Stitck it to the man: Heavy Metal Cross Stitch

Skulls Cross Stitch by Kate Blandford (source: kateblandford.com)

Not quite your metallic threads, there are sections of the cross stitch world that like nothing other than heavy metal. I know I’m a massive fan, often politely listening to Maiden whilst sat at my desk in my suit; sticking it to the man. Well, these heavy metal cross stitches do exactly that too!

First up is Kate Blandford’s awesome metal skulls, some of which glow in the dark. You can even pick one up from her Etsy store.

Skulls Cross Stitch by Kate Blandford (source: kateblandford.com)
Skulls Cross Stitch by Kate Blandford (source: kateblandford.com)

Kate is actually a massive heavy metal cross stitch fan, as proven by her slayer series:

Slayer Cross Stitch by Kate Blandford (source: kateblandford.com)
Slayer Cross Stitch by Kate Blandford (source: kateblandford.com)

Moving away from Kate for a moment, I’m not sure this one even needs an explanation…

Heavy Fing Metal Cross Stitch by naughty-little-stitch (source: Etsy.com)
Heavy Fing Metal Cross Stitch by naughty-little-stitch (source: Etsy.com)

Finally, another from Kate with this kick ass Beastie Boys free cross stitch pattern.

Fight for Your Right to Party Cross Stitch by Kate Blandford (source: kateblandford.com)
Fight for Your Right to Party Cross Stitch by Kate Blandford (source: kateblandford.com)

Harry Potter And The Curse Of The Brilliant Cross Stitch

Harry Potter Coat of Arms Cross Stitch by grumble-king2 (source: deviantart.com)

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is out, and what better way to bring in the Potter goodness, than with a roundup of some of the best Harry Potter cross stitches!

At the top of the class we have this killer take on a traditional sampler, where all the sample stitches are Potter icons, with the golden snitch standing proud.

Harry Potter Sampler Cross Stitch by Christine, pattern by FeltLikeStitching (source: bookishlyboisterous.blogspot.com)
Harry Potter Sampler Cross Stitch by Christine, pattern by FeltLikeStitching (source: bookishlyboisterous.blogspot.com)

On the matter on snitches, this 99 problems satirical stitch is a fantastic way to use typography with imagery.

99 problems but a snitch aint one Harry Potter cross stitch (source: pinterest)
99 problems but a snitch aint one Harry Potter cross stitch (source: pinterest)

He-who-must-not-be-named is back again, with the dark mark. This fantastic example includes a sweet how to guide.

Voldemort's Dark Mark Harry Potter Cross Stitch by CraftyGamerUK (source: Etsy)
Voldemort’s Dark Mark Harry Potter Cross Stitch by CraftyGamerUK (source: Etsy)

One of my personal favorite parts of the series, and wish I had my own at the time, and this cross stitch really brings it to life without over working it.

Mischief Managed Harry Potter Cross Stitch by DarlingVioletStitch (source: etsy)
Mischief Managed Harry Potter Cross Stitch by DarlingVioletStitch (source: etsy)

Always…

Harry Potter Always Cross Stitch (source: Etsy)
Harry Potter Always Cross Stitch (source: Etsy)

With a heavy heart I bring back bad memories of Dobby. However when Dobby was still with us, he had some fantastic moments; just like…

Dobby the House Elf Harry Potter Cross Stitch (source: google images)
Dobby the House Elf Harry Potter Cross Stitch (source: google images)

This epic Harry Potter coat of arms cross stitch has been attempted by a lot of people, so many no one really knows where the pattern came from, however this example, with some truly fantastic framing really makes it stand out as one of the greatest epics out there.

Harry Potter Coat of Arms Cross Stitch by grumble-king2 (source: deviantart.com)
Harry Potter Coat of Arms Cross Stitch by grumble-king2 (source: deviantart.com)

Finally, we have the super clever glow in the dark Lumos spell.

5 Cross Stitch Tattoos You’ll Die For

Pokemon Squirtle Squad Cross Stitch Tattoo (source: instagram.com)

Cross Stitch tattoos have exploded in the last few years, and no self-respecting cross stitch geek would be without one. So pull up your chair, and get some inspiration from these epic stitches.

Squad Goal Squirtle Pokemon Tattoo

Not only does this have a Pokemon edge, but but mix of both cross stitch and non-cross stitch just make this an epic tattoo. Although I will say that it doesn’t follow a proper grid, so for shame on the cross stitcher who designed it!

Pokemon Squirtle Squad Cross Stitch Tattoo (source: instagram.com)
Pokemon Squirtle Squad Cross Stitch Tattoo (source: instagram.com)

Storm Trooper Helmet

This came out around the time of the newest Star Wars film, and not only is it a geeky indulgence, but the cross stitching is so NEAT.

Storm Trooper Star Wars Cross Stitch Tattoo by Eva Krbdk (source: pinterest.com)
Storm Trooper Star Wars Cross Stitch Tattoo by Eva Krbdk (source: pinterest.com)

Two Color Sailor Tattoo

So much is right about these tattoos. Firstly they’re based on traditional sailor tattoos, but with a quirky twist. Then they have non-cross stitched elements. Then they have only 2 colours. THEN they have a funky boarder that makes them look ever so slightly 3D when wearing proper glasses. Just wow.

