What’s the best alternative for ThreadHeaven?

ThreadHeaven (source: ThreadHeaven.com)

By this point, it’s probably no longer news that ThreadHeaven is no more, but as you work through your stash, have you wondered what to use as a replacement?
 
ThreadHeaven was fantastic as it was both a wax, and a conditioner, and whilst a lot of people think they’re the same, they have two different purposes. Wax makes the thread stick together, and through the fabric easier, whilst the conditioner stops the thread fraying. We’ve looked at all the different options on the market to see which we prefer, based on these two features, using normal and metallic threads, which are MUCH easier to use with thread conditioner. Note that there are other claims, such as protection from UV rays, but we’ve yet to see the science behind that so we’ve not taken it into account.
 

Our Pick: Thread Magic

Thread Magic (source: threadmagic.com)
Thread Magic (source: threadmagic.com)

I’ll hold my hands up and say I’m not surprised by this. Initially, when TheadHeaven was all the rage I thought Thread Magic was the ugly step-sister; it turns out, I was wrong. So wrong in fact, that I would say Thread Magic works better! Its conditions and waxes like a charm, doesn’t build up over time and has no scent at all (although one can develop if stored for a long time). The packs it comes in with holes for the thread also make it super user-friendly, and whilst it is MUCH more expensive than all the alternatives on the list, it lasts far longer than any of them. A true winner in our eyes.
 

Close Second: White Bees Wax

beeswax thread conditioner (source: Etsy)
beeswax thread conditioner (source: Etsy)

When it comes to wax, not all are equal. We should note that I’ve said WHITE beeswax here, you can see below for a little bit about why that is. Beeswax is actually a bleeding wax, meaning it penetrates surfaces, such as threads whereas other waxes don’t. Therefore it not only waxes the surface but conditions at the same time. It can get a little waxy after a while of use, but it also smells great, so it’s worth it! It’s worth noting though that beeswax is extremely flammable; so be careful when ironing if you don’t want to wash your work beforehand.
 

Surprise Third: Candlemaker’s Wax/White Unscented Candles

white candle (source: amazon)
white candle (source: amazon)

We expected the standard candle to be an out and out flop in our tests, but it turns out, it worked quite well. Unlike beeswax, it isn’t conditioning, but it waxes well and doesn’t build up on your fingers over time, which is a big plus. Thanks to the shape of a candle, it’s also super easy to wax up your threads.
 

In A Pinch: Water

damp sponge (source: google images)
damp sponge (source: google images)

Yeh, you heard that right; water. So to be more accurate, a damp sponge, however, you’re only actually using the water. This idea came from a commenter, and damn is it good. I tried it last night and it worked a treat. However, a few things to remember; don’t use it on specialty threads, they often use metal, which can rust if you’re not careful. And try finding natural or pH neutral sponges to make sure you’re not picking up nasties.
 

Some success: Silicone Ear Plugs

silicone earplugs (source: amazon)
silicone earplugs (source: amazon)

Before I begin with this one, not all silicone-like earplugs are made from silicone; get the pure silicon ones. However, if you find them, silicone can be a good idea. The one thing to say is silicone cannot be washed out. At all. It stays permanently on the thread. Whilst this can be great (it protects the thread long term), it means any dust caught in there, or sweat from hands can’t be washed out. I would use this with some caution for now. We’ll do more tests.
 

JUST DON’T BOTHER: ‘Natural’ Bees Wax

DIY beeswax (source: Etsy)
DIY beeswax (source: Etsy)

We mentioned above that white beeswax is fantastic for threads, however, don’t be tempted to get DIY or ‘natural’ beeswax. These aren’t the same. The DIY ones can include some seriously iffy colorants (and could actually be toxic), however, even the natural ones aren’t that good for threads. In natural beeswax, they often don’t filter off the impurities. Whilst most are perfectly fine, you don’t know what chemicals are hidden away, and you don’t want your work ruined.

The Best Of Cross Stitch Maps

stardewvalley map cross stitch by Bunia (source: spritestitch.com)

I’ve always loved maps. Bit of a cartophile. However, it looks like I’m not alone, as there is a wealth of awesome cross stitch maps out there just begging for some limelight!

Stardew Valley

The reason I started looking into cross stitch maps was this. Not only is Stardew Valley an awesome game map, but Bunia has recreated the in-game map into a fantastic micro scale map with all the details of the original and more.

stardewvalley map cross stitch by Bunia (source: spritestitch.com)
stardewvalley map cross stitch by Bunia (source: spritestitch.com)

Just to take it one step further, she also offered the pattern for free!

