I just started working on this ornament...NCS stands for National Cathedral School, my high school. I wanted to jazz up the canvas so I outlined the letters in gold. (The school colors are purple and gold.)

Then I had what I thought was a brainstorm: "I will do a decorative stitch in the background so I can finish this ornament before I ship to the finishers on Monday." I did the hesitation stitch. I was so pleased with my speed. After I had stitched a section, I held the canvas up and took a good, long look at it. Wow, the whole thing looks like a giant golf ball! Rats, guess that stitching will have to come out.

So, what's the take-way message? Always evaluate your stitching. Stitch a little and then hold your canvas at arm's length and really cast a critical eye. Does the decorative stitch work with the piece as a whole? Is the stitch an enhancement? It's easier to rip out a test patch than a whole background.

I think continental/basketweave is the way to go for this ornament. The piece won't be finished for today's UPS shipment but I know I'll be happier in the long run.

Happy stitching,