Hearts stitch journal, 26 February 2018

A bright, cold morning – about -10, with a strong Siberian wind lowering the ‘feels like’ temperature still further. There is no frost but the normally rich brown earth is frozen hard and pale, looking like chocolate that has bloomed. Birds were clustered all over the feeder this morning, getting their fill of sunflower seeds and dunnocks (hedge sparrows) were pecking the ground underneath. Today’s threads are vintage cream rayon perlé for the outline, along with four strands of variegated brown Anchor cotton embroidery thread, and soft brown Madeira Decora rayon for the bird, with a tiny dot of yellow vintage rayon floss for the eye. This morning I chose to work in a ‘blackwork’ style, using primarily backstitch and ‘speckling’ to create highlights, with long-and-short stitch for the tail. The eye is a French knot. The bird’s breast is a bit flat but overall I’m quite pleased with it. I was looking at images from the V&A collection last night and I think was inspired by them, perhaps especially by a nightgown from 1610.

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