I wrote a review on beading software programs some years ago, both free and commercial. There is now a new commercial pattern making program, Bead-n-Stitch  - already in use in Eastern Europe - which has recently been released to the North American market not just for beaders but embroiderers, weavers and cross- stitchers.

You can upload a photo or illustration and have the program render to whatever size project you want, using bead types, sizes and colors of choice.  Users can also work from scratch on a blank canvas.  The program can also make combined patterns with both beads and cross stitching, if desired.

The developer is Igor Kotelevskii who was the original developer for BeadCreator Pro 6. But he has not been associated with that program since 2011.  He has, however, gone on to completely rewrite a new program with even more features than before. It works on Windows and Macs (with additional software).

This $99 program is powerful and versatile with many options to customize bead color palettes including grey scale and even thread types.  I have highlighted some features below.

The two window mode helps compare between the original render and what one wants to change. In this example below of Van Gogh's Cypresses, some bead colors were odd in isolated places. The program can be made to change the bead color either individually or in groups by number. This is useful to minimize the color palette used.

You can also design using different sized beads :

Designers can also copy-paste a fragment or sub-design to add to another pattern.

Continual feedback from users is encouraged. So far, based on such input, Bead-n-Stitch can now demarcate the necessary needle puncture points in the design for embroiderers.  It can also output in a circular format :

I recommend that you download the free and fully functional demo and manual to have a try yourself before you commit to a giveaway entry or purchase. Bead-n-Stitch includes some images of Old Master paintings which you can use.

Also helpful is Tina Bird's (Kardiac Kitten Designs) Quick Start Guide. She used to use the old BeadCreatorPro for free hand and image import designs.  She told me that when she was asked to review Bead-n-Stitch, " I'm sufficiently impressed that I'm now writing documentation."

I tested out my review copy without reading the manual straightaway.  I wanted to see if I could make a loom bracelet pattern based on a simple free image of a lake and mountain sunset (the file includes a jPEG) quickly.  The  answer is yes.

As bracelets are small compared to a larger beaded picture, the result will be an abstract one because there isn't enough beads to render the original art work accurately.

The first thing I did was crop the image so it is more bracelet shaped and uploaded it to a new file on Bead-n-Stitch.

After I clicked NEXT, I got to choose my color palettes. You can choose more than one or more likely, create a user palette - just how many of us will have Miyuki's entire palette? I tried both the Matsuno 8/0 and Miyuki 15/0.

The next click brought me to Design Parameters.  Here I determined the size of my bracelet - 7 inches long and 2 inches wide with the design in landscape.

Since I wanted to do a pattern using 15/0 beads, the bead size is 15 per inch.  Under classic format, I selected loom.

And this abstract design appeared!

I also tried out 8/0 beads and selected 1 drop peyote instead of loom and got this :

Changing bead colors with mouse clicks is straightforward, providing you actually read the manual or and/or read the instructions in the program itself. So a right mouse click on a color tile and then clicking on a bead or beads in the chart will change its color.

In this example, I could thus change out the blue section at the bottom right of the bracelet to an yellowish to fit with the rest of the color scheme.  When I changed the color of a row of beads (see arrow), they came out cylindrical which is for Delicas.  So I went to the lower menu and clicked on "ball" and started to change that row into round shapes like the rest of the pattern.

As you can see, you can easily upload a basic pattern in whatever bead stitch you like and then alter it to suit.  Or you could set a one color bracelet in the size and stitch you want and then click to change bead colors - geometric designs, anyone?

The myriad options might be overwhelming for those who just want to use it for beading patterns and not weaving, embroidery or cross stitching but again, with practice, one can hone in on the relevant bits so you can design beaded jewelry - both off loom and loom.  I did not try the circular format but that option might well work for designing mandalas and similar styles.

The program is indeed powerful and versatile.  It will take some time investment to really use it well.  The Quick Start Guide or my basic tutorial above can get you started.  I find a good way to learn things is to actually try out the different buttons and options in the program and carefully read the manual!

 As mentioned above, you can download the free demo and try it out. Igor is pretty helpful if you have questions.

Recommended for serious beadwork designers.  The program versatility for other crafts which use charts makes this program good value for its price.


If you'd like to win this giveaway for a copy of Bead-n-Stitch, please make a comment below.  Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, August 12 , 2019. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

Before You Go:

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Wire JewelryTips  -Jewelry Business Tips