Saturday, 2 March 2019

The People Chose Freebies

Regular followers will be aware that for over 3 years now I have run a themed SAL on the first Saturday of each month.  First we spent 26 months doing The Alphabet Club and then 12 months of the Zodiac.  Now I have decided to listen to the People and post about your choice of theme.  Each month I ask for suggestions on the blog and then make a poll in the IHSW Facebook Group from those suggestions.

March - Freebies
April - Speciality Stitches
May - Flowers

Who doesn't love a freebie?  Especially when you are doing Stitch from Stash it's a great way to try a new designer, a new technique or just stitch a small.

Back in the olden days before t'internet freebies were sent to the needlework shops who gave them out to their customers, sometimes with the purchase of a specific item.  Just Nan did this a lot with her small designs.  You bought the charm and got a free chart.  As the internet grew in popularity designers realised they could have free designs on their websites which would bring customers direct to them.  The hope was that while you were there you would be tempted by a chart for sale.

So freebies serve a purpose - they are there to increase traffic and sales.  Which is why I loathe Pinterest so much.  It does neither.  It's rare that the link goes to the original designer.  When I am trying to find genuine freebies via Google, I used to get a page of links to websites and blogs, now I get a page of Pinterest.  Many of which are not even free charts.
So if you are sharing a freebie - please link to the original website or blog.  Don't show the chart.  Don't link to Pinterest.  Support our designers!

According to my records, my first freebie design was this one:

Lavender & Lace Christmas Angels found here

This was given to me by my local needlework shop back in 1998.  I then discovered that all the previous years were available online.  There are 20 altogether and I have stitched 12 of them, some as gifts for other people.

When I started blogging, I started storing freebie designs on my laptop along with the links which I keep on a separate page in this blog - Themed Freebie Links.  I do try to keep it up-to-date as links do vanish sometimes.  If you have any good links to add, please leave a comment.

One of my favourite blogs for freebies is the French designer Gazette 94.  I know very little about her except that she produces some wonderful freebies!  Here is the first one of her designs I stitched back in 2012:

Another favourite free series I collect is the Fairy Day Celebration series from Passione Ricamo.  Sadly, I have only stitched one and gave it away.

I really need to get these all stitched on various different hand-dyed fabrics.

A more recent trend is the freebie SAL which designers have realised is a great way to get people actually stitching the design - peer pressure at it's finest.  These are usually found on Facebook groups.  The designer releases a part of the SAL each week or month and everyone gets excited and joins in, encouraging more people to join the Closed Groups thus increasing the designer's following.

Great idea, everyone benefits.  If you keep up with the SAL.  

Otherwise you end up with something like this!  Started in 2014 and stalled because I didn't like the second block.

I did start the third block while querying the wisdom of stitching the skin over 1:

I will finish this one day.  I'm adding one older WIP to my rotation each year so this will have it's hour.  One day.

Now it's over to you. All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Freebies, mention The People's Choice SAL (you can copy the picture I used at the top of this post and in my side bar) and my blog. Please link up using the URL of the actual blog post, not the home page of your blog. I look forward to seeing what you all post.



Finally, I need your suggestions for the next poll.  Any thing, no matter how obscure, weird or random will go into the poll.  Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Cats, or Blue, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.  Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.

Looking forward to reading them all!


Pamela said...

Great stitched freebies! Thanks for the links. I do like things that go together so series of stitched things are good. Thanks for hosting this!

Mini said...

Great minds think alike..I also wrote about copyright .
Some lovely freebies you have stitched.
what is that you don't like about the second part of the Joan Elliott SAL?

Katie said...

Great post. I agree with you about Pinterest. I just don't like it either. It is a lot harder now to find a real freebie. All linked up. Thanks for hosting.

Carla - Alaska Wolf Pack said...

Aren't freebies the best thing? So many cute and wonderful patterns!

I love what you've stitched and it would be wonderful if more light were shown on European designers.

Rachel said...

