Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 10: stitching the lily on the right

I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!

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This week I have been stitching the large lily flower on the right hand side of the front heart panel.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui


If you are stitching this along with me, using my substitute list of threads, then you need to be aware that I am already deviating from the list! I found that this flower needed more pinks, and fewer orangey-pinks (and I hate orange with pink anyway, so I can hardly bring myself to stitch with orange and pink together!).


Several people have mentioned that they aren’t stitching this project at the same speed as me – that’s fine though! Some people have stitched waaaay ahead of me already, and some people don’t have the time at the moment to keep up with what I’m doing. Just do it at your own pace, really, and check out my blog posts when you want to read how I did things. As I said at the beginning, this is supposed to be fun!


The lily flower is the large pink one on the right of the front panel. The first pair of petals at the top of the flower are stitched in Vandyke stitch, using two strands of Anchor 55 substitute, and a tapestry needle (I used a size 26). You need a needle with a blunt tip for this stitch, so that you don’t pierce the fabric when you take the scooping stitch from right to left. See this video for Vandyke Stitch from Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘N Thread website for how to do the stitch.

How to do vandyke stitch

When it’s completed, it looks like a row of chain stitches with lines out each side. It’s a simple and quick stitch to do. Although I used two strands, I think it might have looked better with just one.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The next pair of petals are first covered with Satin stitch using two strands of Anchor 62 substitute and a betweens needle, ‘worked down the length of the petal’ as the instructions said, which I took to mean like this:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then, five Fly stitches are worked over the top of the Satin stitch, adding a size 15 bead (1606 Dyed semi-transparent rose, from Spellbound Beads) each time, just before you complete the vertical tying down stitch. I used a paler bead than the design calls for, as I wanted a more subtle look.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The third pair of petals also are covered with Satin stitch, but this time the direction of the stitches follows the curve of the petal. As this is quite a sharp angle at times, I found I needed to make four or five ‘compensation stitches’ (three quarters the width, rather than the whole width) on each petal, to fill in on the wider curves.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Then the pretty bit – Latttice couching on top of the Satin stitch, with two strands of Anchor 77 substitute in one direction, and one strand of the metallic copper in the other direction, held down with one strand of Anchor 62 pink.  To do this neatly, it helps to place the threads that cross over at the most crucial point *first*, and then work out from there – on these petals, that’s the innermost part of the tight inner curves, where the lattice threads only just touch. And make sure that the angles of the couching threads mirror each other, as far as possible, on each side. This is where I noticed that the design was badly drawn (again), and the inner curve of these two petals varies on either side.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

With the next part, I hit a problem. The Instructions call for Cable Plait stitch, but when I read up on how to do it in the magazine, it didn’t seem as if that was going to work, as it is a kind of wide braided stitch, and the area to be covered is just a line, and a thin line at that. So, I decided to use Coral stitch instead, which kind of looks the same, but is far easier to do, and fits the space!

This is how to do Coral Stitch.

How to do Coral stitch

I used a darker pink than the instructions said to use, as I felt my flower was becoming too insipid (Anchor 1028 substitute). At this point, I also filled in, with the metallic copper using Straight stitch, on the upper petals.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui


The calyx is stitched in just two colours: Anchor 265 substitute first, by outlining in Split stitch in one strand, then padding using Chain stitches laid head to tail within the Split stitch outline, and then covering all of that with Satin stitch in one strand. Then Lattice couching, tying down threads and outlining all in Oliver Twists Fine Cotton, shade 004 substitute. I was more pleased with how this calyx turned out than I was for the one for the carnation flower.


The centre large stamen is supposed to be made from looped bullion knots. For these, you need a Milliners needle (but not a really long one, as that makes the bullions more difficult to complete) – these are almost the same diameter from eye to point, so they are really good for making even, tightly wrapped bullions. It helps to stitch each bullion, then finish off your thread, and start again for the next one. That seems unnecessary, until one of them goes wrong… don’t want the previous bullion thread to not be anchored properly on the back of your work in that case, so it’s worth working each one individually. Note: these bullions are looonngg!! Practice first, so that you can make them neatly. They need to stand proud of the fabric, in a small loop, so the ‘bite’ of fabric that you take needs to be small. Also, remove the fabric from the hoop while you make these bullions, as it helps to be able to manipulate the fabric a bit while you push the needle upwards while you wrap the thread around the needle. Mary Corbet has a good written description, and then a video tutorial, here on her Needle ‘N Thread website.

