Peacock-Rug-free cross-stitch design. The peacock for this rug was the left part of a decorative tile panel designed by William de Morgan showing the peacock repeated as a mirror image to the right with a vase of flowers filling the space between the two bird’s tails.
The border design repeats the leaf-strewn paving in the original. A striped outer border picks up the colours of the peacock. The rug is large, but grows quite quickly on 7-count canvas.
DESIGN SIZE for Peacock-Rug-free cross-stitch design
53 x 29in (134 x 73cm) approximately
Stitch count: 389 x 213
MATERIALS for Peacock-Rug-free cross-stitch design
• 60 x 36in (150 x 90cm) 7-count Zweigart interlock
canvas (code 699)
• Tapestry wools as listed in the key
• Tapestry needle size 18
1 Centre the design on the canvas by marking the horizontal and vertical centre lines and finished size on
the canvas with a marker pen. Mark the line of the edge of the border. The rug in the illustration was worked without
a frame (and did not distort at all) and it is more manageable if it can be rolled as you work. Be careful not to pull
the wool so tight that it distorts the mesh of the canvas.
2 Following the fig.1 below, use one strand of tapestry wool and cross stitch over one thread of the canvas. Work with lengths of wool about 20in (50cm) to avoid tangling. By using several needles you can have various colours ready to work in multicoloured areas. It may be easier to work some of the outlines before filling in the details.
3 Leave the outer borders until last. I suggest turning in the edges and stitching over the double thickness, but
you may prefer to stitch to the edge then stretch and back your rug or neaten with a tape.
4 To finish your rug without a visible hem, trim to six threads beyond the marked edge all round, then fold
the extra canvas under along the rug edge, making sure the threads line up exactly. A few stitches in sewing
thread at the corners to hold in position may be helpful (the woollen cross stitches will cover them). First mitre
the corners (see Fig 2) but before cutting away the excess canvas at the corners, reinforce the threads which meet
at the corner by stitching over them for a short distance using a close zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.
5 Work cross stitch in colours according to the chart over the double thickness of canvas. The outermost
row should be left until last and worked in plaited cross stitch edging which gives a neat finish. It
is possible to do this at the beginning of the stitching of the rug but leaving it until the end means that any counting errors can be accomodated.
The peacock rug could be displayed over the back of a couch or used as a wall hanging. The decorative bars intended for hanging quilts could be used if some tape loops were sewn to the top edge of the embroidery,
it You could use the bolster borders to decorate a square or circular cushion or use one alone on an Aida or
linen band for a belt, bookmark, hat band or camera strap.
See also: cross-stitch design with Hardanger embroidery
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