I threaded up the strips using a large bodkin and did running stitch then returned down the line with a large tent stitch. The cotton frayed more than I'd planned and threatened to overwhelm the pattern of stitching. I also had to keep untwisting the strip as I sewed. Interestingly, the tent stitch resembles tiny capsules/pods/mussels. I think this type of stitching would be more effective stitched over a large area, using a degree of variation in the colour of the backing cotton. Paper or Vilene could also be used as a base for the strips.
Overall, I stitched this sample with my HEAD rather than my HEART, which is why I'm not particularly pleased with it.