However….I absolutely LOATHE doing bullion knots. I have a phobia about maggots, and to me, bullions look just like maggots. So, I decided to do the centre stamen like this: I stitched one chain stitch at the very top of the lily in Anchor 55 substitute, then four loose Fly stitches in a line above it, quite tightly placed above the previous stitches, curving to the left. Then I whipped the outside edges of the line of stitches with a pale pink Anchor 73, to make it all look a bit more solid. Much easier, and less maggot-like!!

The remaining stamens are in Pistil stitch (like a French knot on a stick), using the metallic copper thread. Mary Corbet has a good tutorial here.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

That’s it! Finished the lily! How did your one go?

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The Strawberry Fayre design, plus the complete list of materials, appears in Inspirations magazine number 95The publishers do sell a full materials pack  (not including the mother of pearl ruler though!), but it’s rather expensive, so if you can use your stash, and just fill in with bits and pieces, then so much the better! The magazine is published in Australia – if you live in the UK, as I do, it is cheaper to buy a back copy from Manor House Magazines, and save a lot on the shipping. 

To read about this project stitchalong from the beginning, start here. The post about which FABRIC to use is here. The post about the THREAD SUBSTITUTIONS that I made, plus WHERE TO BUY the threads and beads, etc., is here.

To look up all the posts in this series in the sidebar, see under the CATEGORIES list, under: Embroidery / Full size (others’ designs) / Strawberry Fayre heart etui, or use the SEARCH BOX at the top of the blog, and search for ‘Strawberry Fayre’ to get a list of all the posts (but it’s in reverse order, sorry!).


Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.


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21 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 10: stitching the lily on the right”

  1. Like you, Janet, I much preferred the lily over the carnation. And I also substituted the coral stitch for the cable braided stitch. I have found in several instances that the stitches called for are unsuitable in the small areas. Also, I have found more threads in the kit that are skimpy and I’m afraid I’ll run out. But I am enjoying this sew-along and learning a lot! Thank you.

  2. So happy to follow you along Janet. I felt so stupid for not being able to complete certain stitches in those tiny areas with the threads provided in the kit. So reassuring that you and your readers encounter the same problems. Now that I’ve taken a more relaxed approach to the whole project, I am really enjoying myself again! Now, that’s a lesson learned :).

    1. Hi Jessica, It’s funny, but knowing that I have to write about the project for the blog so that other people can follow along with me is making me be more relaxed about this than I’d normally be, so that’s a win-win, I think? I’m unsure as to why Carolyn chose stitches that don’t seem to fit the spaces, as usually her designs are so well thought out. But with some parts of this design, I’m not at all sure that the stitches listed are the ones in the original…….

  3. Hi Janet, that’s a great write up above! I love your colours, it looks more reminiscent of a Star Gazer Lily than the sample, and mine.

    My Lily is finished, and I too enjoyed it more than the carnation. I looked at Coral and Palestrina Stitches for outlining the Lily, but in the end went with Stem and Outline sts, for a more delicate finish.

    The tiny pink flowers have Coral St, and I went with it there; the little knots do show the outlining up more, but the Gütermann rayon Sulky is truly horrible to stitch with. If I’d known this in advance I wouldn’t have bought it, and just used the hot pink YLI here as well as for Lily petal couching as the two shades are virtually indistinguishable.

    My bullion loops have been stitched twice: the first time stitching them out of order to try and get some shading happening with the Dinky Dyes silk thread, but it didn’t make much perceptible difference, and wasn’t done very well, so were pulled out and redone yesterday. The couching angles on my right petal are not quite right, not exactly mirroring the left, so I might redo this. I took the “satin stitch along the length” to mean tip to tip, so stitched these petals in satin stich vertical to the petal. I was not happy with the blip that tying the Pistil St stamens made, so redid these and will couch the curves with invisible monofilament.

