This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read disclosure for more information.
Before purchasing my Brother Luminaire XP2, I had no idea embroidery apps even existed!
However, once I discovered my machine worked with two of the Brother phone applications, I was excited to search for more.
So, I downloaded everything I could and compiled this list of the best free machine embroidery apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android phones.
Best Machine Embroidery Apps (FREE!)
After playing with all the apps available, I’ve listed my favorites below!
I’ve tried to include links to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store so you can download the version you need for your device.
It goes without saying that you need to be careful what you download on your phone, computer, or tablet. I thus only downloaded apps with actual reviews and three or more stars (unless they were from recognizable brands).
If you find any free machine embroidery design apps that have no reviews or look sketchy, don’t download them!
Only available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users, StitchBuddy is a free embroidery design app where you can preview and edit embroidery designs.
Many of the editing features available are tasks newer embroidery machines can do on screen, like resizing and rotating designs, combining and duplicating designs, and changing and reordering thread colors.
However, you have more control at the individual stitch level and can do things like add stitches to underlay. And, you can print full-size templates and detail sheets to help with centering machine embroidery designs.
Users can also convert designs to different embroidery formats (limited export formats for only the most popular machine brands, though.)
StitchBuddy HD is FREE to use everything except saving designs over 1,000 stitches, which requires an In-App purchase.
This is NOT an embroidery digitizing app (you cannot create designs from scratch in it or use it to auto-digitize), and it also doesn’t “talk” to your embroidery machine. It does sync with your computer, though, via iCloud.
The iPad/iPhone app and Mac program features are slightly different, so review those before downloading or making an in-app purchase.
2. Bernina App
Of course, aspects like the Bernina store locater and accessories organizer are specific to Bernina machines.
However, their WeAllSew blog is frequently updated with new free sewing, quilting, machine embroidery step-by-step tutorials, and other helpful educational content.
It’s an app I highly recommend if you’re looking for inspiration. I’d much rather mindlessly browse the Bernina blog than Facebook!
The Embroidermodder team created this embroidery file viewer app to let users preview embroidery design files on their devices.
Also, users can view pertinent stats about embroidery files, such as the number of stitches, color changes, jumps, and the size of the design.
There’s also an Embroidermodder Viewer Pro app, which gets higher reviews, but it was buggier on my phone.
Embroidermodder is a developer of a once previously popular free embroidery software. I’m so excited to see they’ve picked back up on development and have a timetable for the release of Embroidermodder 2!
Available only for iPhones or iPad, this embroidery digitizing app is for the service PRO Digitizing.
You can place orders and request quotes for embroidery digitizing or vector art. Prices start around 25$ for embroidery designs and increase based on stitch count.
One other fun aspect of the app (and why I listed it so highly) is you can download free embroidery designs within it. (These free embroidery designs are also available on their website if you prefer to download them to your computer.)
The Spark digitizing embroidery app is free to download in the Google Play Store. And, it has a 7-day free trial.
However, after that time period, you must pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to continue using the app.
There are three primary levels of digitizing offered by Wavenet Spark: Editor, Lettering, and Digitizer.
Editor is the least expensive, and as its name suggests, it allows users to edit embroidery designs and do other basic tasks like embroidery file format conversion.
The next level up is Lettering, which allows customization using included digitized fonts and lettering frames.
Finally, Digitizer is for users wanting to create embroidery designs using Autopunch, their version of auto-digitizing.
Other fun features include AutoCross stitch and PhotoStitch, which turn an imported image into a cross stitch or photo stitch embroidery design, respectively. Just know that not all embroidery designs can be auto-digitized successfully, and this is not a full embroidery digitizing software.
6. Creative Machine Embroidery
If you subscribe to Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine, you can read issues on your mobile device.
For non-subscribers, you can still access several articles and tutorials, but the app isn’t as useful.
This embroidery design app aims to convert embroidery designs between machine file formats. You can also view embroidery designs and imported designs and preview stitching details.
This embroidery app gets decent reviews in the Google Play Store. However, I couldn’t get it to open my .pes files!
It just kept telling me the format was not supported. It isn’t my file, as it opened fine in other apps, so it might be something with my Android device.
This viewer app also would not open my .pes file on my phone, and there were many ads.
However, it gets decent reviews from other users on the app store, so it may be worth your time if you have issues with the other embroidery viewer apps listed earlier.
8. Schmetz Needle App
The Schmetz needle app provides an overview of Schmetz needles and is available for Android. (The last time I checked, I couldn’t access the iOS app but the Schmetz website still links to it.)
The most helpful section is the Needle Color Coding guide, which helps sewists, quilters, and embroiderers know which size and type their Schmetz needles are based simply on the colors printed on them.
Sometimes I forget which type of needle is on my machine, and this app helps remind me.
There’s also a basic overview of the different types of needles and how to choose a sewing needle type and size.
