A cross stitch calculator is basically a requirement for all stitchers. Sure, if you wanted you could do the maths, but who has time? And who want’s to check it three times over to make sure its right? Neh, instead, pull out the calculator. There are a few out there now, each doing slightly different things. We’re going to roundup all the best ones in one post, with their pros and cons.
This post has started for a simple reason; I wasn’t happy with the ones available. So I took all the best features from all of the below calculators and combined them into one. Which we (of course) belive is the best, but we’ve also got loads of support from reddit!
Yarntree’s calculator has previously held the title as the best due to its extra features. It allows you to select extra aida a the sides for framing and gives you both inches and centimeters, but it also simplifies this down by just asking it you want it or not, doing all the fancy maths in the background.
Barely known for anything else, needlework tips & tricks’ calculator has gained a lot of momentum due to it being more mobile compatible than the others mentioned (other than our own), however will a lot less options, tends to be a quick reference calculator to give an approximate, and not exact measurements.
Cross Stitch tattoos have exploded in the last few years, and no self respecting cross stitch geek would be without one. So pull up your chair, and get some inspiration from these epic stitches.
Squad Goal Squirtle Pokemon Tattoo
Not only does this have a Pokemon edge, but but mix of both cross stitch and non-cross stitch just make this an epic tattoo. Although I will say that it doesn’t follow a proper grid, so for shame on the cross stitcher who designed it!
Storm Trooper Helmet
This came out around the time of the newest Star Wars film, and not only is it a geeky indulgence, but the cross stitching is so NEAT.
Two Color Sailor Tattoo
So much is right about these tattoos. Firstly they’re based on traditional sailor tattoos, but with a quirky twist. Then they have non-cross stitched elements. Then they have only 2 colours. THEN they have a funky boarder that makes them look ever so slightly 3D when wearing proper glasses. Just wow.
Cross Stitch Sampler Tattoo Sleeve
There is devotion to a cross stitch sampler, and then there is the devotion of Anich Andrew’s tattoos. Known for his bold and geometric designs, this sleeve is epic.
Rose Shoulder Tattoo
The one thing that REALLY makes this work? The needle. Just that little bit extra sets the whole piece off.
My favorite thing to cross stitch is Pokemon, and for good reason. Not only is it one of the best loved franchises out there, but there’s so much to choose to stitch, and so many in-jokes! And all the sprites are perfect size to stitch (unless you do all of them at once)…
To Be The Very Best Pokemon Tattoo
The best like no one ever was! One day I will get this tattooed on me. You know… somewhere I can hide it so no one over the age of 30 can see it… 😛
Well that was obvious wasn’t it? One of the best Pokemon stitches of all time, has to be the largest one known. Whilst the above picture is great at showing its size, you don’t really get a grasp of it until you see this awesome video below:
How cute is this!?! All credit to HardcodeEskimoKisses who created the pattern, although the above is stitched by StitchPlease. I especially love balloon Pika’s expression.
Pokemon Home Sweet Home
I just made this pattern available to download for free, however its been recreated by many others in slightly different styles. All Pokemon games start in your home sweet home, and this pattern only goes to glorify that!
There’s only one way to be a pokemon master and that’s to collect all the badges. The above set are scaled correctly to the first season, using red/blue sprites.
Another Pokemon stitch worth the epic tag, this circle uses recolored sprites, arranged in a circle, forming all 151 original pokemon, made from an official Pokemon image.
I LOVE THIS IMAGE! One of the best scenes from the original pokemon series when they have no food, but Pikachu is hungry. Its also a great weekend project, so you might want to give it a try.
There are many pokemon quotes; such as “are you a boy or girl?”, but this one is basically a meme in a cross stitch.
These were made as a request over on the SpriteStitch forums, and are pride of place on my xmas tree every year!
3D Handheld Pokedex
I know… another one of mine, but in fairness, everywhere I go on shows, everyone always asks if I’ve got it with me…
I get the question “What’s the best cross stitch pattern software?” at least a handful of times at each convention, and there are hundreds of forum posts with titles like “What cross stitch pattern software should I use?“. Well, there is no set answer. It shouldn’t surprise you that there are HUNDREDS of options out there. This article details the top used programs on PC, Mac, Online and iPad based on feefo reviews. It’s now been updated for 2017 with new discount codes.
KG Chart has a fantastic set of stitches, incredible ease of use, and a lot of regular, and worthwhile updates. It’s been created by a non-stitcher, but their understanding of our needs is great. There’s also forums and an email for support and issues. Its the second most used program out there, and for £24 is a steal. The only thing I would note however is the colors can sometimes be a little red-based. I would suggest casting an eye over them to make sure. I would also add you can’t save as a PDF without downloading another (free) program called CutePDF.
Based on 1024 reviews You should also use the code “PCS11UPG” to save $30 when you buy!
PC Stitch is basically a carbon copy of KG Chart, which just so happened to be developed at the same time. PC Stitch is the most used software however due to better marketing. Its advantages lie in better color picking (but I would still cast an eye over them to make sure), and 2000 pre-programmed patterns. It does have its negative though, as PC Stitch uses its own unique pattern files that can’t be opened without using PC Stitch’s separate pattern viewer. However, recently many competitors have unofficially included the ability to open, view and edit PC Stitch files. You can save as PDF using PC Stitch.
WinStitch, and its Mac based brother MacStitch, have a lot going for them. With a massive 30 thread types, and great ease of use, its a fantastic competitor. However, its not been widely picked up due to its fairly young age (3 years), so does not have as much following as KG Chart or PC Stitch. In addition it only gets updated yearly. If you’ve decided against our top two programs however, its definitely worth a shot. You can save as PDF.