    My Vandyke arms were too close to intersperse the metallic, but that’s OK! My rows look like pink thin millipedes! It was fun learning Oyster st, and Tied Wheatear, just the Forget Me Not flowers to do.

  4. Hi Everyone. I also opted for stem stitch around the lily as I knew I would end up ripping out if I attempted the cable plait in such a small area. I didn’t want to risk damage to the existing stitching. I also put in a couple of the leaves which I also found quite challenging. I am enjoying this project though and love reading all the comments.

  5. Hi everyone, I did coral stitch around my Lilly as I didn’t like the cable plait either ! Too much in such a small area! Like everyone here I too enjoyed this flower better than the carnation .

  6. I’ve been looking ahead on the etui and am shaking my head on a few of the instructions. #1, how in the world am I going to get 5 oyster stitches (with beads) down the center of that tiny little felt strawberry? I’ve practiced and practiced the stitch but cannot get it small enough to fit more than three down the center. Can’t wait to see how you tackle this!

    1. You’re ahead of me on that one! I haven’t ever tried beaded oyster stitch, although I’ve used ‘plain’ oyster stitch before. Maybe leave the berries for now, and go back to them when I catch up with you!

    2. I notice that she doesn’t really say how many threads. I have been using one on most things. I do feel her instructions are vague in places.

      1. You’re doing it right, then. There’s one brief note at the beginning of the project somewhere, that says use one strand unless otherwise stated, but it’s hard to find – I can’t find it now, for instance. I always think it wouldn’t hurt to keep mentioning how many strands to use, in the instructions, but they never do, in Inspirations.

  7. Is there a place to post photos of our progress. I sometimes find it would be easier to talk about a problem or solution if there was a photo of the situation.
    I have ripped out several things since starting. Currently it is the bottom leaves. I didn’t like them in the colors then again didn’t like the colors I chose. I did change the primrose to pink because that one yellow flower just didn’t seem right to me.
    I spent the better part of last night trying to get the beaded flowers done. The first ones I did the beads were too large although the flowers were perfect. The I had to try several different beads to get ones I thought were good size wise. The bead called for weren’t available so I ordered several options beads and colors. It may be that the beads are still not right because I feel the flowers are too jolting. I suppose that may change when I do the strawberries.

  8. Well huge new problem showed up tonight. It seems my Kaufman Essex Linen has stretched. The backing has not. I have tried giving what I’ve completed so far a gentle steam but it only makes the stretch out front look worse. The part in the center of the heart is the problem because the vines enclose the the stretched center. I am not sure what to do now. I have already bought fabric twice.
    All my pieces were prepared as instructed and look fine. Did anyone else have this problem? I thought there were several people using the Kauffman Essex fabric. What say you?
    As it is now I will have to start over. I can’t imagine it will straighten out when made up. So that means all my prep work for all the pieces was a waste of time and have to be redone.

    1. Oh no! What a shame! I’m using the Essex linen and I’m not having that problem. Do you lean on the fabric with your hands as you stitch? Or is your hoop loose, so the fabric ‘bags’? It might be your stitching tension a bit, but other than that, I’m not sure why it would stretch. I can’t say I’ve noticed any stretching with mine. If you start again, it might be helpful if you do the thick stem lines last, so that you haven’t got that ‘almost complete ‘ring’ of solid stitching around the design, which would exacerbate any stretching of the fabric.

      1. Good point. I will have to start again. It is very puckered. I didn’t notice it when it was in the hoop. I have been using the hoop called for. What I just do understand is why the back isn’t puckered. I have did wash the fabric and give it a very good steam when I was prepping it for tracing. It is perfectly on grain. I do think this is the most work I have every put into prepping fabric.
        I did notice that the Kauffman seems to have some give in both directions on the straight of grain. I use the stab method of stitching. I guess because I do so much cross stitching. I wouldn’t think that was causing it. I will send photos to your email.

      2. Hi, thanks for sending the image to me. Such a pity that the fabric has ‘bagged’ as you’ve done so much stitching on this! Strange that the backing fabric didn’t pucker, just the top fabric. Maybe washing the fabric washed any sizing out of it which would have kept it stiffer? I haven’t noticed that my fabric is particularly stiff, but it could have some in it.

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