Cross Stitch Software Overview

Software that allows to create original counted cross stitch designs and convert images or photos into stitching patterns is not a rare thing nowadays. There are hundreds of small apps available for download, yet most of these stitch pattern programs are of no use due to their limited functionality or poor implementation.

Only few cross stitch software applications can perform most of the tasks that a person is interested in when creating own cross stitching designs. Very few can also convert images into printable cross stitching patterns so that the final stitching design will look nice when finished. Only quality software plus your personal skills of working with it can make cross stitch pattern resemble the original image while using few floss colors. This overview of cross stitching software will introduce you some of the most popular programs.

Having one of cross stitch pattern making applications installed on your computer will not only allow you to create own designs and convert images into printable stitching patterns, yet will also allow you to view some of the available „online cross stitching designs“/. Unfortunately, nowadays software manufacturers have not agreed upon one universal file format for digital cross stitching designs. This means that the patterns created in one of the cross stitching programs can not be viewed in any other application. This is also why it’s convenient to have one of the most popular pattern making programs installed on your PC. Most likely you will be able to find some ready free cross stitching designs online in that specific file format that your program supports.

Pattern Maker

Even though this is not the most popular cross stitching software, yet its functionality, quality and moderate price make it one of the best choices that a person fond of embroidery craft can make. It uses variety of instruments for creating embroidery design and transforming image into a cross stitching pattern. Some of these instruments deserve a special praise. For example, Pattern Maker can highlight all stitches of one specified color which is very useful when working on the cross stitching pattern and replacing stand alone crosses. In this application you may also specify the percentage of floss colors used for the main element of embroidery, so that of less colors are used for background. The algorithm of colors selection for image transform is quite good, yet one may notice that its slightly shifted to magenta. One more advantage of Pattern Maker is that the “stitched” view mode looks pretty much like a real embroidery.

pattern maker screenshot

Earlier versions of Pattern Maker used extention .pat for ready patterns. Starting with fourth version application uses .xsd extention.

The software developer HobbyWare offers at its site both Standard and Professional versions of this program. Special module for machine embroidery may be purchased for both of the versions. Standard Pattern Maker costs $60 at developer’s site. Professional version costs twice as much. The piece of good news is that you can download free PatternMaker Viewer from manufacturer’s si­te and you may also use 4 days trial period for Standard Pattern Maker.

PC Stitch

PC Stitch has been created by M&R Technologies corporation. This cross stitch pattern software is probably the most popular one. The key reason for that is its simplicity. This stitching software interface is understandable intuitively, so in order to convert a photo or a clipart into a cross stitching pattern you do not really need to possess a deep knowledge of this application.

However, there are some drawbacks of PC Stitch that are impossible to pass by. Even though the number of instruments is quite impressive, you will not be able to highlight crosses of a separate floss color as you can with Pattern Maker. The algorithm of floss color selection is also worth than Pattern Maker’s. The “stitched” view mode is nice, but one of its merits – emulation of canvas shining through the stitched crosses – looks really bad when you start zooming the image.

pcstitch pro screenshot

All versions of PCStitch create .pat files, yet these files can not be opened with Pattern Maker. Moreover, cross stitch patterns created with latest, eights version of PC Stitch can not be opened with earlier versions.

The M&R Technologies offers such prices for its products:

PCStitch Pro: $79.95

PCStitch Standard: $39.95

Pattern Pieces: Cuddly Things $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Dogs & Cats $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Farm Animals $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Transportation $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Wild Animals $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Wings $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Distinctive Alphabets $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Alphabet Collection I $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Nautical Themes $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Inspirational $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Holiday Motifs $9.99

Pattern Pieces: Everything Floral $9.99

And again, the good news is that the viewer for PC Stitch cross stitch patterns can be downloaded for free at manufacturer’s si­te.

CrossStitchPro

This application is probably the most functional one, yet costs more than PCStitch or PatternMaker, which makes it less popular among counted cross stitching lovers. Cross Stitch Pro algorithm of floss colors selection is the most accurate one. In addition you can change the brightness and contrast not only for the original photo or image that you convert into a pattern, but also in the ready cross stitching design. This stitching software has also an automatic tool for deleting stand alone crosses. As well as PatternMaker it has a machine embroidery module and highlighting tool for separate floss colors. The interface is not as simple as PC Stitch has, so some time will be required to learn how to convert images into stitching patterns, work on ready designs and print the ready cross stitching schemes. The program creates .xsp files, which yet another file format for stitching patterns. Cross Stitch Pro does not have a trial period but it does have a demo version available for download at its manufacturer’s si­te.

Conclusion

If you browse the Internet in a search of a cross-stitch software, you will find dozens of applications. However, the three programs described in this brief overview of cross stitch pattern making software are the most popular and affordable ones. Other are either professional applications that cost a lot of money, or poor quality programs created for personal needs.

Based on this stitching software review you can make a choice of a program that you would like to install on your own PC. Hopefully, it will help you read the ready patterns, adopt them according to your personal preferences or even convert images and photos into cross stitching designs. However, you have to remember that the art of converting images into stitching patterns is not as simple as it seems. Of course, a clipart of some cartoon character can be easily converted by any of the above programs and you will get a nice pattern easy to stitch. Yet, if you’d like to cross stitch a photo or a complex image, most likely you’ll need a professional help. Such images have to be properly processed in Photoshop prior to uploading to pattern making software. You’ll also need to know how to use settings of pattern making software. Lot more work has to be done after the file is converted in order to make the pattern easy to stitch. If you don’t know all these secrets of image into pattern converting, the ready design will be a real pain to stitch and even using up to 100 floss colors will not make finished cross stitched work resemble the original photo.

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