FOR SCIENCE! The Best Science Cross Stitch

Central Limit Theorem cross stitch

Sassy cross stitch? Cute cross stitch? Surprising cross stitch? NSFW cross stitch? These are all fairly common things we’ve covered before on this blog, but there is a larger and larger community of stitchers looking to teach as they stitch. Today, we look at the best science cross stitch!

Maths!

Just…wow. This awesome stitch was found when someone asked a question online about distribution. Turns out we should all be thinking about the Central Limit Theorem.
Central Limit Theorem cross stitch

Brain Surgery!

Cross stitching artist Lada Dedic created this awesome self portrait of her brain scan in 2010., Whilst initially it looks cool, you can really get a good grasp of anatomy thanks to its realistic design.
Lada Dedic – Self Portrait, Artist’s Brain (2010) in Cross Stitch

History/Nature/Geology!

OK, this one was slightly a harder to categorise, but look at how awesome these trilobite stitches are! Trilobites you ask? They are a fossil group of extinct marine arachnomorph arthropods. See, you’re learning already!
trilobite cross stitch by adventures in stitching

Space!

There are actually a lot of space based cross stitches out there, but by far my favorite is this sun one by Climbing Goat Designs. Mostly due to its super realistic sun design, something you don’t see often. I’m in love with the soar flare.
solar system by climbinggoatdesigns

Disease!

I know, we already had brain surgery, so why neuroscience? Well, it had science in the title… In reality these stitches by Alicia Watkins cover everything from diseases to coffee.
neuron cross stitch by aliciawatkins

Do Daylight Bulbs Actually Make A Difference?

tracing pad

I recently moved house, and with it came a slew of stitching station opportunities, however there was one big problem; super thick walls. Our two foot thick walls cut pretty much all the light out, and as we moved North, there was less light anyway. So it was time I found a solution.
 
Initially I jumped into looking for daylight bulbs, afterall everyone goes on about them. However all isn’t as it seems.
 

Benefits

Daylight bulbs are a great tool, and I’m not here to say otherwise, in fact for a lot of people getting a daylight bulb is a matter on health (yes, you squinting at your aida).
Daylight is a lot easier to take in with your eyes and when working with detailed things, like stitching, lighting your area and aida is super important. You could just save your eye sight.
There are loads of reasons you might want a daylight bulb other than saving your eyes though, such as great color matching of threads or a strong light that doesn’t heat or take too much energy. In addition most don’t need replacement bulbs that often (or at all).

Problems

This is where you probably expect me to mention getting your hands on bulbs? Nope. In fact, before I started looking into getting a daylight lamp I had the impression they were super hard to find replacements for. Turns out, they’re everywhere (in the EU at least). Due to 2000’s legislation over fluorescent lights, all bulbs in the EU need to be energy saving or LED. Those lights are mostly daylight bulbs. But even so, most LED lamps don’t even need replacing!
And let me guess, you expect me to talk about heat? Wrong again! There are some bulbs that heat up, I won’t lie, but most are LED based, which are completely heat producing free (well, not completely, but they aren’t like normal bulbs).
 
So what exactly sare the problems? Well, its two fold:
daylight-slimline-table-lamp-119

Not all lamps are created equal

I said earlier that some bulbs heat up, adn they do. Some bulbs use a lot more energy, and some bulbs just aren’t what they say they are. In truth, not all lamps are created equal. There is a huge difference in price of these lamps, and some of them are terrible. Finding the right one for your needs is actually super hard. I have some tips down below from my struggles, but its not an easy thing to get into (much to my annoyance).

It interferes with sleep cycles

I love my sleep, in fact other than cross stitch its my prefered use of time. But daylight bulbs do have an impact.
The red light receptors in your eyes pick up on subtle changes in light levels, which in turn puts you into a sleepy mood (in a similar way to fluorescent lights do). Daylight bulbs effectively copy this, making you go through the same cycles. The problem is it also works the otherway, meaning if you use it late at night (like much of my stitching time is) you feel more away, meaning you struggle to get down.
You can negate these effects by only using the lamp in the daylight hours, however you should be using real light whenever possible, so it kinda makes the point of the lamp worthless (unless you’re working on detailed work). However without me realising it I stumbled upon a fix that isn’t mentioned in many places. LED lights don’t create red light. I’ll spare you the boring details, but what that means is it doesn’t impact your sleep. YAY!
 
However, that said, the benefits FAR outway the problems, and with more and more lights becoming LED and daylight bulbs, I decided to stick with my daylight lamp.

Cost

Finally, cost is a big problem. My favorite sewing supplier has lamps ranging from $20 to $250. Initially they don’t seem too different, so working out if one is better than another (I remind you that they aren’t all the same) is only made harder thanks to weird pricing.