A very new program by the online cross stitch giant Sew and So. Its literately just been developed, and so its hard to comment on its long term prospects, however that’s also where my concerns lie. Its unlikely that an online retailer has a coder on the permanent staff, meaning its unlikely to get updates, and if they do, it will likely be a costed upgrade. A little much to as considering the high price point to begin. Its not marketed well however, which suggest this may be a Beta test for a further update. Watch this space?
The principle of MyriaCross is fantastic. A French mother wanted to learn coding, so created one of the most jam packed programs out there by a single coder. Its a fantastic program. The only thing that bothers me is that in recent updates its been updated to include other sewing styles, and cross stitch is getting less and less focus.
Easy Cross is a nice middle man. It has a lot of great features, lots of included patterns, and loads of threads. However its a little lacking all over. There are better options out there. Equally there are a lot worse programs out there, and with a nice price point can’t really steer you too wrong.
Of all the software reviewed, this is the closest to Jane Greenoff’s previous pattern makers. However that said, there is a reason she stopped creating them 15 years ago – there are MUCH better options out there for cheaper. Apparently DP Software didn’t get the message with its frankly over inflated cost. It also works on Mac, with an unexplained £9 price difference.
You don’t hear much about STOIK programs, and I’ve never understood why. They do a great job, and are reasonably priced. They are a larger team, so updates are regular, and there is good support. The only reason is doesn’t come higher on my list is its lack of backing from the community. If you have an issue, many would suggest you change to KG Chart or PC Stitch, where there is a wealth of help and guides from the stitching community.
Stitch Painter does a lot, and is a nice alternative, but after 3 months of using it, I still can’t understand why the price is so high. Its complicated to use comparatively, and doesn’t have enough image editing capabilities. However, it does have a full version demo which doesn’t appear to run out…
StitchCraft is where many post Jane Greenoff stitchers end up. I’m not sure why, however you can definitely see the design reflected through. It is a little limited compared to its competitors, and has a highish price, but its unlimited demo is great if you want to try it out before hand. However if you enjoy the program and are thinking of buying an upgrade, I would suggest HobbyWare which has slightly more options, but the design is exactly the same.
The only free fully fledged program on the list. Well, its free, and with that comes limited use. However, if you’re looking to spend as little as possible, Stitch Art Easy! will definitely do the job. Its got everything you might need, and really helps you get your head around making patterns. If you want a little more, you have the opportunity to purchase one of the other programs, so its a great starter program. If you do upgrade, WinStitch or MacStitch is most similar in design.
All of the other reviews on this page are developed programs, officially released into the world. Cstitch however is slightly different. Its opensource. This means that no one owns the program. If you want something added to it, code it and add it yourself. This could be a little annoying, but if you got a coder friend, you might be onto a winner here.
As the only paid online creator I’ve reviewed, its no wonder patterncreator.com comes last, however, I would stress that its definitely the best of the online options. I would much prefer to buy a more complete version to download.
All online pattern makers have one big problem: limitations. However, of all the online pattern makers I’ve used, patternsforyou.com has the least. With a large 300×300 stitching area, quite good image editing and color selection, its the best one.
With a limited 150×120 stitch area its a little annoying, but the real beauty of myphotstitch.com is the ease of use. Select your image, and it does it all for you. The only options you get are changing the size (it defaults to maximum), but its the easiest of all pattern makers around. However, that said, I would suggest using the advanced version (also free), which gives a few more options.
Most online platforms try to make things easy on themselves by reducing variation, so its nice to see StitchBoard using DMC, Anchor and Madeira threads. Its only 100×100 stitch area is a large limitation for a serious cross stitcher though.
As a craft pattern app maker, you would expect craftdesignonline to be quite good, and it is, however its clearly make for the younger market, with very limited image editing and a 100×100 stitch area. It does have a cool feature of sharing your patterns though!
If you go a poll of online pattern makers, Pic2Pat comes up fairly high. There are many arguments in its favor, such as 4 thread types, ease of use, etc. However the set sizes of the output are a little annoying.
This is the Mac specific version of WinStitch, our third place choice, however I should say they are NOT the same program. They have been built differently, and do not have the same base code. This means there are little things to differentiate them. That said, the creators are keen to make sure they are both kept up to date. As its a Mac program you can save as PDF natively.
I’ve revisited this review for 2017 after a load of new features came out. It was the best before, however now its even better. Simply put, if you have an ipad or iphone, get it. Cross Stitch Saga is a true competitor to the desktop paid versions, and as its free, even better. The new upgrade to pro gives you more stitch options, and a larger aida area to play with. Unless you’re explicitly going to need those features, don’t bother getting the upgrade, but for its low price its a steal if you want it. It has the functionality of an easy to use, basic pattern maker, but its all on ipad AND iphone (and its not hard to use either).
StitchSketch is created by the maker of KG Chart, and improves on many features KG Chart does not have. Its a fantastic program, which works almost as well as any desktop program. The only down side however is the cost (but what’s £5 compared to the highest priced review of £137?).
Cross Stitch Camera works, you guessed it, with your camera. It takes a photo (which can be from your phone’s memory) and makes a pattern based on the largest dimension you set. It does not have amount of colors to pick, it doesn’t allow for post editing, and it doesn’t produce a pdf, however, its color selections are very good. Its a bit of a quirky app, and a little lacking in features.
An app to watch, definitely. Its not yet good enough to compete with its bigger brothers, however based on the blog will soon be able to. My only worry is the cost may rocket up with the updates coming soon.
Below you’ll find a full table review made by myself with all the features: