Free: The Shop around the Corner

Today’s Freebie Friday are the wonderful Free Designs by Manuela Albanese of Shop Around the Corner. Manuela sells many of her designs, but she graciously offers a few free too.

Shop around the Corner - Bon Noel
Shop around the Corner – Bon Noël

What is it?

To set the mood for a good weekend, we have Freebie Fridays; each week presenting a different designer.  All sites listed here design their own charts. These designs are copyright to the designers, please do not abuse their generosity.

When sharing knowledge of a free design, please link back to the designer’s original page. Do not just copy and share the pattern. The designers offer these free from monetary payment; we “pay” for them by visiting the designer’s site, seeing (or purchasing) their other designs, commenting on their blogs and pages and showing them our stitching of their designs.  Please do not take and not give back.


Why the Designer

Manuela Albanian of Shop Around the Corner has been featured in many European Cross Stitch magazines and sells her own designs.  Her Free Designs are representative of her love of Christmas and her differing design styles.

Shop Around the Corner is written in Italian but google translate is enough for me to understand each blog post and follow along her designing and life adventures.  Also as an unfortunate monolingual, I am happy that many of her word designs are available in English.

So many of Manuela ‘s Free Designs are elegant.  They all need only one or a few colours, leaving you with the option to choose your own colours, floss, fabric and embellishments to personalise your design for yourself or your gift recipient.




All of  Manuela ‘s Free Designs are available under the free designs tag of the Shop Around the Corner website.

Look on the right hand side of Shop Around the Corner until you get to the tag cloud.  It is titled “Parliamo di …”  Look for the word “free” inside the tag cloud.  This will show only blog posts that contain free designs.

Manuela does include a link to a page of free designs on her title bar. This brings up a single page which has some of the free designs listed together.

I prefer to use the tag cloud to read all the posts surrounding the free designs.  These (with the help of google translate) explain the history and meaning of some of the designs.  Some of these posts also include a joint floss list and symbol key if you wish to stitch the design exactly as Manuela has.  There are no symbol keys listed on the page of free designs.

To access the free charts, scroll through the Free Designs blog posts until you find a design you might be interested in.  The post will sometimes show a stitched up design as well as the chart.  Click on the chart.

This usually brings out a pop up of a slightly larger version of the chart which can be saved. How to save the file is dependent up on which device you are using. On a PC, you right-click on the image and select “save image”. All of the images save as .jpg image files.

Manuela’s Free Designs charts are very easy to read; she uses colours instead of symbols, but you are encouraged to choose your own colours.  She uses large grids but each design prints out to a single A4 or US Letter sized  sheet of paper. When printing use the “fit picture to frame” (or similarly worded) option and these will print out wonderfully large and perfect for reading and marking off.

For her newer designs, Manuela offers a coloured chart and a black & white symbols only chart.  For these designs, she often lists the floss she used (usually DMC), but these are listed on the relevant blog post, not on the chart.  If you save or print off the chart, you will need to note down the floss list, or just make up one of your own.

Manuela’s Free Designs charts do not include stitch counts or give any fabric recommendations.  All of her designs use whole cross stitch only, so these can be stitched with any floss on any fabric that suits you.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

Places to Buy

All of  Manuela ‘s Free Designs are available under the free designs tag of the Shop Around the Corner website.

Her “For Sale” designs are available from the Shop Around the Corner website, her Etsy store and in many of your favourite Local and Online Needlework stores.


Colours Down Under has a variety of threads and plain fabrics in stock to recreate any of these designs.

OzStitch stocks a variety of floss and white and off white fabrics.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make any of these designs unique.  Caitlin chose the Love & Peace Tree and recommends stitching it on  Welcome to the jungle or Golddigger.

Caitlin also chose this free design from January 2014 and recommends stitching it on Clouds.

Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 30 June 2015.

Sewitall offer a range of hand dyed and printed fabrics to suit your needs.


Traditional Stitches in Calgary have a selection of floss and fabrics to suit your taste.


Casa Cenina in Italy stock Shop Around the Corner designs as well as a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

Eclypse’s Colors have some beautiful fabrics, soft and perfect for any design from this blog.

New Zealand:

Country Stitch “I’d pick either “I Love Needlework” or “Happy
Easter” – or maybe even both.  I’d square up the design so that it was as high as it is wide, which would mean re-spacing some of the elements a bit.  I’d then find fun lengths of threads left over from other projects and a small piece of fabric (or two that are the same thread count) that coordinated with the threads.  I’d stitch two pieces and make them into a cute fun biscornu and use a flower button or mother of pearl button on each side to pull in the middle.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has  a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Chromatic Alchemy  “I’m not sure what this piece is called as they don’t seem to have titles so I’m calling it Winter love tree! I have shown it on Nimbus to give it that frosty look.”

Crafty Kitten has a variety of fabrics and the threads to stitch any of these projects.

Jodyri Designs produce a wonderful range of floss and fabric in all colours.

Sparklies “I’ve chosen the little smiling pumpkin design. You could stitch this on Harvest Blush, using Titian, Burnt Mahogany and Flower Jade threads.”

Thread Pickerz Silkz  produce a wonderful range of hand dyed silk colours.

“it is my 2nd anniversary of thread pickerz and I have a few things going on including a prize draw (being drawn on the 1st May) to win an AAN Butterfly chart. Anyone who purchases from my site in the month of april will get their name put into the prize draw.”

Eileen has been updating the Thread Pickerz Silkz website.  She offers 10% off each silk thread as it is added back into the collection.  For readers of this site, she offers an extra 10% discount if you use the code: Xstitchreview

United States:

123Stitch has threads and fabrics in stock to suit your creations.

Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has floss and fabric in stock to make this a project to remember.

Erica is offering a 5% discount for readers of Cross Stitch Review.  Coupon code: CSRSPRING15. Offer ends 31 May 2015.

Stitch and Frog in Georgia has floss and fabric in stock to create a unique project.

Stitches n Things in Michigan has the DMC in stock and a range of fabrics for your unique style.

Fiberlicious “I choose “Waiting for a charming prince”, that was my childhood’s dream! I would use Shades of Green for the leaves and Shades of Gold for the shining stars. For the statement, i would use Forest Fairy Tales (sleeping beauty waiting for a kiss from a handsome price XD)”

Garibaldi’s Needle Works produces beautiful mottled fabrics and threads.

Mo’s Sale Mo also chose the Love & Peace Tree and recommends stitching it with her Dianthus and Snapdragon silks.

Sunny*Dyes have the largest range of hand-painted fabrics I have ever seen. Teri has something to suit any project.

Under the Sea Fabrics has a vibrant mix of hand painted and dyed fabrics for your designs.


Do you like  Shop Around the Corner designs? Which is your favourite free or for sale design?  How would you stitch it? Do you like any of the ideas the hand dyers have suggested?

If you like this review, please consider sharing it with your friends or groups but please make sure to link the article back here.

Last Updated: 24 April 2015