The Surprisingly Interesting History Of The Cross Stitch Needle

gold cross stitch needles (source: ebay)

What do chimpanzees, Leonardo Da Vinci, the goddess Shiva, and the first-ever printed advert have in common? Surprisingly, it’s the humble needle. So, pull up a chair and let me tell you how it’s all connected.

World Map showing the history of the needle
World Map showing the history of the needle

 
For a long time, it was suspected that needles were tied into the history of embroidery, however, long before we regarded art forms, we needed to clothe ourselves. Original estimates suggested that we threw on some fur and strode out into the world, however cave paintings from Aurignacia (modern-day South Europe) suggested that needles were made from bone and antler back in 28,000BC (Yes, that’s 30,000 years ago). It took them until 17,500BC to create something similar to an eye like modern needles, but with this came a change to a tapered point.
We’ve marked this at point (1) on our map, and is where our story begins.
 
HOLD UP! Not so fast. In August 2016, a yearly dig in the Denisova Cave, Siberia, Russia (1b) found a needle. At first glance, this looks like a standard needle, made of a bird bone, with an eye. But this needle actually predates not only Augrignacia but Humans themselves. Denisovans are closer in the bloodline to chimpanzees than to modern humans and offer a glimpse into a world 50,000 years ago when they were using needles very similar to ours.
We’re yet to see proof of the age of the needle, but we thank the Siberian Times for the story.
Worlds oldest needle (source: Wikipedia)
Worlds oldest needle (source: Wikipedia)

 
As homo-sapiens started to reach across the world, so did needles. Our next stop is in Armenia (2) where metalwork starts to take shape in 7000BC. Starting with copper and later bronze (one of the first bronze items in the Bronze age period) needles changed to the metal in 2500BC.
 
Not to be outdone however, Indian sword smiths cast amazing Khanda swords, the sword of Goddess Shiva, in iron (3). This miracle quickly starts to move to Europe in 1195BC.
&nsbp;
Moving closer to modern history, commercialism comes into play. In 500BC a drawing plate, how modern cross stitch needles are made, is developed (4).
The earliest known advert; a bronze printing plate for advertisement of needles, China (source: Wikipedia)
The earliest known advert; a bronze printing plate for advertisement of needles, China (source: Wikipedia)

To go along with this, in the Song Dynasty in China, a copper printing plate has been found to print posters in the form of a square sheet of paper with a rabbit logo with “Jinan Liu’s Fine Needle Shop” and “We buy high-quality steel rods and make fine-quality needles, to be ready for use at home in no time” written above and below. It’s considered the world’s earliest identified printed advertisement. (6)
 
Not one to be outdone, ever, Leonardo da Vinci designs a lapper for grinding needle points, and actually constructed it in 1496AD (7).
Lapper For Grinding Needle Points by Leonardo da Vinci (source: gettyimages)
Lapper For Grinding Needle Points by Leonardo da Vinci (source: gettyimages)

Finally, we end our journey with Germany, where, in Aachen 1615AD (8), the first steel needles are made.

The Best Biscornu In The East

Sashiko Biscournu in red (source: peacockandfig.com)

Something that I’ve never made is a biscornu. It’s basically a staple of a cross stitchers tool kit however, So I decided I just couldn’t wait any longer.
 
But it just isn’t that easy. So instead of following any old guide, I went to the best guide supplier on the internet; Peacock & Fig.

Sashiko Biscournu in red (source: peacockandfig.com)
Sashiko Biscournu in red (source: peacockandfig.com)

Together I’ve made a sashiko inspired pattern which she’s stitched up and made into a guide for you!
 

 
You can download the two patterns here:
Biscornu pattern side 1

Biscornu pattern side 2

Or you can direct download a black and white version

How to Propery Store Cross Stitch Needles

Tulip Sashiko Needles come in a glass vial (source: sewandquilt.co.uk)

So, there you are, happily stitching away, and BAM! Your needle breaks. Fine you think and you dive in your pack and pull out a slew of needles to find… They’ve opened and gone everywhere!
 