Traditional Cross Stitch Tattoos by Mariette (source: pinterest.com)
Traditional Cross Stitch Tattoos by Mariette (source: pinterest.com)

Cross Stitch Sampler Tattoo Sleeve

There is devotion to a cross stitch sampler, and then there is the devotion of Anich Andrew’s tattoos. Known for his bold and geometric designs, this sleeve is epic.

Cross Stitch Sampler Tattoo Sleave by Anich Andrew (source: instagram)
Cross Stitch Sampler Tattoo Sleave by Anich Andrew (source: instagram)

Rose Shoulder Tattoo

The one thing that REALLY makes this work? The needle. Just that little bit extra sets the whole piece off.

Cross Stitch Shoulder Rose Tattoo by Tattoodo (source: pinterest.com)
Cross Stitch Shoulder Rose Tattoo by Tattoodo (source: pinterest.com)

Think there’s one we missed? Give us a comment!

The Best Pokemon Cross Stitch

Pokemon Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Pokemon!

My favorite thing to cross stitch is Pokemon and for good reason. Not only is it one of the best-loved franchises out there, but there’s so much to choose to stitch, and so many in-jokes!
And all the sprites are the perfect size to stitch (unless you do all of them at once)…

To Be The Very Best Pokemon Tattoo

Pokemon Tattoo Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Pokemon Tattoo Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

The best like no one ever was! One day I will get this tattooed on me. You know… somewhere I can hide it so no one over the age of 30 can see it… 😛

Epic Pokemon

Epic Pokemon Cross Stitch by Eponases (source: eponases.com)
Epic Pokemon Cross Stitch by Eponases (source: eponases.com)

Well that was obvious wasn’t it? One of the best Pokemon stitches of all time, has to be the largest one known. Whilst the above picture is great at showing its size, you don’t really get a grasp of it until you see this awesome video below:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUQnogfeNC8&w=560&h=315]

Pika Pile

Pikachu Pile Cross Stitch by riotpatch (source: riotpatch.blogspot.com)
Pikachu Pile Cross Stitch by riotpatch (source: riotpatch.blogspot.com)

How cute is this!?! All credit to HardcodeEskimoKisses who created the pattern, although the above is stitched by StitchPlease. I especially love balloon Pika’s expression.

Pokemon Home Sweet Home

Pokemon Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Pokemon Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

I just made this pattern available to download for free, however its been recreated by many others in slightly different styles. All Pokemon games start in your home sweet home, and this pattern only goes to glorify that!

Pokemon Badges

Pokemon Kanto Badges Cross Stitch by stitchplease (source: spritestitch.com)
Pokemon Kanto Badges Cross Stitch by stitchplease (source: spritestitch.com)

There’s only one way to be a pokemon master and that’s to collect all the badges. The above set are scaled correctly to the first season, using red/blue sprites.

Pokemon Circle

Pokemon Cross Stitch by 42kayla (source: twitter.com)
Pokemon Cross Stitch (source: twitter.com)

Another Pokemon stitch worth the epic tag, this circle uses recolored sprites, arranged in a circle, forming all 151 original pokemon, made from an official Pokemon image. You can download this epic Pokemon cross stitch pattern for free!

Ketchup Pikachu

Pikachu Ketchup Cross Stitch by PiDesign (source: Etsy.com)
Pikachu Ketchup Cross Stitch by PiDesign (source: Etsy.com)

I LOVE THIS IMAGE! One of the best scenes from the original pokemon series when they have no food, but Pikachu is hungry. Its also a great weekend project, so you might want to give it a try.

Hardest Decision

3D Pokemon Choice Quote Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
3D Pokemon Choice Quote Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

There are many pokemon quotes; such as “are you a boy or girl?”, but this one is basically a meme in a cross stitch.

Pokemon Baubles

Christmas Pokemon Bauble Cross Stitches by Lord Libidan
Christmas Pokemon Bauble Cross Stitches by Lord Libidan

These were made as a request over on the SpriteStitch forums, and are pride of place on my xmas tree every year!

3D Handheld Pokedex

3D Pokedex Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
3D Pokedex Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

I know… another one of mine, but in fairness, everywhere I go on shows, everyone always asks if I’ve got it with me…

Top 10 Video Game Cross Stitch

Game of Thrones Pokemon Cross Stitch by Beki710 (source: mrxstitch.com)

Video game cross stitch is my thing (along with geeky cross stitch), however there are a lot of examples of fantastic art out there, so here are my top 10:

1 – Mario Power Ups

Mario Power Ups Cross Stitch by Psi169 (source: spritestitch.com)
Mario Power Ups Cross Stitch by Psi169 (source: spritestitch.com)

One of the first ever ‘epic’ video game cross stitch patterns made by psi169 but stitched by many of the years. Its a massive 1.5m by 1m and full of awesome mario goodness.

2 – Legend of Zelda Map

Legend Of Zelda Map Cross Stitch by tibtibs (source: spritestitch.com)
Legend Of Zelda Map Cross Stitch by tibtibs (source: spritestitch.com)

The epic stitches don’t end there, and as time has gone on Zelda caught up fast with Mario on the trend front. This amazing piece was the first full Legend of Zelda cross stitch map to be completed.

3 – Mario Level

Mario Level Cross Stitch by sgoheen06 (source: deviantart.com)
Mario Level Cross Stitch by sgoheen06 (source: deviantart.com)

Just look how long this is! Unrestrained from common frame sizes a whole level is stitched in this mario piece. Click to see just how detailed it is. And nice use of a sky blue aida…

4 – Home Sweet Home

Pokemon Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Pokemon Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

There are literally hundreds of home sweet home patterns, including the free pokemon home sweet home pattern we gave away, however they have become so synonymous with the cross stitch community, that its inclusion within the video game sub-culture was inevitable.

5 – Pokemon Battle Screenshot

Pokemon Fight Cross Stitch by zomb13unicorns (source: spritestitch.com)
Pokemon Fight Cross Stitch by zomb13unicorns (source: spritestitch.com)

Simple in its outset of a pokemon battle screen, however infinitely more complicated once you realise the small factors such as the high level pikachu is meant to represent Ash’s from the anime. Not only has it been well received by the whole stitching community, but its even sparked spin offs like the Game of Thrones one below.
Game of Thrones Pokemon Cross Stitch by Beki710 (source: mrxstitch.com)
Game of Thrones Pokemon Cross Stitch by Beki710 (source: mrxstitch.com)

6 – Retro Trio Sampler

Retro Video Game Trio Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Retro Video Game Trio Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

This piece was made my myself, so I do have a bias, however its the most requested pattern on reddit cross stitch page, so is deserving of a place in the top ten. And even better I’ve made the retro gaming cross stitch pattern a free download!

7 – Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger Cross Stitch by xstitchpixel (source: reddit.com)
Chrono Trigger Cross Stitch by xstitchpixel (source: reddit.com)

This is simply stunning. The tone of the colors shows real skill, but its completely engrossing, using one of the most iconic images from the chrono trigger game.

8 – Day Of The Tentacle

Day Of the Tenticle Cross Stitch by Stephanie Min (source: crossstitchtycoon.blogspot.com)
Day Of the Tenticle Cross Stitch by Stephanie Min (source: crossstitchtycoon.blogspot.com)

The greatest thing about this competition is the fantastic stance of the tenticle. I know its direct from the game, but they’ve taken a vector image and transfered it to a small pixel image without loosing any of the key details.

9 – Lara Croft

Lara Croft Cross Stitch by Becky Schaefer (source: mrxstitch.com)
Lara Croft Cross Stitch by Becky Schaefer (source: mrxstitch.com)

A regular, quite boring cross stitch completely changed by adding in Lara Croft (a very cross stitch unfriendly character) into the mix. It’s not Becky Schaefer’s only piece, but this was his first in this style, and it really works…

10 – Hakuen Street Fighter

Street Fighter Cross Stitch by Celes_Lionheart (source: spritestitch.com)
Street Fighter Cross Stitch by Celes_Lionheart (source: spritestitch.com)

HADUKEN! Synonomus within the video game community, and has been attempted many times with its well known code, however the thing that really brings this piece to life is the awesome positioning of the characters and lack of text, but its still obvious what it is. Very well done.

The Best Geeky Cross Stitch

Lord Of The Rings Mines of Moria Cross Stitch by Jamie Sesslin (source: pinterest.com)

Cross stitch is inherently geeky, however with more and more people releasing their inner geek; we’ve had some epic cross stitches.

Star Trek Sampler

Star Trek Sampler Cross Stitch by samapictures (source: samapictures.com)
Star Trek Sampler Cross Stitch by samapictures (source: samapictures.com)

Star Trek has long been in the realm of geeks, but with recent movies its become more and more popular, however its still firmly geeky. This sampler shows everything geeky about the series, with all its cross stitch glory!
This pattern actully came from the Star Trek Cross Stitch book myself and John Lohman put together:
Star Trek Cross Stitch Book Cover by John Lohman and Lord Libidan
Star Trek Cross Stitch Book Cover by John Lohman and Lord Libidan

Game Of Thrones Pokemon Mashup

Game of Thrones Pokemon Cross Stitch by Beki710 (source: mrxstitch.com)
Game of Thrones Pokemon Cross Stitch by Beki710 (source: mrxstitch.com)

Game of Thrones brought geek to the every day with the awesome books and TV series, however back when it was just into its first series this amazing piece was made. Sure, it doesn’t subscribe to the R+L=J theory, but its great use of a pre-existing Pokemon set makes it geeky in the extreme.

Harry Potter Crests

Harry Potter Crest Pillows Cross Stitch by Carlydx-x (source: Instructables.com)
Harry Potter Crest Pillows Cross Stitch by Carlydx-x (source: Instructables.com)

The Potter books and movies are great, but their attention to detail is what makes them really stand out. The production team even managed to create perfect house crests, which were quickly picked up, pixelized, and cross stitched. However, their HUGE size stopped people in their tracks, but making 4 of the things and then making pillows; there must have been magic involved.

Epic Pokemon

Epic Pokemon Cross Stitch by Eponases (source: eponases.com)
Epic Pokemon Cross Stitch by Eponases (source: eponases.com)

I’ve mentioned Pokemon above, and I use it a lot in my work, but the sheer size of this piece is mind blowing. The pattern was made over on the SpriteStitch forums, it’s been started (and even finished) a dozen times, but the image above was the first, and gives a great idea of its huge 4.5 foot size.

Star Wars Tapestry

Star Wars Coruscant Tapestry by Aled LewisStar Wars Coruscant Tapestry by Aled Lewis (source: boingboing.net)
Star Wars Coruscant Tapestry by Aled Lewis (source: boingboing.net)

Talking huge; hows a 9 foot long cross stitch of the entire original Star Wars trilogy? OK, its not actually a tapestry as its purely cross stitch, but damn its cool.

Glow In The Dark Spiderman

Spiderman Glow In The Dark Cross Stitch by stitchFIGHT (source: mrxstitch.com)
Spiderman Glow In The Dark Cross Stitch by stitchFIGHT (source: mrxstitch.com)

This Spiderman stitch deserves a place on this list anyway, however with its clever use of glow in the dark thread it really pops.

Portal 2 Lemon Rant

Portal 2 Lemon Rant Cross Stitch by benwermers (source: spritestitch.com)
Portal 2 Lemon Rant Cross Stitch by benwermers (source: spritestitch.com)

DEMAND TO SEE LIFE’S MANAGER!
This just makes me itch to play Portal 2 again, one of my all-time favorite games EVER.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who Tardis Cross Stitch by elfstitch (source: Buzzfeed)
Doctor Who Tardis Cross Stitch by elfstitch (source: Buzzfeed)

Ooh-wee-ooh…
Just looking at this makes me hum the theme tune. Doctor Who, the geekiest of 70s TV, is still loving strong today with awesome stitches like this.

Ohm Sweet Ohm

Ohm Sweet Ohm Cross Stitch by Adafruit (source: adafruit.com)
Ohm Sweet Ohm Cross Stitch by Adafruit (source: adafruit.com)

Home sweet home sampler + pun + electronics + cross stitch = the best geek inspired cross stitch ever!
I mean; this is just so geeky its hilarious. And damn that’s a good pun.

Lord Of The Rings Gateway

Lord Of The Rings Mines of Moria Cross Stitch by Jamie Sesslin (source: pinterest.com)
Lord Of The Rings Mines of Moria Cross Stitch by Jamie Sesslin (source: pinterest.com)

You don’t need to say anything about this. Its just pure amazing. Not only that, but this stitch came out before the movies. Very very impressive.

Adventure Time’s Everything Burrito

Adventure Time Everything Burrito Cross Stitch by LadyBeta (source: reddit)
Adventure Time Everything Burrito Cross Stitch by LadyBeta (source: reddit)

I admit, I’ve watched all of Adventure Time, and I’m still not sure if its a kids program or not… But its my guilty pleasure, the thing I hide from friends… It’s so reminiscent of old school geek is great. And so is the everything burrito…

Space Invader School

Space Invader School Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Space Invader School Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

No geeky cross stitch list is complete without a smashing of retro gaming, and my Space Invader School cross stitch is a perfect example of that geekiness.

WARNING – RUDE WORDS

Alien Cross Stitch

Alien Cross Stitch by ScarlettStitches (source: Etsy.com)
Alien Cross Stitch by ScarlettStitches (source: Etsy.com)

I don’t like to post rude stitches on this site, but the cult classic Alien has to be on the list. It’s summed up the tone of the film perfectly.

What’s the best cross stitch pattern software?

PCStitch Cross Stitch Software (source: PCStitch.com)

I often get asked “What’s the best cross stitch pattern software?” , and it shouldn’t surprise you that there are lots of options. This post details all cross stitch programs on PC, Mac, Online and iPad with online polls and feefo review scores. Updated September 2020.

Jump to PC
Jump to PC (Free)
Jump to Online
Jump to Mac
Jump to iPad & iPhone
Jump to Android
Jump to Linux
Jump to Unsupported Replacements

Best PC cross stitch pattern software:

WinStitch ($48 ($35 with discount)) – 10/10

Based on 3921 reviews
Use this link ($) or this link (£) to save yourself $5 when you buy!

 

WinStitch, and its Mac-based brother MacStitch, has a lot going for them. With a massive 30 thread types and great ease of use, it’s a fantastic competitor. However, it’s not been widely picked up due to its fairly young age (5 years), so it does not have as much following as PC Stitch. Also, the yearly upgrades are chargeable (although not required). Also, you can move the pattern from MacStitch to WinStitch with ease.
It can also open a lot of PCStitch files (not all) which makes it the most user-friendly of all software programs.

Demo: Yes
Threads: 30 brands
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly


PC Stitch ($50 ($20 with discount)) – 9/10

Based on 3283 reviews
You should also use the code “PCS11UPG” to save $30 when you buy!

 

PC Stitch is a full program with all the trimmings. Its base ease of use is great, however, it’s real advantages lie in better color picking (but I would still cast an eye over them to make sure), and 2000 pre-programmed patterns. It does have its negative though, as PC Stitch uses its own unique pattern files that can’t be opened without using PC Stitch’s separate pattern viewer. However, recently many competitors have unofficially included the ability to open, view and edit PC Stitch files.

Threads: DMC, Anchor, others
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly; additional cost


KG Chart ($35) – 7/10

Based on 2349 reviews

KG Chart has a fantastic set of stitches, incredible ease of use, and a lot of regular, and worthwhile updates. It’s been created by a non-stitcher, but their understanding of our needs is great. There are also forums and an email for support and issues. It’s the second most used program out there, and for £24 is a steal. There are however two things to note; firstly the colors can sometimes be a little red-based so require manual picking. The second issue is its a little buggy; it used to be our best pick, but as PCstitch started to improve, KG Chart just couldn’t keep up. Finally, a whole load of new apps don’t support KGchart patterns, meaning they aren’t as useful.

Threads: DMC & Cosmo
Print to PDF: No, you can download another (free) program called CutePDF to do this
Updates: Quarterly


BlendThreads (FREE) – 7/10

Based on 542 reviews

Built off the back of Ryijy, this pattern creator has come a long way. Initially, it’s much like any other pattern creator, with some advanced features in the printing sections. However, where BlendThreads stands out is the greatest two additions I think we’ve ever looked at. Firstly the thread selector program allows you to either pick a close fit thread based on what stock you have, but also allows for the blending of threads to get super accurate colors (I LOVE this). Secondly is its unique backstitch portion, which allows you to ‘trace’ the image with a transparency, meaning you can get super clean back stitches. However, it’s untested on Windows 8/10.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Monthly


Istitch 2 ($30) – 7/10

Based on 42 reviews

Jane Greenoff’s latest pattern maker. Unlike the previous versions that were overly complicated for new users, the new Istitch has been built with simplicity in mind. Also, there are video guides (if you purchase the DVD version) to help new designers. As a result, it’s the easiest to get into at first, however finding more advanced features is a little difficult, meaning a serious designer might consider another program.
You can either buy the DVD version with guide videos, or the download without videos for the same price. The main issue, however, is that there are no updates to the program, and based on Istitch2 being a paid update of the previous version, I’d imagine you’d have to buy a new one every time Windows updates…

Threads: DMC & Anchor
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Every 2 years; additional cost


DP Software Cross Stitch Pro Platinum ($89) – 4/10

Based on 57 reviews

This is very similar to the old Jane Greenoff pattern making software, however, it’s updated yearly, has a limited selection, is complicated, and is VERY expensive considering its closest (and arguably a lot better) alternative is a quarter of the cost.

Threads: 20 different brands
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly, additional cost


StitchCraft ($155 to $2595) – 4/10

Based on 227 reviews

Recently thought to be dead, StitchCraft has come back on the scene with MUCH higher prices and no improvements. It is a good program, with a nice set of tools on the advanced versions, but they ramp the price up to crazy levels; no one is willing to pay $2595 for a cross stitch program that not only isn’t the world standard but isn’t that relevant anymore.

Threads: 33 different brands
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Unknown


STOIK Stitch Creator ($51) – 4/10

Based on 121 reviews

You don’t hear much about STOIK programs, and I’ve never understood why. They do a great job and are reasonably priced. They are a larger team, so updates are regular, and there is good support. The only reason it doesn’t come higher on my list is its lack of backing from the community. If you have an issue, many would suggest you change to KG Chart or PC Stitch, where there is a wealth of help and guides from the stitching community.

Threads: DMC, Anchor & Maderia
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly


EasyGrapher Home ($99 to $299) – 4/10

Based on 27 reviews

A pretty good pattern creator in principle EasyGrapher is a program being sold and updated since 1988, however, sadly the last update was in 2009. They are still taking orders, and it’s not a bad piece of software, but there are much better ones out there.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Not since 2009


Stitch Art Easy! (FREE) – 4/10

Based on 242 reviews

The only free fully fledged program on the list. Well, it’s free, and with that comes limited use. However, if you’re looking to spend as little as possible, Stitch Art Easy! will do the job. It’s got everything you might need and helps you get your head around making patterns. If you want a little more, you have the opportunity to purchase one of the other programs, so it’s a great starter program. If you do upgrade, WinStitch or MacStitch is most similar in design.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: No schedule


Stitch Painter Gold ($199) – 3/10

Based on 49 reviews

Stitch Painter Gold does a lot and is a nice alternative, but after 3 months of using it, I still can’t understand why the price is so high. It’s complicated to use comparatively and doesn’t have enough image editing capabilities. The biggest issue however is you have to use a USB stick supplied by them to use the program on your computer; meaning you have to have it plugged in constantly.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly


Ryijy Stitch Designer (FREE) – 3/10

Based on 23 reviews

The first fan built pattern making software, Ryijy is named after a Finnish rug, which the program can also do. It’s not been updated in a very long time, and only works with DMC threads, however, the base code is the starting point of almost 90% of the other cross stitch pattern generators out there.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Not since 2003


ILSoft Stitch R-XP ($99) – 2/10

Based on 26 reviews

ILSoft used to be a major player in cross stitch generation programs, however in early 2008 they sold out to a larger owner, and since then the program has been all but ignored. It’s still an OK program, however, the lack of quality updates makes it a little lackluster compared to alternatives. Due to the lack of updates and no support, I would ALWAYS go for something that’s updated regularly, like PCStitch or WinStitch.

Threads: DMC & Anchor
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Last updated 2009


StitchArtEasy ($15) – 2/10

Based on 9 reviews

A fairly well thought out program, but lacking in modern features that other software has, Stitch Art Easy failed in our reviews due to its cost (considering its so basic), but also due to its apparent nature to confetti everything.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Monthly


Crosti (FREE) – 2/10

Based on 12 reviews

A pretty good program in principle, and whilst it can output in loads of files, accepts pretty much any image file going and has loads of thread options, it just lacks substance.

Threads: DMC, Anchor, Gamma, J&P coats, Madeira, Paterna, Cosmo & Silk Mori
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: 3 years ago


Scheme Maker (FREE) – 1/10

Based on 4 reviews

A basic cross stitch pattern generator that simply isn’t up to scratch. Many online generators are far superior and make much better results.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Sporadic, but recent


Cstitch (FREE) – 0/10

Based on 7 reviews

All of the other reviews on this page are developed programs, officially released into the world. Cstitch, however, is slightly different. It’s open source. This means that no one owns the program. If you want something added to it, code it and add it yourself. Due to this, and its complicated nature to install (you have to compile it yourself) its scored the worst score possible in our reviews.

