lydia, i totally get your plight! i go through the same thing sometimes. you can make baby bibs, there are special ones made with the cross-stitch material. there is also cross-stitch material that you can, i think, iron onto other materials, and it will stick while you stitch, and then you can rip it out from under the stitches when you're done, so you can make all the examples for embroidery in cross-stitch, too.
or you can try counted cross-stitch on any old piece of material and hope it comes out right. it would probably be cool, i think i'm going to try it now.. heh.
I thought the same thing, so I did use the chain stitch. I'm not really sure how to fill in large spaces like that yet, though. I was going to put a picture up though, just because it's my first finished "project." Thank you, though. I feel like I made the rught decision now.
I don't have any websites with already-made patterns, but there is a thread a little ways down where someone asked for websites to make patterns. There might be something useful in there, and if not, I suggest printing out some graphing paper and the picture you want, and winging a pattern on your own. Good luck.
I just started doing freehand embroidery last night, and I practiced the stem stitch, daisy stitch silk stitch, and french knot. I thought I could do something little with just those stitches, but now I want to use a new one.
I am sewing a sheep into a piece of crafting felt, and I have his muzzle and ear (stem) and eye (daisy). Originally I was just going to use the stem for his body, but I wanted something different, to show the different texture in the lamb. There are SO many stitches out there that it would take me two hours to find one, so I thought I would come here and see if anyone had any favorites to offer?