Hearts stitch journal, 29 May 2018

A grey start, though the sun is coming out now, and everything is soaked from yesterday’s storms. We got 5cm of rain per hour and every leaf and branch is hanging down from the weight of the water. In the orchard, the damage is fortunately light, though there is a lot of twiggery down: the tree canopy seems to have protected the understory, including our roses. Today I’ve stitched Rambling Rector, a fine climbing rose despite the daft name. When in full flower the blossoms smother the leaves almost completely. The semi-double flowers open from yellow buds to cream petals, then fade to pure white, giving, overall, a scrambled-egg effect. They also have a lovely sweet, clean, white scent that carries right across the garden. My original plant is still going strong – the only rose left of the eight I planted in the original bed, the others having succumbed to storms, moles and shade – and there are another two, taken from cuttings, which are scrambling up our old pear trees. Today’s threads are grey coton à broder no 16, ‘snow white’ cotton perlé no 5, cream coton à broder no 20, primrose yellow sewing cotton no 40, and yellow and green six-strand embroidery cottons sewn with two strands. The stitches are knotted reverse chain for the heart, picot stitch and straight stitch for the petals, pistil stitch for the stamens and a five-wrap French knot for the eye of the flower.  There should be three layers (15 petals) rather than two but I thought it might be too messy.

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