I’m featured in the XStitch Magazine!

It’s been a rather busy few months for me this year, with my upcoming Hello Kitty Kit coming out, and a feature in Mr X Stitch’s Guide to Cross Stitch Book. However, when I heard about the new cross stitch magazine, XStitch, on kick starter, I just HAD to get involved.
 
I’m keeping my pattern secret for now, however it is one of the patterns featured on the cover below.
xstitch magazine cover 1
The first issue comes out Summer 2017, with 80 pages, and all kinds of great things like thought provoking columns, interviews, product reviews and tips and techniques to help you improve your stitching. And to make it stand out from the competiton (just encase the contemporary side of things wasn’t enough) each issue will have a collaborative playlist to listen along to as you read.
It stands to be one of the best magazines around in my mind, and I’m just crazy happy about being able to get involved from the very first issue.
 
I’ve now been published quite a few times. I’ve been the author and contributor to the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting book, the Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, and the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book. I’ve also been involved a series of magazines such as the CrossStitcher twice, the CrossStitcher Designer Stitches magazine, CrossStitchCrazy, and the XStitch Mag.
 
You can check out a full unbiased review of the XStitch Magazine at our recap of the best cross stitch magazines.

Cross Stitch Fabric Types

Moving on from my history of cross stitch, I’ve started looking into the various parts of cross stitch and breaking down some of the walls people see when starting out. One of these has got to be the fabrics used for cross stitch.

Simply put, there are four types of fabric used:

  • Aida (the most widely used)
  • Hardanger
  • Linen
  • Evenweave

There are then also specialist fabrics:

  • Waste Canvas
  • Plastic Canvas

A note on counts:
Before we get into what makes up a fabric, we should mention counts. In short, this is the amount of full cross stitches you can get in a line, for an inch. The most common type is a 14 count, which is an Aida. Some fabrics come only in set sizes.

Aida

14 count aida cross stitch fabricAida was invented in 1986 specifically for cross stitch and counted cross stitch. As a result its the most widely used fabric for cross stitch, and is very likely to be the type your using.
Its made up of regular holes on a semi rigid starch heavy cotton. It allows you to cross stitch in perfect squares by using the holes given.
They come in different size counts, from 10 to 32.

Hardanger

Hardanger cross stitch fabric exampleHardanger is very similar to aida, however is 100% cotton without starch, meaning its very easy to stretch and warp. It comes in 22 count only,, however cross stitch can be done over 2 “sets” giving 11 count. Prior to 1986 this was the most common fabric for cross stitch, and most historic examples of cross stitch are on Hardanger. Since the invention of aida Hardanger has dropped massively in popularity and is very rare currently.

Linen

linen cross stitch fabricLinen is a very traditional fabric used for embroidery, made up of flax, an untreated cotton. It can come in a large varience of types, with smaller or larger holes, however its normally found as a 22 to 36 count.

Evenweave

aida and evenweave togetherEvenweave however is a combination of multiple fabric types. Officially aida is a type of linen, but with added starch and even spacing. Evenweave however is linen with even spacing, but no starch. The image here shows that whilst Evenweave is normally much higher count, it can vary from 18 to 32.

Waste Canvas

14-Count-Waste-Canvas cross stitch fabricThe first of out specialist fabrics, waste canvas is made to either dissolve in contact with water, or to be able to pull it apart when wet. Its effectively a type of aida, but with larger holes and special starch that washes out. It usually only comes in 14 count.
Despite its very specific purpose, you can still cross stitch objects without waste canvas.

Plastic Canvas

different types of plastic canvas cross stitch fabricGoing the other way for a specialist thread, plastic canvas is made to be stiff, so you can make 3D objects. It comes in a variety of types, as seen in the image, and some plastics are stiffer than others, meaning you can use them for different purposes. They come in 14 count normally, however I have seen 16, 18 and 22.
An example of what can be acheived with plastic canvas is my transforming cross stitch robot.

Free Epic Pokemon Generations Cross Stitch Patterns

epic pokemon generation 1 cross stitch patternepic pokemon generation 2 cross stitch patternepic pokemon generation 3 cross stitch patternepic pokemon generation 4 cross stitch patternepic pokemon generation 5 cross stitch pattern

Some of the most requested Pokemon patterns out there, and seen as some of the most epic; Servotron’s epic Pokemon cross stitch patterns.
We’ve compiled all 5 of the versions, showing the first 5 generations of Pokemon in the generation 5 Pokemon sprites. Each pattern is the same size, and uses the same 105 master colors.
 
