Check out these marvelous Pop Art crabs from The Point of It All Designs! The whole piece is stitched in Splendor (strandable silk from Rainbow Gallery). I did the crabs in basketweave and each of the backgrounds in a special stitch. The top left and bottom right is the willow stitch, while the top right square and the bottom left is diamond pavilion (also called pavilion diamond). The center square is horizontal parisian in two colors. I essentially made up the stitches in the middle left and middle right squares: sort of a modified slanted gobelin with a one stitch wide column of metallic thread. Lastly, the top and bottom middle squares are stripes in basketweave. Each column is 6 stitches wide.
Wow, I'm now exhausted just from typing all that--I can hardly believe I stitched it too! It really looks great and I am super pleased with the framing. A driftwood effect with royal blue edging.
The canvas would certainly look great if I had stitched it all in basketweave but I think the special stitches really enhance it. It's subtle and not overwhelming. I find that if you do a few, carefully-selected decorative stitches the end product looks interesting but not gimmicky. My advice here: less IS sometimes more. Of course that NEVER applies to one's canvas collection!