Zelda

Jumping back a step though, sometimes video game maps are awesome on there own. In my mind however, Zelda’s Ocarina of Time map was a little sparse on details. BUT, it looked great from above. This cross stitcher thought so too and make a cracking recreation.

legend of zelda ocarina of time cross stitch map (source: instagram)
legend of zelda ocarina of time cross stitch map (source: instagram)

But lest we forget the awesome Zelda map Servotron created that has been recreated by this stitcher:
Legend Of Zelda Map Cross Stitch by tibtibs (source: spritestitch.com)
Legend Of Zelda Map Cross Stitch by tibtibs (source: spritestitch.com)

Mario

Whilst we’re on the topic of video game maps, let’s talk about the weirdly shaped ones. Mario has always had great maps, but this third world map stitch by cross stitch ninja is frankly jaw-dropping. The weird shape, the fact that is has a massive III lake, and the deserty finish makes it one of my all-time favorite maps.

Mario cross stitch map by cross stitch ninja (source: spritestitch.com)
Mario cross stitch map by cross stitch ninja (source: spritestitch.com)

Game Of Thrones

But sometimes, video games and other things combine. Like this Game of Thrones Mario mashup cross stitch map, which not only having a nice nod to both worlds, but has a shocking amount of accuracy too. Credit to MonkeeCatcher (the stitcher) and titan413 (the designer).

Game Of Thrones cross stitch by RandomlyGenerated (source: Etsy.com)
Game Of Thrones cross stitch by RandomlyGenerated (source: Etsy.com)

But as one of the most watched TV shows in history, its no surprise that the original map got some love too. This design by Randomly Generated reminds me of the book map sooo much.
Game of Thrones Mario Style World Map Cross Stitch by MonkeeCatcher, pattern by titan413 (source: spritestitch.com)
Game of Thrones Mario Style World Map Cross Stitch by MonkeeCatcher, pattern by titan413 (source: spritestitch.com)

Pokemon

But where would a Lord Libidan post be without a bit of Pokemon?
Now, its no secret that I’ve created my own Pokemon maps in the past:

Pokemon National Map cross stitch by Lord Libidan
Pokemon National Map cross stitch by Lord Libidan

And loads of other people, like merichan27 and KDstitching have too:
pokemon johto map cross stitch by kdstitching (source: Etsy)
pokemon johto map cross stitch by kdstitching (source: Etsy)

hoenn pokemon map cross stitch by merichan27 (source: spritestitch)
hoenn pokemon map cross stitch by merichan27 (source: spritestitch)

However, my out and out favorite cross stitch maps? They have to be these stellar mini maps by StrangenessIsConservative. Not only are they super cute, and based on in game sprites most people would have looked over, but they are the only images of the cross stitch world that exist in the Pokemon universe. AND the patterns are avalible for free!
Pokemon region maps by strangenessisconserved (source: strangenessisconserved.wordpress.com)
Pokemon region maps by strangenessisconserved (source: strangenessisconserved.wordpress.com)

Cross Stitch in Games, TV and Film

the simpsons cross stitch (source: google images)

We’re not shy of showing off some awesome pop culture cross stitch on Lord Libidan before, however what about the times when pop culture shows off cross stitch? Here are some awesome examples of when TV shows, games, and movies show off cross stitch!

Bioshock

The Bioshock games have a simple premis; the world was too complicated, so people went off to found a better city. In the third instalment of the game, gone were the art deco statues and famous artworks, and in came the simple world of cross stitch.

cross stitch in bioshock (source: IGN.com)
cross stitch in bioshock (source: IGN.com)

What not a lot of people know however is that the game is filled with cross stitches, including in the lighthouse at the end of the game.
cross stitch in bioshock (source: IGN.com)
cross stitch in bioshock (source: IGN.com)

The Simpsons

Marge Simpson, one of our celebrities who cross stitch, is actually an accomplished cross stitcher. In Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder Marge creates a series of samplers for Lenny.

the simpsons cross stitch (source: google images)
the simpsons cross stitch (source: google images)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

A more modern TV show, Brooklyn has a character that cross stitches. She’s even called a ‘stitch skipper’…

Fargo

Whilst a lot of people know Fargo as the TV shows, which used knitting in its promotional posters, had a movie forerunner. And that forerunner had it poster made from (you guessed it) cross stitch.

fargo movie poster (source: imdb.com)
fargo movie poster (source: imdb.com)

Know of any other times cross stitch was used in pop culture? Drop us a line!