This is an advert, but shows off the lamp fantasticly!

Tips

But not all in in vein! I have some tips to make purchasing your next daylight lamp a little easier.
Get the right lamp for your craft – Daylight lamps are made for different crafts, so find one specific to needlecraft. A simple way to find one is to use an online retailer specialising in your craft, however if you go ‘in store’ check with the clerk for some expert advice.
Get the right lamp for your situation – Stitch in your living room? Then a USB powered lamp is not going to be much use. And in the same way, having a lamp meters above your head isn’t going to be helpful either. Pick a floor lamp that sits at chair height.
Do you need magnification? – Some lamps come with magnifying sections for ease, however this raises the price by some way. Think about if you actually need one or not. In most cases it might be easier, cheaper and more effective to get a seperate magnifying glass.
Don’t get confused with the fancy looks – Everyone wants something that looks good, but there is a definate premium for fancy looks. Normally these fancy lamps aren’t great at shedding light and aren’t fit for purpose.
 
If you’re interested, I went for a Daylight Slimline.
 

How about an alternative?

It might surprise you, but there is an alternative that might help; a tracing pad. It light from the table, meaning light behind your project, and normally they’re pretty cheap.
tracing pad

The Weird World of Cross Stitch Food

broderie-objet-metal-16 by Severija Incirauskaite

Themes for cross stitch come in all different shapes and sizes, but its rare to come across something as weird as food. Today, we delve into the world of weird cross stitch food stitches.
pizza cross stitch by CrossStitchMyHeartCoramen noodle cross stitch by CrossStitchMyHeartCo
When it come to food stitches the first thought it probably something like the above. Simple stitches about awesome food, like pizza and ramen. However that really is only the tip of the iceberg.

We start with simple jokes, about bacon. Everyone loves bacon jokes. Everyone loves bacon. Bacon. Just to confirm; bacon.

In fact, facts are pretty popular when it comes to food. Donut ones in particular.
3D donut cross stitch by NickelAndGraceStudio
This is where the real awesome comes out though. This NickelAndGrace 3D donut is insane, and frankly looks way too realistic.

This massive stew placemat cross stitch by RogueStitchery is the perfect idea for someone that can’t stop eating. When their plate is empty, it still looks full!

However, there is no way anyone can compare with our mate Severija, who’s awesome work we’ve covered before.

