In Depth Review Of The Best Photo To Cross Stitch Converters

There are a ton of different cross stitch makers to choose from. I was curious about which ones did the best job at converting a photo to a pattern, so I put several different ones to the test. If you want to avoid the headache of switching out colors and tweaking the design a bunch, this post will walk you through the benefits and features of a few different generators that do the best job. I hope you enjoy this review and try out a few of these programs so you can get stitching as soon as possible!

Generators That Were Put To The Test

I’ve seen a lot of reviews for cross stitch makers that compare different downloadable software, but I didn’t see many looking at ones that are available online or through iOs. All of the cross stitch generators I reviewed in this post are available online and can be accessed through your internet browser or in the iOs app store, which makes them really convenient to use.

All three of these applications allow you to create an account where you can create, modify, save, and download your designs. All of them have the capability to generate a pattern directly from an image.

Here are the ones featured in this post:

Test Constraints

For the test, I designed a digital illustration using several different colors. I kept the design and colors pretty simple. I did this so the design wouldn’t need any editing, it could be kept to a smaller size, and I could more accurately see how well the colors were matched in the photo.

I set several controls into place for this experiment:

  • For each generator, I uploaded the same image.
  • I did not crop the image or modify it at all.
  • I selected the same Aida count and stitch count for each design (84 x 100 with 14ct Aida).
  • I selected 16 colors for the max amount for each of the programs.

Review Process

I did not alter the design or colors in any way after it was generated; I allowed the program to color pick and generate the pattern and then saved them as PDF files, which I’ll be sharing photos of in this post.

After I generated and saved each design, I placed the color swatch (from a stranded DMC color card for accuracy) beside the color key to gauge how accurate the colors appeared to be.

This review is not sponsored in any way and I don’t have any affiliate links in this post. I wanted to share my honest, unbiased opinion of these so you can find a generator that works the best for you. These are just my views and an objective look at how well these generators appear to work.


I gave each category a score between 1 and 3.

For color and design:

  • 1 – very inaccurate, will require heavy editing
  • 2 – somewhat accurate, will require some editing
  • 3 – very accurate with minimal mistakes

Ease of use:

  • 1 – hard to use
  • 2 – takes a minute to figure out, but relatively easy
  • 3 – very intuitive, easy to pick up and use

Level of Customization

  • 1 – limited
  • 2 – some extra capabilities for editing and saving patterns
  • 3 – lots extra capabilities for editing and saving patterns

Stitch Fiddle

Overall Score: 10.5/12

Stitch Fiddle - flower design and color palette generated from photo

Stitch Fiddle is an online program that has a free and paid version. I used the free version for this test, which allows you to upload a photo and save the PDF pattern with solid colors. I have used this program the most out of all of these, and I can confidently say that the color matching is relatively accurate, but I find myself tweaking the colors ever so slightly at times.

Color Accuracy

Score: 3

Based on this test, the color chart and the stranded thread appear to match very well. The generator did pull some yellow colors in the leaves of the flowers that weren’t present in the image. However, it looks like overall the colors that were pulled were accurate and the program was able to pick up on and add enough shading and contrast to the flowers.

Design Accuracy

Score: 3

There are a few stitches that appear to be a little bit randomly placed in the design, but it looks as if the generator was able to add in a good amount of detail. There aren’t any stitches missing along finer lines along the stems. This design could use a few tweaks, but I would confidently say I could try and stitch it as is!

Ease Of Use

Score: 2

This program is relatively easy to use. It walks you through step by step how to upload a photo and there are controls to select the number of colors you want to include in the design. The only thing I don’t like about this application is that it’s only accessible in the internet browser. I have a hard time designing patterns with a trackpad or mouse. While you can use it on an iPad, it’s not as responsive as an iOs app would be.

Level of Customization

Score: 2.5

I rated this one a 2.5 because there are limitations in the free version of this application.

This program allows you to select other embroidery thread colors besides DMC, such as Anchor, Madeira, and more. You can modify the contrast, sharpness, and more of an image that you upload. There is also functionality to swap out colors if it picks ones you don’t like.

The free version allows you to upload from a photo and save the chart as a color chart. It does not allow you to download a chart with colors and symbols, and there are limitations in the file types you can download. You also have more limited editing capability in the free version.

The paid version has options for colors and symbols, symbols only, and further capabilities to edit a design such as copying and pasting.



  • Free with some limit on customizations and editing
  • The paid version costs $5.50 a month or you can pay yearly and receive a discount.


Overall Score: 10/12

Stitchly is a cross stitch app that is available on iOs. It is only available as a one time purchase. This app is very convenient to use on an iPad pro where you can easily draw and design patterns all in one place.

Stitchly - flower design and color palette generated from photo

Color Accuracy

Score: 2

The colors that the generator picked out were a little bit inaccurate in my opinion. The edges of the flowers pulled a really light yellow that isn’t present in the design and some of the greens that were chosen appear to be a bit off as well; there’s really not much difference in their values.

Design Accuracy

Score: 2

Some of the leaves have a halo of yellow stitches around them and they are not as defined as the Stitch Fiddle design. There are also several random stitches around the flowers and leaves that don’t make sense. Overall, this pattern is a good starting point and relatively accurate. I would need to edit this before I could stitch it.

Ease Of Use

Score: 3

I really like this program mainly because it is relatively intuitive to use and it’s available on an iPad. (I also made an in depth post all about how I design patterns from a photo using this app.)

I find it tricky to design patterns on a computer with a mouse; I prefer to use my Apple pencil, so I find myself using this program a lot. This program comes with a preview feature which I find really helpful to see how the finished design may look.

Level of Customization

Score: 3

There is a ton of customization features in the app. You can swap colors, symbols, modify the contrast and sharpness of the design, and much more. You can also copy, paste, and duplicate portions of the pattern and resize it to your liking. The PDF file has lots of customization options as well and there are many different file types you can download.



When I purchased this app, there was a special offer for $29.99. It is a one time purchase that gives you full access to the application. While it’s more money up front, I like that it’s not a subscription that you may end up paying more for over the long term.

Floss Cross

Overall Score: 9/12

Floss Cross is a free application online.

floss cross - flower design and color palette generated from photo

Color Accuracy

Score: 2

The color accuracy was pretty good on this program. There are some random stitches of color along the stems and leaves of the flowers. The program pulled a large variety of pink colors that seemed a bit excessive, but the yellow and greens look to be fairly accurate.

Design Accuracy

Score: 3

The design of the pattern appears to make sense and it looks like the software was able to include small details well.

Ease Of Use

Score: 3

This program is extremely easy to use. It’s a pretty paired down application with an intuitive process to upload a photo and save the pattern. The design preview of the pattern looks more realistic, which I also find helpful.

Level of Customization

Score: 1

This program has a lot of the basic customizations you would need. It has editing capability, but it doesn’t have as much as the 2 programs previously mentioned.

There is also less options for PDF download. You can’t control the size of the pattern in the PDF.

You are only able to save 3 patterns at a time with this software, so if you’re serious about creating lots of different patterns, I’d opt for something else.



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