I continually get warnings in the app that it’s built for an older version of Android and needs an update, but it functions well and is helpful to have on my phone. I highly recommend it if you have difficulty understanding the indications for using embroidery and sewing needles!
(Also, if you’re a quilter, check out these 7 free quilting apps for your devices.)
Embroidery Apps For Specific Machine Brands
If you have a higher-end embroidery machine, there may be a compatible app for you to use! (If you have a Bernina embroidery machine and know which app they use, please let me know!)
Brother Embroidery Apps
You can download three different Brother apps for users of compatible, WiFi-enabled Brother embroidery machines. Most less-expensive embroidery machines do not work with apps, so verify before downloading.
Also, you have to be connected to the same wireless network as your machine if you want the app to connect with your machine.
Brother My Stitch Monitor
A very basic app and only compatible with a small selection of machines, My Stitch Monitor lets users monitor the progress of an embroidery stitchout.
View by the total time remaining, number of stitches remaining, and thread colors remaining.
I use this app because it triggers a notification on my phone, which dings my smartwatch, whenever it is time to pop back into my craft room and change threads.
I’m hopeful the future will include many more features in this app.
Brother My Design Snap
My Design Snap helps users transfer images from their device to a wireless embroidery machine. (Currently supported machines are the Stellaire XE1, XE2, XJ1, and XJ2 and the Luminaire XP3, XP2, or XP1 with the upgrade kit.)
You can also use the app to place embroidery designs perfectly, edit patterns, and create your own designs from images. My machine has many of these features built-in to the user interface, so I don’t often use this app.
Released in the Fall of 2022, Brother’s Artspira app lets users of WiFi-compatible embroidery machines and cutting machines transfer designs from device to machine.
The app also provides monthly free embroidery and cutting designs and has some basic digitizing capabilities.
I have high hopes for the Artspira app in the future, but right now, it doesn’t provide enough value to keep on my phone. I already have software and a way to transfer designs to my machine wirelessly.
Also, it was a BEAST trying to connect the app to my Luminaire and SDX330D ScanNCut machine, so I may have some residual frustration from that experience!
Update: Brother has now released a paid version of the Artspira app. I didn’t love the free version (even though I love my Brother machines), so I will not be subscribing to their premium version.
Baby Lock Embroidery Apps
Baby Lock has two embroidery apps for compatible machines that mirror Brother’s embroidery apps. (I’m watching to see if they’ll get an Artspira equivalent since they have a relationship with Brother when it comes to embroidery.)
IQ Intuition Positioning
With the same interface as Brother’s My Design Snap, the Baby Lock IQ Intuition Positioning app lets you transfer images from your computer to an embroidery machine to help with perfect positioning. Compatible machines include Baby Lock Altair, Meridian, and Solaris 2 or Solaris with upgrade.
There’s also the ability for embroidery design editing and creation.
IQ Intuition Monitoring
Like Brother’s monitoring app, you can view the stitching progress of an embroidery design on your wireless device and receive notifications of thread changes and thread breaks. You can download it for your Android or iOS device.
Janome Machine Apps
Most Janome apps are only available in the Apple App Store for iPad, but this could change.
Furthermore, the current machines supported by Janome apps are the Memory Craft 15000 and Skyline S9, although new Janome machines have just arrived on the market.
AcuEdit is Janome’s free embroidery design editing app, which allows for basic embroidery design modifications. Using the iPad touchscreen is similar to using the touchscreen on a Janome embroidery machine.
Like the Brother My Stitch Monitor, you can track embroidery design progress on your Janome machine with AcuMonitor.
AcuSetter uses camera technology to accurately place embroidery designs for stitching. You also have basic editing features in the app. So far, it looks like it only works with the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000.
This functional embroidery app allows Janome users to draw lines with a stylus or finger and convert them to embroidery designs. This works great for creating redwork designs or designs for continuous quilting.
AcuDesign is not a free app but may be worth the price if you have a Janome machine and enjoy their other apps.
This app is the embroidery stitching monitor for compatible Husqvarna Viking embroidery machines.
Pfaff Image Stitch
Pfaff Image Stitch is Pfaff’s version of auto-digitizing, where you snap a picture of an image and automatically create an embroidery design from it.
Then, save the created design to a mySewnet account. Your machine must also be compatible with mySewnet to transfer the design from the app to your machine.
EverSewn Apps (EverSewn Pro and EverSewn X2)
Like all the other machine-specific apps mentioned thus far, the EverSewn Pro App and EverSewn X2 apps allow users to monitor embroidery progress via WiFi connection and create and edit embroidery designs on the screen.
That’s the list of the best free machine embroidery apps–including digitizing apps, embroidery design apps, and even embroidery design viewer apps.
These can do some great things, but they’re not full-fledged embroidery digitizing software. Programs like Hatch, Embird, Embrilliance, and Ink/Stitch can do so much more, so give those a look, too.