The Top 50 Cross Stitch Blogs

Rank
Blog
Great for
1
Reddit Cross Stitch
The massive Reddit cross stitch community offers chat, WIPs, patterns, completed projects and everything cross stitch. With a super active fan base its without a doubt the best forum there is for cross stitch, offering something for everyone.
reddit.com/r/crossstitch/
Active community
2
Mr X Stitch
The modern cross stitch behemoth’s blog, offering everything embroidery, with guest bloggers supplying varied content on a daily basis.
www.mrxstitch.com
Varied embroidery
3
Subversive Cross Stitch
The original source of cross stitch samplers with updated snarky sentiments. Inspiration, patterns and buckets of sass.
subversivecrossstitch.com/blog
Sassy stitches
4
Cross-Stitch by CraftGossip
A whole series of patterns, reviews, techniques and ideas supplied in short blogs by a series of bloggers. Covering a varied aray of topics and themes, all stitches tend to be on the smaller side.
cross-stitch.craftgossip.com
Free patterns
5
Lord Libidan
Free patterns, guides, reviews, in depth blogs, videos, roundups and competitions. This purely cross stitch only blog covers every corner of the cross stitch world on a weekly basis.
lordlibidan.com
Everything cross stitch
6
Jane’s Journal
The stitching legend Jane Greenoff’s personal blog, includes everything from decades of expert tips, general interest, stitching trips, and personal updates. Mostly focused on traditional cross stitch Jane recounts her travels with The Cross Stitch Guild, be that teaching orfeaturing up and coming artists from the guild.
janesjournal.thecrossstitchguild.com
The Cross Stitch Guild
7
DMC Threads Blog
A light hearted insight into embroidery from the largest embroidery thread supplier; featuring interviews, free patterns and decor design, all accompanied with choice selections of DMC items. Each post is made to sell something, but they cover a large amount of interesting topics.
dmc-usa.com/discover
Thread heaven
8
Peacock & Fig
Fantastic tutorials and guides from a very talented stitcher. Both in video form, and high definition image & text. The best place to get information on using less common threads, beads or techniques.
peacockandfig.com
Tutorials
9
Kreinik Thread Blog
Guides on how to use speciality threads, and fantastic real world examples from the thread maker themselves. They often show interesting content from the community as well, and it doesn’t have a hard sell feel about it.
kreinikthread.blogspot.co.uk
Speciality threads
10
The Twisted Stitcher
Long time stitcher, crafter and parent gives a glimpse into her life, featuring heavily on craft fairs, and stitching with children.
thetwistedstitcher.blogspot.co.uk
County fairs
11
The Crafting Geek
Queen of epic stitches and alround speedy stitcher Jess showcases her designs, stitching and patterns, all given away for free thanks to her being awesome.
thecraftinggeek.com
Modern cross stitch
12
With Thy Needle And Thread
Almost entirely a fan of mid-western American samplers With Thy Needle and Thread offers a detailed look into sampler making using traditional styles.
withthyneedleandthread.blogspot.co.uk
Traditional American samplers
13
Clouds Factory
Mostly featuring free patterns from the designer of Clouds Factory patterns, expect guides, postcards from abroad and an occassional recipe.
cloudsfactory.net
General interest
14
Lizzie*Kate Blog
Insights from a cross stitch company that started in 1996. Behind-the-scenes stories about life, design, and of course, cross-stitch!
lizziekateblog.blogspot.co.uk
Behind the scenes look
15
Happines is Cross Stitching
A crafter now fully devoted to cross stitch, expect posts from an active and engaging stitcher.
happinessiscrossstitching.blogspot.co.uk
Achievable designs
16
Connie Gee Designs
A fantastic and speedy stitcher gives update on her many on the go projects on a weekly basis.
conniegeedesigns.com
Weekly updates
17
The World In Stitches
Free patterns, regular updates and stunningly beautiful photography. Very pretty patterns for all levels of stitchers.
theworldinstitches.tumblr.com
Beautiful photography
18
Lpanne & Cross Stitch
Patterns and updates from a designer that is proud to show off their nerdy interests.
lpanne.tumblr.com
Geeky patterns
19
Threadwork Primitives
Very similar in theme to Thy Needle and Thread, a look into sampler making using traditional styles.
threadworkprimitives.blogspot.co.uk
Traditional American samplers
20
Stitching Dreams
A general interest blog from an American cross stitcher, featuring regular updates and insights from her life.
stitchingdream.blogspot.co.uk
General interest
21
Pat’s Cross Stitch Corner
One of the oldest cross stitch blogs around, featuring Pat and her husband as they enjoy their retirement.
cross-stitch.the-gearys.com
General interest
22
Ethan’s Embroidery
Pop culture cross stitch blog from a 20-something male.
ethansembroidery.tumblr.com
Pop culture
23
Justine’s Cross Stitch
Active English mum that’s been stitching for over 25 years. “I try to squeeze in a few stitches every day.”
justinescrossstitch.blogspot.co.uk
General
24
Red Bear Design
Blog for the makers of modern, cute and funny cross stitch patterns.
redbeardesign.tumblr.com
Modern patterns
25
Rachel Roach Design
Tumblr for a embroidery focused Chicago resident.
rachelroach.tumblr.com
Embroidery
26
Hooks And Chains
Eclectic craft blog. Mostly crochet and cross stitch but also a little embroidery, knitting and sewing.
hooksandchains.tumblr.com
Eclectic
27
Cross Stitch the line
A general interest blog featuring a lot of photography, with an occassioanl cross stitch post or two.
crossstitchtheline.tumblr.com
Photography
28
House Of Miranda Cross Stitch & Embroidery
A self described “house of bad ass cross stitch” a mix of modern and pop culture cross stitch and embroidery.
houseofmiranda.tumblr.com
Pop culture
29
ringcat
Creative, geeky and alternative girl. Posting her own cross stitch pattern designs and other things that catch her eye.
ringcat.tumblr.com
Modern
30
Basic Stitch
A selection of finished modern and pop culture cross stitch projects.
bethsbasicstitch.tumblr.com
Modern
31
Anke’s Cross Stitch Stuff
A mix of cute cross stitch magazine projects.
ankes-needleworks.tumblr.com
Cute
32
Badass Cross Stitch
Shannon Downey, fiber artist who sees in pixels and plays with needles. Helping crafty people get more analog in their digital.
badasscrossstitch.tumblr.com
Artist
33
Cross Stitched Sass
A fun and sassy take on subversive cross stitch.
crossstitchedsass.tumblr.com
Sassy
34
My Southern Porch
The life of a cross stitch addict opens her doors so you can peek inside.
mysouthernporch.blogspot.co.uk
General
35
Reading and Stitching
A general craft blog featuring almost entirely cross stitch kits and projects.
reading–stitching.blogspot.co.uk
General
36
The Cross Stitching Librarian
The blog of a cross stitch addict, writing about projects and occasionally other stuff.
xstitchlibrarian.blogspot.co.uk
Tradtional
37
Tapestry Girl
Wool and cross stitch artist. Taking ephemeral forms and capturing them in the permanency of wool.
tapestrygirl.com
Artist
38
Cross Stitch Like A Bitch
A rude take on modern cross stitch with reblogs of her favorite stitchers.
crossstitchesandcutbitches.tumblr.com
Swearing
39
Ann’s Orchard
A crafty mom turned cross stitch master blogging her way through the world.
annsorchard.wordpress.com
Beginner
40
The Diary Of A Cross Stitch Addict
A look into the world of goth cross stitch.
jemsgothshop.blogspot.co.uk
Goth
41
Crafting Paws
A mix of cross stitch and puppy photos.
craftingpaws.blogspot.co.uk
Cute and Modern
42
Cross Stitch Witches
A mix of everything cross stitch from super modern to super tradtional.
crossstitchwitches.tumblr.com
General
43
Spaz in Stitches
The side blog of a geek using cross stitch as a way to cope with anxiety in the world in general.
spazinstitches.tumblr.com
Geeky
44
Alpaca Stitch
Reblogs of various blogs on this list.
alpaca-stitch.tumblr.com
Mixed media
45
Fangirl Stitches
From an Etsy store owner of the same name, creating patterns in the style of WeeLittleStitches, they cover exhibitons they attend, projects they stitch and patterns they create.
fangirlstitches.tumblr.com
Wee Little People
46
Math & Science Cross-Stitch
A true devotion to space, science and math, the blog covers the stitchy adventures and WIPs of a true cross stitch geek.
mathysphere.tumblr.com
Space & Science stitches
47
Ribbon Forest Crafts
An aggrigator of many other blogs on this list, featuring a lot of very varied cross stitch inspiration.
ribbonforest.tumblr.com
Inspiration
48
Avrora Cross Stitch
Etsy store owner’s blog, offering news, updates from the store, as well as occassional free patterns.
avroracs.tumblr.com
Feminine Kits & Designs
49
Liz Stitches
Contemporary cross stitch designs on pop culture topics, covering pattern creation, WIPs and general musings.
lizstitches.tumblr.com
Popular culture stitches
50
Screaming Feline
Personal cross stitch updates from someone taking on multiple epic stitchings at once.
screamingfeline.tumblr.com
Big WIPs
Think we’re missing a good blog?

