I agree with a lot of you about backstitching. I LOVE IT. It DOES bring out the details.
I just finished a 12x16 mother wolf with 3 cubs on a log in a winter scene. It's a kit. I made it 2 x's. 1 for my hubby, as he found it a yard sale a couple yrs back, and the other for a dear friend's child, as he LOVES wolf scenes. I started in Jan 1 of this year, and just finished last weekend, July 21.
The pattern was on front and back page and I copied each side off of the printer and folded the edges of the pattern to CONNECT to make 1 WHOLE pattern. It has A LOT of backstitching, but that is what MAKES the project.
To BREAK UP the BORING repetition of trees, I did them in 1/2 stitches and backstitched the tree trunks, as there wasn't ANY. The sky and ground snow went the same way using 1/2 stitches. The ground snow was blended with white and 2 differ colors of blue for contrast to show shadow.
Last year, after completed 10 baby remembrances, which I do A LOT of, I decided to do a 11x14 Guardian Angel picture for my oldest sis for Christmas. I started in Sept, and got it finished 2 weeks before Christmas. On the wings it had A LOT of white, cream and LIGHT gray, 726. I did them ALL in 1/2 stitches and I was AMAZED at how AIRY the wings looked.
My next projects to finish out this year and will continue into next year are 14, In Loving Memory Remembrances. 4 will be done by Christmas and mailed. My aunt gave me a poem, and on the project, I am ADDING 2 small angels. 1 in the upper left corner and 1 on the lower right corner. 1 of the Remembrances will have ANOTHER poem she wrote and it will become a pillow for a dear friend that is in a nursing home.
Also, when I was doing a couple of baby remembrances a couple of yrs. ago, I had a pattern that had the design in a BOXED LIKE border, so I just did the border in 1/2 stitches and the border looked like WICKER. I was PLEASED at that look, so on ANOTHER baby project, I did the 1/2 stitches for a bassinet and the lace around the bassinet.
So I DECIDED when I have projects with WINGS, LACE or BASSINETS, I'll use 1/2 stitches.
So DON'T FRET over backstitching, as that is what BRINGS the project to LIFE.
Enjoy cross stitching as a HOBBY and NOT as an ORDEAL.
HAPPY STITCHING IS STITCHING LAND