Threads: 15 Brands
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: None; open source




Best FREE PC cross stitch pattern software:

BlendThreads (FREE) – 8/10

Based on 542 reviews

Built off the back of Ryijy, this pattern creator has come a long way. Initially, it’s much like any other pattern creator, with some advanced features in the printing sections. However, where BlendThreads stands out is the greatest two additions I think we’ve ever looked at. Firstly the thread selector program allows you to either pick a close fit thread based on what stock you have, but also allows for the blending of threads to get super accurate colors (I LOVE this). Secondly is its unique backstitch portion, which allows you to ‘trace’ the image with a transparency, meaning you can get super clean back stitches. However, it’s untested on Windows 8/10.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Monthly


Stitch Art Easy! (FREE) – 4/10

Based on 242 reviews

The only free fully fledged program on the list. Well, it’s free, and with that comes limited use. However, if you’re looking to spend as little as possible, Stitch Art Easy! will do the job. It’s got everything you might need and helps you get your head around making patterns. If you want a little more, you have the opportunity to purchase one of the other programs, so it’s a great starter program. If you do upgrade, WinStitch or MacStitch is most similar in design.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: No schedule


Ryijy Stitch Designer (FREE) – 3/10

Based on 23 reviews

The first fan built pattern making software, Ryijy is named after a Finnish rug, which the program can also do. It’s not been updated in a very long time, and only works with DMC threads, however, the base code is the starting point of almost 90% of the other cross stitch pattern generators out there.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Not since 2003


Cstitch (FREE) – 1/10

Based on 7 reviews

All of the other reviews on this page are developed programs, officially released into the world. Cstitch, however, is slightly different. It’s open source. This means that no one owns the program. If you want something added to it, code it and add it yourself. Due to this, and its complicated nature to install (you have to compile it yourself) its scored the worst score possible in our reviews.

Threads: 15 Brands
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: None; open source


Best ONLINE cross stitch pattern software:

stitchfiddle.com (FREE) – 10/10

Based on 2341 reviews

A super easy to use pattern generator with some great features. This is all I need to say about this app, other than its free. It has DMC and Anchor threads and a larger 2000×2000 stitching area. Our first choice for patterns online.

Threads: DMC & Anchor
Print to PDF: Yes


Thread-Bare ($10 per pattern) – 10/10

Based on 641 reviews

Whilst Thread-are isn’t our first choice online pattern creator, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some great abilities. It’s far superior to any other online pattern creator, thanks to its well-built interface and great toolset. The only two downsides are that it can be a bit daunting to use at first, especially when trying to get the best out of the generator. And its biggest issue, it that $10 price point, per pattern, which if you’re making a pattern a month, can cost more than the most expensive options.

Threads: DMC & Riolis
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Monthly


patterncreator.com ($7.50) – 7.5/10

Based on 654 reviews

Patterncreator.com is a great online option. It has everything you need but limited to a maximum of 250×250 stitching area, which considering the price point is a MAJOR issue. Too expensive, and with other better alternatives out there, its a surprise this cross stitch generator is still in use.

Threads: DMC, Anchor & Venus
Print to PDF: Yes


Moulinella ($7.99 per year) – 6.5/10

Based on 32 reviews

As online pattern creator go, Moulinella is really fast. This is backed up by a fairly reasonable pattern creation too. What makes it particularly good is that you can manually go in and pick new colors if they don’t quite match up to what you want; something not seen in any other online creator. But sadly, there are downsides. Most notable of these is the yearly paid subscription model. At $7.99 it’s not overly expensive, but a shame they went for this payment model. In addition, you’re limited to 79 colors maximum, which if you’re converting a photo can be limiting.

Threads: DMC, Anchor, Madeira & Gamma
Print to PDF: Yes


patternsforyou.com (FREE) – 6.5/10

Based on 1129 reviews

All online pattern makers have one big problem: limitations. With a large 300×300 stitching area, quite good image editing and color selection, patternsforyou should be better, but its just not that great at making patterns.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


myphotostitch.com (FREE) – 6/10

Based on 394 reviews

With a limited 150×120 stitch area there are problems with myphotostitch, but the real beauty of the cross stitch generator is the ease of use. Select your image, and it does it all for you. The only options you get are changing the size (it defaults to maximum), but it’s the easiest of all pattern makers around. However, that said, I would suggest using the advanced version (also free), which gives a few more options. It still has that pesky size limitation, but so long as you’re doing something very small, it’s OK.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


FreePatternWizard (FREE) – 6/10

Based on 26 reviews

Photo2CrossStitch, or FreePatternWizard as it’s now known has developed a lot since it first came onto our list. It started as frankly worthless, but as time went on, its feature set evolved, and its price point was removed totally. It’s now a great program. To see the advanced features you need to become a member (it’s also free), but its a great program all the same.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


pixel-stitch.net (FREE) – 6/10

Based on 125 reviews

A simple image upload and export pattern creator, pixel-stitch is a great tool, with very good color picking and no size limits. The only issue is it doesn’t allow for image editing, or image creation, giving it a slightly lower score than it may otherwise deserve.