 
All of the blogs featured abover post regularly (once a month), and blog about cross stitch at least 50% of the time.
We use a lot of factors to rank our blogs:

  • Social media following (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
  • Blog subscribers
  • Volume of unique page views
  • Quality of posts
  • Ranking in Google
  • Involvement in the community

Unlike a lot of other blog round ups, we don’t sell positions, or make you sign up to rss feeds directly with us. Instead, we only list the best cross stitch blogs, that are regularly updated.

Cross Stitch Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas is nearly upon us, and we all know how hard it is to buy gifts for hobbies we don’t know much about. So here’s a holiday gift guide on what to buy a cross stitcher in your life. They’re arranged by price lowest to highest.

Fun Needle Keeps – from $5

charizard needle keeper
Christmas is mostly about fun gifts you might not buy yourself, and something many cross stitchers never buy is a fun needle keep. You can get them in thousands of different designs, and there are a lot of custom made ones out there like this 3D printed Pokemon charizard for $6 from Etsy. They’re a little bit fun, and you can combine other things together, so if their other favorite hobby is reading, get a book based one, etc.

ThreadCutterz – $12-15

thread cutterz
Cross stitch takes time, and a great place to stitch is on planes and trains, however with security being tightened all over, ThreadCutterz have come to the rescue with a plane safe alternative to scissors.
They can only currently be brought from ThreadCutterz themselves.

Thread Shade Chart – $20

We have a copy of the DMC shade card on our site to see at any time, however on screen images aren’t always that reliable. As a result one of the best tools I’ve ever picked up is a cross stitch thread card. DMC (the most common thread company) do a version with thread samples ($20) including the new DMC threads, which is far superior.
DMC thread card

The Perfect Frame – $12-30


I know a lot of people thing cross stitch is a bit simple, but in reality RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) is a real issue. The best way to solve this is a suitable cross stitch frame. The best one in my mind is a EasyClip frame ($20), but you can see a roundup of cross stitch frames on my recent post about the perfect cross stitch frame.

A Good Pair Of Scissors – $30

cross stitch scissors
Scissors might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but you send a lot of time snipping things, and frankly, a poor pair of scissors get blunt quickly, fraying ends. Get a nice pair of Fiskars ‘snipping’ scissors, or ones like the image (a Japanese embroidery scissor), or another specific pair for embroidery/cross stitch or cutting fishing line and you’ll see the difference straight away. It might also be a good idea to pick up a larger pair to cut aida whilst you’re at it, but make sure you only use them for aida, as other tasks will blunt them, making the aida frayed and weak.

