WARNING: MOST DOWNLOAD LINKS ARE CURRENTLY INACCESSIBLE DUE TO TECHNICAL PROBLEM. We are currently -- and slowly -- restoring our patterns, but it will take time. You can check out the status of the patterns by checking out our Missing Patterns list. If you happen to have downloaded our previous patterns, could you help us by sending a copy of the zipped pattern to us at free@crossstitch4free.com? Thank you and we apologise in advance for the inconvenience caused.

by Laura Marsh

Did you know that there is a huge supply of new and interesting cross stitch patterns on the Internet? With cross stitch software becoming more popular as well as the price ever shrinking, many cross stitch fanatics are trying their hand at creating their own cross stitch patterns.

What are the benefits of downloading cross stitch patterns?

The price is one of the biggest benefits of downloading cross stitch patterns. If you purchase from a hobby store, you have to pay for the paper the patterns is printed on, the ink the printer has used, the packaging, and the enormous mark-up price the hobby store puts on the pattern. Where are buying online, will cost you a lot less. You are buying the product as a digital file, which gives you the benefit of not having to pay the supplier for the printing costs as you print the pattern from your own computer. Each cross stitch pattern designer will charge you a different amount, the price will be based on the time it took them to complete the design rather than the supplies and packaging.

Another huge benefit of downloading cross stitch patterns, is the variety available to you, you can purchase any thing from tiny motifs for Christmas cards, to works of art that have been converted in to cross stitch patterns. If you went to a hobby store, the choice you have is rather limited.

Are there different types of downloadable cross stitch patterns?

Yes. I would put downloadable cross stitch patterns into two different types. The first would be converted pictures or works of art. This is where the artist has used the cross stitch software to convert the picture into colored blocks suitable for cross stitch. Be careful when purchasing this type of downloadable cross stitch pattern, as often there are copyright issues with these images. Make sure the person who is selling the cross stitch pattern has permission from the original artist to sell the images (e.g. an official Disney reseller should only be allowed to sell Disney cross stitch etc), don’t be afraid to ask the seller for this information, if they can’t provide it then you should move on to the next seller.

The second type of cross stitch pattern would be the more familiar type of pattern. Often a cartoon version of something, these are normally designs that have been created by hand first, and are often more traditional. You generally won’t find sellers selling both of these together.

How do I use the cross stitch pattern once I’ve downloaded it?

Cross stitch pattern that you have downloaded will come in a particular file format. Normally this would be a PDF (you can download a free PDF reader online). However, occasionally the seller will offer the pattern in the format of the software that created it, so make sure you choose the right one. For PDF patterns, you will normally find they are printable over a number of A4 pages. You will normally get a completed example of the pattern, and a charted version. The charted version will be split up, which means you can either print off the entire pattern and stick it together for one large pattern or use each page individually for the area you are working on.

If you are still unsure about downloading cross stitch patterns from the Internet, many sellers offer free downloads, try a couple of these first to see if you are happy with the results.

About the Author
Written by Laura Marsh. Did you find this information on downloading cross stitch patterns helpful? Visit http://www.simplyblackwork.com for more embroidery and cross stitch information.