Hearts stitch journal, 22 July 2018

A beautiful pure gold dawn this morning and a cool walk down the lane. It feels autumnal in the best possible way – golden, ripe, soft, Septemberish. Throughout the hedgerows this year, this plant is in bloom – betony. Hugely attractive to butterflies, clouds of which surround it as the day warms up, it has tough square stalks like a plantain and leaves like mint, but is a member of the deadnettle family. The odd thing is, I don’t ever remember seeing it before this year, unless I simply mistook it for loosestrife, which is the same colour. I’m hoping to collect seed from this for the garden, as it’s very beautiful, and quite tall so it should make a good presence in a border. Fortunately I don’t need it for its old purpose of warding off witches, for which purpose it used to be planted in churchyards. Today’s threads are gold metallic Indian rayon, green six-strand embroidery cotton, burgundy silk embroidery thread and variegated pinkish-purple Indian rayon. The stitches are whipped chain stitch for the heart, stem stitch for the stem, and detached chain with straight stitch for the leaves, flower heads and petals.

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