Magazine Subscriptions – $20-60 a year

just cross stitch magazine christmas cover
Magazines are fantastic for both giving you patterns, giving you inspiration, finding out about all the new products, and reading up on all the happenings of the cross stitch community. There are frankly a shocking amount out there, so its best to pick one or two you like the most, and getting a subscription to those. Prices vary, $20-$60 a year.

Great Cross Stitch Software – up to $200

pcstitch cross stitch software
The natural progression for a stitcher is to go from kits, to patterns, to making their own patterns. Most choose online programs, but they all have their own limitations, so spend $20-$200 on the perfect one. I would personally suggest KG Chart or PC Stitcher for $35-50.

All The Threads!

Full set of DMC threads
The only thing better than owning a thread shade card is owning the threads themselves. I always kept using the threads I had on hand, and until I got the whole set, I didn’t realise just how much I was making compromise; my colors have definitely got better. You can see how much a full set of DMC threads has helped us with our blog post about our journey to a complete set of cross stitch threads.
Not the cheapest thing in the world, wait until you can buy a whole set in one go on an offer. The price can drop from $450 to $200. Just don’t be tempted by those cheap Chinese deals to see on ebay.

The Crazy World of Needle Minders

chapelviewcrafts polymer cake needle minder

When it comes to embroidery thread you either pick DMC, Anchor or an independent. Those are your three main choices. But when it comes to the world of needle minders, the world is your oyster. With the popularity of Etsy rising there have been more and more quality handmade stores creating stunning things for cross stitchers, and needle minders are some of the most popular.

The Cake Has It – $8


chapelviewcrafts polymer cake needle minder
It would be crazy of me to not start with the cake needle minder from ChapelViewCrafts. Not only is it the one I use, but we’ve even included it in our ultimate cross stitch giveaway as it’s so cool!
Made up of tiny tiny cake made from polymer clay, with super realistic design, and some rad final touches (like just a hint of glimmer in the pink fondant) it just makes you want to go get some cake.

Coffee with your cross stitch?


coffee cups needle minders
On the note of cake and cross stitch, where are all the teas and coffees? This awesome polymer clay cuppa beats out the best.

Miniture Bookworm – $8


book needle minder
My first ever needle minder was one of these tiny books, in my favorite cover of my favorite book. As a truly personalised gift they rock, and their plan design means the needle never chips.

Wooden Woes – $6


wood cross stitch needle minder
However, tasty treats and bookworms aside, a lot of people choose wooden needle minders. There are two main reasons for this; lightness and sharp edges. Before super strong magnets became readily available, most needle minders were heavy, pulling down on your cross stitch; something that light woods solved. In addition, metal needle minders tend to chip needles, so a softer material like wood really helps.

Pokemon Pals – $9


pokemon charizard needle minder
The most searched for needle minder though? Pokemon. A staple in the eyes of most modern cross stitchers, Pokemon still reigns supreme, and this 3D printed and hand finished example is hitting all the right buttons. Pokemon might not be real, but with a mini Charizard needle minder, no one will dare take it!

Guide to buying the Best Cross Stitch Scissors for you

Premax Carnival Embroidery Scissors

A few weeks ago, I did a guest post on the Kreinik blog about finding the best cross stitch scissors and since then a lot of people have been in contact to get my low down on the best pairs of scissors. So I’m going to go through the process for picking the best scissors for you.

What are you going to use them for?

This might seem a little strange at first, considering you’ve been using scissors already for ages, however that trusty pair you have might not be the best for all situations.

The All-Purpose Thread Snipper

This is probably the pair you’re thinking about right now, and you really need a trusty pair. If you’re looking for one of these, after you’ve made your selection, check out the other pairs I suggest you buy, as using these scissors for anything other than standard threads, you’re going to blunt them FAST.

Premax Carnival Embroidery Scissors – $22

Premax Carnival Embroidery ScissorsEveryone has heard of Gold Stork scissors, however thanks to a market full of fakes, its rare to find a good, sharp pair. Instead think about investing in a funky pair such as these Premax ones.

Double Curved Sewing Machine Scissors – $26

Premax Double Curved Machine Sewing ScissorsI know this will initially sound crazy, after all these are called sewing machine scissors, however the double curve design allows you to get right into the threads without casting shadows, brushing the threads, or obscuring your view. Also they totally make you feel like a surgeon.