Recently I came up across quite a problem; how to store your needles better. Now there are a few needle storage methods out there, and a few I picked up from fellow stitchers after asking around, however, it was shocking just how many people had the same problem as me. So I put on my top hat and went to work!
 

The failing needle storage method

Needle storage in old CD cases (source: Craftster)
Needle storage in old CD cases (source: Craftster)
Let’s start with what you probably have set up. Packs upon packs of needles randomly thrown into your pack, causing massive headaches when you’re looking for a needle, and no way of actually tracking which needles you have. Yeh, this is no way to store anything, let alone needles. When I reached out I spoke to an old friend of mine who stored theirs in old CD cases, and whilst this is a genius use of old cases, it’s hardly helping.
 

Pebbles

John James Pebble needles (source: sewandso.com)
John James Pebble needles (source: sewandso.com)
“I use a pebble!” I hear you shout. Well, yes, pebbles are great, but let’s face it unless you only have a few needles (we all know that’s not the case), or a seriously massive stash of pebbles somewhere, these just don’t cut the mustard.
However, before you think they aren’t worth the money, I personally have a pebble in my travel kit. It’s perfect for only a few needles and keeps them safe from pricked fingers.
 

DMC Needle Organizer

DMC needle organiser (source: sewandso.co.uk)
DMC needle organiser (source: sewandso.co.uk)
Oh, the DMC needle organizer. When I first saw this a year ago I was SO pleased. It looked perfect. However, the reason I started writing this post, was due to the 10th time I’ve accidentally dropped open the lid. In addition, the needles constantly switch between segments, making storage of different sizes or types a serious pain.
I now loathe this thing. Now, I need a real solution.
 
 

THE SOLUTION?

File Storage

Needle storage in a5 paper files (source: twitter)
Needle storage in a5 paper files (source: twitter)
My initial thought was to go back to packets, but with a better storage method, and for about a month, I did just that. An A6 storage file actually works perfectly for needle cases, and with little tabs to label them, it makes sorting a breeze.
However all was not well. You really need to keep these suckers straight. Mine fell over a few times and the needle cases came tumbling out. Whilst that’s not a great issue, it became a pain to keep resorting all the time.
 
That’s when it hit me!
 

THE SOLUTION!

Tulip Sashiko Needles come in a glass vial (source: sewandquilt.co.uk)
Tulip Sashiko Needles come in a glass vial (source: sewandquilt.co.uk)

I was reading the most recent XStitch Mag and saw a page featuring fancy Tulip Sashiko Needles. And they came in a glass vial. Very fancy I thought, but shooting back to my pre-med days I realised doctors store used needles in plastic tubes. I reached out, and you know what? They don’t do it anymore. Something to do with health and safety. However, one plucking doctor friend of mine mentioned he’d seen some specifically for stitchers.
 

Needle Tubes

Needle storage tubes (source: alibaba.com)
Needle storage tubes (source: alibaba.com)
Honestly, I think these things might just be the best thing since sliced bread. Not only are they super cheap, seal like a dream, stack up without issue, come in various colors heads for easy identification, come with labels, AND they fit perfectly into that long slot on a thread storage box.
 
Although there is the more whimsical side of needle storage. How about needles in a high heeled shoe, courtesy of Peacock & Fig?
heel pin shoe (source: peacockandfig.com)
heel pin shoe (source: peacockandfig.com)

 
If you’re interested in tapestry needles, we’ve been featuring a great series including answering that annoying question Why are cross stitch needles given random size numbers?, and How are cross stitch needles made?. Of course, we also have awesome guides like finding the best size needle for your work.

Ever wondered how cross stitch needles are made?

gold cross stitch needles (source: ebay)

With each cross stitch project taking hours upon hours to complete, its easy to not think about that tiny needle in your hand, however, the life of an embroidery needle is a fascinating one. Not only were the very first made 30,000 years ago (not a typo, that’s thirty thousand years), but Leonardo da Vinci himself invented the machine to make embroidery needles. It would be silly of us not to have a blog about its awesome history, but for now, how about a video showing how modern cross stitch needles are made?
 

 
In the mood for more ‘how do they do it’ videos? Check out this ace one on how Kreinik makes embroidery thread.

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!