FOR SCIENCE! The Best Science Cross Stitch

Central Limit Theorem cross stitch by Greg Snow (source: Google plus)

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 by Greg Snow (source: Google plus)
Central Limit Theorem cross stitch by Greg Snow (source: Google plus)

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 (source: mrxstitch)
Lada Dedic – Self Portrait, Artist’s Brain (2010) in Cross Stitch (source: mrxstitch)

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 (source: Etsy)
trilobite cross stitch by adventures in stitching (source: Etsy)

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 (source: Etsy)
solar system by climbinggoatdesigns (source: Etsy)

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 (source: Etsy)
neuron cross stitch by aliciawatkins (source: Etsy)

Do Daylight Bulbs Actually Make A Difference?

Tracing pad (source: Amazon)

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 after all 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 eyesight.
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 the 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, it’s two-fold:

Daylight Slimline Table Lamp (source: Amazon)
Daylight Slimline Table Lamp (source: Amazon)

Not all lamps are created equal

I said earlier that some bulbs heat up, and 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 the 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 it’s 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 it’s my preferred 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 other way, 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 realizing 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, the 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 fantastically!

Tips

But not all in vain! 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 specializing 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 in 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 separate magnifying glass.
Don’t get confused with the fancy looks – Everyone wants something that looks good, but there is a definite 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 lights from the table, meaning light behind your project, and normally they’re pretty cheap.

Tracing pad (source: Amazon)
Tracing pad (source: Amazon)

The Weird World of Cross Stitch Food

broderie-objet-metal-16 by Severija Incirauskaite (source: mrxstitch.com)

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.

ramen noodle cross stitch by CrossStitchMyHeartCo (source: Etsy)
ramen noodle cross stitch by CrossStitchMyHeartCo (source: Etsy)
pizza cross stitch by CrossStitchMyHeartCo (source: Etsy)
pizza cross stitch by CrossStitchMyHeartCo (source: Etsy)

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.
bacon and eggs cross stitch by StompCreations (source: Etsy)
bacon and eggs cross stitch by StompCreations (source: Etsy)

We start with simple jokes, about bacon. Everyone loves bacon jokes. Everyone loves bacon. Bacon. Just to confirm; bacon.
the simpsons cross stitch do or donut there is no try by jimjamcrafts (source: etsy)
the simpsons cross stitch do or donut there is no try by jimjamcrafts (source: etsy)

In fact, facts are pretty popular when it comes to food. Donut ones in particular.
3D donut cross stitch by NickelAndGraceStudio (source: Etsy)
3D donut cross stitch by NickelAndGraceStudio (source: Etsy)

This is where the real awesome comes out though. This NickelAndGrace 3D donut is insane, and frankly looks way too realistic.
Stew cross stitch placemat by RogueStitchery (source: Etsy)
Stew cross stitch placemat by RogueStitchery (source: Etsy)

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!
broderie-objet-metal-16 by Severija Incirauskaite (source: mrxstitch.com)
broderie-objet-metal-16 by Severija Incirauskaite (source: mrxstitch.com)

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

The Crazy World of Needle Minders

chapelviewcrafts polymer cake needle minder by chapelviewcrafts (source: etsy)

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 by chapelviewcrafts (source: etsy)
So tasty you could eat it!

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 (source: pinterest)
coffee cups needle minders (source: pinterest)

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 by PinoyStitch (source: etsy)
book needle minder by PinoyStitch (source: etsy)

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


woodeb cross stitch needle minders by aneedlerunsthroughit (source: etsy)
woodeb cross stitch needle minders by aneedlerunsthroughit (source: etsy)

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 by MyWifeIsAVelociraptor (source: etsy)
pokemon charizard needle minder by MyWifeIsAVelociraptor (source: etsy)

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 (source: kreinik.com)

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 of 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 Scissors (source: kreinik.com)
Premax Carnival Embroidery Scissors (source: kreinik.com)
Everyone 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 – $22

Premax Double Curved Machine Sewing Scissors (source: kreinik.com)
Premax Double Curved Machine Sewing Scissors (source: kreinik.com)
I 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 style cross stitch scissors (source: kreinik.com)
Japanese style cross stitch scissors (source: kreinik.com)
These 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

Premax 4 inch weavers scissors (source: kreinik.com)
Premax 4 inch weavers scissors (source: kreinik.com)
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.

Canary Mini Snips – $10

Canary Micro Scissors in a palm (Source: beyondmeasure.com)
Canary Micro Scissors in a palm (Source: beyondmeasure.com)
One of our all time favorite scissors, these micro snips are fully safe to fly with, can fit on a keychain, are round tipped, and super easy to use!

