. Also a lot of the things you said I could really relate to . Right down to the new roof! We had one done in the spring . I agree about the workmen! Glad all is well and love your latest mail . What a beautiful pillow!

Bekca said...

I love all your freebies, but the redwork has to be my favourite. I think DMC 115 is a great thread too! Catherine has sent you a really sweet gift and I do hope the workmen don't give you too much of a headache :)
Happy stitching.

Sally said...

I love all of your freebie finishes Carol. They are just so pretty.

What a lovely gift from Catherine.

Good luck with your roof. I hope it all goes well.

Claire said...

They all look so good and even better they way you have finished them.

BrendaS said...

Carol --
I love your freebie finishes. I just love it when designers take the time to design something "just because"

Your work is absolutely gorgeous and your finishing is fantastic.

The RAK you received is gorgeous too. What a nice surprise:)))

Thanks for sharing.

Berit said...

Love your Halloween Finish with that *perfect* yellow button and also that wonderful DMC 115--also with awesome buttons. :D

Julianne said...


I just love your little Halloween pillow. Thanks for the link to the pattern.

The gift your friend Catherine sent to you is very special. What a kind and thoughtful gesture.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Martine said...

Whaou ! Carol !!! I love all your freebies, especially the Noël Quaker Snowman... It is so adorable and I love the finish with pearls !!!!!
Yes ! we are already at the end of October ! and, here, in France, near Paris, it is cold !!!!! Twins are in holidays... They are so happy !
Hugs !

Irene said...

Wonderful finishes ! Thanks for the links, some of these I have not seen before.

Mary said...

Hi Carol,
Everything is absolutely beautiful! Your finishes are fabulous. I LOVE the red and Quaker 31 on the pillow is great!!

Catherine was so sweet to send you your gift. Truly, we share the same thoughts on our empty nests.

'Hope the roof goes well.


Daffycat said...

I'm with you on the workmen thingie. We recently had some work done and were discussing which of us needed to take off work, me or DH? The contractor said, "No one really needs to be here for us to do it."

Like H*LL! Are they insane? No one's being in my house without me here! Oh well, I got five days off work to stitch!

Edit said...

Your ornaments are all very beautiful Carol. I especially like the snowman one as I have also stitched it last year, but with different colors.

I like stitching freebies, and also I enjoy discover freebies :) M favorites might be biscornus as this year I am trying to stitch one every month (but sadly I am a bit behind).

Best wishes,

Ariane20 said...

Bravo!! Tout est très beau et magnifiquement réalisé.

Blu said...

Very pretty finishes! Love the Halloween one.

What a lovely gift from Catherine.

Julie said...

Super gift from Catherine and i love your ornaments, there are so many wonderful free charts for all seasons.

Good luck with the roof, hope all goes well and its soon done and you can get back to normal

Shirley said...

Hi Carol,
Think I will have to download that halloween freebie, it is fab. Halloween never even existed when I was young but every year it is becoming more and more popular here. We have Guy Fawkes night on 5th November but hey, two celebrations are better than one! What a lovely gift you received and so very thoughtful. Good luck with the roof, we had that done on one of our previous homes. The dust gets everywhere even places you wouldn't think dut could get!
All the best,

Danielle said...

I love your version of Quaker Snowman! I just printed out the pattern and am writing down the CC Blue Moon, as I want to stitch it just like yours! Great finish! Who says everything Xmas related has to be red and green?

Kajsa said...

What pretty finishes! You did good!

valerie said...

Beautiful finishes Carol! I love that halloweeny one. It's very cute with all the different motifs. The Noel one is lovely in red and white. Sometimes the most simple ornies are the most stunning.

Lovely gift from Catherine!

Carolyn NC said...

Wonderful finishes! And such a nice gift, too!

Mylene said...

What gorgeous finishes, Carol. Congrats!!

oh no, i love to have the workman around it means the work goes on...haven't seen them today as the cement have to dry but we were instructed to do something but was too heavy for hubby so he gave up and called for assistance for next week.

passionfruitprincess said...

I love your blog and all your ornaments.
Thanks for sharing the links for the freebies, that's very nice of you.
Love from California.

Cindy's Stitching said...

Your freebies are so pretty. Glad to see your are finishing your pieces right away. One of my favorite pieces is Friendship Grows. I don't like having any work done to my home, but it is necessary at times. You have been busy stitching.

barbara said...

Oh boy, what a lot of beautiful stitching to admire!! Wonderful freebies, and I love the gift you received!

Valerie said...

I just love all of your freebie finishes! Thank you so much for sharing!

Your RAK from Catherine is a touching and fitting gift! How lucky we all are to have found such great friends on this wonderful blogging community!

Pumpkin said...

Great post Carol!

Look at you...THREE finishes :o) You're making me look bad. LOL! I have yet to stitch that little Quaker Snowman and really should one of these days. You make it look so simple and quick.

What a thoughtful gift you received. No wonder it touched you because I know how much your family means to you :o)

Good luck with the new roof. All that pounding would drive me nuts! I like my solitude :o)

♥ Nia said...

Congrats on your finishes!! :)
I loveeeeeeeeee that snowman! I hope I'll have the time to stitch that chart too!! :D
Have a great week

Susan @ Real Girl Designs said...

Congratulations on all your finishes, Carol - they are all lovely!

katiem said...

I love all these finishes. I'm envious!

Kath said...

I'm late in finding your blog and am just amazed at all the beautiful ornaments you make. I love the links you've posted for the freebies, thank you so much. I've been printing and making plans for 2013 and have lots of stitching to do to accomplish my goals.
I also love how you did the beaded finished edge on the Snowman's Quaker Christmas. I've never done a beaded edge and was wondering if you've got any hints on how to accomplish this? Oh heck, I'd love it if you ever had the chance to post tutorials on how you finish your ornaments.
Thanks again and Happy Stitching in 2013,

Куринская Оксана said...

Hi Carol!
I love you blog!
In this post I love most of all "Snowman's Quaker Christmas" from Midnight Stitching!
What kind of floss did you use fo it?What number?I meen blue one fo border.Thank you.