Stitch Count: 256w x 450h
Finished Size: 18.3″ x 32.1″ or 46.4cm x 81.6cm (14ct)
Number of colors: 105 (generation 1), 101 (generation 2), 105 (generation 3), 103 (generation 4) & 101 (generation 5) DMC


These patterns have been completed a few times (and we’ve even posted a few on the blog) and one of the greatest was by Eponases.
epic pokemon cross stitch
She even made this super awesome video timelapse:

Looking for a truly epic pattern? Have you seen our epic all generations Pokemon cross stitch pattern?
 
Looking for something else? Check out our list of free cross stitch patterns for more.

Cross Sti and the hilarious misspelled cross stitch

Sometimes things go wrong. Maybe it was auto correct, maybe it was miscounting, but regardless, its crazy funny when it doesn’t happen to you. This are some of the best cross stitch mistakes out there.

We start with someone who even made it to a book, specifically Craft Fail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong By Heather Mann, where an entreped cross stitcher spent hours stitching the beginning of her hobby only to realise once she’d finished that it wasn’t all she cracked it up to be.
you are begining misspelled cross stitch

Sometimes people realise a lot earlier though, like this cross stitcher who only drew the letters on, and then realised the missing H. Most shocking of all though, he’s trying to sell it on ebay for $15…
cures artrhitis misspelled cross stitch

Sometimes though, spellings are on purpose. This sarky stitch sadly fools more people than it should, but is a great way to make a mistake a feature.
vilage idiot misspelled cross stitch

Finally though, by far the most common cross stitch mistake I could find; gob. Sadly, some of these are massive pieces.
gob bless this house misspelled cross stitch

Nintendo 64 Micro Console Cross Stitch

Nintendo64 Micro Console Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Title: Micro Nintendo64 Console
Date Completed: June 2017
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Plastic
Colours: 13
Game: Nintendo, Pokemon Stadium & Legend of Zelda
I recently saw some awesome retro adverts for the SNES in a Japanese magazine and just fell in love with how they were sold. This idea floated around my head for some time, before I decided to create another 3D project, a super small console. The Nintendo64 jumped into my head, and I started planning based on a pixelated controller I had created some years ago. As it developed I also decided to include 2 controllers, and 2 games; Pokemon Stadium and the golden Legend of Zelda cartridges.
 
I also created a version close to the design of the original advert that inspired me:
Nintendo64 Micro Console Cross Stitch japanese advert by Lord Libidan

Find The Perfect Skin Tone – DMC Threads

Finding the right skin tone threads can be VERY hard, normally resulting in a super pink face, or a washed out face. However, with the sheer volume of threads out there, its not actually that hard to create really realistic skin tones.
skin tone DMC thread table 3
We’ve created the above table so you can look up the skin tone you want to stitch and see both highlight and shadow thread colors for DMC to go with it. Equally, you can go down the table to see darker skin tones progressively.
With this you can edit existing patterns to match skin tones you want, or you can make your own patterns with quality skin colors.

Pokemon Map Cross Stitch

Pokemon National Map cross stitch by Lord Libidan
Title: Pokemon National Map
Date Completed: June 2017
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Pale Blue
Colours: 13
Game: Pokemon
 
I’ve always loved maps, and have been intending to create a cross stitch map for sometime, however I never settled on which game. I tried a fallout vault, a hitman map, even looking into final fantasy for a while, however I realised that there was one game I always went back to, that shared a map between all its games; Pokemon.
This is the national map, meaning it doesn’t contain Unova, Kalos, or any of the ranger games.

The Best Game Of Thrones Cross Stitch

Who holds the iron cross stitch throne? We’ll it will take less than 8 seasons to find out, beleive me. However when you see how awesome these Game of Thrones cross stitches are you’ll be itching for the new season in July!
game of thrones map cross stitch
What round up would be complete without a map of Westeros? This is a map that’s been recreated a lot on the internet, but I tracked down the first version.
game of thrones mario world map cross stitch
However, that isn’t to say other versions are bad. This Mario Game of Thrones mash up is just brilliant!
Game of Thrones Pokemon Cross Stitch
Another mash up in the form of this Pokemon stitch, back when we thought Jon and Khaleesi would fight it out… *fingers crossed for them getting married*
game of thrones house banner cross stitch on linen
Speaking of alliances, hows this banner based cross stitch, done on linen to make it look older and more in fitting with the lore of Game of Thrones.
hodor cross stitch
Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor.
let it snow game of thrones christmas cross stitch
And finally, some way off from Christmas, I know… but its so darn clever.

What is the best cross stitch magazine?

There are loads of cross stitch magazines out there, and with magazines like Cross Stitch and Needlework and Cross Stitch Collection coming to and end, I felt it was a good time to go through some of the most popular cross stitch magazines out there and give a bit more detail so you can pick the best one for you.

