Cross Stitch FAQs
Do you have questions? Well you’re in the right place then! Below you’ll find some common questions about cross stitch and the Peacock & Fig patterns themselves. If you have any other questions that haven’t been answered yet, please feel free to use the contact page or get in touch on any of the Peacock & Fig social media accounts! And if you have questions about Peacock & Fig or the designer and artist Dana, just head on over to the About page.
If you’re new to cross stitch, please go to the Peacock & Fig YouTube channel for tutorials and learn just how simple it is to make a cross stitch project! Many of the patterns in the Signature Collection use limited colours and only use full stitches, but the designs are intricate enough to produce a stunning piece for your home. There is also a simple bookmark pattern in the Lest We Forget Collection that will allow you to practice backstitch on a simple pattern. And of course, the free cross stitch patterns for Peacock Lounge members are also simple enough for a beginner to follow!
For intermediate or advanced stitchers
There are also patterns for more experienced stitchers available. Although any of the Vintage Sass Collection or Spirited Animals Collection would be suitable for beginners, those with backstitch may be better tackled as your second or third pattern. The Royal Proclamations Collection combines metallics and beads, so is perfect for those wanting to add bling to their projects.
All patterns are full-colour and come with a thread sorter, colour preview image and a colour/floss usage key. Above is a sample of the Plum Blossom pattern. Many of the patterns also come with a black and white chart and a one-page pattern to be used with digital devices. The patterns are designed using DMC embroidery floss, but if you prefer to use Anchor floss, here is a link to a colour converter chart. All the patterns are digital PDF files, and a download link to the pattern will be sent immediately upon payment. The patterns can be used digitally (using a PDF reader or other program), or printed any size in colour and/or black and white.
To see more information, please check out this video – it describes the sample pages in more detail (the look of the pattern has changed since the rebranding to Peacock & Fig).
A thread sorter is one method to help keep your embroidery floss organized while stitching. On the last page of each Peacock & Fig pattern you will find the thread sorter that has been made for each pattern. It lists the manufacturer of the floss (DMC), the colour number and symbol. In some patterns the thread sorter is as pictured below, and in others the layout has changed slightly but it is used the same way. Below you’ll see a small gallery demo of what to do with the thread sorter. There’s also a video made with the demo images explaining in more detail what to do. You can clip the thread sorters to your pattern or keep them in a small basket nearby. Alternatively, you can wind your thread onto bobbins and keep your floss organized that way. A video demonstrating bobbin winding and how to store them is here.
Of course! There is even a free “How to Cross Stitch” instructional PDF that you can add to your cart at checkout with full-colour photos and links to tutorial videos. All Peacock & Fig patterns have been designed with a range of stitchers in mind. Some are better for beginners just starting out (like the Lest We Forget bookmark and the small seasonal patterns in the Signature Collection), and some are better for once you’ve gotten a bit of practice on one or two patterns. All of the charts are totally doable by any stitcher, but of course the bigger patterns will require more time. If you’re wanting to learn some basic techniques while you’re trying out your first pattern, check out the Cross Stitching for Beginners Peacock & Fig YouTube channel. It’s got lots of great tips and techniques and will get you up and stitching in no time! There is also this roundup of all the tutorials for beginner cross stitchers. If you can make an X with thread and count to ten, you can definitely do cross stitch! Make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel so you always know when new videos have been added, new ones are always being created! And you can also access the free cross stitch patterns that are perfect for beginners!
To be as cost-effective for the stitcher as possible and to provide the highest quality patterns, all the patterns available from peacockandfig.com are only available as digital PDF patterns. This reduces the costs of printing, packaging, and shipping to the stitcher, and it means that once your payment has been processed you will be sent a link to instantly download your pattern. You can get stitching straight away! If you would prefer to be sent the patterns in a printed format, this is available through Creative Poppy for an additional charge (see this link for their printed patterns service). Creative Poppy carries the most popular Peacock & Fig patterns, so you should be able to find what you’re looking for and get it mailed to you! Also, Peacock & Fig patterns are available in printed format at many needlework shops across the United States and Canada — you can see a list of these retailers here.
