I have been digging through boxes, and am a bit startled at the volume of these things I'm finding that I never got around to finishing. This was made several years ago when I first started (again) playing around with CQ in needlepoint - but before I found the art crazy quilters. It had never occurred to me to do the seam treatments, as I was more concerned with silk ribbon flowers and stitched in rickrack and leaf and flower "lace" trims. Anyway - I worked all day on this, and it's done! I'm beginning to have a bit more confidence in just starting at some point with thread in the needle and "freehand painting" on top of the needlepoint without any guidelines other than a sketch or a photocopy of the canvas pre-stitching. It never turns out quite like I envisioned in the beginning, so is usually a happy surprise. (Sometimes the result is not so happy, and a few minutes of ripping out is necessary - and a re-do to get it right.) Removing surface embroidery only takes a few minutes - unlike the needlepoint background. By stitching vines and stems and tendrils, etc. on TOP of the stitched "fabric" patches, (using stem stitch, fly stitch, chain stitch) one can achieve a much smoother line or curve than by stitching on bare canvas. I have tried it both ways. The "ferns" on the giraffe patch were created totally freehand with Caron Watercolours, an overdyed cotton that is gorgeous. On the animal skin crazies, I like to have at least one nice, plain patch on which to put pretty silk ribbon flowers - in a nice spray with fillers of french knots and leaves. On this mini-stocking, I used the Rainbow Gallery "Petite Very Velvet" thread - which in basketweave, looks just like a velvet patch. I really enjoyed, on this one, also using the Kreinik metallic ribbon, which I had been unaware of until a short while ago. It is so much nicer on the upright stitches on the leaf trims~! The bottom picture was taken before the silk ribbon roses and other flowers and French Knots were added - just the "bare bones."