The Speciality Thread Snipper

We said above that a thread snipper is a pair of scissors no stitcher should be without, however for many, that’s as far as it goes. But in reality, threads such as glow in the darks, or a metallic (a scissors worst enemy) blunt or gouge sections out of your thread snippers, meaning you’ll get bad cuts. In addition, due to the extra force needed to cut them, these special threads pull the scissors apart, meaning they’ll sit poorly in the hand.
Therefore, in addition to your trusty standard pair, get one of these:

Sodial Metal Grip Shears – $3

japanese cross stitch scissorsThese traditional Japanese shears don’t peel apart like other thread scissors, and their low price means you can change them often (which you’ll have to) without much pain.
Pro tip: you can find black tipped pairs; don’t get these, they are for bonsai, and have a coating on them that can stain threads.

Premax 4″ Weavers Scissors – $6

Alternatively you can get a pair of plastic handled Premax scissors which are much more expensive, but you can purchase replacement heads at $2 each time. They’re nicer in the hand, and easier to snip for people with stiff fingers.

The Fabric Cutter

Thirdly, you need a good pair of scissors to cut all that aida fabric. Most people use their desk scissors, or (I really hope this isn’t you) their kitchen scissors. I don’t have to tell you that those scissors are coated in all kinds of nasty stuff, and if you use desk scissors are usually blunt as well. Therefore, invest in a good pair of fabric scissors and keep them for fabric only.

Fiskars Fabric Scissors – $15

fiskars fabric scissorsFiskars fabric scissors (unlike many other brands) are made from titanium. This means that firstly they’ll last forever without the need for sharpening, however they’re also capable of cutting through thick aida fabric. Their formed handle is also a great fit (they come in right or left handed).

The Plastic Canvas/Waste Canvas Cutter

Finally, spare a thought for waste and plastic canvas. These plastic-coated fabrics will blunt any scissors, so you need to be prepared with a serious solution.

Fiskars RazorEdge Soft Grip Scissors – $15

Fiskars RazorEdge Soft Grip ScissorsYou ideally want something razor sharp, so these Fiskars RazorEdge pair really work wonders, however any stainless-steel pair will work, just remember to sharpen them often!

X-acto Z Series Number 1 Knife – $8

X-acto Z Number 1 Craft KnifeAlternately, pick up a quality craft knife instead. With easy swap out blades, and a trusted brand like X-acto, this Z number 1 blade will last you a long time!

The Best Apps for Cross Stitchers

With every wake moment thinking about cross stitch, it’s no wonder you want an app or two to help you out. We round up the best apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Ranked using iTunes store (for iPhone & iPad) and GooglePlay (for Android) reviews.

Jump to iPhone
Jump to iPad
Jump to Android

Best iPhone cross stitch apps:

cross stitch world app icon

Cross Stitch World (FREE) – 10/10

Based on 656 reviews
Unlike others on the list, this app isn’t a tool, but is actually a game. Effectively it’s a paint by numbers affair, made to look like cross stitch, with the ability to make new patterns with your own images. Due to the recent trend of adult coloring books, the app has really hit it off, but for most cross stitchers it might just be a distraction.
However, if you suffer from any arthritis or similar conditions stopping you stitching, this is a great alternative!

cross stitch saga app icon

Cross Stitch Saga (FREE) – 7/10

Based on 127 reviews
I LOVE Cross Stitch Saga. Simply put, if you have an iPad or iPhone, get it. Cross Stitch Saga is a true competitor to the desktop paid versions of pattern software.
It works with all the other pattern programs, allowing you to import patterns and work on them on the fly, and allows you to save in formats such as .pat and import it back into desktop software. The fact that the app is free, is frankly astonishing. I know you might think that being on iPhone it might be a bit fiddly, but I promise you it’s not, as the app has been designed to be super user friendly.

cross stitch calculator app icon

Cross Stitch Calculator (FREE) – 3/10

Based on 24 reviews
A fabric size calculator in your pocket. Sadly the app has many bugs and issues, leaving most to prefer alternative cross stitch calculators, such as our own.

cross stitch saga pro app icon

Cross Stitch Saga PRO ($4) – 7/10

Based on 127 reviews
The paid upgrade for Cross Stitch Saga, the increase doesn’t really get you much. An increased area to work in, a pattern repository and slightly more speciality stitches. Unless you’re explicitly going to need those features, the free version will suit you, but for its low price is a great alternative to desktop software.


thread tracker 117 app icon

Thread Tracker 117 ($1) – 7/10

Based on 14 reviews
For a dollar, it’s hard to say anything bad about this app, however in reality, it’s just a spreadsheet to track which DMC threads you have. The advantage, and the thing that makes this app so successful is you can import list of colors needed for your next project, and the app works out which ones you need. Next time you’re in a store, pull the app out and the list is there straight away. Of all the apps on the list, this is the one I personally use the most.

