Hearts stitch journal, 27 May 2018

A grey start today after another tremendous thunderstorm yesterday evening, with lashing wind and rain. Fortunately, as I type, the sun is breaking through. Today I’ve stitched a sweet little weed, wood avens, which I’ve allowed to colonise the beds in the courtyard. With its strawberry-like lower leaves, it makes a good ground cover plant, and in May and June produces these tiny five-petalled yellow flowers like little jewels, which are a good food plant for butterflies – it’s a member of the rose family and you can see the resemblance in the shape of the flower. It spreads via burrs and picking the burgundy-tipped seeds out of my dog’s ears every evening used to be a sign of summer for me, though the sprollie doesn’t seem to collect them in quite the same way. Wood avens has numerous other names, including clove root, which refers to its flavoured and scented root, once much prized for flavouring ale. Today’s threads are grey-dyed coton à broder no 1, six-strand embroidery cottons in yellow and two shades of green, and de-plyed Indian rayon threads in burgundy and brown. The stitches are Pekinese stitch for the heart, stem stitch for the stem, fishbone stitch for the leaves, fly stitch for the calyxes, satin stitch for the petals, pistil stitch for the stamens and padded satin stitch with straight stitch for the burr.

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