I never really thought about the history of the freebie. My LNS never gave them out and it wasn't until I started blogging that I became aware of so many freebies out there.

I love your Passione Ricamo fairy. In fact I followed the link, love them all and immediately thought of combining pastel fabrics with the new DMC sparkly threads. (I also scrolled through PR's catalogue and found a couple of 'want but don't need' projects RL44 and RL46, which is NOT a good thing!)

Your unfinished SAL is why I never sign up to blind SALs - I know I probably won't like more than a couple of the parts. Good to hear you haven't completely given up on yours though. :)

jocondine said...

Nice stitchings, more freebies : in my basket, there is a heart from Gazette 94 waiting for a finish and thanks to you the Mona Lisa waiting from a frame... Two good choices for a Fully Finished Gallery! xxx

Ariadne said...

So many lovely freebie links. Thank you. AriadnefromGreece!

Beth in IL said...

Thanks for hosting this Jo. You always do lovely work. I hate it when people steal from designers. Drives me bonkers!

MartinaM said...

Hi Jo,
I like freebies as well, they are a good opportunity sometimes to process older colors, or older yarns. You can work little things out of it, or big ones.
Greetings Martina

butterfly said...

Lovely freebie stitching .

Kate said...

I, too, agree with you about Pinterest. I always appreciate freebies.

Mary said...

Very interesting about how freebie's started. Your Christmas angel is beautiful and I will have to stitch the Bonne Annee this year, it's gorgeous. Thanks for all the free links. Mary

rosey175 said...

Oh this month's has been quite the enabling set of posts! At least digital stash doesn't take up any "space" hah. I too dislike Pinterest, enough that I default typing "-pinterest" in all my Google searches whenever I'm looking for an image! And I will never sign up for a blind SAL, free or not. I'm sort of disappointed that FPS does this for almost all of their large patterns anymore. I want to know I'm going to like the design. I hope you figure out what will be way more awesome in the Joan Elliot design so you can march on!

Julie said...

I've seen lots of feebies posted by the ladies joining in with this SAL. I have a folder with printed ones that I really should look through and stitch.

Janet said...

I am linked up and so excited to hopefully find new freebies.

Clare-Aimetu said...

Lovely freebies Jo, I too have stitched Bonne Annee, it's a lovely design

Astrids dragon said...

All lovely stitching!
I do look at pinterest, but I look for where the original design is, not easy sometimes!
Thanks for sharing what you've got.

Christine said...

I must admit I do use Pinterest to find free designs, but I always follow the links back to make sure they're genuine. If I can't get a paper trail back to the original designer and confirm that it was complimentary I don't use it
Your SAL confirms exactly why I never do these mystery things, burned once too often buying in all the supplies (often expensive) because I loved the first installment, and then finding I hated the whole design

E Wilburn said...

Mine is posted! Yay, more freebies!!

Sheryl said...

Nice stitching and freebie links Jo. I really like the Lavender & Lace Christmas Angel design. I have just recently followed my first free mystery SAL hardanger design which I knew I would like as I like all the particular designer´s work but how can one choose colours when left up to one to choose and not knowing what the finished piece is like.

Tiffstitch said...

Love that first one! I tried to link to everything that still existed in my post, it's very photo heavy. :) Cars!!

Carol said...

Pretty freebies! I do love those L&L angels and have always wanted to stitch more of them. I did three for my niece's triplet girls years ago, but haven't done one since.

Gwen said...

Thanks for hosting. These are some great freebies, thanks for the links. I have collected a number of the same ones but I see a few I've never heard of. Just need more time to stitch or faster needles.

Pinterest has changed and can be very annoying now trying to find an original post.

Leonore Winterer said...

You have some great freebies! I love that Joan Eliott SAL (it's by her, isn't it?) and hope it'll get its turn in the spotlight soon :)
Aren't all these little Just Nan's your stitching freebies too? I thought I remember you saying so.

Irene RESA said...

My March Freebie is posted. Thanks for hosting this SAL, Jo.