Hearts stitch journal, 15 February 2018

A warm, grey, drizzly morning, very spring-like, with a medley of birdsong in both the garden and the woodland, and clouds of midges in the air. Across the garden, I could see the leaves of stranvaesia davidiana ‘Palette’ scattered across the gravel of the patio. This evergreen shrub, planted for winter interest some 10 years ago, has perfect lanceolate leaves splashed with burgundy, green, cream and pink, and the dying leaves turn orange, red and yellow in contrast.

Today’s threads are all vintage: grey Cartier-Bresson perlé no 5, burgundy and cream DMC cotton perlés no 5, green Anchor six-strand cotton, variegated orange and yellow Cartier-Bresson six-strand Brilliante d’Alger and orange coton à broder. The stitches are chain stitch for the outline, satin stitch for the leaves and a central vein of split stitch – a common way of showing a leaf vein in 17th century crewelwork. 

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