I’m published in the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit

Hello Kitty 12 super cute patterns cross stitch creations Book by Lord Libidan cover (source: amazon)

After the release of Mr X Stitch’s Guide to Cross Stitch and the XStitch magazine, both that I was part of, I have yet another publication coming out this year.
It might not be my normal style, but I was asked to with my good pal John Lohman to create a Hello Kitty book kit, which is being released in 4 languages!

hello kitty 12 super cute patterns cross stitch creations by Lord Libidan
Hello Kitty: 12 Super Cute Patterns Cross Stitch Creations cover

Crafting just got a whole lot cuter. Like Hello Kitty herself, the twelve patterns in this fun, accessible, cross-stitch kit are all simply adorable.
Cross Stitch Creations: Hello Kitty includes a fully illustrated book with step-by-step instructions and photographs of the finished projects, plus fun notes and details about the characters of Hello Kitty’s world.
A needle, embroidery floss, a six-inch hoop, and cloth for completing two projects come with the kit, so there’s no waiting to get started. With twelve sweet patterns inspired by the world of Hello Kitty and featuring all of her friends, adding Hello Kitty’s classic charm to clothing, pillowcases, onesies, and more has never been easier.

I’ve also been contacted about another 2 books since this, so be on the lookout for the Libidan name in your bookstore!
You can purchase a copy over on amazon for $13.
 
I’ve now been published quite a few times. Check me out in:
Fine Art Cross Stitch Kit
Emoji Cross Stitch Kit
Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit
Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting Book
Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit
Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book
CrossStitcher Magazine (twice)
CrossStitcher Designer Stitches Magazine
CrossStitchCrazy Magazine
& XStitch Magazine

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.

Little Mojo Cross Stitch Patterns

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

Before cross stitch really hit off in 2009 there was an undisputed king of cross stitch; Little Mojo. Sadly they’re no longer on the internet, however, their patterns remain scattered across many sites, and so this is the only full list of her awesome patterns.
Please credit LittleMojo if you use any.

These patterns are all free to use, just click the image and you’ll be redirected to where the pattern is.

Video Games (370)

– Final Fantasy (16)
Final Fantasy I Sprites
Black Mage
Final Fantasy II Sprites
Final Fantasy Tactics Sprites
Freya
Golem
Greiver
Ifrit
Palidor
Pheonix
Final Fantasy V Sprites
Final Fantasy VII Sprites
Chocobo
Cloud
Clouds Wolf
Shinra

 

– Kirby (2)
Kirby Super Stars Icons
Kirby Super Stars Sprites

 

– Pokemon (352)
Free Pokemon Patterns A-Z
– TMNT (1)
TMNT NES opening screen

 

– Zero Wing (1)
All Your Base Belong To Us

 

TV/Film (31)

– Harry Potter (31)
Golden Snitch
Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoy 2
Goblet Of Fire
Hegwig
Hogwarts Crest 1
Gryffindor Crest 1
Hufflepuff Crest 1
Ravenclaw Crest 1
Slytherin Crest 1
Leaky Cauldron Sign
Harry Potter Sprites
Draco Malfoy Sprites
Ron Weasley Sprites
Lee Jordan Sprites
Maruders Map
Pensive
Sorting Hat
Firebolt Quidditch Broom
The Dark Mark
Epic Hogwards Crest
Epic Gryffindor Crest
Epic Hufflepuff Crest
Epic Ravenclaw Crest
Epic Slytherin Crest
Gryffindor Crest 2
Hufflepuff Crest 2
Ravenclaw Crest 2
Slytherin Crest 2
Slytherin Crest 3
Slytherin Crest 4

 

Anime (74)

– Avatar TLA (5)
Aang
Avatar Air Symbol
Avatar Earth Symbol
Avatar Fire Symbol
Avatar Water Symbol
 
–  Berserk (2)
Guts 1
Guts 2

 

–  Cowboy Behop (4)
Cowboy Behop Logo
Edward Wong Hau Peplu Tirvsky
Edward Line Up
Spike Spiegel

 

–  Fruits Basket (2)
Kyo
Yuki

 

