The Red and the Black by Prairie Moon

As Barb and Sue, the designers behind Prairie Moon, are retiring at the end of October 2014 (three weeks away) I chose The Red and The Black for today’s Throwback Thursday.

The Red and the Black
The Red and the Black

What is it?

The Red & the Black is an ornate alphabet sampler stitched in red and black on a mottled dark ground background.

Why this chart?

The Red & the Black is in my personal stash. I love bold colours, and this unisex design would look great in a wood panelled study or library.  However being a design of such few colours it is very versatile and would look amazing stitched in pastels, giving it a floral, art nouveau vibe.

Many of the letters and ornamental motifs have borders, so snippets of the chart could be stitched for monogrammed key rings, coasters or a unique nameplate.  Such small projects are a good way to test new colour combinations.

This project is designed for silks; both Rainbow Gallery Splendor and Needlepoint Inc Silks (NPi). If you have not used NPi silks before, I urge you to try a skein in this design. The 502- Red is simply an accent colour and easily switched out for another shade of your choosing. NPi silks feel so luscious – I could stitch them instead of DMC on every design, if only I could afford it (sigh).

There are no partial stitches, no speciality stitches, and no need even to stitch the whole design; this is a great chart for both beginners and expert stitchers.

The Red and the Black
The Red and the Black


The front and back cover pages are printed on US Letter (9 x 11″) heavy paper, housed within a clear plastic ziplock bag.  The back cover lists all materials needed and estimates the size of the project.  Prairie Moon have included a silks to DMC conversion with the number of skeins required. Each company uses a different length of floss in their skeins, so it is useful for the designers to provide an adjusted skein count.

The chart is on a single sheet of US Ledger (18″ x 11″) folded in between the two covers. Unfortunately, through handling, the print on the fold line can wear off and if you stitch using a small hoop or q-snap, there’s nowhere to place such a large piece of paper without folding it.

However, using this larger paper size, the entire design can be viewed and used at once. The chart is printed large enough and the design symbols are disparate enough to prevent squinting and there’s no need to look for overlap lines or judge where pages meet up.

 Materials Required

To stitch the chart exactly as designed, you will need:

3 cards – Rainbow Gallery Splendor S801 – Black (or 6 skeins of DMC 310)

1 skein -Needlepoint Inc Silk 502 – Chinese Red range (or 1 skein of DMC 321)

Lakeside Linens – 32 count Vintage Autumn Gold (stitch count 140 x 209). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.  For 16ct Aida or 32ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 15″ x 19½”  or  38 x 49cm or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Autumn Gold
Autumn Gold

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch The Red & The Black chart using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $14.00
Floss:  $14.20
Fabric: $38.00

Total: $66.20    ($75.50 AUD or £46.90)

Places to Buy

Colours Down Under Jo would be happy to order in the NPi and Splendor silk floss.

Colour Cascade Fabrics Tammy recommends Gold Digger Opal from her range of fabrics.  For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount for this fabric. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks NPi and Splendor silk floss and a variety of fabric choices.

Sparklies suggests Barely Bronzed or Leo from her range of fabrics.

 United States:

123Stitch stocks the NPi silk and the Lakeside Linens fabric.

Who still stocks this chart?

Please comment below if you know of a store that still has this chart in stock.


Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

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Last updated: 11 November 2014