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 4 inch fabric scissors (source: kreinik.com)
Fiskars 4 inch fabric scissors (source: kreinik.com)
Fiskars 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 Scissors (source: kreinik.com)
Fiskars RazorEdge Soft Grip Scissors (source: kreinik.com)
You 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 Knife (source: amazon.com)
X-acto Z Number 1 Craft Knife (source: amazon.com)
Alternately, 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!

21 Of The Best Apps for Cross Stitchers – Updated

crossity app icon (source: Itunes)

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.
Updated January 2020

Jump to iPhone & 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 calculator app icon

Cross Stitch Fabric 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 world app icon

XStitch Plus ($10) – 9/10

Based on 26 reviews
A tracking app that frankly tracks everything, XStitch Plus has a massive following. Its best feature however is the ability to publish on social media from directly in the app. This works super well with its journal feature, allowing you not only to track everything about a project, but allows you to upload up to 5 images for each project.

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!

magicneedle cross stitch app icon

MagicNeedle (FREE) – 8/10

Based on 9 reviews
A new entry to the world of cross stitch generators, Magic Needle is effectively a ‘poiint and click’ pattern generator, however also boasts more more advanced features that make it a little special. As the only true free cross stitch generator for iPad and iPhone is definately worth a shot, even if it isn’t as advanced as the likes of Cross Stitch Saga.

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.

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.
They also have an app called ThreadTracker 4635 for tracking Anchor Threads.

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.

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 world app icon

Cross Stitch Creator ($10) – 9/10

Based on 6 reviews
Cross Stitch Creator is a pattern making app, and whilst it works OK, the real greatness comes from its variety. It can convert an image, change it into a pattern, and then you can use the app for markup! Sadly, its not got many people trying it out just yet (its new) so its score isn’t too high.

Best Androids cross stitch apps:

pattern keeper android cross stitch app icon

Pattern Keeper ($10.50) – 8/10

Based on 10,000 reviews
This app is still in beta, but don’t let that fool you. Even in this state, it’s a fantastic app that deserves to be in the hands of every cross stitcher. Its a markup app that works with any pdf. Its real abilities shine once you’ve added the pdf though. It tracks stitched and unstitched threads, you can track the use of the parking method (the only app to do so), count how many threads are left, and it combines pages of patterns into one large pattern for you. I cannot recommend this app enough.
It initially looks like a free app, but be aware, the trial ends after 2 weeks, and it costs just over $10.

cross stitch world android app icon

Cross Stitch World (FREE) – 8/10

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

StachCache (FREE) – 8/10

Based on 43 reviews
Put simply, this app is a tracker. It tracks threads, fabric, embellishments, it tracks when you started projects, finished them, what fabric they were on, what thread changes you made, what threads you still need, etc. It tracks everything. The best bit however is how easy to use it is. They’ve even added in an export feature meaning you can take the data with you whenever you want, in a nice easy to read text file.

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.

eCanvas for cross-stitch app icon

eCanvas for cross-stitch (FREE & $2.99) – 6/10

Based on 57 reviews
A set of features for those who design their own patterns, eCanvas calculates the best size fabric for your project, it displays great color palettes, and the paid version can even allow you to make small edits to pdf patterns.

crossity android app icon

Crossty ($5) – 9/10

Based on 360 reviews
A very clever app, Crossty comes in after you’ve made a pattern. You import your pattern and Crossty 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 Saga ($13) – 7/10

Based on 30 reviews
Cross Stitch Saga used to be on this list a long time ago, but it was pulled down from all download sites. It turns out they were improving the app (and raising the price). However, that said, its still a great app. It allows you to import files from Cross Stitch Professional Platinum, Pattern Maker & PC Stitch (up to version 10) and allows you to mark them up. However, it doesn’t allow you to mark up pdf files, and frankly there are many, much better mark up apps out there.

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.

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.

The Tasty World Of Cross Stitch Cakes

awesome cross stitch cake by ana salinas (source: pinterest)

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 (source: pinterest)
awesome cross stitch cake by ana salinas (source: pinterest)

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 (source: spritestitch.com)
minecraft cake cross stitch by sirinth (source: spritestitch.com)

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!

Zoe Clark Cross Stitch Cake (source: zoeclarkcakes.com)
Zoe Clark Cross Stitch Cake (source: zoeclarkcakes.com)

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 (source: etsy)
cake cross stitch kit by tinylizardgifts (source: etsy)