I did a bit more stitching last night, slow but steady progress! My birdie now has a perch and is looking quite cheery. This whole design is done mostly in a combination of back stitch and long stitches, with some added detail in colonial knots (so much more reliable than french knots), running stitch, lazy daisies and feather stitch. Appropriately.
I also managed to dig out some patchwork fabric strips that I bought at last year's Festival of Quilts. This is what I had in mind, something bright and cheery to "lift" the linen. I want to do lots of strippy blocks - log cabins, checker-board blocks, stripes and big blocks of colour. I'm not sure I'll have the patience, but I'll certainly give it a bash!