Threads: DMC & Anchor
Print to PDF: Yes


StitchingJoy (FREE) – 6/10

Based on 17 reviews

You upload your image, set the colors and size, and it makes a pdf output of your pattern; it is that simple. The only downsides are that the pattern maker struggles with dithering sometimes, and only creates symbol patterns; which can get complicated if you have a lot of colors.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


stitchyourphoto.com ($5 per pattern) – 6/10

Based on 14 reviews

A nice editor, with quite a few options, however weirdly has a size selection only in inches. Due to the low cost of the per pattern fee, it ranks better than other more advanced online pattern makers, but its simple functions and poor patterns make it a worry to use sometimes.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


The Folklore Company ($9/FREE per pattern) – 6/10

Based on 21 reviews

You don’t hear much from this pattern creator, but unlike its competitors, it has another something; like DMC’s Snap & Stitch you can purchase the whole kit, thread, aida, and needles included. The only bad sides are a lack of color on their patterns and there are fixed sizes.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


DMC Snap & Stitch ($10/FREE per pattern) – 6/10

Based on 127 reviews

The new online photo converter from DMC lacks some of the finesse of other online converters, giving a questionable result, however, the unique feature of being able to buy all the threads for the pattern and then getting the pattern for free made it rate well with our testers.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


PictureCraftWork ($12 per pattern) – 6/10

Based on 13 reviews

Costly is the first thing I can say about PictureCraftWork. If its less than 1000 stitches, it’s free, but anything more and it’s very costly. It has the added benefit of quite an advanced pattern creation toolset, but color picking is a little off, and, the biggest turn off for our testers; the patterns don’t come with gridlines, so you have to manually count.

Threads: DMC, Anchor & Madeira
Print to PDF: Yes


craftdesignonline (FREE) – 5/10

Based on 53 reviews

As a craft pattern app maker, you would expect craftdesignonline to be quite good, and it is, however its make for the younger market, with very limited image editing and a 100×100 stitch area. It does have a cool feature of sharing your patterns though!

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


Pic2Pat (FREE) – 5/10

Based on 218 reviews

Pic2Pat used to be used so much. It was the only real option online for a long time, and the fact that it was free made it even better. But since then, it hasn’t improved. While other programs have advanced giving great outputs and super customizable patterns, Pic2Pat languishes in the past.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


StitchBoard (FREE) – 5/10

Based on 42 reviews

A simple program, with a few options you can play with, and 4 different thread brands. It has a few options that work in its favor, however, you cannot do any image editing. To score lower than most of the costly online pattern creates just goes to show that StitchBoard doesn’t rank well with our testers, and they would much prefer to be using other systems.

Threads: DMC, Anchor, Maderia & Red Heart
Print to PDF: Yes


Best MAC cross stitch pattern software:

MacStitch ($48 ($35 with discount)) – 10/10

Based on 3921 reviews
Use this link ($) or this link (£) to save yourself $5 when you buy!

 

This is the Mac version of WinStitch, our first place PC option. It’s the same great program but written from the ground up so it works perfectly on all Macs (something other apps struggle with). Also, the key feature is that if you own PCStitch, you can move the pattern between the two. It’s simple to use the program, it has loads of options and works super smoothly.

Demo: Yes
Threads: 30 brands
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly


stitchfiddle.com (FREE) – 10/10

Based on 2341 reviews

OK, I tricked you. Stitchfiddle is an online program, however, with a tonne of great features, it easily competes with paid software. With some of the prices of Mac software being through the roof (see below) being free helps StitchFiddle’s case. An easy interface, DMC & Anchor threads and a very large (2000×2000) stitching area.

Threads: DMC & Anchor
Print to PDF: Yes


DP Software Cross Stitch Pro Platinum ($130) – 4/10

Based on 57 reviews

This is very similar to the old Jane Greenoff pattern making software, however, it’s updated yearly, has a limited selection, is complicated, and is VERY expensive considering its closest (and arguably a lot better) alternative is a quarter of the cost.

Threads: 20 different brands
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly, additional cost


Stitch Painter Gold ($199) – 3/10

Based on 49 reviews

Stitch Painter Gold does a lot and is a nice alternative, but after 3 months of using it, I still can’t understand why the price is so high. It’s complicated to use comparatively and doesn’t have enough image editing capabilities. The biggest issue however is you have to use a USB stick supplied by them to use the program on your computer; meaning you have to have it plugged in constantly.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly


Crosti ($13) – 1/10

Based on 5 reviews

Better than the free Windows version, Crosti for Mac is just in need of a good update in feature set. It also struggles to work on newer Macs, despite a few updates.

Threads: DMC, Anchor, Gamma, J&P coats, Madeira, Paterna, Cosmo & Silk Mori
Print to PDF: Yes
Updates: Yearly


Best iPad & iPhone cross stitch pattern software:

Magic Needle (FREE) – 9/10

Based on 318 reviews

A new entry to the world of cross stitch generators, Magic Needle is effectively a ‘point and click’ pattern generator, however, its simplicity and user-friendly interface are what makes it so well-loved. As the only true free cross stitch generator for iPad and iPhone is worth a shot anyway and is a great entry point for any beginners.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: NO


StitchSketch ($8) – 8/10

Based on 274 reviews

StitchSketch is created by the maker of KG Chart and improves on many features KG Chart does not have. It’s a fantastic program, which works almost as well as any desktop program. The only downside, however, is the cost (but what’s £5 compared to the highest-priced £137?).