At this time, none of the Peacock & Fig patterns are available as kits. Peacock & Fig prides itself on providing high-quality service to its customers, and providing the highest quality embroidery floss, fabric, needles, etc to the stitcher with the pattern would make the patterns prohibitively expensive. The designer is happy to help you figure out where to source your stitching materials if you need help, but most craft or stitching stores will have a range of the basic supplies you will need for your pattern. There are also dozens of fantastic online shops where floss, fabric and notions can be purchased, such as Joanns and 123stitch.com in the US, Stitch It Central and Charting Creations in Canada, and Sew and So in Britain (and they ship overseas with reasonable prices).
That’s a great question, and one that’s very common. You have two options — one is to print the pages of the PDF at the size and style you like (full colour or black and white), and the other is to read the pattern directly from your computer or device like a tablet or e-reader. Many of the Peacock & Fig patterns come with a separate one-page pattern (with a colour key) to be used on electronic devices (see individual pattern listings for details). There are many PDF reader programs available, such as or example Preview on a Mac, GoodReader on iOS, or Adobe Reader on a Mac or PC. Some PDF reader programs will also be able to highlight individual symbols which makes following your pattern even simpler. If you’re having issues reading the PDF on your device, make sure you have the most up-to-date version of your program. Many people choose to highlight the pattern (electronically or on their printed working copy) as they work, and others prefer to simply count where they are. You can also aid your counting by pre-gridding your fabric before stitching — there are instructional videos on how to do gridding with a pencil or marker and how to grid with fishing line on the site.
A full stitch means that you go up one hole and over one hole in one direction, and then the same in the other direction to make your full “X” stitch. A fractional stitch means that instead of going from each corner to corner, you’d only go halfway for one of the arms of the X. For more information on how to do fractional stitches, please check out this post and video. If you’re using Aida fabric (the most common fabric to learn cross stitch on, it’s got blocks of overlapping threads in between each hole), this means that you would usually have to do a fractional stitch by piercing the centre of the block of threads. One advantage of fractional stitches is you can create a lot more detail in a smaller physical space. Some disadvantages of using fractional stitches is they can be harder to do (depending on the fabric you are using), and they can also make your stitching progress take a little longer until you get used to doing them. For more information on how to do a full cross stitch, please see this video.
Backstitch is a (usually) black outline that goes around the outside of shapes. It can also be used for finer details like eyes, whiskers, or lettering. Backstitch is not difficult to do, but it can take time. In a pattern it is shown by a darker black line (or the colour of the backstitch thread). For more information you can go to this blog post about backstitch, or watch the tutorial video here.
Are there instructions for how to assemble some of the patterns, like the ones in the Adorned Life Collection?
All Peacock & Fig patterns that are for three-dimensional objects like pincushions, business card holders, etc also come complete with a materials list and full-colour assembly instructions. Below, you can see an example of what’s included with the Fleur et Papillon Pincushion pattern. The instructions are written to be as straightforward to follow as possible, but of course if you have any questions you can contact the designer directly here.
Are there any videos for more experienced stitchers, or if I want to learn some new tips and techniques?
Yes there are! There are several playlists in the Peacock & Fig YouTube channel, and one is called Cross Stitch Tips and Techniques. This playlist is designed for stitchers with a little more experience, but of course the tips will help even those who have never stitched a pattern before. More videos are always being added, so make sure to subscribe to the channel to stay up to date with the most recent tips and tricks!
I notice that the patterns are designed using DMC embroidery floss, but I like to use Anchor. Is there an easy way to convert the pattern?
There sure is! Just click here for an online DMC/Anchor conversion chart. If you enter your floss number in the search bar at the top right of the chart, both the DMC and Anchor conversions will come up. It doesn’t matter which floss manufacturer you prefer to use, just make sure you use only one manufacturer per project. Dyes can be sometimes a bit different between the manufacturers, so DMC black might stitch up very slightly differently than Anchor black. If you mix the two blacks in one project, it might be noticeable. Use whatever manufacturer you like, but only use that one for each project.