Even with the busy ness of the season, I have been stitching along. I love my cross stitch because it calms my soul and it creates something that I can keep forever.
As you know Prairie Schooler is my favorite cross stitch designer but the ladies of PS are retiring. I am hoping that they will keep their old patterns in stock for us PS fans. This, their final year, they came out with some wonderful patterns. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try this design.
Titled, Santa's Ride, this is stitched on BLACK aida cloth. Again, I am so thankful for my local cross stitch shop, The Cross Stitch Peddler. Marlene, the owner, really encouraged me to give it a try. She gave me some hints on stitching on black. Her advice? Take a white pillowcase, lay it on your lap and hold your stitching over it while you stitch. IT WORKS. The white background helps me to see the holes where my stitches go! Marlene told me that some people actually put a light in their lap and stitch but she feels that is not good for your eyes and this works just as well. I will say that I am having more problems getting the threads to lay flat on the black cloth for some reason. I have to wonder if it is because I am used to linen and going back to Aida is a bit tricky. I am using Marlene's hint to "railroad" the stitches. For those of you who do not cross stitch, this is bringing your needle up between the two threads as you stitch. This helps the thread to lay flat. If I do another cross stitch on black I may do a stitch at a time rather than the normal row of stitching. Believe it or not this can make a difference too!
Here is my work in progress. I have done a bit more since I took this photo. I am calling this my "learning piece" on black so I finally had to just say, it is what it is. I will frame it and hopefully display it next Christmas. What are you doing to keep calm in this hectic holiday season?