Cross Stitch 1

Christmas Cross Stitch Designs on perforated paper

This class will give you some hints and tips for stitching on perforated paper.  We will cross stitch some little decorations to hang on the Christmas tree in  next to no time. If you havenít done any before, check our beginners guide to cross stitch.

Counted cross stitch is normally worked on evenweave fabric which has the same number of threads in each direction. However, it is also possible to use stiff paper with holes punched in a regular grid. This is not a new idea, the Victorians made many beautiful cards, bookmarks and keepsakes out of perforated paper.

For the beginner, using perforated paper has many advantages. It does not fray and no hoop is needed. One disadvantage is that it cannot be washed and therefore clean hands are important.

Which side do I work on? If you feel the paper you will find that one side is smoother than the other. This smooth side is the front.

What if I tear it? Perforated paper is quite strong and won't tear easily. Damage can be caused by using metallic threads, or by pulling too tightly. We are aiming for a nice even tension, with the stitches being neither too tight nor too loose. The best way to stitch on perforated paper is by using the stab stitch method, making each stitch in two separate movements, rather than the sewing method.

All is not lost, however, if you do manage to tear the paper, there are methods of repairing it! Sticking transparent tape onto the back of the paper will mend most tears or the damage can be patched with a spare piece of perforated paper. Subsequent stitches can then be worked through both layers. Neither method is visible from the right side.

How do I find the centre? The centre of the design is marked with arrows. Starting in the centre, ensures that you don't find yourself running out of paper before you have completed the stitching. (And yes, I have made this mistake myself in the past!) So how do we find the centre of the paper? With fabric we would fold it in half both ways but on perforated paper a light pencil mark will do the same job. The mark will either be covered with stitches, and therefore not show when we have finished, or it can be erased. You don't have to count the holes to find the centre point; it is easier to use a ruler.

Contd on page 2

© Carol Leather, X-Calibre Designs