I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS!

If you have questions or comments, or if you have suggestions for designs you'd like to see added to the site, I'd love to hear from you!  
  • Please do not share the designs, including the freebies, with others. Instead, I hope you will direct your embroidering friends to the site, so that they can browse the designs, download the free ones for themselves, and consider making a purchase or donation. The designs themselves are mine. Please do not attempt to sell them on etsy or e-bay or in any other form.
  • You are welcome to stitch my designs on multiple items without limit. You may also use them on items you plan to sell.
  • If you wish to add lettering to a design for your own use, or change wording for personalization, or if you would like to use only a segment of a design in a stitched project, please feel free to do so, but please do not share or sell the altered design.
  • If you're not sure, please ask.
  • There is no obligation, but as digitizing is both painstaking and very time-consuming, I gratefully accept donations in any amount to help offset the time and cost of making the free designs. There is no advertising on the site, and I do not track its visitors.

DIDN'T YET RECEIVE THE DESIGNS YOU ORDERED?

I check my e-mail multiple times a day and process orders as they come in. This means you should *always* receive your designs within a few hours of placing an order.

Please note that I send the designs via e-mail attachment, to the address given on the payment receipt. Please ensure that your settings will allow attachments through to that e-mail address, or that you provide me an alternate address where you are able receive attachments.

If you have sent me your list and still don't find your designs in your mail box within 24 hours, please check your spam folder. If they didn't get through, please let me know and I will make it right.
If you do not receive the designs promptly via e-mail attachment, it is likely that the receiving server or your own settings are blocking attachments or routing them to the spam filter. If that's the case, please contact me for an alternate means of delivery.

I'm an experienced sewist, pattern maker, designer, writer, and former teacher who has been passionate about crafting since childhood. My creative interests are varied, including fashion sewing and pattern drafting, upholstery, and toymaking, in addition to machine embroidery.

I started digitizing about 20 years ago, shortly after I purchased my first embroidery machine. I was keen to learn, not only because I like being able to do things for myself, but also because I couldn’t find the kinds of designs I really wanted to stitch for my family and friends: heraldic badges and insignia, Canadiana, cultural and ethnic motifs, science and math, and geocaching designs were among these. You will no doubt have noticed that the site lays heavy emphasis on such "niche" subjects, in part because they are largely neglected by the big embroidery companies and because they are all -- in varying degrees -- special interests of mine.

When I got my first embroidery machine, I was very grateful for the freebies others had shared on the web. Once I started digitizing my own designs, I wanted to pay it forward to other embroiderers. I hadn’t originally intended to make a for-sale site, and I certainly had no idea of starting a business; what I mainly wanted was simply to show off some of the work I was doing and share a selection of the designs as freebies to other embroiderers. In addition to starting the site, I began doing custom digitizing as a courtesy for people in an embroidery group I belonged to. At their suggestion, and at the urging of some of the site’s early visitors, I decided – with some reluctance – to add a “for purchase” segment. Not being one to do things by half-measures, I soon found myself making regular weekly additions and updates. The rest, as they say, is history, but although the site has grown since my retirement, the whole thing is still mainly a hobby. In fact, it could never work as a business for me.

Here’s why. For one thing, it’s incredibly labour-intensive. On a typical day I spend about five hours working on designs or on the website. I work entirely on my own and personally create every stitch of every design, every entry on the website, and almost all of the artwork.  In the past 20 or so years, I have created somewhere around 11,000 individual designs; many, though not all, can be seen on the site. As you can imagine, all this work takes time, and if I had to pay myself even at minimum wage, the site would have to fold, because it just doesn’t bring in enough even to support itself, never mind pay a wage.

In fact, keeping it going actually involves a few out-of-pocket costs. Most visitors are here for the freebies and don’t make any purchases, and that's okay, but as I also receive only a smattering of small donations, the site generates very little revenue.  It would be nice to get it to the point where it's revenue-neutral and could help cover Internet access, site hosting, and a few supplies. Maybe that day will arrive sometime, but for now it’s all mainly a labor of love.  

It isn’t my goal, and never has been, to compete with commercial embroidery companies, and I couldn't if I wanted to for the reasons I've already cited. Actually, although I take the website seriously and am committed to those who do order designs, I’m emphatically not interested in running a business. That might sound like a contradiction, but in some ways it frees my hand as a designer.  Because the site is a hobby and not a business, I can take time to work on specialty designs that for-profit companies can’t, because they interest me, and because I’m not preoccupied with a bottom line.

That's why the site has so many design categories that other sites don’t: Canadiana, science and math, bookishness, sewing and crafts, Judaica, and geocaching, to name a few. These are a reflection of my interests, but they’re also areas in which I feel I can make a contribution because there aren’t many other sites that cover these subjects. On the other hand, you won’t find a lot of the categories that are heavily represented on other sites -- sports, animals, Americana, vehicles, or holidays (except Christmas, which I love). These subjects are already so well covered by the other embroidery sites that every conceivable design you could ever want is already available. This is another reason my site could never be profit-driven; after all, if these quirky subjects were profitable, the big commercial sites would include them! They aren’t there because they don’t sell briskly – or at all, in many cases. But they *are* subjects that interest me, and I get satisfaction from working on them.

One of my own areas of fascination, and one of the strengths of the site, I believe, is custom heraldic crest and badge designs. Heraldry was a big deal where I grew up, and when I first started machine embroidery, I had hoped to be able to embroider crests for family and friends. To my discouragement, I was utterly unable to find customized heraldic crest designs for sale anywhere. This frustrated me when I started embroidering, and it was one of the motivations for learning to digitize. I thought others might feel the same way, so for this reason I wanted to include the crests and badges on my own site when I decided to add some designs for sale.

Commercial sites typically don't bother with these or other custom designs for reasons that are obvious once you think about it. Each crest takes between 14 and 25 hours to create, and the market for each design is extremely limited, so they are a sinkhole for time and talent, with little chance of remuneration. This combination is deadly if you're trying to keep a business alive. Even today there are few if any other sites where you can purchase custom crest designs, and I can attest that these designs are absolutely not profitable. I now have the largest selection of crest and badge designs available anywhere: counting variations, they number well over 75. But in the seven or so years that I’ve had them on the site, I’ve sold fewer than a dozen crest designs. (My friend who is in business routinely gives me a ribbing about working for approximately 11 cents an hour. He just can’t understand why I spend so much time on the site without any expectation of payback.)  Although most of them will never be sold, I love the challenge of creating new crest styles and get satisfaction out of seeing them all displayed on the site.

Thanks for visiting. Please feel free to browse and help yourself to the freebies throughout the site. Since it began, I’ve given away somewhere around 1400 free designs, all with no obligation. Sharing freebies remains one of my chief motivations, so I hope you will continue to enjoy them and encourage your embroidering friends to visit the site as well. There is no obligation, although donations are always gratefully accepted.


Questions or requests? Drop me a note.