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.
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…
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.
Finally though, by far the most common cross stitch mistake I could find; gob. Sadly, some of these are massive pieces.
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!
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.
However, that isn’t to say other versions are bad. This Mario Game of Thrones mash up is just brilliant!
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*
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 hodor hodor hodor. Hodor.
And finally, some way off from Christmas, I know… but its so darn clever.
There are loads of cross stitch magazines out there, and with magazines like Cross Stitch and Needlework and Cross Stitch Collection coming to an 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.
Updated August 2020.
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 (or TWOCS as its sometimes known) is the longest-running cross stitching magazine in worldwide 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 upon being British for the American market, and so as a Brit, you might find it a little unrealistic, but it has lots of other animals, teddy, flower, heart, etc based patterns. The 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, it still commands a massive following.
Score 9.2/10 Full The World Of Cross Stitching review
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 to print and online versions, with larger patterns to see better, a podcast of songs to go with all the patterns, an 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.
$7 per month; print; USA only
$7 per month; digital
The only US print 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. It’s worth looking into if you’re US based, but they currently don’t have any plans to supply the rest of the world.
I personally don’t rate Stoney Creek that much, however many are avid fans. They are a US traditional style magazine. They used to offer subscriptions, but their new sales model is to purchase issue by issue, one a quarter. This has the advantage that you can see all the patterns you’re getting before you buy, however the magazine only contains patterns, no articles.
On our series covering the best cross stitch magazines we review the biggest world wide cross stitch magazine, The World Of Cross Stitching.
To do this review we’ve compiled a series of reviews from industry leaders, as well as feefo reviews and at least a year of continuous subscription to the mag.
When people think of cross stitch magazines, the first one they think of is The World Of Cross Stitching. Its one of the longest-running magazines and has over 44,000 monthly readers, making it the largest international cross stitching magazine. As a result, when flicking through, you see mainstream patterns; tailored to make sure they are as accessible as possible. Whilst this can appeal to an average cross stitcher, the younger or male cross stitchers tend to feel very underwhelmed by the teddy, flower and heart patterns that adorn most issues.
The teddy was just so cute, it even got my daughter into cross stitching!
In regards to the content itself, almost all of the patterns are by the four editors/designers who aren’t known for being big players in the field. At least 20% of the magazine is devoted to full-page adverts for various companies. The patterns themselves are mostly small (under 5 hours stitching time), with one 24+ hour piece in each issue.
Its market share shows that cross stitch clearly isn’t on the way out, however with its slightly overplayed British vibe and traditional patterns, its lost market share recently to alternatives like the CrossStitcher which appeals to a younger crowd.
$6 – $12 per month; digital and print
✓ Loads of patterns ✓ Lots of mainstream patterns ✓ Large readership
╳ Not many modern patterns ╳ Expensive outside of the UK ╳ Not many freebies
On our series covering the best cross stitch magazines we review the more modern cross stitch magazine, CrossStitcher.
To do this review we’ve compiled a series of reviews from industry leaders, as well as feefo reviews and at least a year of continuous subscription to the mag.
As the main competitor to The World Of Cross Stitching magazine, the CrossStitcher takes a different angle to the world of cross stitch, with a much more modern take. The patterns are modern and feature unique ways of finishing stitches, framing, and witty new takes, which allows it to be the main cross stitch magazine for the younger and more modern crowd. They tend to vary patterns inside from 60-90 equally spaced between small, medium, and large patterns. Unlike many other magazines, they tend to advertise using actual content, suggesting a site to get a frame, etc instead of full-page adverts.
If you like very modern and contemporary designs then that’s probably your best bet. They use lots of bright, bold colours, fun finishing ideas etc
They are also well known for the free stuff you get, allowing you to at least complete 2 patterns each issue with the freebies provided, although it should be noted the freebies aren’t the highest quality. Its by far the cheapest magazine on offer at the moment, and there are no high fees to pay for postage, especially so with the digital versions.
One of the first things any cross stitcher gets is a frame, and as they develop their craft, they start looking at other options. We show the best frames out there, with detailed pros and cons so you can pick the right frame for your project, if you’re looking for a way to cross stitch faster or finish your project in a frame.
Embroidery hoops are probably the first types of frame any stitcher gets. They come in multiple sizes, they’re cheap, and they can be left in the hoop for as long as you like (even for framing). However, the very fact that you’re reading this post probably suggests you don’t want to stick with one. They’re a bit clunky, hard to hold, and can’t accommodate large stitches.
However, before we move on, there are loads of types of hoops that might help. Whilst most start with wooden hoops, that can be quite heavy, plastic ones are far lighter, and whilst not as strong, are much easier on the wrist.
✓ Cheap ✓ Can finish the piece in one ✓ Come in varying sizes ╳ Hard to hold ╳ Need to keep buying different sizes ╳ Cannot use for medium/large pieces
Basically a standard embroidery hoop, but instead of an internal wooden ring, they have a wire you slot in. They have a nice and easy install, however they don’t have as strong of a pull than the wooden kind. They also tend to come in a little more expensive too.
✓ Mostly cheap ✓ Super easy to set up ✓ Come in varying sizes ╳ Hard to hold ╳ Need to keep buying different sizes ╳ Cannot use for medium/large pieces
And so scroll frames were invented! Solving all the problems an embroidery hoop has (even if they cause some others) scroll frames are the go to frame type for anyone moving on from a hoop. They allow you to sew/tape/staple in your aida and you can stitch to your hearts content. There are a few draw backs though; they’re heavy, really heavy, however you can attach them onto holders so you don’t have to hold them. In addition they’re quite expensive, and due to having to sew in your projects, wear quite quick. You also need to loosen the frame when you’re not stitching to stop it pulling unevenly. And finally, you have to attach them to the frame, either by stitching them on, tape or stapling, which pulls at the edges of the aida and takes forever to set up.
✓ Come in hundreds of sizes ✓ Perfect for large/extra large pieces ╳ Heavy ╳ Quite expensive ╳ Cannot “hold” stitch
So if you read the above review, the main issue with scroll frames comes from the fact that you have to stitch them in. However with an easy clip frame you instead clip the aida in, solving all these problems. Sure, scroll frames, even easy clip are heavy, but they hold the aida tight when not stitching, they don’t wear, and they’re just as versatile. Most serious cross stitchers move onto an easy clip frame sooner or later, they’re the best long term investment.
As an update to my original post, you can now get plastic easy clip frames that are much lighter.
✓ Come in hundreds of sizes ✓ Perfect for large/extra large pieces ✓ Best long term price investment ╳ Heavy
Speaking of long term investments, bar frames are sold as exactly that. They’re sold in 4 to 6 inch bars which clip together to allow you to extend the size of your stitching area. It means that instead of having to buy progressively larger and larger frames, you can just add a few cheap bars. However, this does come with a few draw backs. Firstly, they’re not light, although still lighter than scroll frames (although the plastic ones are lighter). Secondly they’re really bad at holding large pieces, the plastic variety is even worse at this. Thirdly, you can’t hold your aida in one when not stitching, they warp the shape due to being square frames; which is a real problem baring in mind you have to staple your aida in.
✓ Much cheaper long term than other frames ╳ Quite heavy ╳ Cannot “hold” stitch ╳ Cannot use for very large pieces
This is a new type of frame, made to try and combine all the above frames into one super frame. I’ve tried them a few times, and whilst they do live up to a bit of the hype, I still find myself going back to a easy clip frame. They’re made up in a similar way to a bar frame, but made of a special interlocking rigid plastic so it holds large pieces better. In addition you then clip in spikes to the edges to hold the aida. You’re meant to wet the aida pull it across and it holds the aida perfectly, which does work VERY well, especially the tension it holds, however it requires at least 30 minutes of building, then getting your aida all wet before you can put it together, and then a further 4-8 hours to let your aida dry completely before you can use it. They also have a “Grip-n-Frame” product too, which allows for fantastic framing of finished pieces.
✓ Cheap ✓ Light ✓ Perfect for small/medium pieces ╳ Cannot “hold” stitch ╳ Can be uncomfortable to hold ╳ Takes hours to set up each time
Universal Craft Frame
Unlike the rest of the reviewed frames, this one you can create at home. Simply put, its a series of PVC pipes. You can buy kits to make your job slightly easier, however its adaptability is the real seller here. You can swap out lengths for shorter or longer pieces depending on what you’re stitching, and you can very easily put your project into the frame. They tend to loose their hold so you need to put them back in each time you stitch, however it takes seconds. They don’t pucker or flatten the area stitched areas, and they’re lightweight. The only one downside is as the projects get larger, it can get a little unwieldy.
✓ Cheap ✓ Light ✓ Perfect for small/medium pieces ╳ Cannot “hold” stitch ╳ Not suitable for larger projects
May the 4th be with you on this festively Star Wars themed round up!
To start us off, we have an awesome dark side composite image, making up Vader’s face out of Empire goodness. Frankly, this would be awesome if it was made in any medium, but to condense all that into cross stitch is truly brilliant.
Sometimes however simplicity wins. This storm trooper, utilizing a hoop and white aida to create most of the piece is genius!
No list of Star Wars would be complete without mentioning this epic Star Wars tapestry, that is a chronology of the first 6 films in the series. At 30 foot long, and frankly some of the best films ever created, its definitely going to give the epic Pokemon cross stitch a run for its money.
A cross stitch calculator is basically a requirement for all stitchers. Sure, if you wanted you could do the maths, but who has time? And who want’s to check it three times over to make sure its right? Neh, instead, pull out the calculator.
There are a few out there now, each doing slightly different things. We’re going to roundup all the best ones in one post, with their pros and cons.
This post has started for a simple reason; I wasn’t happy with the ones available. So I took all the best features from all of the below calculators and combined them into one. Which we (of course) belive is the best, but we’ve also got loads of support from reddit!
Yarntree’s calculator has previously held the title as the best due to its extra features. It allows you to select extra aida a the sides for framing and gives you both inches and centimeters, but it also simplifies this down by just asking it you want it or not, doing all the fancy maths in the background.
Fairly new to the cross stitch scene this little app is simple to use, and allows you to save the screenshot so you can refer back to it at any time you need!
You can download an iOS version and an Andorid version for free.
Barely known for anything else, needlework tips & tricks’ calculator has gained a lot of momentum due to it being more mobile compatible than the others mentioned (other than our own), however will a lot less options, tends to be a quick reference calculator to give an approximate, and not exact measurements.
There are frankly loads of video game cross stitches out there now, a large volume of which are mine… but the reason cross stitch got such a cult following back in 2010 was partly due to awesome work being shared on the likes of technabob. This amazing example by psi169 is one of my all time favorites.
Harry Potter will ALWAYS (see what I did there?) be a part of our hearts, but there is so much going on in the books and movies, how can you stitch all of them? Well this brilliant Potter inspired sampler by Etsy shop FeltLikeStitching is made particularly poignant by adding a little golden flair.
1 in 3 people have a tattoo. Hard to get away from now-a-days, but its rare to see a truly brilliant one. However, this rose cross stitch tattoo, whilst not my personal favorite, still goes to show there’s talent out there.
Whilst I did have a hand in the below pattern, thanks to my Star Trek Cross Stitch Book, the fact that the below sampler is so fantastic is the designer has merged multiple patterns into one, making a super stitch.