–  Full Metal Alchemist (13)
Edward eyes
Edward manga
Edward small
Edward
Edward 2
Edward 3
Hohenhe Im Of Light
Izumi Symbol
Lust
Maes
Manga Riza
Ouroboros Logo
Winry

 

– Gravitation (8)
Gravitation
Gravitation Eyes
Kumagoro
Shuichi
Shuichi 2
Shuichi 3
Tohma Seguchi
Yuki Eiri

 

– Gundam (3)
Heavyarms
Deathscythe
Epyon

 

–  Hack (3)
Bear
BT
Tsukasa Hack

 

– Hana Yori Dango (2)
Sojiro Nishikado
Tsukasa

 

– Inuyasha (6)
Inuyasha Logo
Inuyasha
Inuyasha 2
Inuyasha Crouch
Kagome
Miroku

 

– Ouran High School Host Club (2)
Hunney
Haruhi

 

– Parfait Tic! (2)
Fuuko
Fuuko 2

 

– Persona Trinity Soul (2)
Jun’s Persona
Shin’s Persona

 

– Ranma (2)
Genma
Genma

 

– Sailor Moon (5)
Sailor Moon
Sailor Mars
Sailor Mercury
Sailor Jupiter
Sailor Venus

 

– Spirited Away (1)
No Face

 

– Starzinger (3)
Aurora
Jesse Dart
Jesse

 

– Tenjho Tenge (3)
Ayanatsume
Bob Makihara
Masataka

 

– Yu-Gi-Oh (6)
Yu-Gi-Oh Big
Yu-Gi-Oh
Dark Magician Girl
Dark Magician Girl 2
Dark Magician Girl 3
Atem and Bakura

 

Subversive (9)

Damn I’m Good
Eat Sleep Screw Repeat
Ten Dolla Make You Holla
And The Horse You Rode In On
Mom Likes Me Best
Kiss My Fat Ass
i made u a lolcat but i ated it
Spoilt
The Internets is SRS BSNS

 

Point de croix, Kreuzstich, クロスステッチ and the foreign cross stitch that don’t get as much focus as they should

Kreuzstich heart cross stitch (source: twitter)

When you want to look cross stitch for inspiration, go to places like google and instagram offer a whole volume of awesome pieces to choose from. However other than the generic “cross stitch” search, there are a whole host of secretly hidden and stand out awesome cross stitch to see out there. But you have to think outside the box. Specifically, to different languages.

Whilst most of the world tends to use the English translation for cross stitch, there are some notable exceptions. Sadly these exceptions just don’t get as much press as other pieces, so often fall into obscurity. But they’re so darn good!

クロスステッチ zelda cross stitch (source: twitter)
クロスステッチ zelda cross stitch (source: twitter)

The above piece, and a lot of my instagram account, uses the term “クロスステッチ” (cross stitch in Japanese), which not only features a lot of video games, geeky, anime and Kawaii, but blends traditional Japanese embroidery techniques with modern counted cross stitch in an amazing way.

There are a few places around the world that hold a strong cross stitch presence in their traditional culture. Japan as above has newly developed this fascination, however German has been doing Kreuzstich for hundreds of years, and even popularised it in England back in 1840. The believe piece is a fantastic example of work currently being done.
Kreuzstich heart cross stitch (source: twitter)
Kreuzstich heart cross stitch (source: twitter)

Not convinced yet?

Ukraine has had cross stitch as part of its traditional dress for hundreds of years, and so its no surprise that the Eastern Block and its surrounding countries are big on cross stitch, or вышивка крестиком as it known. We’ve featured her a few times, but stand out cross stitch artist Severija shows they sill take it super seriously.
Cross Stitch- Helmets by Severija (source: mrxstitch.com
Cross Stitch- Helmets by Severija (source: mrxstitch.com

Finally, and somewhat more traditionally there’s Point de croix. Whilst France tends to stitch online under the term cross stitch, there’s a traditional backbone stitching under its own term. These tend to be almost entirely traditional, occassionally you find a sweet modern twist.
kittys Point de croix cross stitch by ancusa (source: pinterest)
kittys Point de croix cross stitch by ancusa (source: pinterest)