thread replacer 117 app icon

Thread Replacer 117 ($1) – 4/10

Based on 1 reviews
From the maker of Thread Tracker 117, this app has a slightly different aim. If you’re on a project and you’re missing a color, the app will give you the 5 nearest colors to the one you want. Sometimes this allows you to make a swap, however often, it results in needing to buy new thread. I would personally buy a shade card instead.

cross stitch guild app icon

Cross Stitch Guild ($8) – 5/10

Based on 2 reviews
A great app in premise, the cross stitch guild have put together a series of tools into one app, allowing you to convert thread, work out fabric size, and track which threads you own. However, it doesn’t do any of these particularly well. With bugs and a super high price point, you’re better off getting Thread Tracker 117, Cross Stitch Calculator and Cross Stitch Saga for less money and a better user experience.

Best iPad cross stitch apps:

cross stitch world app icon

Cross Stitch World (FREE) – 10/10

Based on 656 reviews
Unlike others on the list, this app isn’t a tool, but is actually a game. Effectively it’s a paint by numbers affair, made to look like cross stitch, with the ability to make new patterns with your own images. Due to the recent trend of adult coloring books, the app has really hit it off, but for most cross stitchers it might just be a distraction.
However, if you suffer from any arthritis or similar conditions stopping you stitching, this is a great alternative!

cross stitch saga app icon

Cross Stitch Saga (FREE) – 7/10

Based on 127 reviews
I LOVE Cross Stitch Saga. Simply put, if you have an iPad or iPhone, get it. Cross Stitch Saga is a true competitor to the desktop paid versions of pattern software.
It works with all the other pattern programs, allowing you to import patterns and work on them on the fly, and allows you to save in formats such as .pat and import it back into desktop software. The fact that the app is free, is frankly astonishing. I know you might think that being on iPad it might be a bit fiddly, but I promise you it’s not, as the app has been designed to be super user friendly.


stitchsketch app icon

StitchSketch ($8) – 9/10

Based on 251 reviews
StitchSketch is created by the maker of KG Chart. It’s a fantastic pattern creation program, which works almost as well as any desktop program. The app only allows you to import back into KG chart, however unlike apps like Cross Stitch Saga, the app has all of the advanced features the desktop version does.

x-stitch app icon

X-Stitch ($3) – 9/10

Based on 27 reviews
Similar to Thread Tracker 117 this app not only tracks threads, but aida, needles, charts and other tools. It’s “need to buy” feature not only works well, but it reads your charts and patterns to give you lists of threads needed for each project too!

crossity app icon

Crossty ($4) – 8/10

Based on 9 reviews
A very clever app, Crossity comes in after you’ve made a pattern. You import your pattern and Crossity takes over. You highlight the colour you’re using, you can select areas you’ve already stitched, it works out how long it will take you to stitch the rest of the project or color, counts stitches and even works out the best route to minimise confetti and jumping across the back. There is also a free version, however ads are incredibly intrusive and the limited features means its work spending the 5 dollars.

cross stitch saga pro app icon

Cross Stitch Saga PRO ($4) – 7/10

Based on 127 reviews
The paid upgrade for Cross Stitch Saga, the increase doesn’t really get you much. An increased area to work in, a pattern repository and slightly more speciality stitches. Unless you’re explicitly going to need those features, the free version will suit you, but for its low price is a great alternative to desktop software.

cross stitch camera app icon

Cross Stitch Camera ($4) – 7/10

Based on 10 reviews
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.

Best Androids cross stitch apps:

cross stitch world android app icon

Cross Stitch World (FREE) – 9/10

Based on 31,188 reviews
Unlike others on the list, this app isn’t a tool, but is actually a game. Effectively it’s a paint by numbers affair, made to look like cross stitch, with the ability to make new patterns with your own images. Due to the recent trend of adult coloring books, the app has really hit it off, but for most cross stitchers it might just be a distraction.
However, if you suffer from any arthritis or similar conditions stopping you stitching, this is a great alternative!

cross stitch fabric calculator app icon

Cross Stitch Fabric Calculator (FREE) – 8/10

Based on 124 reviews
A fabric size calculator in your pocket. Sadly the app has many bugs and issues, leaving most to prefer alternative cross stitch calculators, such as our own.


crossity android app icon

Crossty ($5) – 9/10

Based on 360 reviews
A very clever app, Crossity comes in after you’ve made a pattern. You import your pattern and Crossity takes over. You highlight the colour you’re using, you can select areas you’ve already stitched, it works out how long it will take you to stitch the rest of the project or color, counts stitches and even works out the best route to minimise confetti and jumping across the back. There is also a free version, however ads are incredibly intrusive and the limited features means its work spending the 5 dollars.