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


Cross Stitch Creator ($10) – 8/10

Based on 26 reviews

Cross Stitch Creator does a good job at converting images into pattern and has recently been updated to edit patterns after generation, but its real features are how it allows you to mark up the pattern as you go, the only pattern maker on the list that goes beyond just making patterns.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


Cross Stitch Camera ($4) – 3/10

Based on 41 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. It does not have the number of colors to pick, it doesn’t allow for post-editing, and it doesn’t produce a pdf, however, its color selections are very good. It’s a bit of a quirky app, and a little lacking in features.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: NO


Cross Stitch Saga ($11) – 2/10

Based on 24 reviews

Sadly, the Cross Stitch Saga for iOS isn’t the same as the android app. The android app is feature-packed, super useful and a frankly great addition to any cross stitcher’s arsenal. The iOS app is not. It has only a tiny amount of features, it doesn’t even support PDFs and its slightly lower price point doesn’t make up for that.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


Best ANDROID cross stitch pattern software:

Cross Stitch Saga ($13) – 10/10

Based on 1164 reviews

Its great feature set goes beyond just making a pattern, however, without a doubt, it’s the fullest, most feature-packed app going for mobile or android. Its new higher price point, however, means trying a cheaper alternative first might be the name of the game.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


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

Based on 176 reviews

A fantastic app, with fantastic reviews from anyone that uses it. It’s easily comparable to the likes of paid PC software, however, makes use of touch screen android devices to give really good usability. The only real negatives are that it doesn’t come with instructions or a tutorial, and isn’t updated as often as other apps (yet still once a quarter).
They also constantly add to the apps core features, so it will continue to develop and get better over the near future.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


xStitching (FREE) – 8/10

Based on 335 reviews

A great little app that allows you to create really consistently good patterns using a whole raft of thread brands, made all the sweeter as it’s free. In the past, they’ve not allowed PDF saving which has lowered the score but trust us that this app is definitely worth a shot.

Threads: DMC, Anchor, Sullivans, J&P Coats
Print to PDF: Yes


XStitch Designer ($1) – 7/10

Based on 225 reviews

For only a dollar it’s hard to say anything bad about this app, however using this app for the last 3 months, I know its pattern making ability is great. However, without the ability to print or transfer the patterns to PC it’s not a fantastic part of your pattern making arsenal. You can share it via integrated social media, however, you also have to have the app to access the file, and you can’t lock it down.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


Best LINUX cross stitch pattern software:

KXStitch (FREE) – 6/10

Based on 12 reviews

As the only Linux pattern program out there, KXStitch might be your only Linux choice; but that doesn’t make it a good program. It’s lacking in special stitches, more thread sets, and it’s a drain on CPU. However, its easy to use does help it out massively, which is why its score is higher than you’d expect.

Threads: DMC
Print to PDF: Yes


Unsupported Software Replacements:

Sew and So Cross Stitch Designer (PC)

REPLACEMENT: WinStitch ($48 ($35 with discount)) – 10/10
For cheaper than the old SewandSo product, you can upgrade to WinStitch, an easier to use, and all round better program.

 

HobbyWare Pattern Maker (PC)

REPLACEMENT: WinStitch ($48 ($35 with discount)) – 10/10
HobbyWare used to be a leader in the software field before WinStitch over took it, and still holds the crown today.

 

Jane Greenoff’s Cross Stitch Designer (PC)

REPLACEMENT: Istitch 2 ($30) – 7/10
Very similar to Jane’s previous design software, Istitch 2 is the next generation, and has a lot of improvements on the original.

 

Photoshop Swatches (PC)

REPLACEMENT: Ryijy Stitch Designer (FREE) – 4/10
The only usable free alternative, Ryijy is open source and works independantly from Photoshop, but with a very similar process.

 

MyriaCross (PC)

REPLACEMENT: WinStitch ($48 ($35 with discount)) – 10/10
MyriaCross gave some of its code to WinStitch, so they could replicate their features. As a result, its the best, and closes alternative

 

Easy Cross (PC)

REPLACEMENT: WinStitch ($48 ($35 with discount)) – 10/10
Slightly less easy to use, but a full software option

 

PixelCraft (ONLINE)

REPLACEMENT: stitchfiddle.com (FREE) – 10/10
A slightly improved version of PixelCraft

 

StitchCraft (MAC)

REPLACEMENT: MacStitch ($48 ($35 with discount)) – 10/10
A similar, but much more advanced program

 

Spriter (MAC)

REPLACEMENT: stitchfiddle.com (FREE) – 10/10
Just as simple to use, but without the need for installation. In addition has slightly better editing tools

 

Cross Stitch 2 Go HD (IPAD)

REPLACEMENT: StitchSketch ($8) – 8/10
A slight improvement on Cross Stitch 2 Go HD, with a higher price tag

 

X-Stitch (IPAD)

REPLACEMENT: StitchSketch ($8) – 8/10
A better app, but comes with a beefy price too

 

Cross Stitch Saga (IPAD/IPHONE)

REPLACEMENT: StitchSketch ($8) – 8/10
Following Cross Stitch Saga’s removal from the apple store, the best alternative is StitchSketch a paid alternative from the makers of KGchart.


I’ve also created a great infographic on which is the best cross stitch pattern software for easy selection. The android edition of Cross Stitch Saga is still available.