Game of Thrones hit the world my storm, and its clear we’ll get spin offs, but whilst the story is all about being the king or queen, everyone knows its all about owning the map. And now you can thanks to RandomlyGenerated’s Etsy store, featuring this brilliant map you can develop as the stories continue on.
This we missed one-off, or want to submit your own? Hit us up with an email or link!
Frankly, there are hundreds of cross stitch books out there. However which are the best books? That’s a little hard to answer on its own, but I’ve broken up the cross stitch world so you can find out which cross stitch books are best for you. Here we have the top 10 modern and contemporary cross stitch books.
1 – Subversive Cross Stitch
By Julie Jackson
Rude. Lude. But oh so funny. The cross stitch community wouldn’t be what it is today without subversive stitch, and this book only goes to prove that. A quick look at their website will probably give you more stitches to try, but it makes you understand the sub-culture so much better.
2 – Cross-stitch Super Collection
A fantastic book particularly for beginners, with hundreds of mini stitches to try, it won’t take long to see a pattern, start a stitch and finish. I have more than a slight feeling that this book got people into cross stitch.
3 – Game & Stitch
This is a little hard to find now, and its all in Japanese… However, the design of the book just oozes awesome. Makoto has also come about the stitches in a way unlike others I’ve seen, with outline only space ships from space invaders (worth it just for those). Its major drawback, however, is its lack of content. There are maybe only 30 stitches, and each is less than an inch.
And the language barrier doesn’t help to be honest…
4 – Star Wars
By Rhys Turton & John Lohman
Written by my very own hand the Star Wars cross stitch kit features loads of patterns for beginners and more advanced stitchers alike, but also offers parts so you can construct your own patterns! And it massively helps that its Star Wars…
5 – Stitch People
By Lizzy Dabczynski-Bean
I’ve never been one to stitch people, however one quick glance at this book and you can see just how easy it is. There are outfits, hairstyles, faces, and accessories in abundance so you can mix and match your subject with ease. To make it even better the style makes it easy for you to customise with your own work in a flash. The book is clear, and every page is a beauty to read.
6 – Supersize Stitches
By Jacqui Pearce
BIG STITCHES! The great thing about Jacqui’s book isn’t that the stitches are big, but are instead well thought through. Some use large aida, some use the negative space well, and others are plan and simple well designed.
7 – Storyland Cross Stitch
By What Delilah Did
What Delilah Did is a powerhouse in cross stitch. And no wonder her books are too. I like this one best for two reasons; firstly its cute, every stitch makes you want to say “awwwwww”. And secondly; its also a kit. Unlike other kits that come in a big box, each pattern has a page where the supplies are attached so you can pull off and do one at a time.
8 – Manga Cross-Stitch
By Helen McCarthy & Steve Kyte
2007 wasn’t a big year for cross stitch, it was before the rise of the contemporary scene as seen in our cross stitch history post, however I think a major part to its rise may have been this book. It comes with a questionable cross stitch pattern maker, and a set of instructions for panel ideas. What it doesn’t do is tell you what to stitch, but instead tells you styles you can emulate, and takes you on a journey to make your own patterns. A great book for beginners, and frankly, a great resource for comic book style stitches.
9 – Mega Mini Cross Stitch
The newest book from the author of “Cross-stitch Super Collection”, he attempts to pack more detail into ever smaller stitches. I picked up a copy the first day it was out, and the space stitches are frankly amazing.
10 – Twisted Stitches
By Phil Davison
My major concern with this book is the lack of finesse. Each stitch has unclean lines, and dead stitches. However that’s its charm. The stitches are horrific, and weird at the best of times, and it pulls no punches in being an adult book, however its one of the best selling cross stitch books out there.
Bonus – Push Stitchery
By Jamie Chalmers
OK, this isn’t specifically a cross stitch book, and its content of cross stitch is fairly low, however our mate at MrXStitch.com has been able to compile some of the best stitchers in the world. This is my go to place when I want a bit of out of the box stitching.