Cross Stitch Thread Organizer app icon

Cross Stitch Thread Organizer ($1) – 8/10

Based on 30 reviews
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Cross Stitch Thread Organizer orders your threads with to-buy lists, current stock, and warns you if you’re running low on a thread and a future project needs it. There are a lot of other apps doing exactly this, however what makes this app fantastic is the constant upgrades, and a really devoted developer who can be found on reddit daily.

floss checklist app icon

Floss Checklist ($1) – 8/10

Based on 171 reviews
A way of tracking your DMC threads, Floss Checklist lists out all your owned threads and all your ‘to buy’ ones. Sadly, the ‘to buy’ section pulls through ALL your missing threads, not just the ones you need for a future project.

eCanvas for cross-stitch pro app icon

eCanvas for cross-stitch PRO ($3) – 8/10

Based on 92 reviews
A simplistic pattern creation software, eCanvas makes patterns up for you to export and stitch. Its lacking in advanced stitches and sometimes assumes you’re using a stylus instead of a finger, however it’s a well-balanced app. There is also a free version, however adverts obstruct the working area and it makes pattern creation VERY hard.

x-stitch designer app icon

XStitch Designer ($1) – 7/10

Based on 222 reviews
A great pattern creation app, well designed so it works on a phone. The only downside is you can’t print directly from the app, and getting a pdf to print from a computer isn’t user friendly.

cross stitch guild android app icon

Cross Stitch Guild ($8) – 6/10

Based on 28 reviews
A great app in premise, the cross stitch guild have put together a series of tools into one app, allowing you to convert thread, work out fabric size, and track which threads you own. However, it doesn’t do any of these particularly well. With bugs and a super high price point, you’re better off getting Thread Tracker 117, Cross Stitch Calculator and Cross Stitch Saga for less money and a better user experience.

The Tasty World Of Cross Stitch Cakes

awesome cross stitch cake by ana salinas

When you think cross stitch, you don’t normally think cakes. However the relationship has been out there a while. We’ve done the hard, tasty work for you, by finding those cross stitch cakes and cake cross stitch.

Cake: Ana Salinas

Originally showcased at the Americas Cake Fair Ana Salinas took the cross stitch world by storm with her fantastically realistic cross stitch cake.

awesome cross stitch cake by ana salinas
The original cross stitch cake by Ana Salinas

The thing that really made the world go crazy was the sheer detail. There’s realistic aida, with cross stitch perfectly spaced, and its just so awesome!

Cross Stitch: Sirinth

Cake don’t always have to be fancy to be tasty. Check this sweet Minecraft cake out by Sirinth who even made the pattern avalible for free on her website.
minecraft cake cross stitch by sirinth

Cake: Zoe Clark

Cross stitch cakes look hard, however once Ana Salinas took the world by storm, people started to emulate her. Most are poor emulations, however Zoe Clark has perfected a very simple method, which she even teaches on her website!

Cross Stitch: TinyLizard

These simplistic cupcakes are super sweet. What makes them even better, is you can pick yourself up a kit from EtsyStudio
cake cross stitch kit by tinylizardgifts

The Best Simpsons Cross Stitch

With 21 seasons under its belt and still going strong, The Simpsons has a massive following (even if some of them hate the newer episodes), however there isn’t a great deal of cross stitch out there devoted to it.
As I pointed out in my trends of 2017 post pop culture like The Simpsons is on the rise. Here are the best so far…

Springfield: Home Sweet Home

Before we begin, please be advised this post is sponsored by Hank Scorpio (evil genius) and the Globex Corporation.
the simpsons cross stitch home sweet home

The Almighty Donut

Talking of Homer, where’s my donut love?
the simpsons cross stitch do or donut there is no try
You can pick the pattern up of this awesome pattern on Etsy.

Old Man Yells At Cloud

But when it comes to the press, Grandpa Simpson has the record…
the simpsons cross stitch old man yells at cloud

That’s a Paddlin’

Talking out of turn? That’s a paddlin’. Lookin’ out the window? That’s a paddlin’. Staring at my sandals? That’s a paddlin’. Paddlin’ the school canoe? Oh, you better believe that’s a paddlin’.
― Jasper Beardly

the simpsons cross stitch thats a paddlin

Lisa Simpson

the simpsons cross stitch you are lisa simpson
Pretty sure I’m not…

Oh…

The Couch Gag

And finally, what kind of roundup would it be without a couch gag? Attempted a few times, PDX-stitch has got the furthest so far, with a 3 year stitch time…
the simpsons cross stitch couch gag