Hearts stitch journal, 24 June 2018

A nice sunny day today and some actual warmth on my back as I walked down the lane. That bit of warmth brought out one or two butterflies, one of which was a marbled white, which fluttered by me and landed on the long grass. Today’s threads are pale blue variegated cotton perlé no 5, white cotton perlé no 8, six-strand embroidery cottons in black, charcoal and grey, and (because I wanted a metallic effect for the scales and also I enjoy making my life a misery) pewter metallic Madeira machine embroidery rayon no 40, which had to be knotted around the eye of the needle and heavily treated with thread conditioner. The stitches are knotted chain for the heart, split stitch for the outline of the wings, French knots for the wing spots, satin stitch for the wing infill, French knots for the eyes and feeler ends and straight stitch for the feelers. I was grateful this morning for my new, razor-sharp Bohin darning needles, which enabled me to easily split a single strand of cotton perlé for the wing outlines. And that’s the fourth row of June completed – I didn’t realise until I photographed it that it starts and ends with a butterfly. I quite like the look of the butterfly half-done, too – might do this for a whitework piece.

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