Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 11: stitching the large leaves on the front heart panel

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

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This is the project that I am working on:

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui



Now that the two large flowers have been completed, it’s time to stitch the leaves.

Each of the two large flowers has three long leaves underneath, and they are stitched differently each time, but using quite simple stitches. Leaf 1 has the main part stitched using Knotted pearl stitch in Anchor 268 substitute with a betweens needle (it has to be a slim needle, as Mill Hill 275 clear gold beads are threaded on in between each stitch). Here’s Mary Corbet’s video tutorial on her Needle ‘N Thread website to show how to do it. An outline of Stem stitch in Anchor 269 substitute, and then Metallic copper for a line of Stem stitch and also Straight stitches between the ‘arms’ of the Knotted pearl stitch finish off the flat end of the leaf (do the Straight stitch before outlining, for neatness).

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

The curled end of the leaf is stitched in Chain stitch padding with a pale green Anchor 264 substitute (not sure why it has to be a different shade from the top layer though), and then Anchor 266 is worked in Blanket stitch over the top with one strand in tiny stitches to cover the padding. Angle the stitches to follow the line of the leaf edge. The instructions then say to whip the edge of the Blanket stitch, but I thought that would be impossible at such a small scale, so I didn’t bother.

As I mentioned before, the pattern for this panel is not very well drawn, compared to Carolyn Pearce’s stitched model – her version has more space to do the Blanket stitch, whereas my leaf touches the wide stem, and looks squashed, to me.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

This is Leaf 4, which is stitched in the same manner as Leaf 1, so I stitched the pair at the same time as the Leaf 1 pair, to save re-threading needles.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

I took a photo of the whole panel after I’d stitched the pair of ‘Leaf 1’ and ‘Leaf 4’ leaves, so that you can see where I am working them. Both leaves are mirrored on the opposite side.

There’s quite a lot of colour on the panel now….but a lot of that is green!! It’ll be good when I can stitch with more colours.

Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui

Hopefully, next week I’ll get all the large leaves completed.

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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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16 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 11: stitching the large leaves on the front heart panel”

  1. You’re doing well with this rather tricky design. It’s been an education watching you (and Jessica Grimm) grappling with the technical glitches in the pattern and finding ways around the issues. Plus it is looking lovely! 🙂

    1. Thanks Kathryn! There’s more ‘glitches’ with this than with other Carolyn Pearce designs I’ve stitched – usually she’s so precise, so I do suspect editing ‘amendments’ have caused the problems 🙂

  2. This is coming along beautifully Janet. I am having trouble with getting my large leaves symmetrical and of course the more I play with them the worse they get. I think i will just have to tell myself that this is hand and not machine embroidery and move on!

    1. I feel your pain! As someone who is just a little bit obsessed with everything being properly symmetrical, all I can say is that no-one else would notice your leaves being a tiny bit uneven. Except me, maybe.

  3. I’m enjoying watching you and Jessica Grimm make progress on this, it’s just such a shame the pattern and instructions are giving you. I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end!

  4. Hi Janet, thought I would let you know that I had put my strawberries in and then went on to the needlewoven leaves. Well I found it impossible to get the leaves woven in with the strawberries in place so ended up ripping out the berries and doing the leaves first. Much easier for me that way. Would like to hear if anyone else had this problem.

    1. I totally agree. Even just the felt I used was in the way. I have only worked one of the berries. Over and over again. I can’t get the hang of this oyster stitch and it is even worse with that press on backing the felt berry has. This just feels like a hard knot that I am trying to do this stitch through. I do wish I had used a hard thin and cheap craft felt. The felt I used is getting very fuzzy.
      Any tricks for the oyster stitch would be helpful. I am starting to feel that she has used stitches just to use them. Since the bead could be attached after the stitch and making it much easier. I am just finding the whole berry very hard to deal with.
      As I mentioned in another post my top fabric has stretched but I thought I would finish it as practice. Good thing with how awful my go at the Oyster stitch has been.

      1. These berries seem to be a problem! I’m planning to use just felt as padding, without the backing material, as it seems overkill when it’s only a simple shape that needs cutting out. If it makes the berry even harder to attach, it’ s not worth it! Oyster stitch is a nice textured stitch so yes, doing just the stitch and then attaching beads on top would be one way round it.

  5. I cheated and just used a combination of french and colonial knots then added beads afterwards and am quite pleased with the look. I did use the felt padding though.

  6. I absolutely cheated on the berries! I tacked down the felt then did a tiny buttonhole stitch to secure it. I could not for the life of me get all those oyster stitches with bead down the middle (5 she says!!), so I just attached the beads with a twisted chain and am quite happy with it. Gotta go with what works!

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