Thursday, December 10, 2015


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?


Anonymous said...

I don't think I've seen a piece done on black cloth before but I do love it! I can imagine it would be a bit tricky on the eyes. As you know, I was a former cross stitcher until Essential Tremor made me stop. I do love looking at patterns and all the lovely thread colors. It was a calming hobby for me, as well. These days, blogging, reading and listening to music are calming to me.

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Mildred, I foresee having to give it up as I age but for now I am stitching up a storm. I also enjoy blogging and reading so I will find something to keep me busy. I just got four books at the library today!

Terri D said...

I am always in awe of anyone who can do cross stitch. My mom did it, but I just don't have the patience. This one on black is going to be beautiful!

Mrs.T said...

This is beautiful, Arlene! You are doing a wonderful job. I have a cross stitch kit waiting in the wings to do that is done on navy blue Aida. Keeping calm ... well, a good lengthy quiet time each day helps me. I am finishing up a Bible study on the Sermon on the Mount. It's been such a blessing. I've also been doing quite a bit of crocheting on Christmas gifts and that's calming as well.

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Please post pictures of your project when you start it Mrs T. I am on the Bible Bus with J Vernon McGee, thanks to their Ipad app. We are in Zechariah and I am learning a lot from that Minor Prophet.