Hearts stitch journal, 27 June 2018

A lovely summer’s day – quite cool at the moment but due to ramp up to about 30 degrees later. There was a spectacular sunrise and the garden was dewy-fresh this morning. My nose alerted me to another rose in flower, which proved to be Kew Rambler, romping off into the trees on the east border (the scent of the single bloom I picked is wafting over me as I type). A Bourbon/multiflora hybrid, it has a soft grey-green colour to its leaves and these lovely single flowers like a dog rose. When pollinated, the stamens turn brown. Today’s threads are cotton perlés no 5 in yellow and variegated orange; pink convent cotton no 25; six-strand embroidery cottons in pink and variegated pink; sewing cottons no 40 in yellow and brown; and green retors d’alsace no 12. Most of these are vintage and were a joy to sew with, especially the beautifully shaded orange perlé by Cartier-Bresson. The stitches are Hungarian braided chain stitch for the heart, stem stitch for the outline of the petals, laid work for the petal infill (because I fancied a bit of a crewelwork this morning) French knots for the pollen, straight stitch for the stamens and a French knot for the eye of the flower. Laid work like this, with the stitch going across the petal, was the usual way of stitching flowers in the 17th century.

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