CrossStitcher

crossstitcher magazine cover
$2 – $6 per month; digital and print

Currently the second most popular cross stitch magazine out there, but on the rise, CrossStitcher focuses on modern cross stitch. The contemporary, bright, bold designs are better suited to a 16-50 age bracket, with great finishing ideas, and loads of freebies every issue. Its also the only magazine to offer a digital only option, which at $2 is a steal in itself, although with a physical copy for only $6 it might be worth getting that, as you get the digital copy for free.
Many prominent artists have been featured, including myself back in 2012, 2013 and 2015
Score 9.4/10
Full CrossStitcher review

The World Of Cross Stitching

the world of cross stitching magazine cover$6 – $12 per month; digital and print

The World of Cross Stitching (or TWOCS as its sometimes known) is the longest running cross stitching magazine in world wide production, and you can see why quite quickly; its very mainstream. If this is what you’re looking for then its a great magazine, full of patterns, and the largest in size on the list. It plays up on being British for the American market, and so as a Brit you might find it a little unrealistic, but it has lots of other animal, teddy, flower, heart, etc based patterns. They theme on seasons heavily, to the point where every issue is a holiday of some kind. They include free items, but these tend to be knickknacks and not pattern stitching items, however they do include waste canvas often, which can be hard to get your hands on. In recent years its started to struggle as people have moved to other magazines on the list, however still commands a massive following.
Score 9.2/10
Full The World Of Cross Stitching review

Cross Stitch Crazy

cross stitch crazy magazine cover
$12 – $14 per month; print only

Cross Stitch Crazy is a very similar magazine to The World Of Cross Stitching, however tends to appeal to the English market better, with less American holidays, less playing up to being British and more kit giveaways. However, its main draw back, which people are very vocal about is its Christmas period. For the three months leading, all the magazines are devoted to Christmas. This tends to get on people’s nerves a bit. Other than that, its a good magazine, but it might be worth a flick through before buying each month as its a bit hit and miss.
Score 8.3/10

Cross Stitch Gold

cross stitch gold magazine cover
$7 – $9 per month; print only

Cross Stitch Gold appeals to the established stitcher, with sometimes VERY complex and large patterns, focuses towards traditional. All the patterns are from established designers, such as Joan Elliott, and most of the projects will take you more than a month to finish. There are no freebies, and most patterns are focused on landscapes, portraits, houses, fairies, samurai, etc much like traditional cross stitch patterns.
Score 8.0/10

Cross Stitch Favourites

cross stitch favourites magazine cover
$5 – $8 per quarter; print only

A new comer to the cross stitch magazine scene, its demographic is hard to pin down. Almost every cover has “cute” written on it in large, and patterns tend to side with teddy bears and baby congratulations. Its only been going a year, and doesn’t theme for seasons, but barely comes with any free gifts, and never includes enough to make a pattern from the mag.
Score 6.1/10

Enjoy Cross Stitch

enjoy cross stitch magazine cover
$11 – $14 per month; print only

Enjoy Cross Stitch Magazine is a new magazine, out less than a year, and clearly aimed at getting young girls into cross stitch. The patterns are all very easy, oriented towards pink, and the magazine comes with enough included to get at least 3 patterns made. Each magazine is themed, but never seasonal. However, of all the magazines on the list, its the only one that has a lot of “other” magazine content. You’re likely to find interviews with popular artists, snippets from books, and quizzes not related to cross stitch.
Score 4.9/10

XStitch

xstitch magazine cover 1
$7 per quarter

Made by MrXStitch this kickstarter based magazine was created as a direct opposite to the girly magazines the scene is full of. Its simple message, is bringing cross stitch up to date, with very modern patterns, and features that a lot of magazines don’t have; such as everyone gets print and online versions, with larger patterns to see better, a podcast of songs to go with all the patterns, a online community for further support and showing off, etc. Unlike the rest of the entries on the list XStitch is not full of patterns by one main designer, but instead each issue has 12 different designers from around the world (including people like Jane Greenoff and myself), specifically chosen for the themes, which are must more radical than the usual.
Score 9.9/10

Just Cross Stitch

just cross stitch magazine cover
$7 per month; print only; USA only

The only US only magazine on the list, Just Cross Stitch has been going just over 30 years, and has had a bit of a rocky start since it was sold last year. The patterns are sometimes inspired, but can occasionally look tired. It has a modern design, and most patterns follow this ideal, and it features lesser known internet cross stitch celebrities. Its big pull is the Christmas ornament issue (not to be confused with the Christmas issue coming out the month after), which includes a large supply of free things, and features nothing but unique ways to make cross stitch ornaments. Its worth looking into if you’re US based, but they currently don’t have any plans to supply the rest of the world.
Score 7.6/10

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